Hraunfossar & Barnafoss

Barnafoss and Hraunfossar are two beautiful waterfalls near Borgarfjörður (an hour or so out of Reykjavik). I visited them after a recent day to trip to Glymur, the tallest waterfall in Iceland.


Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls that flow out from Hallmundarhraun, a lava field created when a volcano erupted under Langjökull (the second largest ice cap in Iceland).  The source of the water is hidden under the beautiful lava formations, so it seems to just appear suddenly as it reaches the rushing stream.


Just upstream from Hraunfossar is Barnafoss. The water rushing over the fall and under a stone arch is unusually blue because it flows from the glacier. There a several folk tales related to the name of this waterfall (Children’s Waterfall). One story says that it is named after two children from a nearby farm. One Sunday, while the rest of the house went to church, the children stayed home and went to the waterfall to play. They tried to cross a natural stone bridge over the water, but fell to their deaths. Some versions say that the mother cursed the bridge so that no one would ever cross it without drowning. Curse or no curse, the bridge was destroyed by an earthquake a little while later, so if you visit you won’t be able to test the veracity of this Icelandic folk tale.




The photos in this post are scans of unedited film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.

6 thoughts on “Hraunfossar & Barnafoss

  1. Pingback: ÍS: Hraunfossar | An American in Iceland (and other places too)

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