Iceland in 16 Days: Day 15, Brúarfoss Waterfall – Golden Circle

Feature Image Details: Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens at 28MM, F/13 for 1/4 second at ISO 100.

Photography tours often speak of  “secret waterfalls” or secret places. This is one of those locations. Brúarfoss is difficult to find, even with instructions. I certainly would not have found it, or even heard of it without instructions.

I talk the need for instructions in my Iceland Guide

Planning a Trip to Iceland.

We planned our trip starting with an eBook Forever Light: Landscape Photographers Guide to Iceland.

If you are planning a trip to Iceland, get the book.

Forever Light gives instructions to Brúarfoss. Now that you have the name, you can likely find instructions elsewhere, but the book is well worth it regardless. Note: I had the first edition. The above links to the revised edition.

We found the spot on our first attempt, using the second of the two ways noted in the eBook. When we arrived at the designated parking spot, it did not look as described. The parking are was on the left, not the right. When I stopped to ponder the situation, I saw some people off in the distance walking. I presumed they were headed to the falls and parked.

To the Forever Light instructions, I will add there was a fence on our right and we followed a very narrow rutted path (one shoe wide) to a the main trail that we had to hop a fence to get to. Thereafter, we just followed the trail.

You come out of the tail into an opening and a bridge over the river. Remember the spot or you might take the wrong trail back. This sounds more difficult than it was, and reading the instructions again now, I am not sure I would have tried.

The book cautions that no one found the location on their first try, but we did, without a Garmin. We went once during the day, then returned for sunset. From where we parked, the waterfall was 20 minutes or so away. The makeshift trail and the main trail were both level. The hard part is making up your mind to try.

Slideshow of Brúarfoss

The images on the left were takes mid-afternoon in the stream beneath the bridge. Yes, I got wet. Yes, it was cold.

The images on the right were taken at sunset, standing on the bridge over the river. Beware of vibrations. It is very difficult to get sharp images if anyone else is on the bridge.

The horizontal image with the very silky water was taken with a Canon 100-400 MM F 4.5-5.6 L Lens at 112MM, F/13, for 13 seconds at ISO 100. You cannot get this shot, if people are walking on the bridge. Even 1 second images will be ruined if people are walking about. I cropped that image slightly, so I could have zoomed in further.

The water really does look blue. The color is different mid-day than at sunset.

It was about midnight when we took the sunset images. We were 20 minutes away from the car, with perhaps 90 minutes to get back to the hotel, with 10:30 AM flight. Nonetheless, my wife Liz volunteered to stay for sunrise. I wanted to, but I had a nagging feeling it was best to go back to Reykavik.

This might sound crazy, but I have learned it is best not to fight strong intuitions. So, off to bed, or so I thought.

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Next Up: Reykavik Sun Voyager Statue

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

5 thoughts on “Iceland in 16 Days: Day 15, Brúarfoss Waterfall – Golden Circle

  1. Nice shooting! I personally don’t always go for the long and dreamy waterfall look (although my current PC wallpaper is a long exposure of a waterfall…), but good composition and color for sure.


  2. Thanks for the wonderful pictures! I’m leaving for Iceland tonight and will be sure to check out some of the sights you have written about.


    1. We just got back from our second trip
      It was rainy or completely cloudy about 80 of the time.
      Had one clear night for northern lights out of 8 nights


  3. Hi Mish… We met at the black church where you showed me your startling images of black church with northern lights. Unfortunately we never got to see the northern lights after 5 days/4 nights. Bummer.
    When we met, I had asked if you’d send me a simple JPEG of that image of the black church with n lights. If you don’t mind, could you send it to Thanks much… Enjoying your blog.


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