The Hraunfossar waterfalls (Lava Falls) in Borgarfjordur are an exceptionally beautiful and unusual natural phenomena. The water seems to magically appear from the lava but is actually a clear cold spring that surges through the ground and runs in rapids down into the Hvita River.

This series of waterfalls is formed by rivulets streaming over a distance of about 90 meters (300 ft) out of the Hallmundarhraun, a lava field which flowed from an eruption of one of the volcanoes lying under Langjokull glacier. The waterfall is recognisable by its turquoise blue waters, lending the surrounding environment distinctive colour.

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Engineered fall?

Heidarviga Saga mentions the engineer Musa-Bolverkur, who lived at the farm Hraunsas and says he was responsible for diverting the course of River Hvita to the north of the hill Hraunsas, its present course.

Hraunfossar have been protected as a National Monument since 1987.

Hraunfossar viewpoint

There is a viewpoint at the car park offering an amazing view over the Lava Falls, Barnafoss and Hvita River. The pedestrian bridge across the river was originally built in 1891 and renovated exactly a century later. A hiking trail leads from Hraunfossar to the nearby Barnafoss (Children’s Falls).

A coffee shop at the waterfalls is open during the summer months.

Hraunfossar are situated near Húsafell and Reykholt and lava-tube cave Víðgelmir is close by.

Check out our complete guide to the Golden Circle and West Iceland