Brúarfoss Waterfall

Chapters

Basic Information

  • Hidden Waterfall
  • Hard to reach. 
  • 7 kilometers easy hike from the parking lot to the waterfall. 
  • Read more about the hiking route below. 

Brúarfoss waterfall is famous for its dazzling blue color. This is the reason why this waterfall is called “Iceland’s Bluest Waterfall”. A natural hidden gem located in the Golden Circle of Iceland. Brúarfoss is a must-visit but often forgotten spot if you are traveling on the Golden Circle route. The only downside is that to reach here, you have to hike approximately 7 kilometers that will take somewhere between two to three hours. But as the saying goes “difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”, the same is true about Brúarfoss waterfall. A couple of years ago you could drive almost all the way up to the waterfall, and only had to hike for 5-10 minutes to reach it. Since the waterfall is located in a private summer house area, the owners have put up a gate so the traffic through the summer house area is not as much as it was before. This is the reason why this waterfall is now almost forgotten and not many people visit it today. 

Brúarfoss waterfall in golden circle in Iceland, hidden waterfall in Iceland

History and Legends

Brúarfoss means “Bridge-waterfall”. Not long before there used to be a natural stone arch, acting as a bridge. The arch collapsed somewhere in the 15-16th century, and a new bridge was constructed in the early 20th century.

According to an Icelandic legend, the natural arch was completely demolished in 1602 by a follower of Skálholt Episcopal Church. Iceland during this period was going through a severe famine, so by destroying the bridge, they blocked the starving peasants to enter their plentiful fields.

Origin

The ultimate source of this blue waterfall is the Langjökull glacier. Brúarfoss makes up just a small part of River Brúará whose origin lies in the powerful Hvita River (originating from Langjökull glacier). This is the reason behind the icy blue color of the water. The area surrounding this waterfall is lush green with a variety of flora and fauna to see.

Location

Located in the Golden Circle, the waterfall is roughly 95 kilometers east of Reykjavik. It’s about 2 kilometers north of Laugarvatnsvegur (Route 37).

Brúarfoss is located roughly 15 kilometers away from the beautiful hot spring area of Geysir and roughly the same distance from the lake Laugarvatn. There is a dedicated parking lot on Route 37. (You can find the parking lot on Google Maps in the name of Brúarfoss Waterfall Offical Parking). The parking can accommodate roughly 25 cars and the facility has no restrooms.

Brúarfoss waterfall in golden circle in Iceland, hidden waterfall in Iceland

The Hike

From the parking lot, walk across the Brúará riverbed. After following the riverbed for around 20 minutes you will see a private property sign. From here, take a right turn and walk straight up to the summerhouse area. Follow the road for about 1 kilometers from here towards the waterfall. After taking a left turn towards the river one more time, walk about 700 meters until you reach the Brúarfoss waterfall.

The hiking is relatively easy as trails are hardly ascending more than 100 meters. While hiking, you will get a good view of the river Bruara and rapids near the waterfall.

The hiking trail is sometimes slightly difficult to follow because there are a lot of small paths. Choosing the right path can feel overwhelming, but fear not! Whatever path you will take ultimately will end at the waterfall (although some paths will take more time).

The best time to visit is probably during the summer when the hiking path is easily accessible. However, during the winters, the snow-filled path makes the trail more magical. But it can be a bit challenging as the path becomes slippery. Take good quality boots or hiking shoes for an easy hike.

Note: The walking path runs through private property and the owners have decided to close the path for the unforeseeable future.

Brúarfoss waterfall in golden circle in Iceland, hidden waterfall in Iceland

Brúarfoss waterfall on a map

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