If you ask a group of people as to where they’d be itching to travel, Iceland would certainly top their bucket list. In fact, there seems to be no end to the natural extravaganza offered by this breathtaking northern destination. Wooing nature lovers from all across the globe, this land of sharp contrasts has transformed the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Written by Jaya, edited by Andrea Gylfadóttir.
So are you ready for your Iceland expedition? Yes? Hold your breath as we take you on an inspiring journey to Kirkjufell (Church Mountain) — one of the most spectacular landmarks in Iceland. Located near the tiny town of Grundarfjordur in west Iceland, Mount Kirkjufell rises high above the village of 900 on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Being one of the most picturesque landmarks of Iceland, the mountain offers a stunning backdrop to the multi-hued Icelandic sky that changes colour every season. From the lush green shade in summer to the snowy white hues in winter, you‘ll be mesmerised with the changing perspective of this majestic mountain.
Famous for being one of the most photographed places in Iceland, you’ll have a jaw dropping experience when you see the mountain, bathed in the Northern lights that dance across the sky during dark winter nights. The Kirkjufell Mountain offers a cinematic landscape that fuels the imagination of filmmakers and provides them with a perfect shooting location. Just as in Seasons 6 and 7 of the popular fantasy drama series ‘Game of Thrones’ where Kirkjufell was featured as Arrowhead Mountain.
How to get there
The mountain’s resemblance to a church steeple with its long curved sides has given it the name Church Mountain. To reach Church Mountain, you can either hop on board one of our popular small group day tours from the capital, Reykjavík or enjoy a self-drive road trip adventure. As you proceed, you will move along Ring Road 1 and ultimately head towards the north through the undersea tunnel and onwards till you reach the historic town of Borgarnes. Once you exit this town, you will need to turn onto road number 54 from the roundabout, which will lead you to Grundarfjordur, a small fishing village, over which towers the majestic Kirkjufell Mountain.
A perfect day tour that includes a visit to the iconic Kirkjufell, fishing villages, basalt columns, lava fields and black sand beaches of volcanic sand is waiting for you, click here to check it out. If you feel extra adventurous and want to explore the Peninsula more thoroughly the magical west offers many more exciting activities for you. A two day tour that will let you explore the area surrounding one of the mighty glaciers in Iceland, explore a 8000 year old lava cave and of course try to catch a glimpse at the mysterious Northern Lights, check it out here! For those who are looking for a practical way of seeing as much of Iceland as possible in one tour you should check out tours that combine the south coast, Golden Circle, glacier hiking tours, blue ice caves and Snaefellsnes peninsula, all into one big adventure. See many of Iceland’s biggest attractions without the hassle of planning and enjoy a well planned tour with Tröll, click here for information on a 5 day tour.
Interesting Places to visit near Kirkjufell
At 463 meters (1519 feet) above sea level, Kirkjufell is an extraordinary example of nature’s creation at its best. Over the centuries, the striking slopes of this majestic mountain have acted as a visual landmark for locals and travellers alike. At a walking distance from Kirkjufell is the serene and intensely beautiful waterfall, Kirkjufellsfoss, or Church Mountain Falls. This waterfall is actually made up of three different waterfalls that run into the same river and yet share the same name.
At the foot of the Kirkjufell mountain, is a kidney-shaped lake that reflects the image of the picturesque mountain on a calm and clear day. As you travel further towards the Snæfellsjökull National park, a little west from the mountains, the Snæfellsjökull glacier appears in its full glory — the tales of which have been around for centuries. When the light of the midnight sun bathes the iconic glacier in the spellbinding pinkish colours, it creates a view, which you are sure to treasure in your memory for the rest of your life. In one of the popular science fiction ever written, the glacier was the inspiration for writer Jules Verne’s novel ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’.
Djúpalónssandur, also a part of the Snæfellsjökull National Park, is a beach with a long stretch of black sand and black pebbles. Lying under the shadow of the white glacial crown of Snæfellsjökull glacier, this iconic destination is something you cannot afford to miss. While there, you will be welcomed by the beautiful villages of Hellnar and Arnarstapi where amazing rock formations and small fishing harbours await to greet you with their marvel.
Castle-like rock formations in Londrangar and a volcanic structure carved out from the rock by erosion are other major attractions that you must include in your itinerary. As you drive back to Reykjavik through the Borgarfjordur valley, the stunning scenic destination remains etched in your mind for years to come.
Kirkjufell Mountain Hike
If you wish to treat yourself with panoramic views of surrounding fields, rivers and coastlines from the top of Church Mountain, then hiking the magnificent Kirkjufell is the way to go. But before you plan to hike the massive mountain, it’s important to prepare yourself and do a lot of research as the trail to the top of Kirkjufell is fairly steep and dangerous. Given the treacherous trail and challenging elevation, you should undertake the climb only if you are a very experienced mountain hiker and that too accompanied by a professional guide.
Best Time to Visit
While the summer sees the mountain full of life, the winter month’s envelope the mountain with snowy white ice making it appear brown and barren. However, it looks extremely impressive under the midnight sun in the weeks adjacent to the June Equinox, and under the Northern lights, between the months of September and April.
Considered as one of the most photographed destinations of Iceland, Kirkjufell or Church Mountain should be part of your travel itinerary if you have already planned a visit to the Nordic island nation. But if you still haven’t, don’t miss the chance of taking a trip to Iceland’s most iconic mountain Kirkjufell to see nature at its surreal best. Plan a visit to Iceland today and experience the grandeur and magnificence of this incredibly beautiful location of Kirkjufell.
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