Iceland: Dyrholaey Peninsula; Reynisfjara Beach and Surroundings. South Iceland
There are places in Iceland that you must see. Areas that should be on a bucket list of every tourist no matter what. Being in Iceland and not visiting them would be a real pity. Dyrholaey is exactly one of those places.
Iceland has many of such attractions indeed, and it seems impossible to see them all during a single trip. The best way to see as much as possible while you visit Iceland is to rent a vehicle and circle the whole island. This way, you can plan your itinerary according to your interests and see all those places you have always dreamed of. Do not forget to add the Dyrholaey area to your itinerary. Let's learn a bit more about this beautiful site.
How to get to Dyrholaey?
Dyrholaey is a small peninsula located in the South Iceland. It is located near a small village called Vik and Myrdal, around 187 kilometers away from Reykjavik, the capital city.
If you start your trip from Reykjavik or Keflavik directly, it takes from 2 to 3 hours drive, depending on the weather and road conditions, to get there. The access is pretty easy as you will follow Iceland's Ring Road, which is the main paved road in the country. It circles the whole island and remains open all year long. You will pass through well-known towns like Selfoss and Hella, where you can make a stop if you need a break. You can then continue driving road number one up to Sudurland.
Once in Sudurland, you will need to turn right to Dyrholay, road number 218. Around 6 kilometers from the crossroad, you will get to your final destination. At the spot, there is a parking lot with WC available fro the tourist. You can leave your vehicle safe in here.
There is no need for renting any particular four-wheel-drive vehicle to drive up to Dyrholay peninsula. A standard 2WD will be enough as the roads you will be using are paved and well-conditioned. During the spring and summer, access is much more comfortable as the road conditions are better. You might encounter some snow and ice on the roads during the winter, which requires more careful driving. If you are traveling in winter, you should always check the weather alerts in advance if some parts of the roads remain closed due to heavy snow.
Although the Ring Road remains open even during the winter, it might take some time for the road services to make it accessible for cars. This might delay your trip a little bit.
Dyrholaey Peninsula in Iceland
Dyrholaey is famous from its beautiful views stretching out to the surroundings and its 90-years-old lighthouse. Dyrholaey lighthouse is one of the most beautiful lighthouses in Iceland. The 13-meters-high tower, consists of three square quarters. Its location makes it one of the most photogenic lighthouses in Iceland.
From here, you have a fantastic view of the surrounding landscapes cutting through the ocean. You can admire the Reynisfjara beach and the rock arch in all its glory. Take your time while you are up and take a walk in all directions. The sights are equally appealing as the one on the black sand beach. If you are lucky enough and you come on a sunny day with no clouds, you will get a great panorama from Dyrholaey. It is a real paradise for those who always hang to their cameras while traveling.
Bird watching in Dyrholaey
Dyrholaey peninsula is also the home for the most symbolic bird of Iceland, the puffin. Those colorful birds are building their nests on the rocky cliffs and you can only see them during a specific time of the year. From May to 25th of June, the peninsula remains closed for tourists due to the birds' breeding season. Remember not to approach the birds too close, as the cliffs are really high as there is a danger of falling.
If you decide to spend some more time in the area, you can look for a hotel to stay in for the night. Most of the people stay in the Vik village and its area. We do recommend, however, to use the Hotel Dyrholaey. It is a family-run hotel located 9 kilometers west of Vik. The hotel offers amazing views all around the Dyrholaey peninsula and the Myrdalur valley. Hotel Dyrholaey has its own restaurant and bar. Additionally, there is a classic car exhibition with cars from 1915- 1970, which is an additional attraction for the hotel's guests.
How far is Dyrholaey from Reynisfjara Beach?
Iceland, the land of Fire and Ice, and glaciers and waterfalls and black beaches, the list is endless. Some places are already symbolic of Iceland. While visiting Iceland, you should definitely visit one of the black sand beaches. You might not be able to find another as fascinating as this one, anywhere else in the world. The most spectacular one in Iceland is, without a doubt, The Vik's Reynisfjra beach. It is said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Iceland. It's pitch black color will definitely awe you. The sand's color is the result of the lava, which after the eruption was directly cooled by water and later on, eroded into small sand particles.
Near the Reynisfjara beach shore, you can see many rock formations coming out of the water. One of the most famous is the Reynisdrangar rock, two trolls caught by the sun's rays and changed into stone, as stated by a legend. Many tourists come to visit this place, especially to be able to see the poor trolls. The highest one is Haidrangur rock, though. It is 56 meters high and is impressive. This is also where the Helsanefshellir small basalt cave is located. Every tourist should take a photo there. Instead, I would not go inside the cave as the water level can go up, and the waves can get into the cave.
Remember, however, that safety should always go first. The waves in the Reynisfjara beach are powerful, and you should not approach the shore too close if you do not want to be washed away.
Although you can see the Reynisfjara beach from the Dyrholaey, it is impossible to pass directly from one place to another. To get to the black sand beach, you will need to go with road 218 back on road number 1- Ring Road and turn right into Pjodvegur and follow it for around 7 kilometers. Then you turn into Reynishverfisvegur, route 215. There will be the signs so keep your eyes open. There will be only 6 kilometers drive from here until you get to the Reynisfjara beach. There is parking available at the spot, so you do not need to worry about your car. Nearby you will find the Black Beach Restaurant where you can warm up, have some meal while admiring this place's beauty.