Lóndrangar consists of two steep and inward-looking basalt rock formations in Western Iceland, positioned on the coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, which are one of the many geological wonders of the region.
They are the remains of a volcanic crater, created long ago as a result of violent volcanic activity, and were carved out of the softer surrounding rocks by erosion. Dramatic activity has gone into their formation, but they are now one of the most tranquil and peaceful places to visit in Europe and bear the romantic name of ‘the rock castle’.
One of the formations rising like a pillar above the cliffs is 75 meters high, the other is 61 meters. A man named Ásgrímur Bergþórsson first climbed the higher rock formation in 1735.
How best to see cliffs
It is easiest to stop at the side of the road where there is a car park and an observation platform above the cliffs. However, to see them up close, it is better to travel to the houses in Malarif, where there is a well-marked footpath leading you along the beach to Lóndrangar. The hike is relatively easy and accessible for all. But caution is required if walking on the rocky beach, especially near the waves, as they are powerful and can easily sweep away incautious visitors.
Legends and inhabitants of Lóndrangar
The “rock castle” itself is not uninhabited – it is believed to shelter elves and other mythological creatures, which is why the local farmers never used the fields around the basalt cliffs for farming or gathering hay. Nearby, at Þúfubjarg, another rock on the Snæfellsness peninsula, the poet Kolbeinn Jöklaskáld is said to have met the devil and made a deal with him. Back in time, fishermen inhabited the bay, as the ruins of their simple cliff houses still testify, and also by foxes, which years ago settled at the foot of the cliffs. The rocks of Lóndrangar also harbor many sea birds, including the famous owl, fulmar, common barbet, and kit fowl. The barn owl nests on the hills in the higher cliffs and the eagle made a nest in the higher cliff a few years ago.
How to get to Lóndrangar
Lóndrangar can be reached in about 2 hours and 30 minutes (192 km) from the capital Reykjavík via the Ring Road. The road passes through the Hvalfjörður tunnel and continues along Route 1 to the town of Borgarnes. In Borgarnes, take road No 54 to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. It takes about 1 hour to turn left towards Arnarstapi and from there it takes about 10 minutes to reach Lóndrangar.
If you want to experience the wonders of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, why not book our 12-Day Iceland Guided Tour!