Svortuloft Lighthouse and Cliffs Travel Guide
Svortuloft, spelled Svörtuloft in Icelandic, is a 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) long pitch-black coastal cliff with a bright orange lighthouse situated at the western tip of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland.
Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by C-M No edits made.
Adventure-seekers often visit Svortuloft on self-drive tours to get a panoramic view of the western Icelandic coast and participate in bird-watching activities. Those who want to explore Svortuloft's surrounding areas and other attraction sites along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula may also book this private tour.
Svortuloft's name, which means black ceiling, comes from the cliff being created from pitch-black lava. Centuries ago, fiery hot lava flowed continuously in the area until it reached the open sea. Once it cooled down, it formed the beautifully rugged cliff people see today.
Topography of Svortuloft
Svortuloft is part of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, known for its spectacular coastline and dramatic landscapes. This massive cliff amazes tourists worldwide because of its incredible formation, appearing like an enormous black wall with jaggedly cut edges.
The rough waters below look pretty menacing, and they are. Many reported accidents and fatalities have occurred in the area due to the strong currents and sharp cliffs. Sailing can be quite dangerous in this part of the sea, especially during bad weather, as ships don't stand a chance when they crash into the towering black cliff of Svortuloft.
During summer, however, when the sky is clear and the weather is nice, Svortuloft offers a stunning view. The black lava cliff, green mosses, staggering mountains, a bright orange lighthouse, and a unique natural arc formation provide the best photos to tourists.
Visitors may also find many seabirds here between May and August.
Finally, there's a viewing platform installed a few years ago for tourists to get a better view of the beautiful coastline and observe the seabirds that dwell on the cliff.
The Orange Lighthouse
Another notable attraction in the area that captivates tourists is a centuries-old lighthouse that stands tall atop the high cliff of Svortuloft. Its unique bright orange color is impossible to miss and complements very well with the black-colored lava cliff. This 19-foot (5.7-meter) tower is the renovated version of an earlier lighthouse built in 1914. The first one was made of iron and eroded over time, so it was rebuilt in concrete in 1931.
The Svortuloft lighthouse has two names. When you're on land, this magnificent structure is called Skalasnagaviti, but when you're out at sea, the name becomes Svortuloftaviti.
Taking a photo with this stunning work of architecture will surely complete your lovely Svortuloft experience.
How to Get to Svortuloft
Once you arrive, take a left turn on Route 54 and continue driving for about an hour towards West Iceland, then take a left turn to Utnesvegur until you reach the fishing town of Olafsvik. Continue driving for approximately 6.2 miles (10 kilometers), then take a right turn to arrive at Svortuloft.
Other Nearby Attractions
Svortuloft lies along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, where other famous Icelandic attractions can also be found, such as the Snæfellsjokull glacier-covered volcano of the Snæfellsjökull National Park and the stunning Kirkjufell mountain.