Hvítserkur: Troll of Northwest Iceland


Basic Information

Rising from the sea like a three-legged creature, Hvítserkur is a stunning sea stack located in northern Iceland. With a height of 15 meters from the sea, this giant stone was once a plug of the volcano. With time, the craters around this rock gave way to the Atlantic Ocean. This high basalt monolith is surrounded by gigantic ocean and the milky white glaciers. This picturesque location will amaze you with the beautiful view of the east coast. Standing tall off the eastern shore of the Vatnsnes Peninsula, this bizarre sea stack is popular among visitors because of its animal-like shape. It seems like an animal is lowering the head to drink water from the sea. Known as the Troll of Northwest Iceland, this basaltic rock formation is protruding from Húnaflói Bay. Being a nesting ground for shag, seagulls, and fulmar, this place attracts visitors every month of the year. 

Hvítserkur takes the name from the bird life that nests on it. The reflection of the sun, moon, and aurora borealis from the seawater around the distinctive form of rock attract travelers and professional photographers. The eroded volcanic dyke offers a spectacular view with the fulmar nesting during the months of summer. Hvítserkur, meaning White Shirt is taken from the color of bird excreta that covers the rock. The front side of the rock formation is light in color due to the guano while the backside of it is black basalt. It creates the most enchanting contrast to capture the beautiful landscape.

northern lights at Hvítserkur cliff in north Iceland

Best View Of Basaltic Rock

You can see the Hvítserkur from above or by walking down to the beach. From the parking space, you will see a track that leads to the view of this rock from above. You can continue down to this trail to reach the black sand beach and get a perfect view of this formation. This shore is affected by the high tides so do not stay on the beach for longer. The aggressive arctic terns are proactive and can try to peck on your head.

Things To Do Around Hvítserkur

For avid travelers and adventure enthusiasts, the nearest camping tents are located at farm Illugastaðir. You can get the facility of electricity and toilets at this camping ground. While exploring this place, walk for a couple of minutes to get a glimpse of Ánastaðastapi rock. This beautiful monolith is more colorful surrounded by sea on one end and the green fields on the other. If you walk a little bit further, you will see a white and green painted rock for sheep Hamarsrétt roundup.

Hvítserkur cliff in north Iceland

How To Reach Hvítserkur

Located at a distance of about 222 kilometers from the Reykjavik, capital city of Iceland, Hvítserkur can be accessed easily. If you are starting from the Reykjavik, drive on the Ring Road 1 towards the north. Keep driving on ring road one for around 190 kilometers to pass through Hvammstangi. When you cross the Hvammstangi, make a turn to drive on Road Number F711. ‘F’ means that the way is a mountain road; you will have to drive on this gravel road to reach closer to sea stack. The gravel road can be pretty bumpy. 

Though you can visit the place in any month of the year, visiting in the winter provides an amazing view. You can witness the Northern Lights at this place. Since there is heavy snowfall in north Iceland during winters that make the roads slippery, you have to careful while driving to this place. You can stay in the hotels and guesthouses in the nearby towns. The rental cars are easily available from Keflavik Airport or Reykjavik to make your journey convenient and comfortable.

Activities in the area

sunset at Hvítserkur cliff in north Iceland

Map of Hvítserkur

Interesting locations in the area

Hotels & Restaurants

More Nearby Locations

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Selfoss Waterfall – One of the Wonders of Iceland

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Krafla Crater and Lava Fields: The Source of Iceland’s Green Energy

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Mývatn Lake – Shallow Volcanic Lake in North Iceland

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