Kirkjugólf – Basalt Columns in South Iceland


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Iceland can be crowned for having the most unique locations from around the world. One such unique location is Kirkjugólf. The place is popular for its simplicity. Also known as ‘the church floor’, Kirkjugólf is spread across an 80 square meter area. Although there was never a church or any other building on the site, ‘The Church Floor’ is Kirkjugólf translated to English. The entire expanse of Kirkjugólf is covered with columnar basalt stone slabs and wild vegetation. Kirkjugólf is situated a few meters east of the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.  The village is a part of South Iceland.

The Natural Monument - Kirkjugólf

Kirkjugólf has been protected as a natural monument since 1987. The place has been given the title of ‘The Natural Monument’ because of the ancient basalt stone formations. The hexagonal ’tiles’ found all across the area look as if they are cut and carved by humans. The area used to be covered by the sea and these stones were at the base of it. Though the stones have eroded with time, they still look raw and authentic. If you are interested in the different types of stones, rock formations, or basalt, Kirkjugólf will provide you with some useful information. Researchers and tourists who are curious, study the stones, patterns, and rock formations.

The stones look like honeycombed slabs, making the entire location even more interesting to see. These basalt formations have inspired many Icelandic artists to produce some unique and abstract artwork.

The contrast of the green vegetation and black stones under the scenic blue sky can be rejuvenating. If you are looking to hit the snooze for a while, this is a good place to just sit, relax, and read something good. You will not find many tourists here; this place is calm, quiet, and soothing.

Reaching the Beautiful Spot

The Kirkjugólf field is situated around 400 meters northwest of the N1 petrol station in Kirkjubæjarklaustur. You have to drive down Route 203. Situated right off the ring road, you will easily find the entrance gate and sign to reach Kirkjugólf. You can park the car and walk around one-fourth of a mile to reach the honey-combed tiles. The hike is easy and anyone can climb to the ground.

The spot is free of charge to explore. There are no bathrooms or restrooms in the area. So you should use the services at an earlier pit stop. 

Things to Do around Kirkjugólf

After spending some time around the mesmerizing basalt columns of Kirkjugólf, you can always explore the area of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is one of the most scenic spots you would find in the vicinity. Covered with mossy green and brownfields all over, the canyon has a fantastical vibe. There is a trail that follows to the canyon from the parking lot. You will find the place a little crowded, but it is a good chance to meet fellow tourists and exchange a few notes on traveling in the country.

Kirkjugólf on a map

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