Information about Barnafoss

Barnafoss is a rapid falls in west Iceland. 

Barnafoss is a rapid waterfall in West Iceland, just a short walk away from the serene Hraunfossar falls. It is best known for its dark history in folklore, and for how much it contrasts with its neighbour.

Folklore of Barnafoss

Barnafoss translates to ‘the Children’s Falls’ because of a legend long told about it. Back in Iceland’s early days, it was said that a family with two boys lived at the nearby farm of Hraunsás. The parents left home for church one morning, ordering the young ones to remain at home, but with nothing to entertain them, the children soon decided to follow.

They knew a shortcut to the church: a stone bridge, arching over the nearby rapid waterfall, that back then would have had a different name. They started to cross it, but found the heights and surging water below dizzying. In a tragic turn of events, neither boy made it across the bridge, and both fell to their deaths.

Though both parents were grief-stricken, the mother veered towards insanity. Some versions of the tale end with her demanding the bridge be torn down. Others say she turned to witchcraft, placing a rune on the bridge that made any who crossed it plummet to their deaths just like her beloved sons.

If the latter version is true, her spell was broken when an earthquake shattered the passage.

While Iceland’s tales of magic were, of course, exaggerated as they were passed down in oral tradition, it is very possible that this story is true; Barnafoss would kill whoever fell into it in all likelihood, and many Icelanders scratched runes to spread curses to their neighbours and rivals.

It is, of course, equally possible that like many Icelandic tales, it was simply created as a way to ensure that young children respected their parents, and feared the country’s unpredictable nature.

Barnafoss is a site of natural wonder and folklore.

Surroundings of Barnafoss

Barnafoss is a magical site in and of itself, twisting, turning, foaming and churning as it races down a narrow valley, from which you can view it from above. It is even more fantastical, however, due to its contrast with Hraunfossar.

Rather than being a narrow rapids, Hraunfossar is a wide series of trickling waterfalls, flowing from a plateau of lava rock. Seeing the drama of one, followed by the peace of the other, is an excellent example of how Iceland’s scenery is ever-changing, and completely different spectacles can exist within mere metres of each other.

Other sites of the west near Barnafoss include the highest-flowing hot spring in Europe, Deildartunguhver, which is fascinating to admire but impossible to bathe in due to its extreme heat.

There are also the settlements of Reykholt and Borgarnes, both of which should be visited by those passionate about Icelandic history and culture. Reykholt hosts the Snorrastofa Exhibition, where you can learn about the village’s most famous resident, Snorri Sturluson. Snorri wrote many of the Icelandic texts that reveal huge amounts about Nordic kings, Norse mythology, and Icelandic folklore.

Borgarnes, meanwhile, has the Settlement Centre, where guests can learn about the brave first arrivals to this stark new home, and one of the country’s most famous sagas, Egil’s Saga.

 

Services near Barnafoss

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Barnafoss

Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar ('Lava Falls' in English) in Borgarfjörður district is a series of beautiful waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming ou...

View

Víðgelmir

Photo from: Into the Lava | Audio Tour of Víðgelmir Lava Cave and Borgarfjörður Viðgelmir is the largest lava tube in Ic...

View

Deildartunguhver

  Deildartunguhver is a hot spring located in Reykholtsdalur, a district of west Iceland. Deildartunguhver is the highest flowing hot spring i...

View

Surtshellir

  Surtshellir, named after the fire giant of Norse mythology is the longest and most renowned lava cave in Iceland. Surtshellir is locate...

View

Kaldidalur

The road of Kaldidalur valley  is a highland road, stretching from Thingvellir to Husafell (in Borgarfjordur district),  between Langjo...

View

Snorrastofa

Snorrastofa is a cultural- and research center for medeval studies and the history of Borgarfjordur. The museum is situated in Reykholt, where Snorri...

View

Reykholt

Reykholt is a tiny village in west Iceland, which was once home to one of the world’s greatest medieval writers. Packed with history and cultu...

View

Árhver and Vellir

Árhver (and nearby Vellir) is a geological feature which consists of six to eight vents on small sand flats, some slightly elevated but most ...

View

Krauma Spa

  The Krauma Spa is a geothermal bath and spa resort in West Iceland. It is located near Europe's highest flowing hot spring, Deildartunguhv...

View

Þórisjökull

  Thorisjokull is a small glacier volcano in the Icelandic highlands. Thorisjokull is 1350 m high and located by the mountain trail Kaldidalur ...

View

Langjökull

  The mighty Langjökull, the ‘Long Glacier’, is the second-largest glacier in Iceland, at 935 square kilometres (361 square mi...

View

West Iceland

West Iceland is home to the country’s capital city, Reykjavík, and an array of impressive natural sites. These include Europe's mos...

View

Glanni

Glanni is a beautiful waterfall in West Iceland, located close to the Grabrokarhraun lava field and the village Bifrost. Situated nearby, in the mid...

View

Eiriksjökull

  The  1675 meter high Eiriksjokull is located in the Borgarfjordur district, just east of Langjokull glacier. Eiriksjokull lies on the fri...

View

Grábrók

Photo by Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir Grábrók is a volcanic crater east of Lake Hreðavatn in the fjord of Borgarfj...

View

Fossatún

Fossatún is a country hotel, renowned for being a centre to learn about Iceland’s troll folklore. Nearby are Troll Waterfal...

View

Hallmundarhraun

  Hallmundarhraun is a lava field of the pahoehoe type (i.e. smooth unbroken basaltic lava with a smooth, billowy, undulating, or ropy surface) ...

View

Skjaldbreiður

  Skjaldbreidur is a shield volcano in southwest Iceland. It is indeed shaped like a broad shield, whence it derives its name. The volcano cul...

View

Glymur

Wikimedia, Creative Commons, photo credit: Andreas Tille Glymur is Iceland’s second-tallest waterfall, and the tallest that is easily accessibl...

View

Hvanneyri

Hvanneyri is a small agriculture and church centre in the west of Iceland and can be visited 80 km north of Reykjavik in the municipality of Borgarbyg...

View

Tours near Barnafoss

2 Day Snæfellsnes Tour | Lava Cave, Waterfalls, Hot Springs, Seals & Krauma Spa

Explore the unique landscapes of Snæfellsnes Peninsula on this two-day adventure and get......

View

8 Days / 7 Nights Self Drive Tour | The Ring Road & Golden Circle

Book now and secure yourself eight days and 7 nights in the land of ice and fire. This road trip......

View

7 Day Winter Vacation|A Northern Lights & Ice Cave Treat

Join this winter trip full of stunning sights and activities! This package offers you both the......

View

West Coast & Snaefellsnes Peninsula with Lava Caving & Northern Lights Hunting | 2 Day Tour

Explore the beauty of west Iceland in the winter with this fantastic 2-day tour to Snæfellsnes......

View

10 Day Self Drive Tour | Top Ring Road Attractions & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Make the most of your time in Iceland with this extensive 10-day, self-drive tour. Over the......

View

8 Day Winter Wonderland | National Parks & Ice Cave

Take home unforgettable precious memories from a complete tour of Iceland, from North to South,......

View

Discovering Langjokull Ice Cave Tunnel

Join this tour for a memorable trip to a sprawling farm estate in Húsafell, followed by an......

View

7 Day Self Drive Tour | The Ring Road of Iceland

Make the most of just one week in Iceland on this 7-day, self-drive tour. You'll drive the......

View

14 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland & The Westfjords

Book this two-week tour of Iceland’s Ring Road and the Westfjords and experience the very the......

View

9 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Embark on a grand adventure encircling Iceland on this amazing self-drive tour. You'll be......

View

9 Day Winter Itinerary | The Complete Iceland Experience

Reserve this 9-day package tour to experience all the best attractions Iceland has to offer in......

View

10 Day Winter in Depth Self Drive | Snaefellsnes, Northern Lights and the South Coast

Join this 10-day self-drive tour to experience the greatest sites of Iceland within a winter......

View

Ultimate 10 Day Adventure | Highlands in Winter & Ice Caves

Experience Iceland at its wintery best with this 10-day trip. This package offers you the chance......

View

7 Day Summer Package | Customise Your Trip

Choose this package for an adventure holiday of a lifetime. This 7-day package offers the very......

View

Snowmobile Tour & the Ice Tunnel | All Year from Reykjavík

Join this tour that takes you to the heights of Iceland, and deep beneath the ice. This tour is......

View

2 in 1 Bundle Discount Tours | Ice Cave, South Coast and Snaefellsnes

Experience a wide array of unmatched natural attractions on this two-tour combo excursion of......

View

10 Day Itinerary | Ring Road Circle of Iceland & Reykjavik

Join this tour for 10 days of adventure and travel the whole circle of Iceland, including the......

View

12 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland & National Parks

Embark on a magical 12-day tour of Iceland. See all the famous attractions, and discover some......

View

3 Day Self Drive Tour | The Golden Circle & Hraunfossar Falls

See Iceland's finest sights and most popular attractions in only 3 days on this self-drive......

View

10 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | The Circle of Iceland

Drive the entire ring-road of Iceland in ten days, on this immersive winter tour. Carefully......

View

9 Day Package | With Guided Tour Around The Ring Road of Iceland

Join this guided 9-day tour where you'll travel the circle of Iceland, including the......

View

Winter 7 Day Self Drive Tour | The Golden Circle & North Iceland

See Iceland’s dramatic northern coast for yourself! This car rental package offers you an easy......

View

8 Day Summer Self Drive Tour | West & South Coast In-Depth

Take your time getting to know all that Iceland's south and west coasts have to offer on......

View

Into & Above the Glacier | Snowmobile & Ice Cave Tunnel Tour from Reykjavik

Explore Iceland’s second largest glacier, Langjökull, on this exciting tour where you ride......

View

12 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | The Ring Road of Iceland with the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Immerse yourself in the incredible beauty of Iceland in winter, on this 12-day self-drive tour......

View

8 Day Winter Self Drive | Ring Road & Golden Circle with Northern Lights Hunting

Make the most of your time in Iceland with this 8-day winter self-drive. Circle the entire......

View

8 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle Of Iceland Camping Trip

Book this tour for an incredible camping trip all around Iceland. If you have always dreamed of......

View

5 Day Self Drive Tour | Wonders of West Iceland

Chart your own course on this fabulous self-drive tour of the quaint villages and magnificent......

View

3 in 1 Bundle Discount Tours | Ice & Fire with Golden Circle, Ice Tunnel & Inside a Volcano

Grab this opportunity to experience the best of Iceland's diverse attractions on this 3-day......

View

Silver Circle Day Tour | Hot Spring Bathing and Waterfalls

Join this guided tour where you go off the beaten track to see some of the country's hidden gems......

View

8 Day Summer Package | Iceland in Depth with a Greenland Day Tour

Join this eight-day excursion to see the greatest sites of Iceland and to enjoy a......

View

5-Day Guided Tour | South Coast, Golden Circle and Snæfellsnes

See all of Iceland's National Parks in one sweep with this fantastic 5-day tour, delving into......

View

9 Day Budget Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Experience Iceland to the fullest with this budget self-drive tour, exploring the country’s most......

View

10 Day Slow-Paced Summer Self-Drive | Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle & South Coast

Immerse yourself in Iceland without rushing a single site by booking this slow-paced summer......

View

Summer 7 Day Self Drive Tour | North Iceland & Myvatn

Explore the incredible north of Iceland on this 7 day, self-drive tour. Incredible sites such as......

View

Summer 8 Day Self Drive Tour | Westfjords & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Drive Iceland's most remote and rural areas on this incredible eight-day tour. You'll see a......

View

10 Day Summer Self-Drive | Off-the-Beaten-Path in Snaefellsnes, Westfjords & Flatey Island

Travel into the undisturbed nature and visit lonely fjords, turf houses, hot springs, remote......

View

11 Day Self Drive Tour on a Budget | East Fjords & Myvatn

Trail all around the island of ice and fire on this eleven-day budget self-drive tour. This......

View

The Wonders of Snæfellsnes | 2-Day Getaway

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to experience the very best of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula,......

View

13 Day Self Drive Tour on Budget | Circle of Iceland & Westfjords

Be the master of your time and your wallet on this 13-Day Budget Self-Drive Tour around the Ring......

View

West Iceland | Sightseeing, Ice Cave

“The Nutshell” is Mountain Taxi´s signature day trip special and a perennial favourite of our......

View

14 Day Budget Self Drive Tour | Iceland's Ring Road & the Westfjords

See the whole of Iceland and visit the Westfjords with this affordable two-week package. You’ll......

View

Game of Thrones Self Drive | Iceland in 10 days

Book yourself an incredible Game of Thrones themed adventure in Iceland, circling the country......

View

15 Day Winter Self Drive | Discover Iceland's Ring Road and Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Join this brilliant 15-day winter self-drive tour around Iceland’s Ring Road and discover for......

View

3-Day North Iceland Tour from Reykjavik with Daily Activities

See Iceland’s beautiful north without renting a car, by booking this three-day tour to Akureyri......

View

Silver Circle Super Jeep Tour | West Iceland and Langjokull glacier

Join an unforgettable tour in which you explore the hidden gems of West Iceland. You may have......

View

11-Day Winter Self-Drive | South Coast Elements and West Iceland

Embark on this winter self-drive tour and take in all that Iceland’s best-loved attractions have......

View

West Coast Super Jeep Tour | With Langjokull Ice Tunnel

Come along to the wind-swept coast of western Iceland in a Super Jeep built to handle rough and......

View

Northern Lights & Wintry Landscape | 15 Day Ring Road Package with Snaefellsnes

Dive into the wonders of Iceland by joining this 15-day package around the country. On this......

View

West Iceland Sightseeing Day Tour | Nature and Culture

Explore the impressive and diverse sites of west Iceland with this day tour from Reykjavík. This......

View

Minibus Tour | Unique West Iceland and Krauma Spa

Explore the beauty of West Iceland and take a dip into the geothermal waters of Krauma Spa on......

View

Thingvellir & Highlands | Private Super Jeep Day Tour

Enjoy a journey through a landscape of extreme contrasts, full of history and geology, with this......

View

8-Day Guided Summer Tour | Circle of Iceland in a Small Group

Come along on a fantastic summer adventure with this 8-day tour around the Ring Road and the......

View

Into the Glacier, Hraunfossar & Barnafoss Waterfalls | Private day Tour in a new Mercedes Benz

Discover Iceland in both comfort and style with this private, luxury tour of West Iceland. Step......

View

Private Jeep Tour | Hvalfjordur – hot springs and waterfalls, Krauma hot relax, Into the Glacier

Explore less-crowded areas in West Iceland, admire captivating waterfalls and hot springs areas,......

View

West Iceland Sightseeing Tour | With a Visit to the Ice Tunnel

Explore the diverse sites of west Iceland and the magical ice tunnel into Langjökull glacier on......

View

12 Day Slow-Paced Winter Self Drive | Snaefellsnes & South Coast with Free Days in Reykjavik

Secure the trip of a lifetime by booking this 12-day winter self-drive tour discovering the many......

View

11 Day Photography Tour | All Around Iceland in Winter

Embark on this exciting photography workshop and capture Iceland's stunning natural......

View