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Near the hamlet of Husafell are two spectacular attractions—Hraunfossar and Barnafossar. Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls streaming over 900 meters out of a vast lava field. Meanwhile, Barnafossar is another stunning waterfall, wide with water rushing over a rocky landscape creating several cascades. These attractions are often visited on tours of West Iceland.
Hraunfossar Waterfalls. Delicate Cascades Flowing from Lava Fields into Crystal Waters

Hraunfossar’s unique appearance is due to lava flowing from a volcanic eruption that occurred under the Langjökull glacier. What makes Hraunfossar genuinely distinctive is its formation. Instead of a single waterfall, it consists of a series of countless small cascades and streams flowing out from beneath the lava field. The water emerges from the porous lava, creating a stunning display as it cascades down into the river below.

Barnafossar offers a stunning display of cascading water flowing through a narrow, rocky gorge. The deep turquoise water contrasts with the surrounding lava rock formations, creating a visually striking scene. The powerful flow and unique geological features make it a captivating sight for visitors.

Best time to visit
All year-round
64.70286, -20.97680
Distance from Reykjavík
124km (77mi)

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How to get to the Hraunfossar and Barnafossar

Hraunfossar is situated in the Borgarfjörður region of West Iceland, approximately 120 kilometres north of Reykjavík. It is part of the larger Hvítá River system and flows through the Hallmundarhraun lava field. There is a parking area to the left of the falls, and it’s a short walk to a platform overlooking Hraunfossar.

Barnafossar, which shares the same parking area as Hraunfossar, is easily accessible, with a walking path leading to viewing platforms. The path allows visitors to get a closer look at the falls and appreciate their beauty. It is often combined with a visit to the nearby Hraunfossar waterfall, creating a dual waterfall experience in the Borgarfjörður region.

Attractions close to Hraunfossar and Barnafossar


The Deildartunguhver hot spring, one of Europe’s most powerful geothermal springs, is close to the pair of waterfalls. Deildartunguhver is one of Europe’s most potent geothermal springs and is just 25 kilometres from Hraunfossar. The hot spring produces an immense amount of hot water, which is utilised for heating nearby towns and greenhouses.

Geology buffs can’t miss a visit to Deildartunguhver. It provides 200 litres per second of 100°C water. Most of the water used for central heating in the West Iceland towns of Akranes and Borgarnes is taken from Deildartunguhver. However, please note that you should keep your distance, as you can get splashed with scalding hot water if you get too close. Travellers will see steam and water bubbling up, splashing against bright green moss and multi-coloured rock. It’s a powerful example of Iceland’s bubbling geothermal energy below the surface.

Krauma Baths

Adjacent to Deildartunguhver, Krauma is a geothermal bath and spa, a welcome addition to West Iceland. Krauma has six baths at the facility: five of varying warm temperatures and one cold bath. Guests can also access two steam baths and a relaxation room with comfortable lounge chairs, a roaring fireplace, and soothing music. Krauma is an ideal way to spend a couple of hours relaxing when sightseeing in West Iceland.


Reykholt is a historic site and cultural hub located around 30 kilometres from Hraunfossar. It was the home of the renowned medieval writer Snorri Sturluson, who wrote many sagas and played a significant role in Icelandic history. Visitors can explore Snorralaug, a historic hot spring bathhouse, and visit the Snorrastofa exhibition centre.

Snorrastofa was established in 1995 as an independent research centre to investigate and collect information on the medieval era in Iceland, with a particular focus on the legendary saga writer and politician Snorri Sturluson, who lived in Reykholt until he died in 1241. The building also holds a tourist information centre, an Snorri Sturluson’s Sagas exhibition, and a public research library hosting courses and lectures. If you want to learn more about Iceland’s Sagas, this is the place to visit.


Húsafell is a scenic and tranquil village around 35 kilometres from Hraunfossar. It offers various recreational activities, including hiking, golfing, and horseback riding. The popular tour Into the Glacier is based in Húsafell as tours depart from the village, transporting guests up the glacier Langjökull to experience a manmade ice cave.

Háafell (The Icelandic Goat Centre)

Háafell, the Icelandic Goat Centre was established to protect and maintain the dwindling goat stock in Iceland. Several years ago, the Icelandic goat was considered an endangered species, but its numbers have soared in recent years due to the great care of some Icelanders. Travellers are welcome to visit the grounds and meet the goats and other farm animals, including sheep, horses, and chickens. Workers at the centre show an enormous amount of care for the animals. It’s an especially great place to visit if you’re travelling with children.

Langjökull Glacier

Langjökull, the second-largest glacier in Iceland, is relatively close to Hraunfossar. It is known for its ice caves, thrilling snowmobile tours, and the unique Into the Glacier experience, which takes visitors inside a manmade ice tunnel. Remember never to try to walk on a glacier unaccompanied, as it can be dangerous. There are numerous tours available so you can experience the beauty and power of the enormous glacier.


Víðgelmir, which is only accessible through a tour called The Cave, can take you to explore the beautiful ice formations, including scores of stalactites and stalagmites. There is a walking path inside most of the cave, but there are uneven surfaces, so take care. You will be provided with a helmet with a headlight for the 1.5-hours long tour.


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