Dyrholaey (Dyrhólaey) rock arch

Dyrholaey (Dyrhólaey) rock arch

There are some notable places to stop along Iceland’s south coast including Dyrholaey natural rock arch and headland. Its cliffs are a habitat for many seabirds including puffin, common guillemot and kittiwake.

The name Dyrholaey means ‘the hilly island with the door’, the door being the arch that has been eroded into the 120m high headland. 

The main car park and viewpoint is the lower one but you can also drive onto the headland where you’ll find a lighthouse, built in 1927 – it’s a twisting gravel road with tight bends and a steep slope. Beware as wind gusts can be ferocious here.

From the parking area, the views along the surf-pounded, black sand coast are impressive. Puffins can often be seen along in flight or balanced on the edge of the cliff. On the way back perhaps stop at Loftsalahellir, the ‘Assembly’ cave, especially if traveling with children. 

The cave is located under a hill close by the road, reached by an easy trail; it is unusual as it has two ‘floors’. In days gone by the cave was a site for the local assembly.

Please be aware that during nesting season the access road to the Dyrholaey Cliffs will close at night usually between 7 pm and 9 am during June month (dates and times may vary). There will be signposts located on road 1 before the turning for Dyrholaey and at the gate at the entrance to the access road which will state the most up to date information.