Lóndrangar Pinnacles – spectacular basalt sea cliffs on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula

  • by Neil
  • Snaefellsnes
  • 16 Jul 2023

Londrangar, a striking pair of basalt sea stacks off the western coast of Iceland's Snæfellsnes Peninsula, captivates visitors with its rugged natural beauty.

Lóndrangar Basalt Cliffs
Lóndrangar Basalt Cliffs

Where are Lóndrangar Pinnacles Located?

Lóndrangar is an ideal stop when touring the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland

Located on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Lóndrangar Pinncacles are a great spot to visit when touring the region. Easily accessible by road, Lóndrangar takes approximately 2h 45 mins to reach from Reykjavík. Considering the beauty of this location, as well as other nearby hot-spots, the southern coastline of Snæfellsnes is well worth a visit.

Nearby popular sightseeing spots include Snæfellsjökull Glacier, as well as the village of Hellar.

GPS coordinates of the Lóndrangar: 64.732381, -23.784827

Geological Formation

Lóndrangar Pinnacles on Snaefellsnes

Basalt Cliffs

Basalt Cliffs

The Lóndrangar cliffs are composed primarily of basalt, a volcanic rock that forms from the rapid cooling of lava. These formations, part of the larger Snæfellsnes peninsula, are testament to the overwhelming influence of volcanic activity in shaping the Iceland landscape.

What are Rock Pinnacles?

Integral to the structure of Lóndrangar are two pinnacles, also known as volcanic plugs. A pinnacle in geology is an individual column of rock, isolated from other rocks or groups of rocks, in the shape of a vertical shaft or spire.

Once the softer surrounding rock eroded away, these plugs remained as dramatic sentinels, with one rising 75 meters (246 ft) and the other 61 meters (200 ft).

Effects of erosion

Over eons, the forces of wind and water have sculpted Lóndrangar, giving rise to the formations resembling a rocky turrets. Relentless battering by the ocean has carved out the current landscape from what was once a continuous stretch of basalt volcanic dykes and lava fields. The result is the iconic rock pinnacles that rise starkly against the backdrop of the North Atlantic.

We can regard Lóndrangar as a testament to the raw power and ongoing transformation inherent in the Earth’s geological processes

Cultural and Historical Significance

Lóndrangar holds a mystical charm deeply rooted in Icelandic culture, where myth intertwines with tapestry of the land. In exploring its cultural and historical significance, we discover tales of elves and ancient beliefs, as well as man-made landmarks that have withstood the test of time.

Mythology and Folklore

Icelandic folklore is rich with stories of supernatural beings, and such tales abound about Lóndrangar. Local legend speaks of the site being home to elves— thehidden people who play a significant role in Icelandic myth. These pinnacles are often referred to as a castle, not one built by human hands, but one that belongs to these mystic creatures of Icelandic lore. It is said that local farmers never grazed their sheep on the lands adjoining Lóndrangar, out of respect for the hidden people.

It’s also said that the devil once tried to pull the churches of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula into the ocean but was forced to retreat as dawn broke, leaving behind the Lóndrangar pillars in his wake.

Historical Significance

Malariff lighthouse lies just by Lóndrangar and has guided seafarers for over a century. Before it´s construction, the dramatic sea cliffs of Lóndrangar were used as a navigational reference point for sailors, cementing their importance in Iceland’s maritime history. Their imposing presence has undoubtedly shaped the narratives and lives of those who lived in their shadows.

What to do at Lóndrangar Pinnacles?

Bird Watching

Lóndrangar is a paradise for bird watchers, providing us with ample opportunities to observe various bird species in their natural habitat. One of the most beloved species we can spot here is the Puffin, known for its colorful beak and endearing characteristics. The cliffs serve as a haven for these birds, who are often seen nesting and flying over the area.

Photography

The dramatic silhouette of Lóndrangar against the sky captures our imagination and, naturally, our cameras as well. We marvel at the sight of the basalt cliffs where the interplay of light and shadow creates a photographer’s dream. The area around the Pebble Beach offers us stunning contrasts and textures, perfect for that captivating shot.

Nearby attractions

Snæfellsjökull national park
Snæfellsjökull glacier

Snæfellsjökull National Park

Snæfellsnes National Park is a protected 170km2 tract of land surrounding Snæfellsjökull glacier.

Snæfellsjökull Glacier is an iconic landmark of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, often visible from Lóndrangar. This magnificant glacier caps a dormant staeto volcano and has been a source of inspiration and awe for painters and writers over the years. It play a central role in Jules Verne´s classic adventure tale “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, where the heroes enter the underworld through the volcano.

For those of us interested in outdoor activities, the area around the glacier offers hiking, snowmobiling, and the opportunity to witness breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Hellnar Village

Hellnar Village is a historic fishing settlement within close proximity to Lóndrangar. We can walk through Hellnar and admire the blend of its cultural influence and natural beauty, including the nearby rock formation, Svalþúfa. This charming village with its quaint buildings and picturesque surroundings offers us a peaceful retreat and a deeper appreciation for Iceland’s rich cultural past.

How to visit Lóndrangar?

BusTravel Iceland offers several tours that visit this wonderful beach and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula as a whole.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula Tour

Snaefellsnes Peninsula Small Group Tour

7-Day Iceland’s Ring Road & Snæfellsnes Small Group Tour

If you are self-driving, Lónsdrangar is easily accessible from the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, about two and a half hours northwest of Reykjavík.  Visitors should follow the information signs leading to the beach from the main road.

  • By Car: Follow Route 54 on the Peninsula and look for signage.
  • Parking: Free parking available in the designated Malariff visitor center
About the author
Neil
Neil
Neil works in sales and marketing at BusTravel Iceland. He writes content and also creates private and custom tour itineraries. A native of Ireland, Neil has lived and worked in Iceland for more than 10 years. He enjoys multi-day hikes such as Horstrandir and of course Laugavegurinn.

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