Iceland // The west coast //

Hraunfossar and Barnafoss

Six kilometres west of Húsafell on Route 518, the waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss are two of the best-known natural features in Iceland. Although both are on the Hvítá, it’s Hraunfossar (Lava Falls) that make for the best photographs; however, don’t expect thundering white torrents – the falls here are gentle cascades of bright, turquoise water, emerging from under the moss-covered lava to tumble down a series of rock steps into the river. From here, a track leads upstream to Barnafoss (Children’s Falls), which is far more lively – it was here that two children fell to their deaths when crossing a narrow stone arch that once spanned the river. A modern footbridge now affords an excellent view of the water churning violently as it channels through the ravine below.