There are at least two must-see waterfalls in the north Iceland: Goðafoss and Dettifoss, both waterfalls are part of the Diamond Circle.
Goðafoss is less than an hour east of Akureyri, the largest city in the north Iceland.
We approached the waterfall from the right bank, the foss was a short walk from the parking lot.
Oh, the sounds of the gushing water!! It felt dangerous climbing up the rugged rocks, but the fun did outweigh the fear.
Walking away from the fall toward the bridge, we got an unobstructed view of the entire waterfall. Can you see the bridal veil on the right?
Great photo spot!
The further away from the waterfall, the more panoramic the view.
We were not done yet, we crossed the bridge to the left bank
and walked along the left bank to the viewing platform.
Before reaching the platform, we had an opportunity to walk down to see the waterfall down up.
Goðafoss in Icelandic means “waterfall of gods”, the name was originated from the Icelandic conversion to Christianity in the year 1000. Idols of Norse gods were thrown into this waterfall after the people accepted the Christian faith.
What a sweeping sight from the viewing platform! Here we could not only see the entire waterfall but the upstream river. See the rocky spot at the right top corner where we stood half hour ago?
Just as we pulled out the parking lot, the sky opened up to this gorgeous blue. Too bad no time to go back, we had Myvatn next on our schedule.
The next mighty waterfall in the north is Dettifoss. We visited Dettifoss the next morning.
Dettifoss is in Vatnajökull National Park, the largest of the three national parks in Iceland.
The waterfall was viewed from the top. With the water spray and fog, I couldn’t tell how deep the canyon was. An internet search reveals that Dettifoss is 330 feet wide and 144 feet deep!
No wonder this waterfall is regarded as the most powerful waterfall in Europe; and by sheer volume discharge, it is the largest waterfall in Iceland.
Be careful to protect your camera from the waterfall’s spray! Especially if you stand at the viewing platform at this left bank as we did.
To truly feel the power and energy of the waterfall, we walked down and got closer to the fall front. Please stay on the path!
The water was grayish; this river upstream was Vatnajökull glacier. I had a hard time believe it glacier water–before we met this mighty giant, glacier waterfall in Iceland was clear, pure and drinkable!
A fewer hundred meters away, there is another waterfall, Selfoss.
The opposite bank offered a better panoramic view of the fall.
There are two roads from the Ring Road lead to Dettifoss: 862 on the west and 864 on the east of the fall. Dettifoss can be viewed from both banks, however the roads don’t cross. We chose to take 862 and viewed the waterfall from the west bank because the road was in better condition–862 is a paved road while 864 is a gravel road.