Bruarfoss Waterfall: what to expect (is it worth it?)

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Welcome to Iceland.


In this blog post, we will explain everything about the BRUARFOSS Waterfall. We’ll go over its location, entrance fee, hikes, amenities, and the best ways to experience it and take Instagrammable photos!


Let’s get started!

Access and Location

Bruarfoss Waterfall is located in southwestern Iceland, approximately 70 kilometers (43 miles) east of Reykjavik, the nation’s capital.


The waterfall is situated close to the popular GOLDEN CIRCLE ROUTE, which includes other famous attractions such as Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss Waterfall (see map below).


This makes the Bruarfoss Waterfall an ideal stop when you’re exploring Iceland.


Insider tip: There is a small parking area available for Bruarfoss visitors. BUT note that parking is limited, so it’s best to arrive early to secure a spot!

Entrance fee for the Bruarfoss Waterfall

The entrance to Bruarfoss Waterfall is FREE, so you don’t need to worry about that.

Magificance of the Bruarfoss Waterfall
Bruarfoss Waterfall

Bruarfoss Waterfall Hike

Hiking trail toward the Bruarfoss Waterfall

The hike takes visitors on a roughly 3-kilometer (1.9-mile) trail through Iceland’s stunning countryside, offering an immersive experience of the region’s beauty. You can download the Hike here for FREE via AllTrails.


As you embark on this moderate hike, you’ll traverse a well-marked PATH that runs alongside the Bruara River, providing glimpses of the crystal-clear, turquoise waters that await you at the waterfall.


Along the trail, you may encounter a few small STREAM CROSSINGS, requiring some agility and steady footing, but these minor challenges only add to the adventure.


Did you know: upon reaching the Bruarfoss Waterfall, you are surrounded by rugged volcanic rocks and moss-covered cliffs.

Hike toward the waterfall

Amenities at the waterfall

There are NO facilities, such as restrooms or food services, at the waterfall or trailhead, so it’s advisable to come prepared with any necessary supplies.


You should also be aware that the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, so it’s important to dress in layers and be prepared for changing conditions. Don’t let this spoil your adventure!


Read below on what to expect from the waterfall Bruarfoss. 

What to Expect

Imagine this: you approach the waterfall, the sound of rushing water grows louder, teasing your senses and building anticipation.


Then, suddenly, the trees part and there it is – Bruarfoss. Its vibrant blue waters, which earn its nickname ‘ICELANDS BLUEST WATERFALL‘, will take your breath away. The water tumbles down in a series of small cascades into a deep, azure-blue pool. It feels like stepping into a fantasy world.


But the real MAGIC of Bruarfoss lies beneath its surface. The waterfall’s mesmerizing color is a result of the water filtering through the LAVA FIELDS, absorbing minerals that give it its unique appearance.

Best Time to Visit

We prefer to visit during the summer months, from June to August. The weather is warmer, longer daylight hours, and vibrant green landscapes, making it an ideal time for those who prefer more comfortable conditions and a lush backdrop.


However, visiting during this peak season also means you may encounter more tourists at popular attractions. This does not mean that there will be many people at the waterfall as the parking area is limited and it’s a hidden gem that requires you to make an effort that most people are not prepared to make!

Can I swim in the Bruarfoss Waterfall?

Swimming in the Bruarfoss Waterfall is not allowed due to the cold temperature of the water, strong CURRENTS, and potential safety hazards (rocks underwater).


We recommend you to enjoy the waterfall from a safe distance.

Bruarfoss Waterfall

Taking Instagrammable Pictures

Our photography tips below are crucial for capturing Instagram-worthy pictures of Bruarfoss Waterfall, as they help emphasize the striking colors and unique features of this natural wonder:

  • Arrive early or stay late: To avoid crowds and capture the waterfall in its most pristine state, plan your visit during off-peak hours, such as the early morning.


  • Experiment with shutter speeds: To create a silky, smooth effect of the cascading water, use a slower shutter speed. For a more dramatic, frozen-in-time shot, opt for a faster shutter speed.


  • Use a polarizing filter: This will help reduce glare on the water’s surface, enhancing the turquoise color and providing greater depth to your images.


  • Capture various perspectives: Experiment with different angles and focal lengths to showcase the waterfall’s unique features and surrounding landscape.

Bridge at the Waterfall

What’s in a name?

The origins of the Bruarfoss Waterfall can be traced back to the early VIKING ERA when the island was first settled. The name “Bruarfoss” is derived from the Old Norse language, with “brúar” meaning “bridge” and “foss” meaning “waterfall.”


This name is believed to have been inspired by a natural stone bridge that once stood over the waterfall, providing a crossing point for travelers and locals alike.


Sadly, the bridge no longer exists, but the beauty of the falls remains the same.


There are two legends related to the waterfall.


One legend tells the story of a young maiden who, after being heartbroken by her lover, threw herself into the icy waters of the waterfall. It is said that her spirit still lingers at the Bruarfoss Waterfall, in the form of a beautiful white mist that rises from the cascading waters.


Another legend speaks of hidden treasures buried beneath the falls, guarded by ancient spirits, waiting to be discovered by a brave and worthy adventurer.

Why is it famous?

Bruarfoss Waterfall is famous for its turquoise color, a defining characteristic that sets it apart from other waterfalls in Iceland. This blue color attracts visitors and photographers from all over the world.


The striking turquoise color of the Bruarfoss Waterfall can be attributed to a combination of GLACIAL MELTWATER and the presence of MINERALS in the water. As the glacier melts, it releases finely ground rock particles called glacial flour. This sediment, which is rich in minerals such as silica and calcite, remains suspended in the water, giving it a unique, MILKY appearance.


When sunlight interacts with these particles, it scatters the light in a way that predominantly reflects the blue wavelengths, resulting in the breathtaking turquoise color that has become synonymous with the Bruarfoss Waterfall.

Hike toward the Waterfall

Tour packages

Even though there are no direct tours to Bruarfoss, Family and Friends Travel Iceland (a local travel agency) offers Golden Circle tours which they can fully customize to your needs, and they would be happy to take you to Bruarfoss! Check out their website here.

Golden Circle Thingvellir.
Golden Circle Thingvellir with Family and Friends Travel Iceland.

INSIDER tips and tricks

When planning a visit to the Bruarfoss Waterfall, keep the following practical advice in mind to ensure a comfortable and memorable experience:


Dress in layers, as weather conditions in Iceland can change rapidly. Waterproof clothing, such as a rain jacket and pants, is essential due to the possibility of rain or spray from the waterfall. Wear sturdy, waterproof hiking shoes for navigating the trail and stream crossings.


Don’t forget to bring a hat, gloves, and sunglasses for added protection against the elements. A small backpack to carry water, snacks, and any extra layers is also recommended.

Litli Geysir Hotel
Litli Geysir Hotel

Where to stay

There are several accommodation options within driving distance of Bruarfoss.

Some popular choices include:

  • Litli Geysir Hotel: Located near the Geysir geothermal area, this hotel offers modern rooms and an on-site restaurant.



  • Skjól Camping: For those who prefer camping, Skjól Camping is a well-equipped campsite with facilities, located between Geysir and Gullfoss.
Skjól Camping
Skjól Camping

Nearby Restaurants

While there are no facilities at the Bruarfoss Waterfall itself, you can find restaurants and amenities in the nearby towns and attractions along the Golden Circle route.


Some options include:

  • Geysir Glima Restaurant: Located at the Geysir Center, this restaurant offers traditional Icelandic cuisine and stunning views of the geothermal area.


  • Lindin Bistro Café: Situated in Laugarvatn, this bistro café serves delicious meals made from local ingredients.


  • Efstidalur II: A farm-to-table restaurant near Laugarvatn, where you can enjoy homemade ice cream and other farm-fresh products.
Geysir Glima Restaurant
Geysir Glima Restaurant

Conservation and Preservation Efforts

Preserving natural wonders like the Bruarfoss Waterfall is of utmost importance, as these unique environments hold immense ecological, cultural, and aesthetic value.


The conservation of such places ensures that future generations can enjoy their beauty and learn from the rich history embedded within these landscapes. Moreover, maintaining the integrity of these natural sites fosters a greater appreciation for the environment and encourages sustainable tourism practices.


While there may not be specific organizations or initiatives solely dedicated to the conservation of Bruarfoss, general environmental organizations and government agencies in Iceland, such as the Environment Agency of Iceland and the Icelandic Nature Conservation Association, play a vital role in protecting the country’s diverse ecosystems and natural attractions.

As a visitor, you can contribute to the preservation of the Bruarfoss Waterfall and other natural wonders by practicing responsible tourism.


Here are some tips and guidelines to minimize your impact on the environment:

  • Stay on designated trails: Avoid straying from marked paths to protect fragile vegetation and minimize soil erosion. This also helps prevent damage to the delicate ecosystems surrounding the waterfall.


  • Leave no trace: Carry all trash and belongings with you when you leave, ensuring that the area remains pristine for others to enjoy. If you encounter litter left by others, consider picking it up and disposing of it properly.


  • Respect wildlife: Observe animals from a distance, avoiding any actions that may disturb or harm them. Do not feed wildlife, as this can alter their natural behaviors and put them at risk.


  • Be mindful of water use: Although Iceland is known for its abundant water resources, it’s essential to practice water conservation whenever possible. Use refillable water bottles and avoid wasting water while visiting natural attractions.


  • Support local businesses: By choosing to purchase goods and services from local vendors, you help foster sustainable economic growth and encourage environmentally friendly practices within the community.


By adhering to these responsible tourism guidelines, visitors can play an active role in the conservation and preservation of natural wonders like the Bruarfoss Waterfall. This collective effort will ensure that these breathtaking environments remain protected and cherished for generations to come.

Bruarfoss Waterfall

Nearby Attractions

  • Golden Circle Route: As mentioned earlier, Bruarfoss is near the famous Golden Circle, which includes Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss Waterfall.


  • Laugarvatn Fontana: Relax in the geothermal baths and steam rooms at Laugarvatn Fontana, located about 30 minutes from Bruarfoss.


  • Skalholt Cathedral: Visit this historically significant church and its surrounding archaeological site, situated approximately 40 minutes from the waterfall.


  • Hiking and nature walks: The area around the Bruarfoss Waterfall offers numerous hiking trails and opportunities to explore Iceland’s diverse landscapes further.
Laugarvatn Fontana
Laugarvatn Fontana


That’s it! That was our blog post on what to expect from the Bruarfoss Waterfal!


Let us know in the comments which Iceland volcanoes you will be adding to your itinerary!


Continue Planning Your Trip To Iceland

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Laura & Alexander

Laura & Alexander

We're two full-time Belgian travellers sharing our experience through our blog. Our aim is to inspire your next travel adventure with our best tips and tricks from every country we visit.

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