Winter at Gođafoss, the waterfall of the gods on the Skjálfandaflót River in Iceland, the Land of Fire and Ice on Mallory on Travel adventure travel, photography, travel Iain Mallory_Iceland 003

Goðafoss, Gods and Legends in Iceland

Iceland is one of those special destinations, at least outside of Reykjavik, which it’s impossible to tire of. Having visited four times since 2008, in a variety of seasons, the impressive landscape of lava fields, steep gorges and waterfalls regularly tempts me back for more. One waterfall Gođafoss, the “waterfall of the gods” is an especially welcome sight, after all if it’s good enough for the gods, who am I to argue?

Gođafoss, the waterfall of the gods, on the Skjálfandaflót river in north Iceland near Husavik on Mallory on Travel adventure travel, photography, travel

Hanging at Gođafoss

Discovering Gođafoss

This choice may seem slightly surprising to those that have visited Iceland, or even those that dream of visiting and are aware of the wealth of natural beauty the island has to offer. With a whole host of iconic cascades like Gullfoss, (the Golden Waterfall), Bruarfoss, (Bridge Falls), Skógafoss and Dentifoss, Europe’s largest cascade, what is so special about Gođafoss?

Well, let’s see, I first glimpsed the waterfall of the gods in 2008, from the nearby road, it was just a side trip from a whale watching excursion in Húsavík. Not the largest falls, but the roar of the water could still clearly be heard from the road. It’s a short trek to the cascade, the sound of millions of gallons of water from the river Skjálfandaflót hurtling over the drop of a little over ten metres still makes a thunderous sound, which seems to grow increasingly louder with almost every step.

Winter at Gođafoss, the waterfall of the gods on the Skjálfandaflót in Iceland, the Land of Fire and Ice on Mallory on Travel adventure travel, photography, travel Iain Mallory_Iceland 003

Winter at Gođafoss

The whale watching capital of Iceland: Having a Whale of a time in Husavik, Iceland

“Standing just a few feet from the edge, unable to hear the explanation of our guide above the tumultuous roar and needing to wear waterproofs to remain dry due to the heavy mist which hung over the falls. I instantly felt at home, and knew it wouldn’t be the last time.”

Several years later, in 2012 I did return, this time in winter while on a road trip around the island. With snow on the ground and the golden light of a short winter day turning moody clouds a fiery golden it was great to be back in the land of fire and ice. It was great to be back at the falls of the gods, so I enjoyed spending a couple of hours photographing possibly Iceland’s most picturesque waterfall, if not its most spectacular.

Legend has it the lawmaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði, returning from Alþingi around 999 AD threw idols of his Norse gods into the waters. The Alþingi is the national parliament of Iceland, one of the oldest parliaments in the world. The story is illustrated on a window in the Akureyri Cathedral.

A guide to the land of Fire and Ice: Slideguide Iceland; Land of Fire and Ice

Detours and Profiles

Taking a detour out of a planned road trip in the eastern fjords I managed to fit in another visit to Gođafoss last year. It was June, so the weather better, but it was slightly more crowded. Iceland has become extremely popular with tourists, especially Reykjavik, but any of the falls which appear on lists of the ‘best’ waterfalls are likely to attract plenty of visitors.

Gođafoss, a cascade on the river Skjálfandaflót, known as the waterfall of the gods in the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland on Mallory on Travel adventure travel, photography, travel Iain_Mallory_Iceland-5059

Waters of the gods

Yet, I still found the place spellbinding, the colour of the water, the power of the flow, the roar of the cascade and the fine spray which clings to the grass, rocks and of course clothing. I can understand the gods wanting it for themselves.

Roadtripping Iceland: Road trip highlights in East Iceland

Gođafoss, left a strong impression on me, it’s been my profile picture on the website and social media profiles since I started on my current path. People often ask where the picture was taken, so now you know.

It was updated in 2014, but the waterfalls are still centre stage, and I’m hoping it won’t be the last opportunity I have to update my profile image.

P.S. Incidentally, it’s fascinating to look through some older images and see how your photography has developed, you should try it.

Gođafoss, the waterfall of the gods, on the Skjálfandaflót river in north Iceland near Husavik on Mallory on Travel adventure travel, photography, travel IMG_0065_0061_2

My first visit and profile image

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Comments 1

  1. ANJANA

    ACCORDING TO MODERN MYTH, IT IS SAID THAT PORGEIR THREW HIS STATUE NORSE GOD TO THIS WATERFALL. THEREFORE THIS IS CALLED AS WATERFALLS OF GODS IN ICELAND…THANKS FOR SHARING THIS WONDERFUL ARTICLE…

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