64.9417° N, 23.3069° W
Kirkjufell or “Church Mountain” is a 463 m (1519 ft) high mountain on the north coast of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula. It rises above Grundafjörður fishing town and really stands out when looking over the area because of it’s dramatic formation and perfect coastal location. It is claimed to be the most photographed mountain in the country and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall which is perfectly located right next to the mountain makes the scene very picture square. Kirkjufell was one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones season 6 and 7, featuring as the “arrowhead mountain” that the Hound and the company north of the Wall see when capturing a white walker.
Kirkjufell contains volcanic rock, but is actually not a volcano. It is a former nunatak, which is a mountain that protruded above the glaciers that surrounded it during the Ice Age, and before that was part of what was once the area’s strata. This strata is composed of alternating layers of Pleistocene lava and sandstone, with tuff at its summit.
It is possible to hike up to the top of Kirkjufell, but many people have gotten severely injured and some have even lost their lives trying to accomplish that. The hike towards the peak is about 1,5 hour and not for those who suffer from the fear of heights, because it is quite treacherous and difficult. It is not recommended in wet conditions as it will get very slippery and hazardous. To hike up there we recommend getting an experienced tour guide and of course the right equipment.
The colours of Kirkjufell change drastically every season. During summer it is vivid green with beautiful wildflowers all around the meadow while it has a white coat during the winter months. During spring and autumn the colors of the mountain can vary from brown to orange.
You have probably seen a lot of beautiful photos from Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. The area around these locations is a photographers dream because there are so many breathtaking angles to photograph. Some that show the unique shape of the mountain of it’s own and other featuring the waterfall flowing freely in the foreground. Whether you have a phone with a camera, professional camera gear or a drone, here are the most popular angles to shoot Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall from:
A strong foreground in landscape photography will really make your photos stand out and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall makes the perfect foreground. The flowing water in front of the arrow shaped mountain is really captures how unique this place really is. You’ll need to bring a wide lens for this shot.
If you walk down to the sea you’ll get another outstanding angle of Kirkjufell mountain. On a good day when there is no wind you’ll see Kirkjufell reflect clearly in the sea. Because of the mountains perfect coastal location, where it stands strong from the ground you can almost see a perfect diamond shape in the photos from this angle.
If you have a drone you should definitely fly it over Kirkjufell mountain. A birds eye view of this outstanding mountain is always an interesting sight. You can fly it over land and photograph it from that angle but if you dare flying it over sea behind the mountain you’ll get a really unique angle of it. Just remember to locate your self also behind the mountain with the controller because you need a good signal to get this photo.
Below Kirkjufell mountain is an old farm where you can find horses that are very friendly. The Icelandic horse will make every photo beautiful but especially when they are posing in front of a unique mountain like Kirkjufell.
Kirkjufell is located on the North coast of Snæfellsnes peninsula, West Iceland. It will take around 2,5 hours to drive there from Reykjavík if you follow route 1 until you’ve passed Borgarnes town. After driving through Borgarnes you’ll come across a roundabout where you’ll take the third exit following route 54 to Grundarfjörður.
Parking is free of charge and the parking area is located across the street from the mountain. You’ll find a good pathway leading to Kirkjufell waterfall from there.