Julie Iceland 17 Comments

Brúarfoss waterfall is famous for its brilliantly blue color. In fact, it’s called “Iceland’s Bluest Waterfall.”

To get here, you have two options. You can hike the trail that we outline below, or you can park in the brand new Brúarfoss parking lot that just opened in April 2023. From this parking lot, it is only a 5 minute walk to get to the waterfall. 

If you choose to do the hike, it is 7 km (4.4 miles) out-and-back. Not only do you get to see Brúarfoss, but you also get to see several smaller waterfalls along the trail. 

If you only want to see Brúarfoss, then park in the new lot and the entire experience will take about 30 minutes. If you like the idea of doing a short easy hike and seeing a few smaller waterfalls, then hike the trail that we outline below.

 

A Few Facts About Brúarfoss

Brúarfoss means “bridge waterfall,” named for a stone archway that once crossed the river. That arch fell hundreds of years ago, but the name remains the same.

The waterfall is fed by the Brúará River, which is glacier melt from Langjökull glacier. This glacial water is what gives Brúarfoss its sky blue color.

Bruarfoss Photo

Where is Brúarfoss?

Brúarfoss is located in southwest Iceland, right off of the Golden Circle. If you are touring the Golden Circle, this makes a nice addition to your day.

Here are the distances and driving times from nearby destinations:

Reykjavik: 90 km, 1.5 hours
Gullfoss: 25 km, 20 minutes
Geysir: 15 km, 12 minutes
Thingvellir National Park: 45 km, 40 minutes
Fludir: 21 km, 22 minutes

Parking for Brúarfoss Waterfall

There are two parking lots for Brúarfoss waterfall.

As of April 2023, there is a brand new parking lot for Brúarfoss. From this parking lot, it is only a 5 minute walk to get to Brúarfoss, so this makes a great alternative to hiking the full trail outlined below. To get to this parking lot (which is labeled Brúarfoss Parking on Google Maps, or click here to see it on Google Maps), it is a rough, rocky road to the lot. There is a parking fee of 750 ISK for a standard vehicle or SUV, more for a campervan or small bus. From this parking lot, it is only a 5 minute walk to get to Brúarfoss, so this makes a great alternative to hiking the full trail outlined below. If you hike this short trail and would like to let other readers know what it is like, let us know in the comment section below. And thank you Andi for the update!!

The second parking area is located on Route 37. On Google Maps, it is called Brúarfoss Trail – Parking. There is room here for roughly 25 cars and there are no restrooms. It is free to park in this lot (as of the most recent update of this article). 

WHICH ONE IS BETTER? If you are short on time or don’t want to hike a 7 km trail (which takes most people about 2 hours), then park at the closer, brand new parking lot. If you don’t want to spend 750 ISK to park and/or like the idea of hiking past the other waterfalls, then park at the Brúarfoss Trail – Parking lot.

Hiking to Brúarfoss

To hike to Brúarfoss, it is a mostly flat walk along the Brúará River. It’s an easy walk so people of all ages can do this hike.

From the Brúarfoss Trail – Parking lot, it is 3.5 km (2.2 miles) one-way to get to Brúarfoss. It takes roughly one hour to walk to Brúarfoss waterfall.

Bruarfoss Map

 

From the parking lot, follow the wide gravel path north. Stay straight to take a short cut across the small peninsula of land that sits in the bend of the Brúará River. There is a secondary path that breaks off to the left, following the river. This will get you to the waterfall too, but it will add some time and distance onto this hike. We know, because we made the mistake and followed this trail.

Getting to Bruarfoss

Kara climbing the stile from the parking lot to get onto the hiking trail.

 

The Trail in Iceland

First section of the trail after it leaves the parking lot.

Once the trail rejoins Brúará River, it narrows and it’s a very slight uphill walk to get to Brúarfoss. For part of the hike, you will walk through a dense forest of small trees. But for most of the hike, you will be on a narrow trail next to the river.

Through the Trees

Trail by the River

Stepping Stones Bruarfoss

Iceland Travel Guide

If it is wet or raining, this trail will get muddy. If it is muddy, try to stay on the trail, to prevent further damage to the landscape (or save this visit for a drier day if you can).

Along the way, you will see two smaller waterfalls.

Hlauptungufoss sits at about the halfway point to Brúarfoss.

Hlauptungufoss

 

Just a short walk later you arrive at Midfoss.

Midfoss Iceland

Midfoss Drone

Drone photo of Midfoss

 

Midfoss

Another drone photo of Midfoss and the trail alongside the river.

After a little more walking, you will arrive at Brúarfoss. There is a wooden bridge spanning the river, a great place to take photos.

Bruarfoss

How to Get to Bruarfoss

 

To take photos at the water’s edge, cross the bridge and walk down to the riverbank.

Bruarfoss Iceland

 

Here is an aerial view of Brúarfoss and the bridge taken with our drone.

Bruarfoss Aerial Photo

Return to your car on the same path.

Is Brúarfoss Worth It?

As far as things to do and places to go in Iceland, we thought that this was just so-so. It’s a long, somewhat unexciting walk to Brúarfoss, even with Hlauptungufoss and Midfoss. Brúarfoss is a nice waterfall, but it’s not one of our favorites.

If you are short on time, or if you don’t feel like hiking 7 km round trip to see a waterfall, skip Brúarfoss. However, with the new parking lot, you can visit Brúarfoss in much less time, with a lot less walking, just be aware of the parking fee.

If you are looking for more to do while touring the Golden Circle, or you love waterfalls, Brúarfoss is worth the visit.

I’m glad we saw it, but there are many other places I would recommend before taking the time to trek to Brúarfoss. Check out our article on 40 epic things to do in Iceland for ideas. For more amazing waterfalls, read our post 20 Best Waterfalls in Iceland. 


If you have any questions about visiting Brúarfoss, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Iceland

WATERFALLS IN ICELAND: Here are 20 beautiful waterfalls to visit in Iceland. We have detailed guides on how to visit Haifoss, Sigöldugljúfur, Aldeyjarfoss, and Dettifoss. You can also hike to Glymur Waterfall, one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland.

SOUTH COAST OF ICELAND: The south coast is filled with some of the top sights in Iceland. Go glacier hiking and visit Skogafoss and walk the amazing Waterfall Way trail. For the full list, check out our Guide to the South Coast of Iceland.

ICELAND ITINERARIES: There are several ways to put together a trip to Iceland. If you have 10 days, here are four different ways to spend your time in Iceland. This two week Iceland itinerary includes the entire Ring Road and main highlights of Iceland.

ICELAND TRAVEL ADVICE: First time in Iceland? Here are essential things to know about Iceland, including driving tips, sample costs, SIM cards, when to visit, and more.

TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: For more information about the camera gear we carry, check out our Travel Photography Gear Guide.

 

Read all of our articles about Iceland in our Iceland Travel Guide.

 

 

Iceland Bruarfoss Waterfall

 

All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, links, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

Comments 17

  1. Avatar for Claudia
    Claudia

    Hello, we visited the new parking lot at the waterfall today. unfortunately it was not possible to pay with our credit card using the scan code. Is there a way to transfer the money to them later? This is very uncomfortable for us. Greetings Claudia

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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    2. Avatar for Žaneta
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  2. Avatar for Andi Lipman
    Andi Lipman

    Thanks for all of your tips! There is a new Bruarfoss parking lot that is a 5 min walk (look for Bruarfoss Parking on Google Maps). Based on that, would you change your recommendation? I am trying decide if I should build it into my itinerary or not.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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      Julie

      Thank you for writing in with this! I think this is a great alternative for those who don’t want to hike the whole trail like we did and outline in this guide. I think it depends on how much time you have and how much you want to see the other waterfalls. Personally, I think the smaller waterfalls are nice, but Bruarfoss is amazing. I’d probably park at the new parking lot, go right to Bruarfoss, and save the time to do something else in the area. Thanks again! Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Linda U
        Linda U

        We were lucky enough to read the comments about the new Bruarfoss parking lot while we were there at the end of May 2023. We had a snowmobile trip planned at the end of doing the Golden Circle (leaving from Gullfoss area). But due to extreme wind it was cancelled so we needed a couple of other stops to complete the day. We stopped by Bruarfoss and loved it! It was so blue and so close. We also had time to do the Kerid Crater and it did not disappoint! Both of them are very easy to visit from their parking lots and we definitely thought they were worth it.
        Thanks for all the Iceland tips. We love following many of your other itineraries too 🙂

        1. Avatar for Julie Post
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          Julie

          Hello Linda. Thanks for writing in. I’m glad you had a great experience at Bruarfoss and it’s awesome that there is a closer parking lot now. Cheers, Julie

    2. Avatar for Mrinmay Mallik
      Mrinmay Mallik

      Hi
      The information on the new parking lot has tipped the scale in favor of including Bruarfoss in our itinerary. We wondered whether we should do the long hike to see this one. Now it is firmly on our list. Thanks a ton.

  3. Avatar for Kevin
    Kevin

    Hi Julie,
    Enjoy reading all your blogs.
    AllTrails marks it as 0.5 mile round trip tail. Is yours different route?

    Thanks,
    Kevin

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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      Julie

      There once was a very short trail that led from a hotel right to Bruarfoss. When we did this in 2019, the trail could only be used by hotel guests since it was through private property. Maybe it changed, or maybe the All Trails route hasn’t been updated. So, our trail is longer, since it starts at what is now the official trailhead for the hike to the waterfall. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Joe James
    Joe James

    Hi Julie – We just got back from Iceland and I want to say thank you for posting this guide on how to get to the proper parking area and hike the proper trail to this lovely little waterfall. We only had a week so we focused all our time on the volcano and on waterfalls and we visited every waterfall between the Golden circle and Skogafoss and I would have to say this was our favorite, hands down. We loved that it was quiet and out of the way and we love the complexity of it and the beautiful, blue water. It’s not big so there’s no awesome power to behold but we had a giant volcano for that. What it’s is is stunningly beautiful and to top it off we were the only ones there for most of the time we stayed. The other, more popular waterfalls were always busy; even in a time of pandemic induces reductions in visitor numbers there were always people around the other, easier to get to waterfalls but not this little gem. Thanks for posting this article!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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      Julie

      You’re welcome! Thanks for writing in and I’m glad you had a nice trip to Bruarfoss and Iceland. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Emma
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  6. Avatar for Birgitta María
    Birgitta María

    Hæ. With full respect to your achievement to create an easy to follow guide to how to get to the ” hidden and secret places of Iceland”…I am sorry to say: Living on Iceland, being an icelander I greatly dislike the easy travelling mode ( gps…turn right..turn left…) and especially the drones technic…frightening men and animals the same way. If there is something special to Iceland then it is its slow pace, the must- surrender to the breath and rythmes of nature….all of what you miss and even disrespect by turn right..turn..left..drone above and down….What would K2 be if there were an easy way …a perfect easy guide to walk on the top? It would robe its spirit… You know: we believe in elfes or rather nature spirits…and you know what: they draw back…at the same pace as tourisme..drones..highly frequented pathes appear..leaving behind a soulless landscape…good enough for a medium highlight picture…but you miss the soul…the spirit …if you can’ t be still and can’ t listen…I am sorry…I had to say that..

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
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      Julie

      Thank you for writing in. I appreciate your insight. This hike has become quite popular and there has been a lot of damage to the landscape with people wandering off of the trail. I am doing my part to direct visitors on the correct path, to help prevent more damage to the landscapes. Cheers, Julie

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