The Hraunfossar waterfalls are the most unique in Iceland, the land of waterfalls. Also known as Hraunfoss, it is neither large nor powerful, nor is it very narrow and really high. It is unusual because thousands of falls flow out of solidified lava. Here is my guide with many photos to help you plan your visit to the Lava waterfalls in Iceland.
This article contains affiliate Links (info on the Disclosure page). If you purchase using my link, I get a commission at no extra cost to you.
Why visit the waterfalls of Hraunfossar in Iceland
The Lava waterfalls of Iceland
The Hraunfossar Waterfalls (literally Lava Falls) is made of a collection of gentle cascades emerging from between the lava rocks covered with moss. It has been protected since 1987.
It is situated at the edge of Hallmundarhraun, a giant lava field with lava tubes. The ‘waterthrough’ (rather than waterfall) flows into the Hvita river.
Hraunfossar Waterfalls - wide and gentle
This Hraunfossar Waterfalls are definitively not tall but very wide, which is great because thanks to the long path in front of it, there is plenty of space for everyone to stop and admire it.
The difficulty being that you cannot take a picture of the whole thing. So, the shot above is showing you part of it. The second one taken on the way to its neighbor waterfall Barnafoss covers a bigger section of the waterfall.
PLANNING TIPS - Hraunfossar Iceland
How to get to Hraunfossar location
- Part of the Silver Circle
- Between Reykholt and Husafell on road no. 518 (55km North from Borgarnes)
- On maps Barnafoss might be better indicated than the Hraunfossar Waterfalls
- Can be done during a day trip from Reykjavik, especially combined with the Ice Tunnel - if you don't want to drive you can join a tour - see options
- Reykjavik to Hraunfossar - approximately 1h45 drive (123 km)
- It is a great stop for people traveling from the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to the Golden circle
Hraunfossar, with its GPS coordinates, is included in my eBook to help your plan your road trip:
Plan your perfect trip to Iceland!
- 8 maps to easily plan your itinerary
- 100+ selected locations so you don't miss the most beautiful places
- GPS + info to make the most of your time
- 110+ original photos to get inspired
Visiting the Hraunfossar Waterfalls in Iceland
- Time: 20 min to admire it, or 45min if you want to explore around and walk to Barnafoss
- Of course, it will also take longer if you are into photography 🙂
- Hraunfossar access: easy flat path, very close to the parking lot. You get very good views all along the path.
- Amenities: toilets for a fee and coffee shop / Restaurant
Need to rent a car for your road trip in Iceland?
- You can choose from some great local companies - Iceland has a lot of specificities and their offerings are adapted - you can compare cars and prices of quality local brands on this expert Icelandic website
- Otherwise you can compare offers from international companies on RentalCars.com
- Book early to have a large choice of vehicles!
Where to stay near Hraunfossar?
- Very close to the waterfalls is the magnificent Hotel Husafell with beautiful rooms and amazing views - Check out the latest prices and availability
- Or you can check out all accommodations not far from Hraunfossar
Hraunfossar Lava waterfalls Iceland
After trying to get as much of the Hraunfossar waterfalls in one picture and failing miserably, I had fun zooming to take pictures of the water coming out of the lava rocks. On top of that I was lucky to have the autumn colors showing up on the moss and grass above the rocks.
The water-through rather than waterfall is through the Hallmundarhraun lava field. It was formed in recent times by a volcano under the Langjokull glacier.
The lava field has many caves and the most famous is the Vidgelmir lava tube. I recommend a visit!
Extra Walk to Barnafoss Waterfall
I recommend you start left from the carpark with Hraunfossar and then head upstream along the Hvita river to see Barnafoss.
It is only a short walk from Hraunfossar, and you will find the more powerful Barnafoss that can be observed from a bridge. It does not have the intriguing shape of volume, but the color of the water can be mesmerizing.
The water is rushing through a narrow canyon. Its color varies from white to blue depending on the light and conditions.
Barnafoss and Hraunfossar in Winter
And for those wondering what it looks like to see Hraunfossar in Winter..
Access is cleared and walking paths remain easy. But they can always get icy so be careful!
Want to see more of Iceland's beauty?
Have you ever encountered such a phenomena of water coming through rocks?