Information about Kirkjufell

Kirkjufell, or 'Church Mountain', is a distinctly shaped peak found on the north shore of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula, only a short distance away from the town of Grundarfjörður. It is often called ‘the most photographed mountain in Iceland’, due to its dramatic formation and perfect coastal location.

Kirkjufell takes its name from its resemblance to a church steeple, sharpened at the top with long curved sides. From other angles, the mountain has been compared to a witch’s hat or even a freshly scooped ice cream.

Photography at Kirkjufell & Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall

Peaking at 463 metres, 1519 feet, Kirkjufell is an impressive landmark. Throughout the centuries, Kirkjufell’s striking slopes have acted as a visual landmark for seafarers and travellers. More recently, it has attracted amateur and professional photographers alike.

Within walking distance from Kirkjufell is the serene and perfectly located waterfall Kirkjufellsfoss, or 'Church Mountain Falls', an excellent subject for photographers who can easily frame the mountain in the background. Despite its relatively diminutive height, Kirkjufellsfoss’ three-steps, gentle flow, and dramatic differences between seasons make it as impressive as some of Iceland’s larger waterfalls.

Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss by winter.

At the base of the mountain, visitors will also be able to find a lake; on calm and clear days, this lake reflects a perfect mirror image of Kirkjufell, only adding to the fantastic photo opportunities around this area.

On top of that, the colours of Kirkjufell change with the passing seasons; the summer sees it a lush green, full of life, whilst the winter months scar the mountain’s face with a mask of barren brown and white. Of course, it is more impressive under the midnight sun in the weeks surrounding the June equinox, and under the northern lights, best seen between September and April.

Fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones will recognise Kirkjufell as a shooting location from Season 7 of Game of Thrones. The mountain is showcased from the scenes ‘North beyond the Wall’ when Jon Snow, The Hound and Jorah Mormont, amongst others, brave the wilderness in hopes of catching an undead wight.

Having seen it in a vision, The Hound acknowledges Kirkjufell as “[...] the mountain like an arrowhead”, and the events that happen beneath it are some of the show’s most dramatic.

Hiking Kirkjufell

There is a fairly steep trail to the top of Kirkjufell, from where there are magnificent panoramas of the surrounding fields, coastlines and rivers. The mountain takes roughly an hour and a half to ascend, with another one and a half hours needed to get back to the bottom.

Given the steep elevation and treacherous trail, you should only hike Kirkjufell if you are a very experienced and confident mountain climber, preferably in the company of an expert guide. Sadly, there have been three fatal accidents on the mountain, most recently in 2018.

Getting to Kirkjufell

Kirkjufell is extremely close to Grundarfjörður, a small town on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which is just over two hours drive from Iceland's capital city, Reykjavík. From Grundarfjörður, one travels a few minutes west down Route Snaefellsnesvegur 54 to the base of Kirkjufell. Visitors have plenty of parking space to choose from, all free of charge.

 

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Attractions nearby Kirkjufell

Grundarfjörður

Wikimedia, Creative CommonsChensiyuan  Grundarfjörður is a small town found on the north coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula ...

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Melrakkaey

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Búðir

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Bjarnarhöfn

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Ytri Tunga Beach

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Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum

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Berserkjahraun

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Ölkelda

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Ólafsvík

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Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge

Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Emstrur.  Rauðfelsdsgjá, which translates to Red Mountain Rift, is a beautiful gorge in Botnsfjall Mount...

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Gatklettur

Gatklettur ("Hellnar Arch") is a famous, naturally formed stone arch found between the villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar on the Snæ...

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Arnarstapi

Arnarstapi is a village on the southern side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, once a fishing hub and now a place for travellers to refuel before ...

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Sönghellir Cave

Sönghellir, or 'Song Cave', is a cave on the Snæfellsnes peninsula famed for its echoing quality. The acoustics inside have a magic...

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Hellnar

Hellnar is an old fishing village on the westernmost part of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. It used to be one of the largest fishing stations of the pe...

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Snæfellsjökull

Snæfellsjökull is a glacier-capped volcano found on the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in west Iceland. It stands in a National P...

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Snæfellsnes

Snæfellsnes is a large peninsula extending from West Iceland, often nicknamed ‘Iceland in Miniature’ due to its wealth and diversi...

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Hellissandur

Photo above from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Chensiyuan Hellissandur is a village dating back to the 16th Century, found on the northwesternmost ...

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Saxhóll

 Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Credit: Diego Delso.  Saxhóll is one of the most popular craters on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, f...

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Vatnshellir Cave

Photo from Into the Underworld | Vatnshellir Caving Tour Vatnshellir Cave is a lava tube on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and a popular site for ca...

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Stykkishólmur

Photo by Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir Stykkisholmur is a town of about 1,100 people on northern shore of the Snæfellsnes ...

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