At Cape Dyrhólaey, a volcanic peninsula in the south of Iceland, is the Dyrhólaós lagoon with its impressive lava beach and the famous rock gate.
Cape Dyrhólaey is a peninsula of volcanic origin in the south of Iceland and is on our list of the top 10 sights of Iceland. The fascinating landscape is located about 6km west of the village of Vík. According to experts, the peninsula was formed over 80,000 years ago. The walls of the impressive volcanic island rise steeply up to 120 meters.
Table of contents
PICTURES: Cape Dyrhólaey and Dyrhólaos Lagoon
How to get to Cape Dyrhólaey?
You can reach Cape Dyrhólaey coming from the ring road via road 218. Attention: the road is usually closed in the months of May and June because of the abundance of birds, so that the breeding birds (especially puffins and terns) are undisturbed there.
On the left, at the end of the road, you come to the Dyrhólaós lagoon with its famous black lava sand beach. If you stay on the right side of the road, a steep dirt road leads up to the plateau of the peninsula.
Dyrhólaós lagoon and the black sand beach
The lava sand beach of Dyrhólaós has already been voted among the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. But who now expects palm trees, snow-white powder sand and turquoise sea, is clearly wrong in Iceland. The beach of Dyrhólaós is the exact opposite in its beauty. Pitch-black lava sand meets a steel-blue sea, whose waves lick at the feet of the silent sentinels of dark basalt.
Nevertheless, due to its spectacular location and the imposing basalt columns, the beach of Dyrholaos can definitely be counted among the most beautiful in the world. However, if you want to try a swim in the sea, you should be well hardened. The water here will never reach more than 10°C.
Lighthouse and rock gate at Cape Dyrholaey
On the way up to the rocky plateau of Cape Dyrholaey you are greeted by a lighthouse. It dates back to 1927 and is still very well preserved. From here you have a fantastic view of the black lava beach and the village of Vik with its towering rock spires. However, the main reason most visitors come here is the rock gate off the cape.
This spectacular rock formation looks like man-made, but it is completely natural. Even boats can pass through the gate - presumably when the sea is calm. If you look inland, you will see a fantastic panorama of Iceland's mountains and glaciers behind you.