Iceland is pretty much the land of waterfalls. And not just any waterfalls. Epic waterfalls. E. P. I. C. In case you missed it, here is a few pics from our “day of waterfalls” during our May anniversary trip. We saw the same ones again this trip and they were still just as amazing, but it was one of those things, where we had seen it already, and not even had we seen it already, we had literally JUST been here. So even though I will never tire of the spectacular waterfalls of Skogafoss and Selijandlessfoss we were in the mood for something a little different.
Its so funny. Because for some reason I feel like I have to pick a favorite. Is that how we were raised in the US? You always have to have a favorite color. A best friend. Your favorite food. We ask questions like “If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be” (I think Stratton’s answer would be cheeseburgers and my answer for that is probably sushi, although I’m pregnant and can’t have sushi now and plan on being pregnant at least a few more times, so I guess the baby(ies) would need me to pick another food…now I feel pressure! – see what happens??).
So if you asked me, “If you could only look and explore one waterfall in Iceland, which one would it be?” I would have a really hard time answering that. They are all so different and have amazingly, wonderful, unique qualities that make them standout from all the others. No waterfall is the same.
And Hraunfossar is no different.
Honestly, its actually one of the most unique waterfalls we have seen: there is no river.
I repeat. No river. None. No water above the surface. But there’s a waterfall. Isn’t that a bit strange?
See? No river.
And if we had happened across this waterfall on accident I would have been SO confused. We would have had to google it right away. Why does this waterfall have no river?!?!
The fact is that the Hraunfossar waterfall (translated from Icelandic to English as “lava falls”) flows out of a lava field, Hallmundarhraun, caused by an eruption of one of the volcanoes underneath the glacier, Langjökull. The water flows beneath the moss-covered lava from the glacier, which is over 1km away, into the stunningly blue Hvítá river.
It was so amazing! I wish we had had time to explore more, but it started raining pretty heavily and we wanted to see if we could find some lava caves that were supposedly near by called Víðgelmir, which we ended up finding and checking out, but it was so dark inside (and of course a little dangerous), that we will have to explore more another time and with proper equipment (there were people coming out of the caves with helmets and head-lamps).
Stratton went out to explore a bit more above the waterfalls where the only thing we could see was moss-covered lava, but I was unable to have my camera out at this time due to the rain.
We will definitely be coming back to this off-the-beaten track gem!
NOTE: Hraunfossar is located about a 45 minutes drive from Borgarnes on the western side of Iceland. I had never heard of it, not sure if it was in any of the guidebooks I had read before, but I had just happened to see a page on Borgarnes in an acitivity book and it caught my eye because I knew we would be going through this town on our way (and our way back) to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Stratton and I hadn’t explored this region at all, so I thought, hey, something different.