Eystrahorn: The Unconquered Quest of the East


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If you set out of for Iceland thinking that you will go and climb every mountain that there is to climb in the country no matter what, then you are in for a surprise with Eystrahorn. Also known as the twin mountain of Vestrahorn, Eystrahorn mountain is a portion of the Krossasnesfjall mountain range and is popular for being one the very few mountains that cannot be climbed in Iceland. The reasons for that vary; some find the terrain too difficult or risky to climb, while other reasons include the constant landslides in the area. At the end, the mountain remains an unconquered mystery, a thing of beauty that has been admired from afar for its awe-inspiring appearance and the powerful, fiery grandeur. The unique shape and appearance of this mountain is the reason that it is one of the main joints for photographers to capture some rugged natural beauty and untouched grace.

drone shot of Eystrahorn mountain in East Iceland

A Steep Yet Spectacular Site

Eystrahorn is about 756 meters high which makes it one of the tallest peaks of the Krossasnesfjall mountain range. Just like Vestrahorn, Eystrahorn is also made up of gabbro, a kind of lava rock that is rich in magnesium and iron. The extremely steep slopes are the highlight of this mountain which is extremely difficult to climb. And as if to add a bit more to the difficulty level, soft gravel paths lead up to these slopes which make a strong footing nearly impossible. This is why Eystrahorn has not been on the radar of tourists as much as other destinations. Eystrahorn mountain like the other two of its companions in the group of “The Horny Mountains” is mostly a muse for photographers. The name Eystrahorn translates to the “east horn” which is justified as the mountain is located even further east on the east coast of Iceland, another reason that tourists do not stumble upon it more often.

Apart from the natural landscapes created by the horny mountains, black sand beach, crashing waves, and the lagoon between Eystrahorn and Vestrahorn, the birdlife that populates the place is also a huge attraction for professional photographers.

Eystrahorn mountain in East Iceland

Eystrahorn and Its Unique Shade of Colors

Different than your usual black and brown shade of land, Eystrahorn mountain features a beautiful shade of silver, beige, off white, and many other unique colors amidst the basic brown and black gradient that rocks usually have. The reason for the eccentric color combination of the mountain lies in the precious minerals found on the mountain. Precious minerals like gold, silver, and mercury have been found under the surface of the mountain in the olden times. It is said that even a spoonful of the soil from this peak is enough to make you rich. The gorgeous colors of the peak contrast with the black sand beach at the foot perfectly creating a shot worthy scenario for the photographers.

How to Get There

Getting to Eystrahorn is easy and does not require you to go off trail for long. It lies close to the Ring Road in the eastern part of the country. It is located near Höfn and Djúpivogur on Hvalnes Peninsula. You will probably find it half-way between the two settlements. If you are on a complete country guided tour or self-driving through the destinations along the south from the capital to the Eastfjords then you will find the mountain on your left side. Keep your eyes peeled for it as there is no parking lot or such near the destination to spot the stopping area. Mark Hvalnes Lighthouse as your landmark as this beautiful orange colored tower will be pretty visible from a distance and is easy to find on GPS. There is parking at the foot of the lighthouse. There you will find a trail in front of the lighthouse that leads straight to the mountain.

Eystrahorn mountain in East Iceland

Map of Eystrahorn

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