Hiking at Kirkjufell
If you are looking to hike the vigorous Kirkjufell you will need to do a whole lot of research and preferably get someone to guide you.
The hike is not recommended for inexperienced hikers. There have been serious accidents in recent years and even some deadly ones so hiking the hike should always be done with great care and consideration!
The trail is extremely steep and exposed. There is a marked path with ropes and chains here and there, one of the most important things when hiking the mountain is to stay within the trail.
The hike should take about 1,5 hours each way but the time spent on top is unmeasurable as the panoramic view is sure to capture your heart and soul, making many lose track of time in their admiration oblivion.
The best places to take a photo of Mt. Kirkjufell
- From the left side of the nearby Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. From there you can easily frame in the mountain and the waterfall together.
- At the base of the mountain, getting a towering shot or even sometimes a double Kirkjufell with the reflection in the frequently tranquil waters below.
- From the hills above the waterfall, you can get a shot of the town and the fjord surrounding the mountain.
- From the beach below the gas station as you are driving into the town getting the colorful and authentic houses of Grundarfjörður with.
- From the bench by the road between the town and Kirkjufell’s nearby farm.
Plus: A pro tip for Kirkjufell Photography – go wide!
What does the name Kirkjufell mean?
Kirkja means church in Icelandic but like with most Icelandic words we tend to change them depending on how they are being used at each time. So the Kirkja mountain became Kirkjufell – Kirkjufell is the Church Mountain.
Accommodation or Hotels near Kirkjufell
There are plenty of accommodation options in the town Grundarfjordur, here we have listed those with the best rating.
Guesthouses, B&B and Farmstays
- Hellnafell Farmstay
- The Old Post Office Guesthouse
- Guesthouse 43
- Hamrahlíð 9 Guesthouse
- H5 Apartments
- Jf Comfy Stay
- Grund í Grundarfirði
Camping near Kirkjufell
Camping in Grundafjörður will give you an excellent opportunity to view the mountain day and night. The site is located right next to the swimming pool and has wheelchair accessibility, and electricity for campers.
All information for the camping site is provided at the swimming pool reception.
Open: 1st of June to the 7th of October.
Address: Borgarbraut 10, Grundarfjörður.
GPS Coordinates: 64° 55′ 17.494 N, 23° 15′ 31.988 W
Kirkjufell in Winter
Kirkjufell mountain shouldn’t be hiked in winter but should definitely be admired. The mountain looks incredibly beautiful in its winter coat and when the snow starts to decorate the hill slopes there is nothing quite like it. The mountain is often quite striped with snow and layers of rock.
Just be careful when driving, the road can be slippery. You will also need to layer up when dressing. Dress smart, go for layers and layers. It is better to be able to take off clothing than to have none to put on.
Kirkjufell and the Northern Lights
Kirkjufell is one of the most photogenic places in Iceland, there is no doubt about it and now imagine adding to the equation some dancing Northern Lights and your jaw will drop to Australia.
Kirkjufell bathing in the Northern Lights isn’t an uncommon thing to witness if you stay in the area over some cloudless winter nights and when visiting a restaurant in Grundarfjörður you will see photos of the phenomenon hanging on the walls all over the town.
The location of Kirkjufell is also further North than for example Reykjavík and surrounding areas which up’s your chances of some Aurora Borealis action.
If you are staying in Grundarfjörður you will not have to travel far to witness the Northern lights above Kirkjufell. The mountain stands tall above the whole town and you can see it at almost any angle if the lights are out. Well worth a few nights in Grundarfjörður or a winter tours to Snæfellsnes.
What not to do at Kirkjufell?
- Don’t go hiking to Kirkjufell top without a guide if you aren’t an experienced hiker/mountain climber.
- Going off the track has proven to be lethal, so stay on the trail.
- Don’t attempt to hike the mountain in winter.
- Don’t miss the waterfall next to the mountain.
- Don’t litter
- Don’t stay overnight outside of the designated campsite
Filming at Kirkjufell, Hollywood Films, and TV Shows
Kirkjufell and Game of Thrones – The Arrowhead Mountain
Kirkjufell mountain was one of the filming locations for the season 6 and 7 of the popular series Game of Thrones where it was featured as the “arrowhead mountain” that the Hound and the company North of the Wall saw when capturing a wight.
Kirkjufell and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Grundarfjörður the town that Kirkjufell rises above is also on the screen in the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty which stars many places on the Snæfellsnes and the Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon in the South.
Snæfellsjökull glacier is a 700 000-year-old stratovolcano on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Snæfellsjökull rises high from the ocean a staggering 1446 meters and can be seen all the way from Reykavík on cloudless days even though located 115 km away.
In the midnight sun Snæfellsjökull is known to bath in the mesmerizing pinkish colors, a view you will never forget.
The glacier is a landmark you can’t miss while exploring the Snæfellsnes peninsula, particularly since it stands so tall but also because no one should, Arctic Adventures offers hiking tours to the summit in summer but locals have in recent years started to explore it on both using snowmobiles and skis.
The Snæfellsjökull Glacier was the most famous site in Iceland when it was introduced in the Jules Verne’s book Journey to the Center of the Earth (1964) as being the entrance to the center of the earth. The glacier has also been chosen as the most scenic destination in Europe so there is a great reason to plan a visit!
Other Interesting Places near Kirkjufell
- Grundarfjörður village
- Lýsuhólslaug Swimming Pool
- Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum
- Hraunfossar Waterfall
- Djúpalónssandur Black Pebble Beach
- Búðakirkja Black Church
- Eldborg Crater
- Stykkishólmur Town
- Ólafsvík Village
- Snæfellsjökull Glacier
- Ytri-Tunga Seal Beach
- Lóndrangar Stacks
- Berserkjahraun Lava Field
- Vatnshellir Cave
- Söngvellir Cave
- Gerðuberg Basalt Cliffs