2024 Brúarfoss Waterfall Guide in Iceland’s Golden Circle

If you can only visit a few waterfalls on your trip to Iceland, I highly recommend you make time for Brúarfoss!

Why? Well, I’m glad you asked! The reason is the stunning color of this icy blue waterfall.

When I saw pictures of Brúarfoss online, I just assumed they were highly edited.

However, the falls and river are actually an unbelievably blue color that looks almost fake. It’s so stunning!

While some photos do end up being overly edited, I personally thought that this waterfall was even more captivating in person than in photos.

In this quick guide, I’m going to share everything you need to know about visiting Brúarfoss in 2024, including updates on the new parking situation that will save you a lot of time!

Let’s jump right in!

Wide-angle view of the Brúarfoss waterfall showcasing a series of small cascades with bright blue glacial waters flowing through a rocky riverbed, framed by a barren landscape and distant snow-covered hills.

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Quick Info for Visiting Brúarfoss Waterfall

Brúarfoss, also known as Brúararfoss or Bruarfoss waterfall, means “bridge waterfall” or “bridge falls” and is named for an old natural stone bridge that used to cross the falls.

While the original bridge was destroyed to protect the local area during a severe famine, there is a newly constructed bridge that spans the Brúará River, making it easier to view and photograph the falls from above.

I’ve been to Iceland 3 times in total: in 2018, in 2022, and again, most recently, in 2024.

However, I’ve only been to this waterfall during the visit in 2024. Why? Before recently, this waterfall was actually quite difficult to get to and was one of the hidden gems of the area.

While I could have seen Brúarfoss on my previous visits, there simply wasn’t enough time with everything else that I had crammed into my trips, haha!

The vibrant blue waters of Brúarfoss waterfall in Iceland cascading through rugged terrain, with snow-covered mountains in the distance.

Prior to 2023, the only way to reach the Brúarfoss waterfall (as it is located on private property) was via a hiking trail that was over 4 miles round-trip and took most hikers 3-4 hours to complete.

Granted, the views along the hike were reportedly well worth the time, including two other smaller waterfalls, Hlauptungufoss and Miðfoss.

If you’re like us and don’t have enough time in your itinerary, then you’ll be happy to know that there is a new parking lot very close to Brúarfoss that makes the total hike less than 1 mile and about 20-30 minutes, depending on how much time you want to spend at the falls.

Video Footage of Brúarfoss Waterfall in Iceland

How to Get to Brúarfoss

Brúarfoss is located in southwest Iceland, on the Golden Circle, not far from Route 1, which is the famous Ring Road around Iceland.

Here are the distances from the main nearby towns:

  • Distance from Reykjavik: 94 kilometers (1 hour, 32 minutes)
  • Distance from Selfoss: 53 kilometers (47 minutes)

How to Get to Brúarfoss by Public Transport

Unfortunately, there is no public transport to Brúarfoss.

The only two ways to get there are by car or by private tour.

A distant view of Brúarfoss waterfall showing its vibrant blue waters cascading through a rocky riverbed, surrounded by sparse winter vegetation.

How to Get to Brúarfoss by Car

As mentioned previously, Brúarfoss is one of the main attractions on the Golden Circle route.

When we first arrived in Iceland, it was very early in the morning, but we decided to tour the Golden Circle on day one before heading to our first hotel.

Although we were very tired and fighting jet lag, it ended up being a great decision!

We got our rental car from Blue Car Rental at the airport and then headed north.

We started our trek around the Golden Circle at Thingvellir National Park, which made this waterfall the second stop for us.

If you travel in the same direction as we did, the turn-off for Brúarfoss will be on your left.

Our GPS actually took us to the wrong turn at first, but we soon saw the sign (pictured below) pointing towards the car park.

Signage at the beginning of the road to Brúarfoss waterfall, displaying a picture of the blue waterfall and indicating a 3 km driving distance, set against a backdrop of flat, grassy terrain and distant snow-capped mountains under a cloudy sky.

From this point, you’ll travel about 3 km on a gravel road before you reach the small parking lot.

Click here for the exact GPS coordinates on Google Maps of the car park.

We found the road conditions to be better than we expected, but it’s still a good idea to take things slow.

After 3km, you’ll come to the “loosely-called” car park. It’s basically just a wide gravel lot.

You will have to pay for parking, which was 750 ISK (roughly $5 USD) when we visited in April 2024.

For us, it was well worth paying for parking because of the time that it saved us not having to hike as far.

I also really appreciate how they take the money collected for parking in Iceland and use it to improve the roads and trails. It’s totally worth it!

There is a pay machine at the start of the trail, but it was out of order when we visited, so Tucker paid for our parking fee on the Parka App instead.

How to Get to Brúarfoss by Private Tour

If you choose not to drive yourself in Iceland, don’t worry. You can still see Brúarfoss!

You’ll just need to book a private tour that has a stop at this gorgeous waterfall on its itinerary.

This Golden Circle tour hits all of the main attractions (Þingvellir National Park, Strokkur Geysir pictured below, Gullfoss, & Kerið Crater) as well as Brúarfoss and is still quite affordable, costing just over $100 for the entire day, with transport to and from Reykjavik.

Of course, you could also hire a private tour just for your group, but that’s going to be more expensive and might depend on your budget.

Strokkur Geysir in Iceland erupting in a dramatic display of water shooting high into the sky, against a backdrop of blue skies and scattered clouds. A crowd of spectators is gathered at a safe distance, watching the natural spectacle, with snow-covered hills and greenery in the background.

The Hiking Trail to Brúarfoss

Here are some quick facts about this trail:

  • Rated as an easy hike
  • 0.7-miles round-trip
  • Out & back trail
  • 15-25 minutes total

This really is more of a short walk than a short hike, as it’s such an easy trail!

It is primarily gravel with no muddy areas and is flat the whole way to the waterfall.

Just before you reach the river/falls, there is a warning sign sharing the dangers of the area and reminding you that you are here at your own risk.

Warning sign at Brúarfoss waterfall in multiple languages including Icelandic, English, French, German, Chinese, and Spanish, cautioning about the dangers of the river. The English warning reads: "Warning - Danger! Yes, it's truly a beautiful river, but it is also very dangerous! It has claimed lives. You are here at your own risk but please don't go too close."
“Warning – Danger! Yes, it’s truly a beautiful river, but it is also very dangerous! It has claimed lives. You are here at your own risk, but please don’t go too close.”

Sadly, people have died here, so please use caution when visiting.

Although it is possible to go off of the trail and approach the edge of the river, Tucker and I stayed on the trail the whole time and highly recommend that you do the same.

There is a wooden bridge that spans across the river and makes it easy to see at a closer look and photograph the Brúarfoss falls without any unnecessary danger.

I highly recommend walking all the way across and experiencing the falls from multiple angles. They are truly stunning!

Tucker and Janae posing for a selfie with Brúarfoss waterfall's mesmerizing turquoise waters and rugged terrain in the background.
Wide view of Brúarfoss waterfall showing multiple cascades of bright blue water flowing through a rocky landscape under a cloud-filled sky.

Of course, the thing that makes Brúarfoss one of my favorite waterfalls in Iceland is the milky blue (and sometimes turquoise) color of the water!

This icy blue color is due to the glacial river, Brúará, carrying glacier silt (also known as glacial flour or rock flour) through the water.

The result is absolutely stunning, and you have to experience it for yourself to truly appreciate the beauty of Iceland’s bluest waterfall.

I didn’t even want to leave…the colors and patterns of the swirling water in the river below were captivating!

It’s easy to see why this is one of the most photographic places in Iceland!

Janae looking out over Brúarfoss waterfall, framed by its stunning blue waters and the snow-capped mountains in the distance.
Close-up view of the bright blue waters of Brúarfoss waterfall flowing over rocky cascades, with icy and mossy terrain surrounding the river.
Landscape view of Brúarfoss waterfall flowing vigorously through a rocky riverbed, highlighted by its distinctive blue color, with a barren, snow-dusted landscape around.

If you are big into photography, you will likely want to spend even more time here capturing the beauty of the water.

However, most people will be happy with 10-15 minutes at the falls before heading back to the car.

The Best Time to Visit Brúarfoss

Brúarfoss is best visited in the summer months when there is less snow and ice, which can make the area extra dangerous.

We recently visited in mid-April, and there was no ice or snow on the path then, although there was snow in the surrounding mountains.

If you do plan to visit Brúarfoss in the winter, please plan ahead with a good eye on the weather conditions and bring crampons for the hike, as they will likely be necessary.

The best time of day to visit Brúarfoss is early in the morning or later in the evening when most of the tourists have already finished their trek around the Golden Circle.

Wide view of Brúarfoss waterfall showing multiple cascades of bright blue water flowing through a rocky landscape under a cloud-filled sky.

Facilities and Amenities Near Brúarfoss

It’s important to know that there are no facilities or restrooms directly at Brúarfoss and the parking area.

The nearest facilities would be at Efstidalur II, which is where we headed for some lunch after enjoying the falls!

Which brings us to the next thing.

Where to Eat Near Brúarfoss

I highly recommend grabbing a bite to eat (or even just some ice cream) from Efstidalur!

Efstidalur II is a family-run farm just a stone’s throw away from Brúarfoss.

In fact, if you’re coming from the same direction that we did, you’ll pass the turn-off for the farm just before you turn for the waterfall.

You’ll drive through the farm just a bit before you reach the restaurant, and then once inside, you’ll find a creamery downstairs with delicious ice cream and a restaurant upstairs with plenty of yummy meals to choose from.

Our group of four decided to split two meals with an extra side of fries, and there was still plenty of food!

We chose the Panfried Trout meal and the Farmers’ Burger. I personally ate half of the burger and can tell you it was one of the best burgers of my life!

Tucker also agreed that the trout was delicious and this ended up being one of our favorite restaurants in Iceland.

A half-eaten Farmer's Burger on a sesame seed bun, stuffed with lettuce, tomato, and sauce, served with a side of fries, illustrating a hearty meal.
A colorful dish of pan-fried trout served with seasoned vegetables, potatoes, and a side salad, alongside a bowl of fries, presented on a black plate.

As is typical for many Icelandic restaurants, there was also a soup buffet/bar where you could get all you can eat soup and bread which also looked delicious.

A rustic soup bar setup inside a restaurant, featuring two large black pots on a wooden counter, with a tapestry depicting traditional scenes hanging above.

Of course, if you eat a meal here and even remotely like ice cream, you must finish things off with some incredible homemade ice cream from the family dairy downstairs!

It was sooo incredibly creamy and delicious!

Bree and Alyssa enjoying ice cream inside a rustic farm shop, with a smile, surrounded by other patrons and a vintage-style ice cream menu board in the background.
Close-up of Janae's hand holding a creamy scoop of ice cream in a waffle cone, set against the backdrop of a farm shop's interior, showcasing a casual dining setting.

Ok, enough about the restaurant, haha! You get the point – it was really good and is a great place to stop for a quick bite before or after visiting Brúarfoss.

And yes, they do have restrooms available for paying customers.

Where to Stay near Brúarfoss

There are a few places to stay that are relatively close to the Brúarfoss waterfall:

However, my recommendation would be to spend the day exploring the whole Golden Circle and then end up either in Selfoss if you’re heading south from there or back in Reykjavik.

Other Things to Do Near Brúarfoss

There is an abundance of things to do near Brúarfoss on the Golden Circle. Here are a few of the best:

  • Geysir Geothermal Area
  • Gullfoss
  • Þingvellir National Park
  • Kerið Crater
  • Laugarvatn Fontana
  • Faxafoss
  • Efstidalur Farm
  • Secret Lagoon at Flúðir
  • Skálholt Cathedral
  • Haukadalur Forest

In Closing: Brúarfoss Waterfall Guide

So is Brúarfoss worth visiting? I say, absolutely! Especially now that it is more accessible than ever.

I hope that you’ve found this guide helpful in planning your visit to Brúarfoss.

If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, don’t forget to check out our other Iceland guides below!

Safe travels, and enjoy your time in Iceland!

Much Love, Janae xoxo
Photo of author
Janae, alongside her husband, Tucker, has turned the world into her playground. Having lived and traveled in an RV for over four years, she has trekked through 22 US national parks, ventured across 28 states, and explored the natural beauty of 12 countries. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been when she witnessed Iceland's shimmering Northern Lights, explored the rugged terrains of Southern Utah, and traveled across Ireland for almost two months. A lover of adventure and couple travel, Janae's writings have been featured in notable travel websites and magazines, and she has collected an online community of over 30,000 passionate fellow travelers.
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