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Hraunfossar


Hraunfossar waterfall (literally the-lava-falls) is around 45 minute drive from the town of Borgarnes through the Borgarfjörður valley, which can be reached by the ring road driving north from Reykjavík. The series of waterfalls flowing from underneath the great Hallmundarhraun lava field covered in virgin birch forest. Langjökull glacier (literally the-long-glacier) is the second largest glacier in Iceland and the volcano from which the lava field flowed is actually covered by the glacier and the glacier is also the water source for the river and thereby the waterfalls. Into the Glacier is a man made ice tunnel created to study the movement of the glacier and also allows visitors to take a tour inside. The tunnel can be reached either by monster truck or a snowmobiling tour depending on your preference. The operation usually leaves from Húsafell which is 5 minutes from Hraunfossar.

Hotel Husafell is the main base of operations in this are where you can find a swimming pool and golf course, as well as various hike trails. Due to the volcanic systems here there are lava caves hidden underneath the lava flows and among those is Víðgelmir a massive lava tube that has scheduled tours going into it and is only a few minutes drive from Húsafell. At the car park next to the Hotel Husafell there are public rest rooms, a small shop and a café. The swimming pool here is heated with geothermal water from a local hot spring and the Hvita river flows by here heading towards Hraunfossar just a little further down river. 


On the way from the great Deildartunguhver hot spring up to Hraunfossar Waterfalls there is Reykholt which was home to the great bard and medieval scholar Snorri Sturluson believed to be the author of some of the Icelandic sagas, especially Egil Saga the tale of the great viking warrior poet Egill Skallagrímsson. This area was actually a seat of power during Icelands medieval golden age when the country was effectively an independent republic from 930 AD when the Parliament of Iceland was formed until 1262 AD when the Norway seized control of the country.


Hraunfossar Waterfalls is not only a place of exceptional natural beauty but also an environment which can easily give flight to the imagination. There legends of outlaws having lived up here in the past, raiding the local farms, sealing sheep and living in caves by the edge of the glaciers. Also, stories of elves and trolls are rampant here and looking at some of the lava formations and other strange shapes in the landscape it is easy to start wondering if they were possibly made by some otherworldly beings who cohabited this place with us and maybe roamed this wilderness long before any man set foot here.