Some locations are so massive you can’t see the wood for the trees. Eystrahorn, the unknown twin location of Vestrahorn, is just such a location and one of my favorite locations to photograph in Iceland.
Eystrahorn is one of those locations that has gone underneath the radar of popular tourism and even landscape photography tourism. Probably due to its location even further east than Stokksnes most people simply don’t reach that far east. And unless you know it is there you will probably just pass it as you’re driving so close to the mountains, which are the main focal point, you won’t notice their characteristic shape.
Located only a 40 minutes' drive from Stokksnes it’s very easy to find as you’re literally driving straight through the scene. Just aim for and park at Hvalnes Lighthouse.
Relative to the perspective from the main road the perspective from the lighthouse has changed the scene dramatically and presents one of the most impressive photography locations in Iceland.
Having parked at the lighthouse you simply just follow the paths down the hill to find a foreground, using the mountains as the main focal point. The only thing to stop you from taking photos here are low-hanging clouds, which covers the mountains and that does happen from time to time.
I’d go as far as to say Eystrahorn is a landscape photography playground and beginners paradise. As at Stokksnes you have several options for strong foregrounds, which varies quite a lot during the seasons.
You have both trails, rocks, different coloured grass, a small pool, cliffs along the shore, a black sand beach and waves for seascapes as you’ve already seen and much more to play around with.
The small pool is perfect for reflection photos, if the wind doesn’t ruin it and during winter it’s probably frozen delivering beautiful frozen patterns and bubbles underneath the ice.
At the small pool, which is relatively close to the parking lot at the lighthouse you’ll also realise that Eystrahorn is an ultra-wide angle location. Unless you want to stitch together multiple photos a 16mm lens or broader should be your go to lens. That doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in the mountains with a 24mm lens, but in that case you’re locked to horizontals.
I’ve visited Eystrahorn on several occasions during winter, but these photos were taken during sunset at equinox in March, where the sun rises directly east and sets directly west casting a beautiful side-light on the mountains.
Do you want to go here yourself? Check out this 7 Days self-drive BUDGET tour
During midwinter the sun rises straight on the right mountaintop, casting a shadow on the middle part of the mountain. The further away you get from midwinter this shadow only grows.
However if you can hit the days around midwinter, the sun doesn’t rise too far above the horizon, making the golden hour last the entire day. During summer the sun sets and rises behind the mountains, making it possible to catch some flaming pre- or after burns above the mountains.
As a less known location Eystrahorn delivers on all aspects of what I find fascinating about landscape photography. I’d even go as far as to say it’s all the way up there with Vestrahorn, Kirkjufell and the Ice Beach and contrary to these locations Eystrahorn is not overrun with neither tourists nor photographers.
If you're more into a luxurious tour with great hotels check out this 8 Days / 7 Nights Ring-Road tour.
As already stated Eystrahorn is an absolutely epic location and one of my favorites in Iceland. Because of the angle from where you photograph the mountains Eystrahorn is also a fantastic location for northern lights. The mountains and water makes for perfect foreground for the beautiful northern lights!
If you however prefer a cleaner foreground you can walk up the beach and put together a panorama as I did here.
If you'd like to visit Eystrahorn the tours below come highly recommended. All of them lead you directly to and through Eystrahorn. If you're using google maps to find it, just aim for "Hvalnes Lighthouse".
If you're still not convinced this is a place to visit check out my video presentation below with epic video and drone footage! And learn a little bit about how to photograph water and 'seascapes'.