The Beautiful Rauðanes Cape in North-East Iceland - Extraordinary Rock Formations
After staying at Raufarhöfn village for 2 nights in a lovely apartment at Hreiðrið - the Nest Guesthouse - we said our goodbyes and visited two more places in North-East Iceland before continuing on our journey around Iceland.
We drove south Melrakkaslétta peninsula and headed towards Rauðanes cape.
Rauðanes cape is located in Þistilfjörður fjord midway between Raufarhöfn village and Þórshöfn village. It is dotted with beautiful and strange rock formations and sea stacks, hidden beaches, and big caves.
The hike on Rauðanes cape is a 7 km anticlockwise circle, an easy hike, which takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete, so better put on your hiking boots. And bring some water with you as there is no fresh water on the cape.
The trail is marked by numbers 1-16. A map by the parking lot shows the names of the places marked on the trail. If you haven't got a map of Rauðanes cape it is best to take a photo of the map and refer back to it on the hike.
Rauðanes means Point Red and it is one of the pearls in Icelandic nature. The rock formations, caves, beautiful basalt, and volcanic arches are endless, it is like hiking in a fairyland.
The sea stacks are so different from what I have seen as they are not edged, but kind of oval in shape. The best-known sea stacks on Rauðanes cape are located on the north side of the cape. They are called Stakkar and are a pair of sea stacks, which are very popular photo models.
Rauðanes cape - Gatastakkur
The sea stack in my photo is called Gatastakkur, a beautiful lava sea stack, which when seen from another angle totally changes its form and seems to lean backward.
Myriads of puffins nest in the sea stacks and if you look closely you can see that the rock in my photo below is filled with puffin holes.
The bird life on Rauðanes is rich and one can hear the noisy squeak of the nesting birds all over the cape.
In one part of Rauðanes, there is a unique formation in the rocks called Gluggur or Peekhole. It is a huge hole as you can see in my photo below.
The surf has created a cave here, but the roof of the cave must have collapsed leaving only a stone bridge connecting the rims. It is possible to walk on the stone bridge, but it is not for those with a fear of heights.
It is surreal looking at this phenomenon, it really plays tricks on one's eyes and is a very good photo opportunity.
Hiking on Gluggur
After a 2.5-hour-hike on this beautiful fairyland cape, we returned to the parking lot. The last part of the hike leaves you walking on the road for a while.
Don't forget to write your name in the guest-book by the parking lot when you return back from your hike :)
The guestbook on Rauðanes cape
We now left the cape and made our last stop in North-East Iceland, which was at the Study Centre on Leader-wethers, a very interesting study centre on a unique breed of Icelandic sheep, which serve as the leaders of the horde.
To reach Rauðanes cape turn from road 85 onto a gravel road leading to the farm Vellir. There is a parking lot 1.5 km along this road.
I have added both the distance from Reykjavík and from the closest village Raufarhöfn and the Arctic Henge, about which I have added another travel-blog.
To reach this area of Iceland you can rent a car in Reykjavík.
You can either drive the ring road clockwise or anti-clockwise. When you have reached the East-Fjords there are myriad activities and tours to join.
Have a lovely time in East-Iceland :)
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