top of page
  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

Brytalækir or ‘The Purser’s Brook’


Brytalækir at Syðri Fjallabak
Brytalækir at Syðri Fjallabak

Located northeast of the glacier Mýrdalsjökull, by the Highland 4X4 F-road Syðri Fjallabak, Brytalækir or ‘The Purser’s Brook’ is a stunning natural feature that captivates visitors with its serene beauty and unique charm. The source of this picturesque stream can be traced back to the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, where pristine spring water emerges from the depths of the lava formations hidden beneath the sandy terrain.


As Brytalækir meanders through the landscape, it creates a vibrant tapestry of greenery, showcasing a rich diversity of vegetation and flora that flourishes during the summer months. This flourishing ecosystem transforms the surroundings into a verdant paradise, defying the expectations of its high-altitude location and resembling a small oasis nestled amidst the rugged Icelandic terrain.


One of the most enchanting features of Brytalækir is the illusion it creates as a significant portion of the stream widens, giving the impression of a tranquil lake or pond. This optical trickery enhances the area's allure, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquility of the surroundings and appreciate the natural beauty that abounds.


Brytalækir , the stream that looks like a small lake
Brytalækir , the stream that looks like a small lake

On the north bank of the stream, the landscape is dotted with small hillocks and knolls, adding a touch of mystery and intrigue to the ambiance. These natural formations contribute to the unique character of Brytalækir, evoking a sense of wonder and discovery for those who venture into this hidden gem.


Despite its remarkable beauty and serene atmosphere, Brytalækir remains a lesser-known destination in the Icelandic landscape, offering a sense of seclusion and tranquility to those who seek solace in nature's embrace. During the summer months, the area comes alive with the melodious songs of abundant birdlife, further enhancing the peaceful ambiance and creating a truly unforgettable experience for visitors to Brytalækir.

Map of Highland in Iceland
Map of Highland in Iceland

The name has a peculiar origin, like many places on Fjallabak Syðri

Brytalækir is close to Mælifell and Mælifellssandur
Brytalækir is close to Mælifell and Mælifellssandur

A few centuries ago, a purser named Ólafur was working at the famous episcopal see Skálholt. At the same time, a female housekeeper with knowledge of witchcraft was also working for the bishop. She was full of anger and had limited tolerance for people who disagreed with her. At one point, Ólafur apparently offended the woman and she immediately cast a spell over him with her magic. As the magic took over his mind, he ran out of the house eastward, as fast as he could, to a small mountain called Lyklafell, or ‘Key Mountain’, where he left his keys to Skálholt. Then he ran through a mountain pass that has since been named Ólafsskarð. Not being able to stop running because of the spell, he continued to run all the way to this creek, Brytalækir, where he was found dead by the stream. Once he was found, the stream was named Brytalækir to honor his run and fate.


Part of the 4X4 mountain road and small dirt road Fjallabaksleið Syðri


Brytalækir and Mýrdalsjökull glacier in the background
Brytalækir and Mýrdalsjökull glacier in the background

For those who would like to travel to Brytalækir, it is a place that unquestionably requires a solid jeep or a large 4X4 vehicle. It is not a road that people should try to drive in any other kind of vehicle since it is an F-road and has difficult fords and river crossings. However, for those who would like to take a well-prepared, adventurous 4X4 jeep tour on challenging roads and rivers, the Fjallabaksleið Syðri is the most exciting option in Iceland.



 

If you're planning to tour Iceland in a rental car, make sure to read this article about the three important things you need to know and the type of car that would be best for your trip!

 

コメント


コメント機能がオフになっています。
bottom of page