Although only a small settlement with no more than 300 inhabitants, Bifröst is an amazing place settled on rock-hard lava more than 3000 years old and makes a great stop while driving along Iceland’s main Ring Road. We were lucky enough to call Bifröst home for four unforgettable months and since we want to make sure you don’t just pass it by, but rather stop and enjoy its undisputed beauty, here is our complete guide to Bifröst!
To reach Bifröst, follow the main road from Reykjavik past Borgarnes; it takes about 1.5 hours from the former and 30 minutes from the latter. For those without cars, public transportation is available as bus no. 57 stops at Bifröst at least twice daily. If visiting in winter, make sure to double-check if the bus is operating, as snow storms can be a bother to the traffic. But if you’re feeling a bit spontaneous, hitchhiking is the way to go. Iceland is a safe country and it’s relatively easy to catch a ride. Make the best of it by talking to locals, making new friends and getting some inside tips!
Although the core of its community lies in University of Bifröst, this little village is well worth the stop for anyone traveling from Reykjavik to Iceland’s northern capital, Akureyri, or the magical Westfjords. Hotel Bifröst offers comfortable accommodation and the adjoining restaurant/pub Kaffi Bifröst provides a cozy place to grab a bite, admire the scenery and even enjoy an occasional concert.
In case you didn’t know, Icelanders are nuts about pools, spas and saunas. For a true Icelandic experience hit the gym, sweat it out in the sauna and soak in the outdoor hot tub (in that order), all complimentary for guests of Hotel Bifröst. There’s also a grocery shop and an ATM on site if you happen to need cash, which Icelanders rarely use.
Being the largest volcano crater in a family of three, Grábrók is one of the highlights in the area. The summit is accessible by wooden staircase and will take you around 30 minutes to reach it. In winter, the best time to ascent is at sunrise, when the 360° views from atop are glorious!
Only a few dozen meters north of campus and beneath the Grábrók volcano sit an all-in-one gas station, a small shop, restaurant, and guest house. Dating back to 1933, restaurant Hreðavatnsskáli is believed to be one of the oldest restaurants in Iceland. They’ve recently started producing fresh homemade pasta in 9 different shapes and 6 different tastes!
It could easily be said that waterfalls are Iceland’s trademark. Although Glanni isn’t Iceland’s biggest or the most beautiful waterfall, there’s a certain charm to it. Its size and peaceful surroundings make Glanni highly popular among travelers. While there, don’t skip Paradísarlaut, a paradise hollow of clear water only a few minutes’ walk from Glanni waterfall.
Another relaxing walk from Bifröst takes you along mossy lava fields to Lake Hreðavatn. As the legend goes, mysterious monster lives in its depths and only a few lucky fellas have seen it. You never know, you might be next! But one thing is for sure; visiting Bifröst and exploring its surroundings will make your Icelandic experience richer!