All the best experiences
24/7 customer support
Only verified quality services
Icelandic travel experts

Hvalnes Lighthouse Travel Guide

542 Google reviews
Average rating
Number of reviews
Average temperature
-5°C - -2°C

Hvalnes lighthouse nestles at the foot of Mount Eystrahorn in Iceland.The Hvalnes lighthouse is a navigational aid and coastal landmark in Southeast Iceland. It's located on the Hvalnes peninsula by the stunning Eystrahorn mountain.

Hvalnesviti is a lighthouse located on the small Hvalnes peninsula, notable for its distinctive orange color that stands out against the surrounding natural landscape. It serves an important function in guiding ships near the shore, reflecting Iceland's commitment to ensuring maritime safety. Considering the island nation's reliance on its fishing industry, lighthouses like Hvalnesviti play a crucial role in supporting maritime navigation and safety today.

Whether admired from afar or explored up close, the Hvalnes lighthouse is a lovely stop on self-drive tours of Iceland's Ring Road. Exploring the country by renting a car will let you explore as you please! You can include a visit to the Hvalnes lighthouse on your way to the South Coast or East Iceland.

The lighthouse stands at the roots of the dramatic Eystrahorn mountain, which is one of the major highlights of the Eastfjords, making this attraction a worthy addition to your Iceland itinerary. You can stay in comfortable Iceland accommodation in the vicinity or rent a convenient campervan to sleep among nature!

What is the Hvalnes Lighthouse?

Hvalnes lighthouse contrasts the rugged natural surroundingsThe Hvalnes lighthouse stands tall as a guiding light along Iceland's southeastern coastline. It serves as a functional beacon for the safety of seafarers and is symbolic of the country's maritime heritage. Its physical characteristics, purpose, and color make it a regional landmark.

The primary purpose of the Hvalnes lighthouse has remained unchanged since its inception in 1954. Its powerful light was originally powered by gas, but today, it's eclectic. It sweeps across the sea, guiding ships and boats. Mariners rely on the distinct characteristics of the light pattern, including its timing and color, to determine their position relative to the coastline and to avoid potential hazards.

In addition to its maritime role, Hvalnesviti has become an attraction for visitors on the Hvalsnes peninsula and the Eystrahorn mountain.

Appearance and Features of the Hvalnesviti Lighthouse

The Hvalnes lighthouse has bright orange structure.

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Bjorn Thorvaldsson. No edits made.

The Hvalnes lighthouse is a striking structure characterized by its shape. Its most noticeable feature is its bright orange color, perfectly contrasting with the surrounding black pebble beaches and rocky mountains.

It has square corners on the front and a curved back, and the top has a metal handrail, which was originally made from concrete.

Its tower rises to a height of 38 feet (11.5 meters), considerably smaller than most lighthouses in the country. The structure is topped by a lantern room that houses the powerful light source responsible for guiding ships and boats safely along the coast.

Today, the lighthouse still operates with two white flashes emitted every 20 seconds with the help of a metal focal plane tower beside it.

Location of the Hvalnes Lighthouse and How to Get There

The nature around Hvalnesviti lighthouse is stunningThe Hvalnes lighthouse lies on a low headland in Southeast Iceland, between the coastal towns of Hofn and Djupivogur.

Reaching the Hvalnes lighthouse requires a long journey if you’re coming from Reykjavik. Hvalnes is 311 miles (500 kilometers) from the city and requires around seven hours of driving time, depending on your pace.

If you’re driving from Reykjavik and the south, you’ll pass by Hofn town before reaching the lighthouse. The attraction is 31 miles (50 kilometers) away from the town center. Alternatively, if coming from the north and the Eastfjords, you’ll travel through Djupivogur first before arriving at Hvalnes. Djupivogur is 33.5 miles (54 kilometers) away from the lighthouse.

Whichever way you go, you’ll find the lighthouse just off Ring Road or Route 1. This road fully encircles Iceland and is easy to navigate with marked signs and paved roads.

Travelers can access the lighthouse by road. The remote and natural beauty of the region makes the journey itself an adventure, with opportunities to explore the coastal landscapes along the way.

What to Do by the Hvalnes Lighthouse

Mountains, beaches, and the ocean surround the Hvalnes lighthouse in Iceland.When you visit the Hvalnes Lighthouse, you'll get to experience both Iceland's stunning natural scenery and get a glimpse into its maritime history.

Sightseeing and Photography

The Hvalnes lighthouse is perched amid dramatic cliffs and long stretches of black sands. The surrounding landscapes are awe-inspiring, with the crashing waves and endless expanse of the sea creating a fascinating panorama.

Additionally, Hvalnes' bright orange color contrasting the dark landscapes makes it a beautiful subject for photography. It’s the perfect backdrop for landscape and portrait images.

Hiking and Exploration

After reaching the parking lot, there's a short enjoyable walk before reaching the Hvalnes lighthouse site. If you’re not in a hurry to move to your next destination, there are more hiking trails around the area leading to the black sand beaches, Krossanesfjall mountain range, and more.


The coastal location of the Hvalnes lighthouse makes it an excellent spot for birdwatching. Keep an eye out for seabirds and shorebirds, which often soar gracefully above the ocean or rest along the cliffs. Binoculars can provide a closer look at these feathered creatures.

Why Visit the Southeast Iceland Lighthouse

The Hvalnes peninsula is worth exploringThe Hvalnes lighthouse is a destination worthy of a visit and appreciation when exploring the Southeast of Iceland. The area boasts stunning natural attractions, historical significance, and opportunities for outdoor adventure.

In addition, since the lighthouse isn't as famous as other attractions in the region, like the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, you'll likely have a very peaceful time exploring this location. Fewer tourists venture here, so you don't have to worry about crowds while enjoying the stunning nature.

Top Attractions Near Hvalnes Lighthouse

An adventurer riding a horse on the black sand beaches surrounding Mount Eystrahorn.While the Hvalnes lighthouse is a great attraction to visit on its own, there are other destinations nearby worth adding to your itinerary.

The nearest natural attraction to the lighthouse is the remarkable mount Eystrahorn, which is part of the Krossanesfjall mountain range. This mountain reaches a peak of 2480 feet (756 meters), with gabbro rocks making up its slopes. It has a sister mountain around a 40-minute drive away, Vestrahorn, pictured above, which also features beautiful rock formations.

Mount Eystrahorn and its adjacent peaks are set against the backdrop of the North Atlantic Ocean, offering amazing panoramic views. They are breathtaking features to admire and photograph, especially during sunrise and sunset.

Just north of Hvalnes is the charming town of Djupivogur. Visitors can explore the village's colorful houses, stroll along the scenic waterfront, visit the Langabud Cultural Center, and admire the unique outdoor sculptures known as the Eggs of Merry Bay.

The village's tranquil atmosphere, stunning landscapes, accommodations, and restaurants make it a delightful stop for travelers.

Attractions Nearby

Popular categories

Link to appstore phone
Install Iceland’s biggest travel app

Download Iceland’s biggest travel marketplace to your phone to manage your entire trip in one place

Scan this QR code with your phone camera and press the link that appears to add Iceland’s biggest travel marketplace into your pocket. Enter your phone number or email address to receive an SMS or email with the download link.