If you’ve ever dreamt of standing at the water’s edge, feeling the mist on your face as the mighty Goðafoss roars before you – it’s time to turn that dream into a reality! 

Pronounced go-the-foss and standing at 12m (39 feet) tall and 30m (98 feet) wide, it’s one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls and must-see attractions.

What makes it even more striking, is that this horseshoe-shaped waterfall breaks into multiple falls. 

Believe me, the views of the cliffs and lava fields surrounding it are impressive, to say the least!

Plus, there’s some pretty cool history behind the name. It’s not called “Waterfall of the Gods” for nothing.

Legend has it that when Christianity was declared the official religion of Iceland, the locals got rid of their Norse pagan gods’ statues by throwing them into the waterfall – hence the name.

This guide covers everything you should know about visiting Goðafoss waterfall – like tips on where to get the best views and photographs, when to visit, things to do around Goðafoss, and more.

So, grab your camera, we’re chasing a waterfall!

Table of Contents:

Where is Goðafoss Waterfall in Iceland?

Landscape View of Godafoss in Iceland | Iceland with a View

Goðafoss waterfall is located in North Iceland, right off the Ring Road accessible by car via Route 1. 

It’s also considered to be part of the Diamond Circle route – an area that includes bucket-list-worthy attractions such as Húsavík, Ásbyrgi Canyon, Lake Mývatn, and Dettifoss waterfall.

If you head east on the Diamond Circle route, you’ll arrive at Goðafoss.

Reykjavík to Goðafoss: If you’re staying in Reykjavík, it’s 422 km (262 miles) away, which is roughly a 5-hour and 30-minute drive to the falls. 

Akureyri to Goðafoss: It’ll take you about 36 minutes to get there from Akureyri, which is 34 km (21 miles) away.

The road is well maintained and the route to the waterfall is well-marked, so you shouldn’t miss it.

Goðafoss Waterfall Parking & Restrooms

This is a very popular attraction and you’ll find a large parking area to accommodate all the cars on both sides of the river.

It only takes about 5 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the falls, so it’s super accessible!

Restrooms are available nearby, so knock yourself out and drink that extra Gatorade! 😉

You’ll also be able to grab a coffee and a quick bite across the street, and even pick up a memento at the souvenir shop – so you can show it to your friends and make them incredibly jealous about your trip!

Pro tip: Park your car at the nearby gas station and walk across the road where you’ll see a bridge. There you’ll spot a smaller waterfall called Geitafoss. 

Hey, why settle for one waterfall if you can see two?!

Route Options for Goðafoss Waterfall Hike

Picture of the Falls of the Gods, Godafoss, in Winter | Iceland with a View

While technically, you can park and see the falls within just 5 minutes or so, there’s another option for those looking to take a leisurely stroll.

If you wish to get a more complete view of the falls and see the view from the river, there’s an easy trail you can take to see the waterfall in all of its glory. 

You can access Goðafoss from either the east or west side. Thankfully, they are very close to one another if you choose to do both.

The west side is the most common because it’s easier to get to and the closest route from the parking lot. 

If you choose the east side, you can either stand on the platform up top or take the path down to the river. 

Either way, you’ll get wonderful views of the water from the Skjálfandafljót River cascading down this beautiful waterfall!

Goðafoss Waterfall Hike Time

Picture of the Trail of Godafoss Seen from the West Side | Iceland with a View

There’s a trail on either side of the falls so it’s possible to see Goðafoss from different vantage points! The walk is easy and the paths are well-maintained.

Plan for your time at the waterfall to take 30 minutes to an hour. If you plan on exploring both sides it will take about two hours to complete.

Safety Precautions for Your Goðafoss Waterfall Visit

Even though this is an easy hike for all levels, it’s always important to take the necessary precautions every time you’re hiking to a waterfall. 

Here are a few safety measures you can take to ensure your visit is all fun and no fuss:  

Road closures: The best way to set yourself up for success is to plan before stepping out of the house. I always recommend checking road.is for road conditions or closures if you plan on sightseeing, as there could be delays due to weather conditions, slowing down your plans for the day. 

Waterproof gear: The closer you get to the waterfall, the more spray there is. So, even if it’s a beautiful day, don’t forget to bring waterproof gear. The weather in Iceland can change very quickly and you want to be prepared.

Proper shoes: Whenever you’re visiting a waterfall, you can be sure of the spray and this can make surfaces very slippery, especially in the winter when everything is covered in snow. I highly recommend wearing crampons in the winter to avoid having a nasty fall!

Heed the warnings: The river has a strong current and visitors are warned to keep a safe distance from the water’s edge. Please don’t take unnecessary risks! 

Best Time of Year to Visit Goðafoss

Landscape View of Godafoss in Spring/Summer | Iceland with a View

It’s a stunning waterfall that’s accessible and convenient to visit all year round, so yes, you can visit Goðafoss waterfall in the winter! 🙌

As I mentioned before, the roads are well looked after due to its popular location just off the Ring Road. What’s also nice is that you don’t need a 4-wheel drive to access it in the summer, but I do recommend one if you’re visiting over the wintertime. 

Pssst…Did you know, it’s estimated that Iceland has over 10,000 waterfalls?! 

I know! 🤯

And even though you might want to see them all, time is, unfortunately, not your friend. 

So, I’ve picked 10 waterfalls that you’ll want to check out before you leave. Learn more about them below.

➡️ READ: Chasing Waterfalls in Iceland: Discover The Top 10 Breathtaking Waterfalls In Iceland

Capture the Best Photographs

One thing’s for sure, if you’re visiting Iceland, you’ll want to capture some awesome photographs because the scenery is breathtaking!

Here are a few tips to keep in your back pocket for snapping the perfect shots at Goðafoss waterfall.

Photo gear: You’ll need a tripod, wide-angle lens and ND filters

Best light: In the summer – you’ll get the best light from the east for sunset and in winter, from the west for sunrise.

When to visit: Year-round! Goðafoss is beautiful and lush in the summer, stunning with autumn colors, and spectacular when covered in snow – you’ll capture beautiful shots any month you choose to visit. 

At Goðafoss, you have the benefit of having a lot of great vantage points, so it’s the perfect place to practice long exposure to get that silky waterfall look!

Goðafoss Dining & Accommodation

There are a lot of sights to explore around Goðafoss, and if you plan on staying overnight, it’s nice to know that there are a few dining and accommodation options available to you.

Just across the street from the waterfall is  Goðafoss Café, a combined bistro and gift shop! You’ll be able to fill up at the gas station right beside it, then grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, and do some shopping at the handcrafts market. 

They also offer accommodations if you plan on exploring the area over a few days. There are 23 guestrooms and guests can enjoy a free buffet breakfast at their restaurant.  

You’ll also find great accommodation options in Akureyri, Mývatn, and Húsavík.

For dining, you may want to try the following:

Dalakofinn: Located on the Ring Road, this is a family-run restaurant. They serve pizzas, burgers, and traditional Icelandic dishes.

Laugar Hotel restaurant: This is only 30 km away from Mývatn, and they serve breakfast and dinner from fresh Icelandic ingredients and even prepare lunch packages on request.

If you prefer getting closer to nature and love to camp, there are a few camping grounds in the area like Systragril, Ásbyrgi, and Hlíð. Some have great facilities like showers, restrooms, and access to electricity.

Things to Do Around Goðafoss

You’ll want to plan your days carefully because there is so much to see! Let’s take a look at some of the things to do around Goðafoss waterfall.

Bird watching: If you’re a bird watcher or simply love appreciating nature,  you might catch a glimpse of the local birdlife nesting in the area in the summer, including the golden plover, whimbrel, and ravens.

The Diamond Circle: Goðafoss is located on the Diamond Circle, a scenic route that’s about 310 km long. Some of the major stops include the harbor town of Húsavík, the beautiful hiking trails of Ásbyrgi Canyon, Lake Mývatn and the powerful Dettifoss waterfall – also one of my top 10 favorite waterfalls!

Take A Tour ➡️ Private Tailor Made Tour Of Northern Iceland

Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall: Another spectacular waterfall fed by the Skjálfandafljót river is Aldeyjarfoss. This tour will take you to 👉 Aldeyjarfoss, Hrafnabjargarfoss, and Goðafoss. This waterfall is only about 40km (25 miles) away from Goðafoss and is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland! I visited the falls a little while back, and it did not disappoint. If you plan on visiting, the road to get there is an F-Road, so be sure your rental is a 4×4. If I’ve piqued your interest, take a look below and see what’s in store for you:

Þorgeirs­kirkja: Drive the scenic Ljósavatnsskarð valley to Þorgeirs­kirkja. This church is one of many historical sites in the area and is only a 6-minute drive away from Goðafoss waterfall.

Camping: There’s a campsite right across the street from Goðafoss –  perfect if you want to get those sunset or sunrise pics!

Whale watching at Husavik: Just a short 40-minute drive from Goðafoss is one of Iceland’s BEST spots for whale-watching. Húsavík is a quaint village on Skjálfandi Bay that will charm your socks off!

Gentle Giants is my all-time favorite tour company to see these magnificent creatures. AND I even have an exclusive discount code for Team Iceland! Use code WHALESWITHAVIEW for 10% off 🙂

➡️ Book A Tour With Gentle Giants HERE. 

Looking for More Waterfall Hikes in Iceland?

If this post has sparked your enthusiasm for waterfall hikes, then I’ve got exciting news for you…

There are many more to explore in Iceland!

Take a look at the videos and blogs below for the ones you need to check out.👇

And if you’re looking for a travel guide that has it all…

  • A digital map with 500+ pinned locations
  • Practical information on parking fees, toilet locations, dining, and accommodation 
  • And expert advice that’ll save you time and money

Then you’re going to want to check out my  👉 Iceland Travel Guides + Maps.

It gives you everything you need to create a perfectly planned trip so that you won’t miss a thing!

Banner for Iceland Guidebooks + Maps Products | Godafoss | Iceland with a View

P.S.  The digital map plots everything from the best waterfalls and secret locations to pharmacies, souvenir shops, and grocery stores. 

…  Trust me, you won’t find another guide like it!

All set? To Goðafoss, and beyond!

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Pinterest Pin Image of Godafoss, one of Iceland's Most Famous Waterfalls | Iceland with a View

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