The Skjalfandafljot River is 178 kilometres (111 mi) long, and is the fourth longest river of Iceland situated in the north of Iceland.
It has its source at the northwestern border of the icecap Vatnajökull on the Highlands of Iceland. From there it streams parallel to the Sprengisandur Highland road in a northern direction, flowing finally into Skjálfandi bay. This large volume glacial rivers has some of Iceland’s most stunning waterfalls, such as Godafoss which is considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Europe. Other well-known waterfalls in Skjalfandafljot include Hrafnabjargafoss, Aldeyjarfoss, Barnafoss and Ullarfoss.
It was first descended by kayak by a team from the University of Sheffield (UK) in 1989.
At the north end of the Sprengisandur road, the river drops down 10m over Aldeyjarfoss. Goðafoss is in the lowlands, very near Route 1.
Salmon runs the lower parts of the river, which is fished by at least four rods. The river seems to have a healthy stock, yet the fishing leaps and dips according to the colour of the water. During warm weather, the melt off into the river is more than during cold weather. So in the warm weather, the river gets muddy and the fishing dips as a result. During colder spells, the water is clearer and the fishing is better.
Photo Credit: Axel Kristinsson