Bruarfoss became, quite frankly, a bit of an obsession.
In the months leading up to the return trip to Iceland this year I knew that I really wanted to visit Bruarfoss. It is one of those oddities in travel – a hidden gem off the tourist path that, despite its beauty, no one seemed to talk about.
As I researched it I began to understand why it is, at least so far, off most visitors radar. First, despite being located near one of the busiest tourist roads in Iceland, route 37 that travels right past Geysir, it is located down a potholed, mostly single-lane dirt track that prevents coaches from getting near. As most visitors to Iceland tend to be those that base themselves in Reykjavik and take day trips to the various sights, this pretty much eliminates most visitors from seeing Bruarfoss. For those that do venture out and hire a vehicle (and I feel confident in suggesting a normal 2WD car driven carefully would be fine) finding it is the biggest challenge. Looking at Google Maps there are three possible paths that each take the intrepid driver on a windy path through what appears to be a summer home area, which apparently it is. Turn to the Internet and matters become more confusing as some people suggest one route, with others countering that the route is not possible as the track has a barrier across it and that you need to go another way instead – a suggestion that yet more people disagree with. It doesn’t help that the Google Maps road overlay has inaccuracies either. I spent untold hours over a couple of months trying to find instructions that any two people agreed upon. I failed.
For me, with two days set aside for the Bruarfoss area, it was frustrating – I didn’t want to spend a half-day just trying to find the place – but for those don’t have the luxury of such time, I can see them either being put off altogether or simply running out of time trying to find it. Which is a real shame as it is, quite simply beautiful.