Located northeast of the glacier Mýrdalsjökull by the Highland track Syðri Fjallabak, Brytalækir or “The Pursers Brook” is a beautiful spring fed stream. The source of the water is near the Mýrdalsjökull glacier in the lava partly beneath the sand. The stream runs through a beautiful green landscape filled with vegetation and flora during summer. It is an unusually lively and luxuriance place for this attitude, almost like a small oasis. A significant portion of the stream spreads out and gives the illusion that you are standing by a small lake or a pound. The surrounding area on the north bank is filled with small hillocks or knolls that give the place a bit of a mysterious atmosphere. It is one of the gems in the Icelandic landscape that few visit and is also a peaceful place to enjoy.
The name has a peculiar origin like many places at Fjallabak Syðri
A few centuries ago a Purser named Ólafur was working at the famous episcopal see Skálholt. At the same time, a female housekeeper with witchcraft knowledge was also working for the bishop. She was full of anger and had limited tolerance for disagreement. At one point Ólafur apparently offended the woman who immediately cast a spell over him with her magic. As the magic took over his mind, he ran out of the house as fast as he could eastward to a small mountain called Lyklafell, or Key Mountain, where he left his keys to Skálholt. Then he ran through a mountain pass that since has had his name 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. And when found the stream was named Brytalækir to honor his fate and run.
Part of the 4X4 mountain road and small dirt road Fjallabaksleið Syðri
For those who like to travel to Brytalækir, it is a place that unquestionably requires a good solid jeep or a large 4WD vehicle. It is not even a road that people should try to drive in any other kind of vehicle. But for those who like to take on a well prepared adventuresome 4X4 jeep tour on challenging roads and crossing rivers, the Fjallabaksleið Syðri is the most exciting option in Iceland.