Goðafoss (Waterfall of the Gods) rips straight through the Bárðardalur lava field along Rte 1. Although smaller and less powerful than some of Iceland’s other chutes, it’s definitely one of the most beautiful. There are two car parks: one on the Ring Road, the other down the road beside the petrol station. Take the path behind the falls for a less-crowded viewpoint.
The falls play an important part in Icelandic history. At the Alþingi (National Assembly) in the year 1000, the lögsögumaður (law speaker), Þorgeir, was forced to make a decision on Iceland’s religion. After 24 hours’ meditation, he declared the country a Christian nation. On his way home he passed the waterfall near his farm, and tossed in his pagan carvings of the Norse gods, thus bestowing the falls’ present name.