Barnafossar: The Children’s Falls in West Iceland

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It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Iceland is indeed a mysterious place, which holds and reflects the power of nature that seems impossible and unbelievable at first. The place that attracts travelers, adventure seekers and environmentalists from across the world will make you witness something that you must have not experienced before. When in Iceland, you will see the spectacular creations of nature that includes the fascinating backdrop of cloud-covered mountains, arched-shaped bay, the diamond beach, roaring waterfalls, hot springs, and steaming geysers and all these at one place. But there is one more thing that will surprise you for sure, every mountain, crevasse, fracture, or waterfall has a story behind it and the name given to each one of them reflects the saga behind that place. There is one such place that wraps an age-old story within the pages of history. This place is Barnafossar Waterfalls. So, let’s find out why this waterfall is known as The Children’s Falls.

Barnafossar waterfalls

A Folklore That Named Barnafossar as The Children’s Fall

The story dates back to the time when there used to live a well-off and independent family at the Hraunás farm. During Christmas time, all the grown-up were expected to attend evensong in the nearby church at Gilsbakki. The family obeyed the Christmas duty, but two young sons were asked to stay at home and play indoors only. The earth was scintillating under the frosty winter night and the marvelous nature surrounding fascinated the two young kids that made them curious to go and explore the surroundings. Upon the arrival of the family from the Evensong, the two kids were missing and they disappeared mysteriously. Though a search mission started and their footsteps traced, but only till the natural stone bridge crossing the river. Since then, it was believed that the brothers had fallen into the waterfall. It was after that; their mother had destroyed the bridge and cast a spell on the fall that claimed that no man would ever be able to cross it survive.

Barnafossar waterfalls

Scenic Beauty Surrounding the Hidden Gems of Iceland

It is indeed one the most beautiful sights to visit in Iceland, Barnafossar is a series of rapids that are caused by the water of Hvitá River or the White River, entering through a narrow passage in that area. It is located in West Iceland and is just walking distance from the serene and calm Hraunfossar falls. This waterfall is fed by Iceland’s second-largest glacier, Langjökull, which is the same glacier feeding voluminous Gullfoss waterfall and neighboring fall, Hraunfossar. This waterfall is listed amidst the many waterfalls that tend to change its color from time to time. The distinctive light blue color of the water is similar to that of the Blue lagoon. The narrow rocky chute makes this waterfall even more thrilling and once there used to be a natural bridge that is believed to broke down by an earthquake. Barnafossar waterfall is nearly 100 kilometers from Reykjavík, and this place is surrounded by the extraordinary and mesmerizing landscape lava plains.

Barnafossar waterfall is completely in contrast with the Hraunfossar falls, located meters away from here. This magical site has twists, turns, and magnificently churns down as it gets narrowed down the valley. Hraunfossar falls is opposite, it is quieter and calm. Iceland’s scenery is ever-changing and, these waterfalls are one such example of the same.

Directions to Barnafossar

Both the waterfalls, Barnafoss and Hraunfossar are about 90 minutes away from Reykjavík; the route will take you along a defined path along the famous Ring Road. Start your journey and head towards north from the capital, crossing the mt. Esja and the Hvalfjarðargöng undersea tunnel. As soon as you are about to cross the river to Borgarnes, take a right turn to road 50. Now, simply follow this route past Hvanneyri, Kleppjárnsreykir, and Reykholt, then a left turn to road 518 that will take you to the way to the car park next to Hraunfossar. From there onward you can walk towards Barnafossar.

We recommend that you visit Deildartunguhver and Krauma Baths on your way to Barnafossar. 

Map of Barnafossar

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