Iceland provides plenty of countless natural attractions to explore. Our country is known for having incredible landscapes to offer visitors. Everything from towering mountains to expansive canyons to powerful waterfalls. It’s quite easy to get to know the island as most points of interest for tourists are located along Route 1 or the Ring Road. Today we’ll be heading to the western part of the country. More specifically to the Snæfellsnes peninsula for a visit to the iconic Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss. It’s one of the most photographed places in Iceland due to its unique characteristics. There’s a small town nearby called Grundarfjörður in case you need to top up your gas or buy groceries. The town’s population is about 900 inhabitants, so finding lodging or specialty shops will be a bit challenging. This zone is definitely worth visiting due to the incredible views and fascinating nature found in the area.
Where are Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss Located?
Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss are very popular among tourists today. The north of Snæfellsnes peninsula is home to this steep, unusually-shaped mountain. A gentle waterfall flows right next to this tourism hotspot. You’ll find both on Kirkjufellsá river, which flows from Snaefellsjökull glacier over Helgrindur volcano. The area is only about three hours’ drive from Reykjavik or nearly two hours from Borgarnes. It has a lovely view, which you will enjoy all year round. This peninsula may seem like a very remote place, but it is without a doubt great way to know more about the west of Iceland. It’s actually known as Iceland in miniature due to the glaciers, volcanoes, and waterfalls representative of a typical Icelandic landscape.
Why Are Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss So Popular?
Many people say that Kirkjufell is considered to be one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland. It may be because of its interesting shape or because of the idyllic landscape created next to Kirkjufell waterfall (Kirkjufellsfoss). I honestly couldn’t resist taking a picture during my visit as the angles, colors and shapes of this mountain are so fantastic. You will even see the reflection of this so-called ‘Church Mountain’ when the water is calm. Bring your tripod and a blanket as the starless winter skies make the perfect scene to experience Northern Lights.
What to Do While Visiting Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss
This area is surrounded by beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and birdwatching spots along the way. If you like adventure, you could even climb to the top of Kirkjufell. Make sure you go with a local tour guide as it may be dangerous to go it alone. If you are lucky, you may spot some orcas or whales from a short distance. They usually come during the winter season. There are still some fossil remains of birds and fish in the area you could check out. Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss are located in Snaefellsnes, very close to the town of Grundarfjordur. Here you can also find some campsites and guesthouses if you are planning to stay for a while.
Is Kirkjufellsfoss Worth the Drive?
Yes, this waterfall will surely captivate your senses because the views are amazing. As you know, there are tons of waterfalls in Iceland so you may think that this small one will not surprise you. There was an old road that led to Kirkjufellsfoss long ago, but now only the bridge may be found here as its used as a footpath for tourists. You will realize that there are actually three cascades here with the name Kirkjufellsfoss. As you go down the hill, you could take a picture from the bottom of the waterfall or even (if you are brave) go behind it. The sound of the rushing fall and the views are magical so you should definitely take a closer look at it.
How to Get to Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss
Every year, many tourists come to visit this beautiful area in the west of Iceland. Most of the visitors drive here, so there is a small, free parking lot as you approach the mountain. It is very easy to find if you come down route Snaefellsnesvegur 54 from Grundarfjordur. Fun fact: the parking area is on the side opposite to Kirkjufell. Keep walking for about five minutes following the trail that passes a bridge over the river. There you will experience the amazing views of Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss.
Interesting Facts About Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss
This location may look familiar to Game of Thrones fans all over the world. Kirkjufell was part of a few scenes on season seven of the HBO series. The territory north of the Wall where Jon Snow and other main characters faced the Night King and the Army of the Dead during an epic battle. There was also another movie production that took place around here. Secret Life of Walter Mitty was filmed near Kirkjufell, attracting a few locals during the shoot. Did you know that Kirkjufellsfoss is only five meters (16 feet) high but it somehow looks bigger in the pictures? That’s actually true! Experts say that it’s because of the angle at which people take the photos. It’s all about perspective.
Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss
I hope that you have found this information useful when you visit Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss. Tourism in Iceland is constantly growing and improving to make your experience unforgettable. Always remember to be mindful about the environment, avoid leaving traces of your visit. If you are visiting Iceland for a week or less, you could easily reach this destination from Reykjavik. Snæfellsnes peninsula in West-Iceland awaits with its many spots to see and enjoy.