Set around 2.5 hours drive from the capital, Reykjavík, is Dyrhólaey, the southernmost point in mainland Iceland. Previously known as Cape Portland this striking promontory features a huge rock arch. Dyrhólaey translates as “the island with the doorway” and this refers to the rock arch, but this is just one of several weird and wonderful geological formations found along this stretch of coast.
In the distance are the iconic black basalt sea stacks of the Reynisdrangar which jut straight out of the ocean resembling some ghostly sailing ship. On the western end of Dyrhólaey itself there is a fairly impressive sea stack known as Arnardrangur - the Eagle Rock. Legend has it that eagles once nested atop this mighty solitary pinnacle.
The beach of Dyrhólaey is situated near the village of Vik between two of Iceland’s “celebrity” beaches; to the west is Reynisfjara black sand beach famous for its basalt columns and proximity to stunning offshore sea stacks. East of Dyrhólaey is Sólheimasandur Beach, home to the mysterious preserved wreckage of a crashed DC3 aircraft.
However, Dyrhólaey beach itself is not to be overlooked. The black sand beach is quite stunning and seems to stretch on endlessly with a flat grassy plain behind and mountains always looming in the distance. The area is a home to prolific birdlife, particularly puffins which nest on the cliffs. This does mean however the headland is closed to the public in peak breeding season around the beginning of May.
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