Iceland – a place of Fire and Ice, a volcanic island located in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is dominated by the picturesque panoramic views, steaming lava fields, massive human-sized icebergs, fields of volcanic rock, glaciers, staggering waterfalls, natural hot springs, and geysers. The beautiful landscapes are shaped and formed by the intense forces of nature. From black sand beaches, volcanic deserts, snow-capped mountains to the natural hot spring pools, you have endless options to explore in Iceland. It is a place that is on every traveler’s bucket list. Though several places in Iceland might have grabbed your attention, there is one place that you must not leave unexplored during your visit to Iceland, this place is called Lóndrangar Basalt Cliffs. So, let’s just get to know more about this place and why this is called “the Rocky Castle”.
Lóndrangar: The Geological Wonder of Snæfellnes Peninsula
You might have seen and visited man-made architectural masterpieces, the massive castles, but have you ever experienced one that has been naturally made by mother nature? If not, then Lóndrangar Basalt Cliffs will surely make your jaw drop in awe. Lóndrangar, the two rock pinnacles strike out from the ocean, west of Þúfubjarg in Breiðavíkurhreppur and the east of Malarrif on Snæfellsnes peninsula in West Iceland. You will see the pair of naturally-made gigantic cliffs overlooking the ocean. These are the uniquely formed basalt volcanic dykes that stick out gorgeously and have been eroded by the sea that led them to take their present shape, a lookalike of a castle.
Lóndrangar has two pillars or often called as stacks, one of them is 75m (246 ft) high and the other one is 61m (200 ft) high. The nickname ‘the rocky castle’ is owing to the dramatic formation of the cliffs that looks nothing less than a huge castle standing right there in front of the ocean. So, this is something that you must have not seen before and is highly recommended too. These two towers have endured the natural forces for over thousands of years and have successfully sustained extreme weather conditions, wind, the devastating forces of the ocean along with the lava eruptions that have surrounded and covered the nearby area of the cliffs. It has been more than thousands of years and the cliffs have emerged as one of the most beautiful creations of mother nature with the magnificent Snæfellsjökull glacier being their nearest neighbor.
Exploring the Surrounding Area
Sailing is very popular in this area and one can see the majestic sea stacks easily. The green fields of mossy lava beautifully cover the surroundings and seem like a green carpet spread across the rocky castle. Not just this, you will see some of the most beautiful seabirds including the famous puffin, common murre, fulmar, and kittiwake. Explore the dykes a bit more and get closer by walking along the trails. Walk up to Lóndrangar if you still want to go a bit further, then go down to the rocky pebble beach as well. The whole environment is impressive and will make you feel the power of nature too. Though the walk from the parking place is not that long, once you reach there all you can see are the wild ocean waves smashing against the rocks. The area surrounding Lóndrangar is said to belong to the elves and with this belief, the farmers never made hay on the hill.
Apart from this, one thing that the visitors should keep in mind is safety. It is always recommended to be safe when visiting near the beach or near the cliffs, the waves by the beach are unpredictable, powerful and the suction can be dangerous if not paid attention.
How to Reach Lóndrangar > Directions
When starting from Reykjavík, the drive is about 2 hours and 30 minutes to Lóndrangar, which is 192 km. You can take Road nr.1 towards the town Mosfellsbær, followed by taking the Hvalfjörður tunnel on road nr. 1 to the town Borgarnes. When you reach Borgarnes, take road nr. 54 towards Snæfellsnes Peninsula and drive for about 1 hour. Take a left turn towards Arnarstapi, from there it is a 10-minute drive to Lóndrangar.