Водопад Годафосс одна из обязательных достопримечательностей Исландии

Godafos Waterfall or Waterfall of the Gods is one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland. It is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country, falling from a height of 12 meters and a width of 30 meters. The waterfall is widely known for the story of Iceland's rejection of paganism.

The Godafoss Waterfall (Goðafoss or Godafoss) is located on the river Skjalfandafl is the fourth largest river in Iceland and therefore the waterfall is very full-flowing at any time of the year. The name of the river translates as "river with trembling breath". In one place, its waters fall off a cliff formed by basalt rocks, while raising a huge cloud of spray visible from afar.


The story of the Waterfall of the Gods - Godafoss

The name Godafoss, in Icelandic Goðafoss, means either the waterfall of the gods or the waterfall "goði" (i.e. Priest/chief). The reason for this is its fascinating history.

The first settlers who appeared in Iceland in the 9th and 10th centuries were mostly Norwegians who followed the Old Norse religion, worshipping pagan gods such as Thor, Odin, Loki and Freya.

But around 930, the pressure from neighboring countries to convert to Christianity became too strong. 

By 1000 AD, it seemed that Norway would almost certainly invade if the country maintained its pagan beliefs. This issue was discussed in the Althing, the meeting place of the first parliament. Now this place is located in the Tingvellir Park, where the parliament met once a year.

And the local ruler, by nameThorgeir Torkelson decided not to bring matters to bloodshed.

They say he sat under a birch tree during the day and night in silence, praying to his old gods for the right decision. Eventually, he appeared and said that Christianity would be the official religion for the benefit of the people, but pagans could practice in private (which in fact could have happened before the twentieth century).

To set an example to others and fulfill his decision, he returned to his home in the north of Iceland and threw the idols of the old pagan Gods into a waterfall. Since then, this place has become known as Godafoss.

In the church of the neighboring town there are stained glass windows depicting this event, which gave Godafoss Waterfall its name.

How to get to Godafoss Waterfall, Goðafoss

Godafoss Waterfall is located in the north of Iceland, on the ring road that completely surrounds the country. It is considered part of the Diamond Ring route.

The Diamond Ring route also passes through Lake Myvatn, Dettifoss Waterfall, Ásbyrgi Canyon and the town of Husavik. You can read more about the Diamond Ring route in the article:

Lake Myvatn and the Diamond Ring of Iceland

Lake Myvatn and the Diamond Ring of Iceland

A Diamond or Diamond ring is the northern version of a

To get to the Godafoss waterfall, you must first get from Reykjavik to Akureyri.

There are two ways to do this:

  • by bus or car — 4 hours;
  • by plane of local airlines — 45 minutes;

It takes about an hour to get from Akureyri to the waterfall via Highway No. 1:

  • with a private tour;
  • on a regular bus;
  • in a rented car.

An excellent road leads to Godafoss from the town of Husavik, located to the north, where tourists go to watch whales, and from Lake Myvatn

As you may have noticed, the most convenient way is to rent a car, and you can read about the subtleties of renting a car in Iceland here ->

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When is it better to visit the Godafoss Waterfall?

The Godafoss Waterfall can be viewed throughout the year, although in winter it is worth making sure that you rent a four-wheel drive car, and also check if the roads are open.

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