Let's discover the waterfall of Godafoss in Winter! Located in North Iceland, it turns into a Winter Wonderland where icicles form despite the rush of water. An easy but spectacular stop! Below is my guide to help you plan your visit.
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Why visit the waterfall of Godafoss in Winter
Godafoss was one of my favorite waterfalls to visit in Iceland in Winter.
It was already a nice stop in Summer (see photos) but I think it is gorgeous in Winter! Just have a look:
Godafoss is, in my opinion, a must stop during your Iceland road trip, because:
- It is right by the side of the Ring Road, no detour required
- The walk to the waterfall is easy
- The color of the water is highlighted by the snow
- Icicles form around the waterfall but the water is still rushing through. The combination is fascinating
- It has a beautiful horseshoe shape with a drop of 12m (39ft)
Below is a short video to give you an idea of what a visit to Godafoss looks like:
More photos after the planning tips.
Planning Tips - Godafoss waterfall Iceland
How to get to Godafoss
- Located in North Iceland
- On Road 1 South East of Akureyri, at Fossholl
- Akureyri to Godafoss = 40min drive
- Lake Myvatn to Godafoss = 50min drive
- The only carpark open in Winter is next to the guesthouse, on the East bank of the river
- Godafoss is included in my Winter road trip guide to help you plan your itinerary:
Plan your perfect trip to Iceland in Winter!
- 7 easy-to-plan Maps
- 100+ scenic locations
- Winter Accessibility + Planning Tips
- 110+ large photos to decide where to go
- GPS coordinates direct to the carparks
Accessibility in Winter
- The road and East carpark are cleared to allow access
However the side road to the West bank is not
- Of course road closure can always happen due to snow and wind - check out the status on road.is
- As it is a very touristic spot, they clear the marked walking paths - but it can always get icy, so carry spikes (see options) that you can add on your shoes at any time
- Gas station, restaurant, toilettes and Guesthouse
- 5 min walk to the last viewing platform. Plan at 30 to 45min to enjoy the waterfall.
- Access to the bottom path is closed in Winter
- And Check out my complete article with detailed suggestions and tips on what to wear and pack for Iceland to stay warm and comfortable
Need to rent a car for your road trip in Iceland?
You can choose from some great local companies!
- I selected Route 1 car rental (and paid entirely for it). I really enjoyed their service to drop and pick up the car, as well as all their advice before going on the road - Check out prices and car availabilities
- Otherwise you can compare the vehicles and prices from local companies on this practical website
Where to stay near Godafoss
Right by the waterfall path, next to the gas station, you can find the Fossholl Guesthouse. I found it really practical. I enjoyed the food and they were welcoming - Check out photos and availability
Godafoss - Winter accessibility
As you are driving from Road 1, you can see a bridge and a yellow house. This is where the waterfall is.
In the picture below you can see the falls behind the yellow house.
In Summer there are 2 carparks, on both sides of the river.
However in Winter, only the East side of the waterfall (where the guesthouse is) is open.
From there, the walking path is cleared all the way to the viewpoints. And it is clearly marked so as not to fall 🙂
Walking along River Skjalfandafljot
It is not a long walk to the waterfall. But you can already enjoy some beautiful views as you walk along the river.
It is the 178km long Skjalfandafljot river.
Its source is the Vatnajokull glacier. But springwater also pours into it.
In North Iceland it snows a lot more that in the South. The scenery is really really white.
I could stay hours just watching the water meandering through the snow.
In some areas, there are swirls as you can see below.
The path continues along the river with views of the waterfall. It looks promising!
First viewing platform
Even before the first viewing platform, you can enjoy the waterfall and its rushing sound.
On the picture below, you can see the dark lava rock peaking out of the snow.
The first viewpoint is wide. There is a lot of space for everyone to enjoy the views.
And this is what you get to see... The 30m (98ft) wide and 12m (39ft) tall waterfall.
In Summer it has 3 branches. But in this photo with the ice, the middle one is not flowing.
Below are a couple of shots where I zoomed. You can see the contrast of the ice areas and the rushing water next to them.
And sometimes it just gets confusing: the water seems to be flowing under the ice...
Note: in Summer there is a path to walk down to the water level. It is closed in Winter.
Above the waterfall
After this first stop, you can keep walking for a minute to reach the second viewing platform.
It has been set up right above the waterfall. So you can really appreciate the volume of water going over the step.
Below is a panorama of the river and waterfall.
The river comes from the South but your path stops there.
The Aldeyjarfoss waterfall is further along this river but is accessed via an F-road (4WD only in Summer).
Once again I took a few pictures with my zoom. Fascinating, don't you think?
Sister waterfall of Geitafoss in Winter
From the carpark there is also a path to the bridge (may be less maintained).
From there you can see the tiny waterfall of Geitafoss.
However you can better appreciate the rock of the canyon.
- What does Godafoss mean?
Foss mean waterfall and God means God... it is the Waterfall of the Gods.
- Where does the name Godafoss comes from?
It got its name during year 999 or 1000 when Christianity was declared the official religion of Iceland. After that, the local Lawspeaker threw his statues of the Norse pagan gods into the waterfall.
- Where is the waterfall of the gods?
Godafoss is the waterfall of the Gods, located in North Iceland, along Route 1.
- Was Godafoss a filming location for Game of Thrones?
No, not that I am aware of.
Want to see more of ICELAND IN WINTER
A magical Winterland, don't you think?