Essential Iceland Self Drive
In northern Iceland, halfway between Akureyri and Myvatn Lake, take a walk to the waterfalls of the Gods. In the middle of the Skjalfandafljot River, the pretty Godafoss falls take flight amidst this enchanting landscape.
In the year 1000, the Icelandic parliament (Althing) decided to give up their pagan religion in favour of Christianity. The story goes that the idols of the ancient Nordic religion (godars) were then thrown from the top of the waterfall (foss). The cascade retains its name, Godafoss in memory of this event.
Located close to Myvatn in Northern Iceland, the Skjalfandafljot River has duh a deep canyon (12m high), that forms a large threefold waterfall. It is surrounded by magnificent basaltic rock formations, witnesses of Vatnajokull’s volcanic past.
About 9 km from Godafoss, discover the beautiful Ljosavatn Lake. Its turquoise waters are home to a huge variety of fish that support the livelihood of the region’s fishermen. An ideal place for an end of the day picnic, stay a little while longer to watch the flaming sunset over the lake.
Finally, Godafoss is the starting point for the crossing of Sprengisandur, a spectacular trip through Iceland’s largest rock desert. In an astonishing stony setting, this excursion crosses the country from north to south from the Hofsjokull and the Tungnafellsjokull to the Vatnajokull . On the desert of sand and pebbles, the shadows from clouds in the sky drift, providing quite a unique lightshow. The desolate lands composed of shades of brown and grey take about 5 hours to cross over 250 km and a 4WD vehicle is strongly recommended. Half-way through, stop at the Nyidalur, a little verdant oasis at Tungnafellsjokull’s feet.
Godafoss is off of route 1, between Myvatn to the east (38 km) and Akureyri to the west (48 km). If you are taking a bus from Akureyri, Myvatn or Egilsstadir, take line 62 and 62a.