Iceland is filled with places that look unreal. Seljalandsfoss is one, with its path that leads visitors to walk behind the waterfall; Reykjadalur Valley is another, with its natural hot river that lets people bathe in the middle of a scenery that looks like the Shire. But few beat the beauty of Vestrahorn, a mountain with jagged peaks that sits on a black-sand beach where the tides of the Atlantic ebb and flow.
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Vestrahorn has become a popular spot for photographers, especially when the black sand is covered by the tide, creating the perfect mirror to reflect the dramatic mountain, as seen on the video above. But as is often the case in Iceland, if the weather is not in your favor, the mountain might be shrouded in fog and your views might be spoiled. Patience is required to get the perfect shot of Vestrahorn.
While at Vestrahorn, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, especially seals and seabirds. In late June and early, the area around the mountain is covered in tens of thousands of beautiful blue, purple, and pink lupins in blooms.
Despite being a popular spot, Vestrahorn is on private property and access to the black-sand beach, the best views of the mountain, and the walking trails require a payment of 900 ISK (6.30 USD) per person. Those who pay the fee have access to a parking lot where they can camp for the night, clean bathrooms with showers, as well as a now-dilapidated film set meant to be the replica of a Viking village. There’s also a lovely café.
Vestrahorn is located in southeast Iceland. Driving east from Reykjavík on Route 1 (the famous Ring Road that circles around the country), it is about 4.5 miles beyond the turn-off to the fishing town of Höfn, and a little over three miles down a gravel road off the main road.