Godafoss Waterfall - a place to dream, a place to think
- What is Godafoss Waterfall
- When to go
- Where to stay
- How to reach the Godafoss Waterfall
- What else to see near the Godafoss Waterfall
Iceland is a Northern Scandinavian country rich with untouched nature, high mountains, fjords, waterfalls and volcanic lakes. And one of the most amazing natural attractions is the waterfall Godafoss.
What is Godafoss Waterfall
This waterfall can’t boast of the size, its width is 30 m and the height is only 12 m, however, it is the most popular waterfall in Iceland. The waterfall rises from the river Skjalfandafljot, which in turn is fed by melt water from the nearby glacier.
Godafoss, translated from the local language, means ‘the Waterfall of the Gods’. This name is associated with the legend according which tells that the natives threw off the idols of the first religions into the water before having accepted Christianity in 999-1000 AD. There is another story telling that the natives named the waterfall in honor of gods’ statues that once surrounded the approaches to the waterfall.
The shape of the waterfall resembles a crescent; the flowing streams of water run down the basalt columns and fall from the 12-meter height on a flat piece of land. The columns divide the water flow into three parts, two of which are almost equal in width and the third one is as if enclosed in a stony track. This is another mystery of the waterfall because in nature, a regular geometric shape is an extremely rare thing.
In addition, despite the small size of the waterfall the spray from the falling water is raised high in the sky being visible even from a distance. This waterfall is always amazes the viewers, especially in the cold season: falling water freezes before reaching its destination. And, it seems that a magician stopped the time.
When to go
The waterfall is located just 50 km from the town of Akureyri, and the weather here, as in all of Iceland, is severe. But the climate in the north of Iceland is much better than in the south. Moreover, in Akureyri there is a foehn effect because the city lies in a narrow valley between two high mountain ranges. Due to the warmer climate, there is an abundance of trees and flowers.
The summer is short but hot and dry enough (unlike in Reykjavik), the winter is cold and long. The natives are accustomed to sudden changes in temperature. The warmest and full of sun months are July and August, and the lowest precipitation is in May and June. The coldest months are December, January and February; however, at this time you can enjoy an unforgettable spectacle of frozen waterfall. Tourists think the best time for a visit to this wonderful city to be the period in late spring – early autumn. At this time, the weather conditions are the best for adaptation. Also, the summer is a perfect time due to the longest duration of daylight.
Where to stay
There are different options for an overnight stay nearby the waterfall Godafoss (hotels, guesthouses and other), exactly, in Akureyri, which is located just 50 km from the waterfall. If you prefer to travel independently the right choice of accommodation is very important.
In Akureyri, you are able to select an option that meets your requirements both in comfort and price. In the city, there are several large luxury hotels that quality of services corresponds to three and four stars: for example, Hotel Edda Akureyri, Hotel Kea and Icelandair Hotel Akureyri. The cost of living is from 100 Euros per night.
You can stay in one of several campsites, as well. Accommodation prices range from 40 to 100 Euros depending on the conditions (a place for a tent or cabin with amenities and linens). You should remember that they operate only in the summer, from May till September. One of the largest campsites in Iceland is located here, just 5 km from Akureyri, this is Hamrar Campsite. Due to its size, there are always vacant places and cabins, it open from May 15 to September 15.
How to reach the Godafoss Waterfall
This waterfall is located near the ring road that stretches almost around the whole country. The waterfall Godafoss is located only fifty kilometers from Akureyri.
Travelers can get to the waterfall using the services of organized Godafoss tours. But if you are an independent traveler several tips how to get to the waterfall will be at handy.
- There is a small airport with regular flights from Reykjavik (Air Iceland, several times a day, the price is from 30 Euros, 45 min), Copenhagen and twice a week from London (Iceland Express, 3 hours travel, the price is 240 Euros).
- Buses run from the capital to Akureyri from May to September, twice a day (departure at 8.30 and 17.00, from 40 Euros, 5.5 hours on the road), in the rest of the year - every day.
- By the Highway 1-Ring Road, you can to get from Reykjavik to Akureyri by a rented car in 5 hours.
Continue moving the same road, you can get to the Godafoss Waterfall; the travel time is about 40 minutes. In Akureyri, you can rent a car. For example, a small car with unlimited mileage and insurance will cost about 40 Euros. Paying about 25 Euros more, you can take the car in Akureyri and go to Reykjavik. You can also book a tour in one of the local agencies. Usually the tours include other attractions, in addition to the Godafoss falls; their duration is from 3 hours, and the cost is from 60 Euros.
You can get to the waterfall from two sides of the river. However, its foot can only be reached from the east side.
What else to see near the Godafoss Waterfall
Waterfall seeing will not take long, and if you decide to explore this part of Iceland you will find other interesting places nearby.
First, it is the city of Akureyri located deep in the picturesque Eyjafjordur with mountain slopes on both sides. Snow on their tops does not melt even in the summer. There are a lot of places of interest in small Akureyri:
- the Church of Akureyri. In this church, there is the largest organ in Iceland with more than 3,200 pipes;
- the northernmost botanical garden in the world. On a vast area, there are all kinds of plants found on the island, and nearly 4,000 species of plants from other countries. In the garden there is no greenhouse and all plants and flowers grow only in the wild;
- some wonderful museums.
A trip to the island Grimsey is very attractive. Icelandic sagas tell us that in the distant past on this island trolls and giants lived. Grimsey is known for its location: the Arctic Circle goes through the island. All tourists, who arrived there, are given a certificate confirming their visit to the Arctic Circle.
Akureyri neighborhood is famous for its many magnificent volcanoes. Around an active volcano Askya, asa result of its eruptions, several scenic lakes that do not freeze even in the most severe winters have formed.
The ice caves Kverkfjöll and Nemaskaro deserve special attention. Stunning ice halls became a special attraction of Akureyri.
The Godafoss Waterfall is one of the most visited waterfalls in Iceland. On the rocks nearby, you can comfortably stay and enjoy the beauty of not only falling water but also the surrounding neighborhoods.