Hraunfossar - the strangest waterfall in the world. Map, parking, sightseeing

A detail of the Hraunfossar waterfall

Where is the river?

I wrote that Hraunfossar is the strangest waterfall in the world and it is very likely that you will agree with me. Imagine a waterfall where no river flows. There is no river and suddenly there is a waterfall. Where does the water come from?

there is no river and there is a waterfall

Lava waterfall

The name Hraunfossar is - as you probably guessed - a bunch of words. Hraun = lava, foss = waterfall. So we have a "lava waterfall".
At this point, a lava crust covers the surface of the earth. A thick and extensive layer of solidified lava. Under the crust, underground water accumulates from the sources hidden beneath it. But they cannot accumulate indefinitely. Eventually, they find their outlet in the porous rocks of the hillside. They rise to the surface creating a waterfall, several hundred meters wide. Hraunfossar is therefore powered only by underground sources, invisible on the surface of the earth.

The waterfall looks amazing! It delights with its otherness and its "unnatural", but in fact very natural, functioning. It is a peculiarity that must be seen.

… And one more fragment of the Hraunfossar waterfall

Photographer's trauma

By the way, I have to share some experience. It's easy to guess that I liked the waterfall very much because of its difference. I put a lot of effort into the photos I took, because I especially wanted to present my favorite as favorably as possible. Unfortunately, the delicacy of the waterfall (the water flows from it in gentle streams) and its size (it is several hundred meters wide) meant that what looked great in real life did not make any impression in the pictures. Every picture is more crap.
The waterfall has exercised me terribly. I will remember it for a long time. And the photos? In my opinion, they are missing a lot from the original, but judge for yourself.
Additionally, below I am posting a short video. It much better reflects the size of the waterfall.


Visiting the waterfall is free, and there is a convenient parking lot right next to the viewpoint. Right next to the parking lot there is a food court and toilets.
Several dozen meters from Hraunfossar there is another waterfall: Barnafoss - [click]. It is made up of the waters of the Hvita River flowing here.
Both waterfalls are viewed at once. Unpaved walking paths will lead you through the area, where you will come across viewpoints, making it easier to admire the charms of the waterfall. In total there will be about 500 m to walk, which is not too much.
Below is a map with marked main paths. In practice, you will not need it, but familiarizing yourself with it will make it easier for you to quickly orientate yourself in the field.

1 - Barnafoss waterfall
2 - Hraunfossar waterfall
3 - Barnafoss waterfall bridge
4 - frozen lava field

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.

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 your phone will guide you.

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

A small fragment of the waterfall looks great, let alone the whole waterfall

Hotels and accommodation

Below you will find several suggestions for accommodation in the vicinity of the waterfall. Perhaps you will like something 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, 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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One comment on “Hraunfossar - the strangest waterfall in the world. Map, parking, sightseeing"

  • o
    Direct link

    When you look at such photos, you immediately want to pack and go on a journey 🙂 Beautiful nature! Best regards!


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