Hraunfossar is a waterfall in the river Hvítá í Borgarfirði (white river). The river has its source in the Lava Field Hallmundarhraun and is white because it is melting water from the glacier Langjökull and transports sediment that has a gray to light milky color.
Hraunfossar means lava waterfall and is definitely one of the most beautiful waterfalls we saw in Iceland. Over a distance of more than 900 meters there seem to flow many streams from the lava field Hallmundarhraun into the river. This lava field has been created by an eruption of a volcano that lies under the Langjökull glacier. As this lava is porous and water permeable and has hard and waterproof surface, the melt- and rainwater flows between the lava until it reaches the river Hvítá were water is coming out of the wall.
With the sun slopes down to the waterfall, you can see the blue/green colors over a width of several hundred meters. A highlight of our visit to Iceland.
The waterfall is situated beween Reykholt and Húsafell, six kilometers west of Húsafell , along road r518. There is parking lot near the waterfall. Hraunfossar is easy accessible lies directly along the road.
Upstream there is is another small waterfall Barnafoss with a descend of 5 meters. The water squeezes itself through a narrow gorge with great power. Barnafoss means children’s fall and there is a saga about the Barnafoss: Two boys from a nearby farm Hraunsás had to stay home while the parents went to church. After a while when the get bored they decided to follow their parents. The way crossing the river was faster but on the bridge over the Barnafoss they fell into the water and drowned. When the parents heard the news, the mother put a spell on the bridge that everyone who crossed the bridge would drown. Unfortunately the bridge was destroyed because of an earthquake.
Another story is that the mother had the arch destroyed in order to ensure no one else faces a similar fate.