Day Trip 6: Time Travel and Waterfalls

Góðafoss waterfall
Góðafoss waterfall

On this tour you will see the power of nature, discover beautiful waterfalls and learn more about the life in the past. The day starts in Húsavík and the first stop is Ystafell Transportation Museum. Here one can see the development of transportation in Iceland, which is very different from most European countries because roads did not exist until very late. Þorgeirkikja church was erected in 2000 to celebrate 1000 years of Christianity in Iceland. On this tour one has the chance to see Goðafoss waterfall from both sides east and west to let the scenery sink in.

Aldeyjarfoss is one of the most beautiful but lesser known waterfalls in the north of Iceland with stunning basalt columns. At Grenjaðarstaður turf farm one can travel back in time and experience how life was in Iceland hundred years ago. It is one of the largest still existing turf farms in Iceland. The day will end with a relaxing bath at Heiðarbær swimming pool– a real authentic swimming pool in the country side.

Aldeyjarfoss in late winter © Christin Irma Schröder
Aldeyjarfoss in late winter © Christin Irma Schröder

The day trip is 190km in total and suitable for a regular car, but a 4×4 is needed for the last section of the road to Aldeyjarfoss. Without a 4×4 it is a 40min hike. The tour is suitable in winter in summer, only the road to Aldeyjarfoss has no service in winter and is impassable after the first snow. Check out the actual road conditions at road.is See the opening hours of all places here.

Grenjaðarstaður turf farmhouse © Ari Páll Pálsson
Grenjaðarstaður turf farmhouse © Ari Páll Pálsson

Highlights of the Day

Route

  1. Leave Húsavík heading south on road 85, follow the road signs leading to Akureyri for about 37km. Ystafell Transportation Museum is on the left hand side.
  2. Follow road 85 heading south for 9km, at the junction take a turn left on road 1. About 2km later take a turn right to Þorgeirskirkja Church or Ljósavatn farm.
  3. Return back to road 1 and head east until you reach the parking lot of Goðafoss waterfall after 2km. Enjoy the view on the waterfall from the west side.
  4. Return to road 1, take a turn to the left and drive back the same route as you came for 1km until you reach the junction to road 841 with the direction Sprengisandur. Follow the road 35km until you reach the last farm Mýri. Until here a normal car is sufficient, then a 4×4 car is needed. A 4×4 car can drive all the way until the waterfall June til September since there is no winter service on the road. After Mýri road 841 turns into mountain road F26. Follow the signs leading to the parking lot at Aldeyjarfoss. Upstream from Aldeyjarfoss is Hrafnabjargarfoss which can be reached via a footpath.
  5. Return the same route that you came for 12km, cross the bridge to the other side of the river and follow road 844 all the way until Goðafoss. Stop at the parking lot and enjoy the entirely different view on Goðafoss from the east. Make sure to stop at the gas station and have a look at the handicraft store selling local products.
  6. Take a turn to the right on road 1 over the hill. At the next junction about 10km later take a turn to the left on road 845 to the direction of Húsavík. Follow the road for 3,7km and take a turn to the left on road 854. Grenjaðarstaður Turf Farm is located on the left side next to the church.
  7. Continue on road 854, cross the bridge and see Laxá power station on the right. Continue for 2,7km to the junction and take a turn right across the hill. At the next junction turn left in the direction of Húsavík. Follow road 87 north until you reach the greenhouses. Heiðarbær swimming pool is on the right.
  8. Continue on road 87 for 11km, at the junction turn right and follow the road signs to Húsavík.