Grótta | Iceland Travel Guide to Grótta


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Grótta is a beautiful nature reserve situated on the peak of the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula. Watching in the abyss, over the Faxaflói bay, Grótta stands with its breathtaking beach and flourishing wildlife. The beautiful location lies in the north-westernmost part of the Greater Reykjavík Area. The region became a nature reserve in 1974. Grótta is considered a haven for those who want to explore beaches and birdlife in Iceland. Another intriguing thing is the lighthouses of Grótta. It is because of the lighthouses that Grótta is highly known among tourists. Citizens of Iceland celebrate these historical buildings for their contribution towards enriching the place.

snow at Grótta lighthouse in Seltjarnarnes lighthouse

Explore the Nature at Grótta

Grótta looks out at the boundary-less confines of the Atlantic Ocean. Framed by black sands and a rugged coastline, Grótta is a fantastical location to look out towards the ocean, while you walk barefoot on the beach. It is highly recommended to visit on a clear day when the sun is shining. You will be able to witness the awe-inspiring Reykjanes and Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

Grótta is linked to the mainland through a thin spit that can become enormous in high tide, submerging beneath the sea. If you are walking towards the lighthouse, you have to be careful of the tides. Otherwise, you can be stranded on the beach. There have been instances of stranding reported by the visitors before.

Grótta lighthouse in Seltjarnarnes lighthouse

Birdwatching in Grótta

Summer is quite a hit season to visit Grótta for birdwatching. The vicinity becomes home to multiple species of birds in the summers. Tourists can witness beautiful seabirds, such as Arctic Terns. They make rocks their colony. Capturing this surreal experience is mandatory. So you must carry a camera. There is a beautiful adjacent pond that goes by the name of Bakkatjörn. The visitors can spot freshwater species, such as tufted ducks in the pond. Fauna lovers can expect seals, which are occasional visitors on the shoreline. You can spend an entire day admiring the exquisite bird species, on the shores of the Atlantic.

The area remains shut for a month or two to protect the birds, as it is their breeding season. You are requested to stick to the walking paths and not to break any regulations. It not just scares the birds but also if you go near any young one or egg, the Arctic Terns may react and hurt you. It is quite likely that you receive a fine from the authorities.

The Charming Northern Lights at Grótta

Grótta remains a highly-visited place in the winter season too. There is little light pollution. This is why the place is one of the most known spots in the capital area to see the Northern Lights. The entire experience becomes even more charming because of a geothermally heated pool. The visitors are welcomed here to dip their feet and experience the transcending Northern Lights.

northern lights over Grótta lighthouse in Seltjarnarnes lighthouse

Other Things to Enjoy

Apart from birdwatching in summer and hunting the northern-lights in winter, there are multiple things that you can get hooked on in Grótta. There is a golf course nearby and a museum on Icelandic Medical History that you can visit. Various hiking and biking paths, such as the Kvika footpath and Norðurströnd walking path, will take to some of the most rewarding points.

Some Useful Tips

Grótta is one of the most stunning places that you would come across in Iceland but not without a few precautions. It is important to collect information about floods and tides beforehand, to avoid any situation where you may get stranded on the beach. Packing yourself with layers is essential as it can be windy around oceans. During the breeding season which remains from May 1 to July 15, the area remains closed.

If you are taking public transport, the bus from Route 11 will take you to Seltjarnarnes and it is ideal to get off the bus north of Lindarbraut. It is about a 15-minute walk to Grótta from there.

winter at Grótta lighthouse in Seltjarnarnes lighthouse

Grótta on a map

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