NatureWaterfallsDiscover Bruarfoss Waterfall, a Golden's Circle Hidden Gem
Bruarfoss waterfall flowing from Bruara river
Go Car Rental Iceland travel writer Aron Freyr
By Aron FreyrJul 4, 2024 • 5 min read

Discover Bruarfoss Waterfall, a Golden's Circle Hidden Gem

Nestled in the heart of Iceland's Golden Circle lies Bruarfoss Waterfall, or "Bridge Waterfall", a captivating sight often referred to as the country’s hidden gem. Despite its modest height, the waterfall enchants visitors with its strikingly blue waters, serene surroundings, and relatively secluded location.

This guide will explain why Bruarfoss is worth the visit, provide intriguing facts about the waterfall, explain how to get there, suggest what to wear, discuss nearby attractions, and provide information on weather conditions. Come with us to explore this natural wonder, one of the many Iceland has to offer!

Key Takeaways

  • Bruarfoss is small compared to other waterfalls in Iceland, but it makes up for it with its many cascades and incredibly clear blue waters.
  • It's just 90 kilometers from Reykjavik, making it a nice day trip from the capital.
  • Bruarfoss is part of the Golden Circle, which means it's close to other important attractions.

Why is Bruarfoss Worth a Visit?

Visiting Bruarfoss is like stepping into a nature lover's paradise. The waterfall is known for its vibrant blue water, which creates a stunning contrast with the dark volcanic rocks and lush green surroundings.

One of the advantages of visiting Bruarfoss is that you will have more space for yourself. Unlike more famous Icelandic waterfalls, Bruarfoss tends to be less crowded. This makes it a perfect spot for those seeking peace and tranquility.

Despite its serenity and seclusion, it’s not far from Reykjavík, which makes it perfect for a one-day trip and back.

Bruarfoss is in the Grimsnes area, in the southwest of the country. The journey to this amazing waterfall involves a scenic hike through picturesque landscapes, adding to the adventure and experience of the visit.

Bruarfoss Facts & Features

Bruarfoss is far from being the biggest waterfall in Iceland. At first, it may not look as impressive as others, but it’s still beautiful. The fall is around 3 meters tall (10 feet). But what it lacks in height is very much compensated with its multiple cascades. These waterfalls are part of the glacial river Brúará, which runs between volcanic formations.

As we said before, Bruarfoss means ‘Bridge Waterfall’ in Icelandic –Several centuries ago, there was a natural stone arch bridge over the waterfall. Sadly, it was destroyed in the 17th Century.

If something makes Bruarfoss stand out among all the astonishing waterfalls in Iceland, that’s probably its color. The vibrant blue hue is due to the glacial waters of Langjökull, the second-largest glacier in Iceland.

Where’s Bruarfoss And How to Get There

Located in southwestern Iceland, Bruarfoss is approximately 90 kilometers (56 miles) from Reykjavik. That makes it an accessible day trip. We strongly recommend checking the road conditions before setting off. Depending on the season and weather conditions, many roads in Iceland are closed by the authorities, especially unpaved roads. It’s better to make sure the roads leading to Bruarfoss are open, so you don’t get the disappointment of not being able to visit this magical place. Not to mention the time you will spend.

Here's a detailed guide on how to reach Bruarfoss from Reykjavik:

  1. Drive East on Route 1: Start by heading east on Route 1 (the Ring Road) from Reykjavik.
  2. Turn onto Route 37: After a while, take the turnoff for Route 37 (Þingvallavegur) towards Þingvellir National Park.
  3. Continue on Route 37: Follow Route 37 until you reach the turnoff for Route 361.
  4. Follow Route 361: Continue on Route 361 until you get to Laugarvatn.
  5. Turn onto Road 355: From Laugarvatn, take Road 355 (Snorrastaðavegur).
  6. Reach the Parking Area: Follow Road 355 until you find the parking area labeled 'Bruarfoss Parking'.

Bear in mind that the hike to Bruarfoss takes around one hour to get to the cascades and one hour on the way back.

Weather in Bruarfoss

The best time to visit Bruarfoss is from May through October. During these months, the weather is milder, the trail is more accessible, and the roads are less likely to be closed. However, if the conditions are good in winter, visiting the waterfall then can be quite amazing.

Bruarfoss during winter

What to Wear When Visiting Bruarfoss

The Icelandic weather can be unpredictable, so it's crucial to dress appropriately. Packing smart for your trip to Iceland can be the difference between a great and not-so-good experience. Except in winter, it’s always better to bring layered clothes than a big thick coat.

  • Waterproof hiking boots: The trail can be muddy, especially after rain, so solid, waterproof boots are essential.
  • Layered clothing: Wear layers to adjust to the changing temperatures. Long-sleeve shirts, hiking pants, and thermal layers are recommended.
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket: This will protect against the frequent rain and wind in Iceland. It rains the most in the southwest, so bear that in mind.
  • Accessories: Gloves, a headband, and perhaps a hat for added warmth during colder months.
  • Extra shoes: Bring a change of shoes to avoid discomfort after the hike. Also, if your feet get wet, you don’t want to make the trip back with wet, cold feet.
  • Backpack essentials: Include snacks, water, and everything you need on a regular hike. A rain cover for your backpack can also be useful. And don't forget a camera or a charged phone to take pictures. You will regret it if you don’t!

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What to Do Near Bruarfoss

Bruarfoss is part of the famous Golden Circle, one of the top things to do in Iceland. This looping route is full of amazing places, some of the best the country has to offer.

Here you have some great things that are close to Bruarfoss:

Hlauptungufoss and Midfoss

Two smaller waterfalls you can see along the hike to Bruarfoss.

Geysir Geothermal Area

This valley of geothermal activity is filled with geysers and hot springs. The two main attractions are the Great Geysir and the Strokkur Geysir.

Gullfoss Waterfall

Probably Iceland’s most famous waterfall. A two-tier cascade that creates a beautiful mist. The effect given to it when the sun is out has earned it the nickname of ‘Golden Falls’.

Þingvellir National Park

One of the three national parks in Iceland. It’s a place of huge natural, geological and natural significance. You will find cliffs, waterfalls, and amazing fields in this valley.

Secret Lagoon

A natural hot spring where you can relax after your hike. Located in the small village of Fludir, it's one of the oldest natural geothermal pools in Iceland. A quieter and less-known alternative to the famous Blue Lagoon.


A tomato farm offering unique culinary experiences in greenhouses.

You Won’t Regret Visiting Bruarfoss

Bruarfoss Waterfall is a hidden treasure in Iceland's Golden Circle. Its vibrant blue waters, serene surroundings, and relative seclusion make it a must-visit for nature lovers and photographers. With the right preparation and knowledge, you can fully enjoy this enchanting destination. Don't forget to explore the nearby attractions to make the most of your trip.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bruarfoss

How far is Bruarfoss from Reykjavik?

Bruarfoss is about 90 kilometers (56 miles) from Reykjavik. Under normal conditions, it takes approximately 1.5 hours to drive there.

What should I wear to visit Bruarfoss?

Wear waterproof hiking boots, layered clothing, a waterproof and windproof jacket, gloves, and a headband. Bring extra shoes for after the hike. Also, pack snacks and water.

Can you see the Northern Lights at Bruarfoss?

Yes, during the winter months, if the conditions are right, you can see the Northern Lights at Bruarfoss.

How long should I stay there?

Plan to spend about one or two hours at Bruarfoss, including the hike and time to enjoy the waterfall.

What are the main attractions close to Bruarfoss?

Nearby attractions include Hlauptungufoss and Midfoss waterfalls, Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall, Þingvellir National Park, Secret Lagoon, and Friðheimar.

How do you pronounce Bruarfoss?

Bruarfoss is pronounced as "Broo-ar-foss."

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