Iceland is known for its endless miles natural beauty. So as our Iceland road trip continues, on day three we will be visiting one of the more unique sights the country has to offer in Hvitserkur. Home to the Troll of Northwest Iceland, a natural rock formation in the shape of a troll located on the country’s northwest coast. And based on my experience, here are tips for any first timers when visiting Hvitserkur Iceland. Including video, history, and tips for making it the perfect stop on your Iceland road trip.
Key Takeaways for Visiting Hvitserkur, Iceland:
- Hvitserkur is a unique rock formation resembling a troll, with a fascinating legend.
- Plan for a 45-minute drive off the Ring Road and consider the extra driving time.
- Visit early or late to avoid crowds, as it’s a popular attraction.
- There are no bathroom facilities at the site, so plan accordingly.
- Be prepared for unpredictable weather and bring layers.
- Watch the tides closely, especially if you go down to the beach.
- Stay on designated paths to protect the fragile ecosystem.
- Carry out your trash and respect the environment.
- Bring a camera or drone to capture the breathtaking landscape.
- Hvitserkur is a must-see destination on the north side of the Ring Road.
- Consider exploring other natural wonders on the Vatnsnes Peninsula, such as seal colonies and birdwatching sites.
Tips for Visiting Hvitserkur – The Troll of Northwest Iceland
History of Hvitserkur
Hvitserkur is a basalt rock sea stack that rises from the sea off the north coast of Iceland. Located in the Húnaflói Bay, near the Vatnsnes Peninsula. Reaching a height of 15 meters, the rock formation can be seen clearly from the beach and cliffs. And at low tide, you can walk within a hundred feet of the rocks. The formation was created by the forces of erosion, and its shape is said to resemble a troll drinking from the sea. Earning it the nickname of the “Troll of North Iceland”.
According to legend, the rock formation was originally a troll that was petrified by the sunlight as it was attempting to pull a ship to shore. The story adds to the mystique of the formation and makes it a popular destination for tourists visiting Iceland.
Tips for Visiting Hvitserkur Iceland
- Hvitserkur Iceland is 45 Minutes Off The Ring Road: This is something to take into account. The drive is 45ish minutes each way, adding 1.5 hours plus driving time.
- Get there early: While not as popular as other stops on the Ring Road. Hvitserkur is a popular attraction, and the viewing platform and beach view areas are not very large. So during peak season, it can get crowded. To avoid the crowds, plan to visit early in the morning or in the late afternoon.
- There is no bathroom: There is no bathroom at the parking lot, so you might want to stop somewhere before you get there.
- Be prepared for the weather: Iceland’s weather can be notoriously unpredictable, and temperatures can drop quickly and unexpectedly. Even during the summer months. Be sure to bring layers, especially if you plan to stay for sunset.
- Watch the tides: While there is a viewing platform located on the sea cliff above the rocks. There is also a trail down to the beach. The sea level can rise quickly, so it’s important to keep an eye on the tide when visiting Hvitserkur. If the tide is coming in, it’s best to get back up the sea cliff soon as possible.
- Stay on the designated path: To preserve the natural environment, there is a designated path that visitors must follow when approaching Hvitserkur. Be sure to stay on the path and respect the fragile ecosystem.
- Pick up your trash: There are trash bins at the beginning of the short trail. Please make sure to take any trash out with you.
- Bring a camera / drone: Hvitserkur is a photographer’s dream, and you’ll want to capture the beauty of the rock formation and the surrounding landscape. Be sure to bring a camera with a wide-angle lens, as well as a tripod for stability. Also drones are permitted to fly here. And as you can see from the video, they take the views to an entirely different level.
Hvitserkur is located 45 minutes off of the ring road and about a 3-hour drive from Reykjavik. The best way to get there is by car and there is a small free parking lot near the formation. From there, it’s a short walk to the viewpoint.
In addition to rock formation at Hvitserkur, the Vatnsnes Peninsula is home to other natural wonders that may be worth adding to your vacation. Including seal colonies and birdwatching sites.
Closing Thoughts on Visiting Hvitserkur Iceland
After adding Hvitserkur at the last minute, and adding a couple hours to our long drive, I can 100% say that it was worth it. I’d consider the Troll of Northerwest Iceland to be one of the more must-see destinations in Iceland. Especially if you are on the north side of the ring road you must add this to your itinerary. Make the time, it’s worth it. And if you follow these tips and get there early and show respect for the environment, you can make the most of your visit to this unique, beautiful, and history filled rock formation.
Iceland Road Trip Links
Check out the other stops from our incredible Iceland road trip.
Day 2 Stops
Stokksnes Vestrahorn – Abandoned Viking Village Link Coming Soon
Day 3 Stops
Hvitserkur Iceland – The Troll of Northwest Iceland
Day 4 Stops
More coming soon!