Godafoss waterfall is a picturesque waterfall in Bardardalur valley in North-Iceland.

River Skjalfandafljot runs north through the beautiful Bardardalur valley and falls from a height of 12 metres in Godafoss waterfall.

The waterfall is split in to by two massive crags that resemble pagan idols. And as the story goes, this is where the waterfall’s name derives from.

The legend of Godafoss

Legend has it, that when Icelanders decided to become Christians, the population was split in half, pagans and Christians. At Althingi, in the year 1000, the local chieftains decided that one man should decide on which religion should prevail in Iceland. Than man was Thorgeir, chieftain from Ljosavatn in Bardardalur.

After pondering on this subject for three days, he ruled that all in Iceland should be Christians, but those who wished to be pagans could do so in the secrecy of their homes.

When Thorgeir returned to his farmstead at Ljosavatn, he took his pagan idols and threw them into the waterfall. The gods, Odinn and Thor, were so outraged by this that they split the waterfall in two.

Is it true?

However, although Thorgeir’s role in the adoption of Christianity in Iceland is confirmed in the Islendingabok manuscript, by author Ari ‘The Wise’ Thorgilsson, there’s no mention in any medieval literature of this myth concerning the waterfall. In fact, it seems that it was fabricated in the 19th century.

Well, it’s still an interesting legend and when you are at Godafoss waterfall it is easy to see the images of the pagan idols in the two crags.

The waterfall is easy to reach. There are good footpaths along the river and many great photo opportunities.

Would you like to see Godafoss?

Just reach out and we will answer as soon a possible. We can arrange a great tour to see Godafoss waterfall and other waterfalls in Iceland.