Vestrahorn – photogenic "Batman Mountain" in Iceland

Vestrahorn - der fotogene
Vestrahorn – photogenic "Batman Mountain" in Iceland

Iceland. For many Icelandic travelers the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón is the turning point of their road trip. But not far from the ice lagoon is Iceland's "Batman Mountain",one of the most photogenic mountains in the country. The spiky Vestrahorn with its horns makes photographers' hearts beat faster. But also hikers will love the nature idyll around the Vestrahorn in the south of Iceland.

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Vestrahorn – the "Batman Mountain" in the Southeast of Iceland
Why visit the Vestrahorn?
Model Vestrahorn - great Photos guaranteed
Viking Café with Camp Site and Accommodation
Viking Village of Stokksnes
Riding at the Vestrahorn
Hiking at the Vestrahorn and on the Stokksnes Headland
How much Time should one plan?
How to get there & Entrance Fee


Vestrahorn – the "Batman Mountain" in the Southeast of Iceland

The Vestrahorn is part of the 889 m high mountain massif Klifatindur.Besides Vestrahorn, Eystrahorn in the east and the Brunnhorn in front of it belong to Klifatindur. There are also many other smaller peaks and horns that give the mountain massif its special appearance. The peaks of the mountain look similar to the Batman logo (from a distance). Therefore the Vestrahorn is often called "Batman Mountain" by the locals.

Vestrahorn Island
The similarity to the Batman logo is not entirely undeniable.

Good to know: Klifatindur was created during the ice age. Its peaks are the remains of a large volcano that was active about 6 to 7 million years ago. Unlike most mountains in Iceland, Klifatindur is not made of lava, but of magmatic deep rock, grabbo and granophyr.


Why visit the Vestrahorn?

Heading east on the ring road, you quickly pass one of the most photogenic mountains in Iceland - without seeing it. The Vestrahorn and the dune landscape in front of it on the headland Stokksnes are a bit offside. You have to drive there intentionally. But once you have decided to take a little detour over the gravel road, the Vestrahorn will not let you off. I wish I had had more time to photograph this hidden jewel extensively at all times of day and night.

Vestrahorn is with the Kirkjufell the most photographed mountain in Iceland.There are also great hiking opportunities here, including the ascent of the peak of Klifatindur. The landowners run a small inn with a nice café and viking village.There is even the possibility to ride one of the great Icelandic horses. More about this later.

Vestrahorn Island
The only thing missing here are the Icelandic horses in the picture.

Model Vestrahorn - great Photos guaranteed

The mountain with the black dune landscape on the Stokksnes peninsula is a highlight for every landscape photographer.If you browse the internet for pictures of the Vestrahorn, you will be flooded with great shots. The mountain is especially beautiful at sunset or when it is framed by bright green northern lights.

You can reach the best photo spots from the Viking Café via a dead end road. There are four parking lots along the road. To the right and left of the road are wide black sand beaches and two lagoons. The water level in the lagoons is tidal. At low tide they fall dry. At high tide and windless weather you can catch fantastic water reflections of the Vestrahorn in the lagoon. To find the right time, it is best to find out about the tides in advance click here for the tide table.

Panorama Vestrahorn Island
Also on the beach there are great water reflections of the Vestrahorn.

When I arrived at the Vestrahorn, unfortunately there was already low tide. But I could still take pictures of beautiful reflections. Since the beach is very flat, the waves come up far. When they flow back and there is still some water left over the sand, there are also some great reflections.

A little above the beach there is an extraordinary dune landscape.The black dunes are partly covered with beach grass and give a great foreground for your photos. Do you have a tripod and remote shutter release with you? The dunes are a great spot for selfies in front of the mountain. But be careful with the grass, it is an important erosion protection.

Düne vor dem Berg Vestrahorn in Island
The extraordinary dune landscape is a great foreground.

Viking Café with Camp Site and Accommodation

The Viking Caféis rustic and cosy. Here you get a second breakfast, coffee, cake and sandwiches in a really nice atmosphere. If the weather is good, you can also sit outside and enjoy the view over the bay with your coffee. And if the weather is not good, you can browse the souvenirs, write a postcard or use the free WiFi.

You can't get enough of the Vestrahorn and want to spend the night here in the southeast of Iceland? This is also taken care of: Motorhomes can find a Pitch for the Night in the parking lot in front of the café. The guesthouse also offers seven comfortable rooms for travelers.

Cafe Viking Vestrahorn Island
The Viking Cafe with its rustic atmosphere invites one to a second breakfast.

Viking Village of Stokksnes

Left of the Viking Café you can take a walk to the Wikingerdorf “The old Farm” The village was built in 2009 as a location for filming. The building material was mainly driftwood and old telephone poles. The film was never shot, but the village still stands here. The entrance fee is included in the entrance to the Vestrahorn.

Wikingersiedlung Vestrahorn Island
On the other side of the small lagoon is the Viking Village, a film location from 2009.

Riding at the Vestrahorn

Opposite the Viking Café is the Hornhestar Riding Farm,which offers horseback riding tours in front of the breathtaking scenery of the Vestrahorn. You will ride over black sandy beaches and can admire the beautiful landscape of Stokksnes from the back of a horse. How about a photo of you on horseback in front of the Vestrahorn?

The rides last about two hours and take place in a small group of 2 to 4 people. Costs: 20.000 ISK (126 Euro).

Unfortunately I did not have time to go riding here. But instead I had the pleasure to tolt over the black beach in Vík. Read here why you should ride an Icelandic horse in Iceland.

Icelandic horses can be found almost everywhere on Iceland, even on the Stokksnes peninsula.

Hiking at the Vestrahorn and on the Stokksnes Headland

There are several hiking trails on the Stokksnes peninsula and the Vestrahorn. These are shown on the information leaflet that you will receive with your ticket.

  • Hike around the beach Kirkjusandur (6,4 km). You will pass the two best photo spots for the Vestrahorn. At the beach you continue in the direction of the Vestrahorn. At the foot of the mountain turn left and walk through the Viking village back to the Viking Café.
  • Hike to the lighthouse of Stokksnes (0,5 km). From here the old NATO radar station can be seen well.
  • West of the access road there is also a walk around Kirkjusandur beach (4 to 6.5 km). On this hike you can watch seals and seabirds with some luck.
  • The 889 m high Klifatindur is also quite popular with mountain climbers. There is supposed to be a marked route to the summit.
View of the old NATO station at Stokksnes.

How much Time should one plan?

How often on my travels, I like to pack my days too full. Same this time. A weather-related change of plan then upset everything. So I only had 1.5 hours for the Vestrahorn. Somehow I also assumed wrongly that there is nothing more than one photo location. Far from it. I could have spent the whole day here, if not two.

The longer you are here, the better are the chances to photograph the mountain with different cloud formations and moods. Or even to get a weather window suitable for photography - it can rain a lot.

Panorama Vestrahorn Island
A mountain that can be looked at for hours.

How to get there & Entrance Fee

The Stokksnes headland and Vestrahorn mountain are located on the southeast coast of Iceland, about 90 km from the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón and 15 km from Höfn. You will first pass Höfn on the ring road heading east. After about 7 km turn right just before the tunnel onto an unmarked gravel road. Follow this road for another 6 km to the Viking Café. 

In the Viking Café you pay the entrance fee for the Vestrahorn.That is about seven euros. Together with the entrance ticket you will get a small map of the area with hiking trails and parking areas. If the café is closed, you can also get a ticket from the machine in front of the café. With the ticket the barrier in front of the entrance will open. For the exit the barrier opens automatically.

The drive alone takes you through a beautiful landscape and is a great way to get in the mood for what awaits you here.

Book Recommendations for Iceland

Do you want to know where the journey is going? Then I can recommend this travel guides* to you.

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Recommendations for further Reading

Do you love the Scandinavian countries as much as I do? Then you might also be interested in my articles about the Kayak Tour in the Swedish Archipelago or a Trekking Tour to the Greenlandic Ice Sheet.


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