Barnafoss - a waterfall with a sad legend in the background. Map, parking, sightseeing

Cascades of the Barnafoss waterfall

Rapid cascade

Waterfall Barnafoss is typical cascading waterfall, consisting of several consecutive, successive drops of water. If you add up the height of all the cascades, the total height of the waterfall would be 9 meters. However, it is not the height of the waterfall that determines its beauty, but the location and arrangement of the cascades.
The bed becomes very narrow here and the waters of the Hvita River, flowing into the cascade of the Barnes waterfall, are strongly dammed up. At the same time, they accelerate significantly and the current becomes very strong and rushing. The waters hit the walls of the ravine with great force, taking the form of white, angry foam.

A calmer part of the Barnafoss waterfall

The name of the waterfall

Barnafoss is a combination of two words: barna = children and foss = waterfall. The waterfall is named after the legend of two children who died in its crazy waters.
It happened on Christmas night, when the parents of two children went to church for mass, leaving the children unattended. Children, against the ban, left home and followed their parents to church. Their traces cut off at the natural stone bridge that still existed over the waterfall then.
Today the stone, natural bridge is no more. According to one legend of its destruction, the mother of the children was ordered to order that no one would ever lose their life here again. Other accounts mention the earthquake that destroyed the stone footbridge, and still others mention spells, curses, runes, etc. There are so many versions that everyone will find something for themselves.
Today there is a solid bridge here and you don't have to worry, you can go to the other side and watch the water of the waterfall.

The bridge over the waterfall is solid and safe, so don't worry that history will repeat itself


Access to the waterfall is unlimited and free. In its immediate vicinity there is a car park, and right next to the car park, there is a catering point and toilets.
There is another waterfall adjacent to the Barnafoss waterfall, with a contrasting appearance: Hraunfossar - [click]. Both waterfalls are viewed at once.

1 - Barnafoss waterfall
2 - Hraunfossar waterfall
3 - Barnafoss waterfall bridge
4 - frozen lava field
A view of a fragment of the Barnafoss waterfall and a footbridge above it

A comfortable dirt path leads from the parking lot. It is divided in several places, leading to other viewpoints from which you can admire the next fragments of the cascades.
Due to the fact that the water flows in deep rock crevices, the Barnafoss waterfall
you cannot see the whole thing at once. So let's go to the available viewpoints to get to know the whole waterfall. At first, the waterfall may not seem very impressive, but after looking at it from the available viewpoints, it all adds up to a very nice whole. The place is worth visiting.
The viewpoints are close to each other, and the total length of the walking paths connecting them is maybe 500m.

One of the viewpoints above the Barnafoss waterfall
Viewing point above Barnafoss

There are lava caves near the waterfalls: Víðgelmir, Surtshellir and Stefánshellir, but access to them takes an off-road road (marked with the letter F), which can only be accessed by an off-road car.

structure of solidified lava
a lava field on the other side of the bridge over Barnafoss

Access and parking

Getting to the waterfalls should not be difficult, as long as you use car navigation. For the sake of convenience, I provide the geographic coordinates of the parking lot at the waterfalls. Just click and the navigation on the phone will lead you by itself.

Parking at Barnafoss waterfall, GPS coordinates:
64°42’06.1″N 20°58’42.2″W
64.701696, -20.978379 - click and route

The view from the other side of the Hvita river, i.e. from the lava field

Hotels and accommodation

Below you will find several suggestions for accommodation in the vicinity of the waterfall. Perhaps you will like one of them, or it will turn out to be relatively wallet-friendly 🙂
If not, then I also provide a link to all of them current offers from the vicinity of the waterfall - [click]. If you do not find anything suitable on this list, then the accommodation may be a small problem.

Hotel A - [click]

Guesthouse Gamli Bær - [click]

Hotel Húsafell - [click]

Iceland sightseeing itinerary

The entry you are reading is an element prepared by me Iceland sightseeing plan. Most likely, everything you need to prepare for your trip to Iceland can be found in this entry. Weather, accommodation, car rentals, tourist attractions and a map of a trip around Iceland ... all in one place: Iceland - map and sightseeing plan, tourist attractions, excursions, the most beautiful places - [click]. Be sure to read!
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