Panoramic view on the Godafoss waterfall and its green landscapes ,accompanied by a beautiful sunset

Guide To Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland

Visit The Waterfall of the Gods, also known as Godafoss waterfall. This North Iceland treasure is rated one of the best waterfalls in Iceland. Thanks to its breathtaking scenery and historical past, there is so much to do when visiting here. Keep reading our Guide To Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland!

History of Godafoss

How did Godafoss get its nickname of The Waterfall of the Gods? Well, the waterfall has a pretty exciting past. The first settlers that came to Iceland were Norwegians who followed the Old Norse religion.

This means they worshiped Thor, Odin, Loki, and Freya. However, after the Commonwealth was founded in 930 AD, pressure to convert began to surface to push those toward Christianising Europe.

Norway invaded the country by 1000 AD, where they stood by their pagan beliefs. It was then taken to the parliament, which sits at the historic Þingvellir. The Ásatrú priest Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði was given the responsibility of making the decision. He decided that Christianity would be the official religion of Iceland; however, Pagans could still practice in private.

To make the decision final, Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði returned to Northern Iceland, where he lived. He then tossed idols of the Old Gods into a captivating waterfall today we know as Godafoss.

Godafoss Waterfall

The waterfall itself is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland! The water comes from the Skjálfandafljót, a river that runs in a 7000-year-old lava field from the Trölladyngja volcano.

The waterfall is a few different sizes, thanks to i’s horseshoe-shaped rock that rises in the center, separating the waterfall in two. One section is 30 feet high or 9m, while the other is 55 feet high or 17 meters.

Godafoss Waterfall Hike

The main hike at Godafoss Waterfall is 1.8 miles with an elevation gain of 301 feet. The trek leaves from the main parking lot and breaks off into two walks that allow you to view both sides.

A man hiker enjoying beautiful Godafoss at sunset in Iceland

First, view the west side. Then, you can just park at the main parking lot and walk down to the waterfall by the river. Once you make your way back, you will head to the east trail across the street from Fosshóll Guesthouse. From there, just walk down the short path for spectacular views of the waterfall.

The beautiful hike takes an average of 50 minutes to complete, which means you can enjoy an hour of viewing the waterfall from both sides.

How To Get to Godafoss

You can reach Godafoss by taking the Ring Road through North Iceland. It is also a part of the infamous Diamond Circle route! It is a 5-hour and 15-minute drive from Reykjavik to Godafoss, making it a road trip.

The route is 421.6 km or 261 miles down Route One. It is a conveniently located tourist attraction since you do not have to drive on any F-Roads or dangerous roads to reach it. This is also why it is one of the top waterfalls to visit.

How much time do you need?

If you want to stop and marvel at the waterfall, you will need anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.

If you want to hike, you can plan for two to three hours here since the hike takes 50 minutes to complete. Take your time admiring the falls during the hike, then spend some time sitting near the waterfall. You should also block time to visit the cafe and gift shop too!

Hiker with a red jacket overlooking the beautiful waterfall Godafoss

When is the best time to visit?

Summer is the best time to visit Godafoss Waterfall. You can expect the roads to be clear this time of the year and enjoy the extra daylight hours. Summer sunsets over the waterfall have become a popular opportunity for photographers. The cool waterfall mist will also feel amazing on your face during the warmer months.

Surprisingly, winter is also another fantastic time to visit the Godafoss Waterfall. The falls will still be flowing. However, there will be large icicles and snow covering the area. You need a 4X4 vehicle to access the Godafoss in the winter, mostly due to the amount of snow that Northern Iceland gets this time of the year.

Godafoss Waterfall in Winter Covered in Snow

Spring and fall, which are Iceland’s shoulder seasons, can be great times to visit. You can expect fewer crowds during these times of the year!

The Northern Lights at Godafoss Waterfall

If you visit Godafoss during winter, you will have an excellent chance to spot the Aurora over the waterfall. You may have seen the magnificent pictures of the Northern Lights over Godafoss Waterfall, as many photographs seek this bucket list photograph.

an incredible show, which offers a night view of the Godafoss waterfall and beautiful aurora borealis particularly pronounced

Winter provides maximum darkness thanks to Godafoss being away from major cities and light pollution, which makes your chances even greater! Check the Aurora activity before you head out to the waterfall that way, you will know the intensity of the lights and when they will be at their peak.

Godafoss Café & Gift Shop

After exploring Godafoss Waterfall, visit the cafe near the parking lot. Godafoss Café & Gift Shop offers delectable food, such as Pylsa, Iceland’s famous hot dog. They also have hot coffee, tasty cakes, and sandwiches for you to enjoy.

Don’t forget to buy a souvenir on your way out! That way, you can take a little piece of Godafoss Waterfall home with you.

Camp Near Godafoss Waterfall

You can spend the night .3 miles or 0.4 km away from the waterfall by camping at Guesthouse Fosshóll. That means you can rest your head while hearing the falls cascading in the distance.

The campground is only open from May 15th until September 15th, which is immaculate for summer camping. The campground has plenty of amenities, including running water, toilets, a gas station, and a grocery store.


Which side of Godafoss is better?

The west side is considered better because it's easier to get to from the parking lot. You are truly set on either side of the waterfall.

Which waterfall can you walk under in Iceland?

Seljalandsfoss is the only waterfall you can walk under in Iceland. You can even check out our Guide to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland.

What is the most powerful waterfall in Iceland?

Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Iceland, and it is also located in the Northern part of the country.