Interested in visiting an area of Iceland that was created at the end of the Ice Age? Allow us to introduce you to an Icelandic hidden gem today… Dverghamrar is gorgeous basalt rock formations just outside of Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the South of Iceland. Come along with us today as we share the experience with you!
Hexagonal Basalt Columns in Iceland
So how in the heck is Dverghamrar and other basalt column areas created? Firstly, the geology of how basalt columns are created begins with lava flowing into a low-lying valley. Secondly, lava cools which allows for the columns on the bottom to form. Thirdly, the river in the valley stops and runs over the lava then it creates the curved columns, by contraction and rapid cooling.
Next, palagonite and lava layers pile on over of years. Furthermore, then during the later half of the ice age, glaciation and the sea literally shape and split the columns even more. Believe it or not, there are multiple places you can visit throughout Iceland that feature hexagonal basalt columns. For example, here is a short list of them and the area of the country they are in.
- Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall is found in North Iceland.
- Arnarstapi is in Snæfellsnes Peninsula (West Iceland).
- Dverghamrar is today’s lovely feature within Southern Iceland!
- Gerðuberg is also within the Snæfellsnes Peninsula (West Iceland).
- Hljóðaklettar is a crazy basalt column cave in North Iceland.
- Kálfshamarsvík is a coastline full of basalt columns within North Iceland.
- Litlanesfoss Waterfall has gorgeous basalt column textures and is found in East Iceland.
- Reynisfjara is the well known touristy beach in South Iceland that is chockful of basalt columns, caves, and sea stacks!
- Stuðlagil Canyon is a crazy beautiful vivid canyon found in East Iceland.
- Stuðlafoss is a lovely basalt column waterfall in East Iceland.
- Svartifoss is a basalt column waterfall within the Southern section of Vatnajökull National Park.
Dwarf Cliffs Folktale
Next, did you know Dverghamrar directly translates to “dwarf cliffs?” Also, locals have always felt that the cliffs are enchanted by super natural beings or elves. Furthermore, the area also comes with a sweet little Icelandic folktale. To illustrate, it’s documented that in 1904 that a local had been walking by the area and heard singing from a voice she did not know… However, the song that was being sung, was a religious hymn. Therefore, the locals believe the beings are Christian.
How to Get to Dverghamrar
From the city limits of Reykjavik you’ll follow Route 1 East towards Vik. After about a 3 hour and 20 minute drive you’ll be able to bask in the beauty of this offbeat location in Iceland. Meanwhile, if you’re on the way to the the glacier lagoons this also a fantastic spot to stretch your legs! In fact, stopping in Kirkjubæjarklaustur to refuel, have a meal, then hitting up Dverghamrar Cliffs is a fun plan!
- Location: On Route 1 and 15 minutes East from the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
- Map Link to Parking Lot.
- Length: .33 mile loop around.
- Hiking Time: 5-15 minutes plus time spent.
- Skill Level: Easy
- Terrain: Loose stones and paved rocks in some spots.
- Note: This is a protected natural wonder. So please respect the signs, ropes, and barriers to keep the floral and fauna thriving.
Although, we wouldn’t really call Dverghamrar a place to “hike.” But rather an offbeat place to have a quick easy pretty walk together while on your Iceland self-drive adventure. Anyhow, here are photo directions to guide you through experiencing this spot! After you park you’ll enter through the gate to the right side then follow the path up, down and to the left.
Iceland Wedding at Dverghamrar
Feeling inspired and want to create your own wedding experience at these basalt rock formations? Since the area is fully protected, in advance permission / permit needs to be attained and costs and / or a donation may apply. This is best done with partnering with a local Iceland Wedding Planner.
Be aware that Dverghamrar can be very busy during the touristy months. Which is why our team focuses on taking you to exclusive non-touristy locations. We have 100’s of gorgeous private Iceland elopement locations in our portfolio and would love to custom craft the perfect experience driven wedding! Lastly, feel free to contact us for more information!