Information about Bruarfoss waterfall

Brúarfoss ('Bridge Falls') is a relatively small waterfall compared to many of its Icelandic counterparts, but its diminutive size does nothing to take away from its staggering beauty. Both locals and seasoned travellers regard Brúarfoss as one of the country’s hidden gems, often labelling it 'Iceland’s Bluest Waterfall.' 

The glacial river Brúará falls 2-3m, ending in a U-turn at the base of the waterfall, where the river is concentrated into a deep crevice that runs through the centre of dark volcanic rock formations. This creates sky-blue rapids that almost defy the imagination—and the vistas are made all the more beautiful by the surrounding, lush green flora, which provides a stark contrast to the flowing water. 

Brúarfoss makes up just a small part of Brúará, whose origins lie in the mighty Hvita river which runs from the glacier Langjökull.



History

Brúarfoss is found in the west of Iceland, roughly one hour and twenty minutes east of Reykjavik. The waterfall takes its name from a stone arch that once stood over it, acting as a bridge for those who wished to cross.

According to legend, this natural stone bridge was destroyed in 1602 by a minion of the Skálholt episcopal see. At that time, Iceland was suffering a severe famine, and by destroying the bridge, the minion prevented the starving peasants from reaching the bountiful lands claimed by the church. 

On July 20th, 1433, the Danish bishop, Jón Gereksson, was drowned in the waterfall after being placed in a bag, tied to a large stone and thrown in. Though details are somewhat hazy, it seemed that Jón had, in a jealous rage, attempted to murder the lover of a young woman named Margrét Vigfúsdóttir. In return, she swore her heart to any man willing to avenge the murder attempt and, thankfully, the son of a chieftain, Þorvarður Loftsson, was there to oblige her. 

Visiting 

There has been much discussion in Iceland, concerning the steadily increasing stream of travellers who visit the area and trample its delicate natural landscapes. Unlike the larger waterfalls in Iceland, Brúarfoss does not have a designated parking space and tour operators leading groups to the area have been known to cross private land in order to reach the falls quicker. This is in violation of the ‘No Trespassing’ sign clearly on display, though there are routes to the falls that leave the area untarnished.

It is recommended that visitors park their vehicles by the Brúará bridge (on Road 37) and that they walk along the river to the waterfall. The bridge provides the best vantage point for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

During winter, snowfall will often conceal the walking paths, making the waterfall even more difficult to locate. Therefore, to avoid unnecessarily damaging the surrounding nature, you should only visit the waterfall during summer. 

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