The Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland is one of the main stops on the Ring Road.
This 'waterfall of the gods’ is a very elegant horseshoe-shaped waterfall that you can approach from both sides all year round.
Below is my guide to help you plan your visit with map, tips and photos.
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Why visit Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland?
Godafoss is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland and should be visited since:
- it is easily accessible next to road 1.
- the water from the river Skjálfandafljót drops from a height of 12 meters.
- it is an elegant 30-meter-wide horseshoe shape and the big rock separating the flow in the middle.
Is Godafoss worth it?
Absolutely. If you are visiting North Iceland, it is a very easy stop between Akureyri and Myvatn. And the beautiful shape of the waterfall is worth it!
Planning Tips & Map - Godafoss Waterfall Iceland
How to get to Godafoss - Location & Map
- In North Iceland
- Along road 1 between Akureyri and Myvatn, 50 km from Akureyri. You really cannot miss it. The ‘town’ is called Fossholl.
- Akureyri to Godafoss = 40min drive
- Lake Myvatn to Godafoss = 50min drive
- The West side parking is before the bridge (when driving east towards Myvatn)
- Below is a map to help you get oriented and locate Godafoss:
This location is included (with GPS coordinates, map of region and planning info) in both my travel guide eBooks that help you easily plan your Iceland road trip:
Admiring the Godafoss Waterfall
- Left side Views (east side, where the station, café and guesthouse are) – 5/10 min small trail and the option to get either to a lower or a higher viewpoint. Attention, the path to get down is short but steep
- Right side Views (west side) – views next to the parking, possibility to get very close but attention it is slippery.
- At sunset on the East side I had the waterfall all to myself!
- Next to the café there is a bridge to cross the river if you wish to leave your car on one side. From the bridge you can see a small waterfall called Geitafoss.
- At the gas station, there is a nice café and souvenir shop with toilets
- It is accessible all year round – it is also breathtaking in Winter covered in snow and ice (see at the end of the article)
- And Check out my complete article with detailed suggestions and tips on what to wear and pack for Iceland to stay warm and comfortable
How long to visit Godafoss?
If you want to enjoy both sides of the waterfall and take your time (and plenty of pictures), plan a 1h stop. But it can easily be admired in just 30min.
Where to stay near Godafoss
Right by the waterfall path, next to the petrol station, you can find the Fossholl Guesthouse. I found it really practical and enjoyed the food and combination with camping - Check out prices and availability
Need to rent a car in Iceland?
- Option 1 - Local experts - Iceland has a lot of specificities and the offerings of local companies are adapted - you can compare cars and prices of quality local brands on this expert Icelandic website
- Option 2 - International Brands - compare offers on RentalCars.com
- Book early to have a large choice of vehicles!
Waterfall of Godafoss from the West bank
On the West side, you can park right next to the Godafoss waterfall. This is where the official parking is.
From this side, you get a better view of the flow separation in 3 sections.
I think if you have a little bit of time, you should visit both side of the waterfall.
From this side, you can continue driving to Aldeyjarfoss, an off the path waterfall on the same river which requires some dirt road and 4WD driving.
How was Godafoss formed? - Geology
The canyon was formed by river Skjalfandafjot. It flows from the icecap of Vatnajökulll through this lava field.
At the location of the waterfall, the big step may have been formed by a fault line.
Waterfall of the Gods from the East bank
Godafoss hike on top of the East shore
On the East side (where the café and station are), there is a short trail to reach the waterfall.
You have to park near the café and continue on foot (less than 10min).
The trail has been much improve and viewing platforms have been set up to enjoy the waterfall from different perspectives.
Sunset at Godafoss
The sun was not in the right position late afternoon, but it was great once the sun had set with the remaining colors behind the waterfall.
I was alone waiting for sunset and could sometimes spot people getting very close on the other side which gave me this shot with nice silhouettes, one of my favorite pictures from my trip through Iceland:
And from this location, have a look at the basalt formations:
The bridge under the stars
As I was staying at the guesthouse near the falls, I went out to take some photos of the stars. Sadly, the station next to the bridge was too bright.
When I stayed overnight, the walking trail had not been created yet, and I did not have a flashlight.
However, now with the path and the viewing platforms on the East bank, you can easily shoot the waterfall under the stars.
The second picture was taken from the bridge with the Geitafoss waterfall in the foreground.
Godafoss in Winter
Godafoss is also accessible in Winter.
In my opinion it is even more beautiful with the ice and snow.
You can see pictures and video in my article about Godafoss in Winter.
Want to see other highlights in North Iceland?
- The large volcanic crater of Hverfjall on which you can climb - read article
- The crazy lava formations of Dimmuborgir - read article
- The fascinating pseudo-craters of Skutustadir - read article
- The orange geothermal area of Hverir Namafjall - read article
- Or read my complete article about North Iceland
Planning a trip to Iceland?
Check out my travel guides to help you plan:
And keep track of your own trip!
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