Dimmuborgir: Dramatic Lava Rock Formations of North Iceland


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Unusual expansion of the lava fields in the lake Mývatn region, Dimmuborgir looks like a castle. Submerged in various stories from mythology, this tourist attraction is one of the most popular destinations of Iceland. Covered in jagged black lava stacks and caves, this ominous lava field was formed by the massive volcanic eruption around 2000 years ago. This giant lava field is surrounded by steaming geothermal pools and rich history that will amaze you by its beauty. There was a small water body at this place before the eruption that later converted into the lava field leaving bleak geography behind. While exploring this place, you will encounter a natural rock formation called “The Church” that is known to be one of the most impressive formations in these fields.

This picturesque field is surrounded by eerie pillars and crags that offer an amazing view to capture. One of the folklore associated with this site narrates it as an entry gate to the nether world. Located at the east of Mývatn Lake, this area is packed with lava caves and sky-high rock pillars. The moss and other vegetation flourish at this place during a few months of the year. Few caves in this area are so large that they can accommodate multiple persons at a time. Dimmuborgir is an enchanting place spread across an area with a 2 km radius. Rough landscapes, dramatic lava pillars, and compositions set a panoramic landscape view. Add this place to your itinerary if you are planning a trip to North Iceland. Dimmuborgir is renowned by the large hollow lava chambers and towering rock pillars.


Things to Do at Dimmuborgir

If you want to go adventurous on your trip, you can go for hiking around this captivating place. You can start from anywhere and track the ‘n’ number of paths around the lava field. The signboards and display boards provide information about these gigantic lava formations. After the popular series “Game of Thrones” was filmed at Dimmuborgir, it has gained a huge number of tourists throughout the year. At a distance of about 4.2 km, you will find Hverfell, a dramatic explosion crater. With a diameter of 1 kilometer, this crater is 140 meters deep that makes it one of the largest explosion craters in the world. Around Dimmuborgir, you can visit Mývatn, a lake formed by a basaltic lava eruption. The Mývatn Lake is home to many water birds especially ducks. Rootless vents, volcanic land forms, and lava pillars around the Mývatn Lake, rootless vents, and the volcanic land forms around this majestic lake provide an astounding view.

Activities in the area

  • Snow Dog Sledding
  • Geo Sea
  • Húsavík Whale Watching
  • Mývatn Nature Baths
Mývatn Dimmuborgir lava field in north Iceland

How to Reach There?

Located past the Mývatn lake, the Dimmuborgir can be accessed easily. It is situated at a distance of about 470 km from Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. The total time to cover the distance from Reykjavik to Dimmuborgir is 6 hours if you drive without stopping. We highly recommend that you take your time and  stop at the beautiful natural attractions on the way to make your trip memorable.

If you are starting from Reykjavik, drive on Ring Road 1 towards the north. Pass through the Hvalfjarðargöng tunnel and birch region of Borgarfjörður. Continue on Route Number 1 to reach Akureyri, a town situated at a drive of about 1 hour from Dimmuborgir. Drive on the same road to cross Mývatn Lake, you will see the lava fields after a drive of a few minutes.

Though this place can be visited during any month of the year, visiting in the winter months will provide you with a whole different landscape view than during the summer. While visiting during winters, be careful of the slippery roads and uneven roads. If you are planning for a long weekend trip, you can stay in hotels or guesthouses at the nearby town of Akureyri. You can also look for a tour guide package to make your travel convenient and comfortable.

Map of Dimmuborgir

Interesting locations in the area

Hotels & Restaurants

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