Bruarfoss

How to Visit Brúarfoss Waterfall (and Is It Worth It?)

Julie Iceland Leave a Comment

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

To get here, you have to be prepared to walk. The only way to see Brúarfoss is by hiking. A visit to Brúarfoss requires a 7 km (4.4 miles) round trip walk and roughly 2 to 3 hours of your time.

There once was a very short walking path to get to Brúarfoss. This trail was located on private property. Past visitors trampled the fragile plant life and left behind trash and human waste, so it’s no wonder that this original trail closed to the public.

Now, a new path leads to Brúarfoss waterfall, making this a much longer walk.

However, there is more to see than just Brúarfoss as you hike along this trail. On the way, you will hike past several smaller waterfalls. Brúarfoss is definitely the highlight, but these waterfalls are also very nice and break up the monotony of the walk.

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

There is a parking area that is located on Route 37. On Google Maps, it is called Brúarfoss Waterfall Official Parking. There is room here for roughly 25 cars and there are no restrooms.

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 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

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, 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.


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