On Vatnsnes peninsula in North-West Iceland just off shore stands the majestic Hvítserkur, a 15 meters' high monolith. It looks like an animal of some sort, an elephant or a rhino - or even a dinosaurs drinking. It is just awesome! Especially as there is a lot of fulmar nesting on it so it seems to be alive and it is half-white from their excrement, thus the name Hvítserkur - "hvít-" meaning white. I just love monoliths like this one!
The legend goes that Hvítserkur is a petrified troll. The troll lived in Strandir and wanted to tear down the bells at Þingeyraklaustur convent. But fortunately it got caught by daylight and as we all know trolls turn into stone by daylight.
There is a gravel road leading to Hvítserkur leading down from Ósar and you drive for a couple of minutes down to a parking lot where there are benches and tables.
You can either see Hvítserkur from above or walk down to it. There is a trail leading to it from the parking lot and from there you can see it from above. From there is a steep trail leading you to the shore. It is also possible to go straight down to the shore from the parking lot, from there is an easy walk down. But in the summer time the Arctic tern may prevent you from reaching Hvítserkur on that route.
This area is home to one of the largest seal-colonies in Iceland and in Hvammstangi town, which is on the opposite side of the peninsula, one can visit the Icelandic Seal Centre. There are a lot of seals resting on the shore - so do include a seal-watching tour in your visit to Hvítserkur.
While I was visiting the shore was covered in very big, multi-coloured jelly-fish making this even more special - it was awesome seeing this, never in Iceland have I encountered such beautiful big jellyfish. They were blue...
There were just so many of them - I have never seen so many in one place.
The only thing that was annoying about walking on the shore was the Arctic tern - there are so many of them there but one in particular attacked everything that moved - so get yourself a stick or even better an umbrella and chase them away when they attack. As so many times before you could see me running away in panic from this cranky bird, which loves to attack me :(
Last time I visited Hvítserkur, I wasn't even able to drive this cranky bird away and had to return the same way from where I went down to the shore.
On this photo is another angle of Hvítserkur, which makes it look totally different.
This is a recommended visit. You can either drive on the gravel road from Hvammstangi town, which is 197 km north of Reykjavík, or take road 711 off ring-road 1 and make a semicircle on Vatnsnes peninsula.
There are more things to see here on Vatnsnes peninsula. I have written another blog on Borgarvirki fortress on Vatnsnes peninsula.