NatureMountainsKirkjufell Majesty: A Photographer's Dream in Iceland
mt kirkjufell and kirkjufellsfoss waterfall in west iceland, most photographed mountain in north shore
Go Car Rental Iceland travel writer Aron Freyr
By Aron FreyrApr 6, 2024 • 8 min read

Kirkjufell Majesty: A Photographer's Dream in Iceland

Imagine a land where ethereal beauty and raw power collide, where towering mountains stand sentinel over roaring waterfalls, and where the secrets of the earth lie hidden beneath your feet. Welcome to Iceland – home to Kirkjufell Mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall, a realm of geological wonders, heart-stopping vistas, and the mysteries of the Northern Lights. Are you prepared to embark on a journey into the heart of this mesmerizing landscape? Read on and discover the marvels that await you.

Key Takeaways

  • Witness the majestic beauty of nature at Kirkjufell, an iconic landmark shaped by powerful geological forces.
  • Bravely scale its treacherous terrain or capture perfect shots from golden hour for a breathtaking experience!
  • Witness the captivating Northern Lights and explore Game of Thrones’ Arrowhead Mountain with convenient parking and organized tours.

The Beauty of Kirkjufell

Picture of Kirkjufell mountain, a picturesque mountain and most photographed mountain in Iceland

Take in the sight of Kirkjufell, a stunning mountain commanding the Snaefellsnes Peninsula’s landscape in Iceland, its unique shape leaves a lasting impression on all who see it. Known as the most photographed mountain in Iceland, Kirkjufell’s undeniable allure is further heightened by its close proximity to the majestic Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall.

The combination of Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss forms a breathtaking spectacle that must be seen to be fully appreciated.

Church Mountain Origins

Kirkjufell, translating to “Church Mountain” in Icelandic, holds an intriguing secret, standing as a notable landmark in the region. The mountain’s majestic shape resembling a church steeple is the result of the glacial erosion that took place in the later part of the most recent Ice Age, and it is located near the fishing town of Grundarfjordur.

This mesmerizing formation has sparked the curiosity of numerous visitors, attracting them to its mysterious slopes.

North Coast Location

Kirkjufell is situated on the North Coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland. As you approach this iconic landmark, the breathtaking landscape surrounding Kirkjufell unfolds before your eyes, offering a feast for the senses.

The nearby car park, also known as the parking lot near the waterfall, is the ideal starting point for your visit. Embarking on your adventure, remember to respect private property and adhere to the landowners’ requests.

Geological Wonders of Kirkjufell

A stunning image of Kirkjufell, one of the most impressive geological wonders in the area.

Tertiary and Quaternary Lava

Kirkjufell is composed of a mysterious mix of lava and rock, with its volcanic origins dating back millions of years. This Tertiary lava is a testament to an age of 5 to 10 million years old, while the younger layers of rocks and lava are a mere 700 thousand years old.

The upper layers of the earth are mysterious. Sandstone, Quaternary lava and tuff, which is commonly found in Iceland, comprise these layers.

Fossil Hunting Opportunities

Discover the hidden wonders of Kirkjufell as you uncover fossils scattered on the mountain’s top. The remnants of ancient bird and fish species lie hidden beneath the surface, waiting for intrepid explorers to uncover the secrets of the ages.

The answers to the past may be unearthed atop the mountain, offering a glimpse into the history of this enigmatic land.

Hiking and Climbing Kirkjufell

Picture of a hiker climbing with mount kirkjufell in background

Climbing to Kirkjufell’s peak is feasible, but requires caution, experience, and the guidance of a local expert due to its steep and slippery terrain. Those who attempt to ascend Kirkjufell do so at their own risk - many have perished in the attempt.

It is strongly advised to enlist the aid of an experienced guide who can guide you along the correct pathways and provide counsel on how to ascend the daunting Kirkjufell with caution.

Capturing the Perfect Shot: Photographing Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss

Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss are treasured spots for photography, providing stunning landscape views and opportunities for creative shots. The two most sought-after angles for photographing Kirkjufell are by the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall and on the other side of the main road with a small lake in the foreground. To capture the perfect shot, make sure to photograph Kirkjufell during the golden hour for the best lighting conditions.

Sunrise and sunset are the most bewitching times to visit Kirkjufell for photography.

Reflections and Mirror Images

Capture the most striking reflections and mirror images at Kirkjufell near the splendid waterfall on the road’s left side or by finding reflections in the serene pools or water puddles in the vicinity.

To capture the majestic reflections and mirror images at Kirkjufell, you should:

  • Use a wide-angle lens
  • Position yourself so that the reflection is perfectly centered in the frame
  • Adjust the exposure and white balance to ensure the reflection is exquisitely exposed.

Witnessing the Northern Lights at Kirkjufell

Picture of the Northern Lights over Kirkjufell mountain in Iceland

The absence of light pollution allows for a spectacular view of the Northern Lights at Kirkjufell. The most opportune moments to behold the Northern Lights at Kirkjufell are between September and April, with the months of March and September being especially recommended.

As the sky dances with ethereal colors, the beauty of Kirkjufell is further enhanced, creating an unforgettable experience.

Game of Thrones Connection: Arrowhead Mountain

Picture of Arrowhead Mountain, a famous mountain from the Game of Thrones series

Credit: HBO - Game of Thrones

Kirkjufell Mountain in Iceland carries an air of intrigue, featuring in the visions of two characters from Game of Thrones - Bran Stark and the Hound. Kirkjufell was cursed to appear in Season 7 as Arrowhead Mountain. This connection to the popular TV series has only served to heighten the allure of this enigmatic peak, drawing fans from all over the world to its slopes.

The picturesque mountain, also known as a prominent mountain, has become a popular destination for hikers and photographers alike, offering stunning views of the surrounding.

Visiting Kirkjufell: Accessibility and Parking

The route to the grand Kirkjufell is accessible by car, with parking facilities near the mountain and waterfall, and organized tours are also available from Reykjavik.

The awe-inspiring Kirkjufell is situated in the city of Grundarfjordur, a mere 183 km from the bustling capital city of Reykjavik. Ah, ‘tis a small parking area located on the side of the road opposite to the mountain, so ‘tis easy to find.

Accommodation Options Near Kirkjufell

Weary travelers seeking accommodation near Kirkjufell can find comfort in guesthouses, hotels, and campgrounds in the neighboring town of Grundarfjordur. ‘Tis a cheaper accommodation option with shared bathroom, the Old Post Office Guesthouse awaits those seeking a more budget-friendly option.

For those desiring a more traditional lodging experience, guesthouses and hotels await in the nearby town of Grundarfjordur. And for the adventurous soul, there is a campsite at Grundarfjordur near the pool - perfect for a majestic getaway

Seasonal Considerations: When to Visit Kirkjufell

Perfect mirror image of mt kirkjufell and kirkjufellsfoss waterfall in Iceland during different seasons

Kirkjufell’s charm is timeless, with winter ushering in a magical snow blanket and potential Northern Lights displays, while summer welcomes more visitors and longer daylight hours.

Between June and August, it’s the busiest season to visit Kirkjufell. During the busy season, the parking lot can be chock-full, so visitors might need to bide their time for other travelers to depart.

To enjoy utmost flexibility and convenience while exploring the Kirkjufell Mountain area, consider renting a car or campervan.

A person realxing inside his campervan  on a small parking lot near mt kirkjufell

For a truly unforgettable experience visiting Kirkjufell, you can’t go wrong with a Hyundai i10, a Toyota Yaris, or a Renault Captur or similar.

Heed my advice: 4x4 vehicles are a must for winter months if you wish to stay safe and have access to all the places you desire.

Additionally, Go Car Rental further ensures your safety and convenience during the frosty season by equipping their rental cars with studded winter tires. These tires provide enhanced grip and stability on icy or snow-covered roads, offering you a more secure and enjoyable driving experience.


From its geological wonders to its starring role in Game of Thrones, Kirkjufell has captured the hearts of travelers from around the globe.

Whether you seek adventure in hiking its treacherous slopes or hope to capture the perfect photograph, mt Kirkjufell offers a one-of-a-kind experience. As you journey through the wonders of Iceland, be sure to include a visit to this enchanting destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Kirkjufell so famous?

Kirkjufell has captured imaginations all around the world with its unique shape and location on the Snfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland. It is well-known as the most photographed mountain in the country, one of the top 10 most beautiful mountains in the world, and "Arrow Head Mountain" from Game of Thrones. A true wonder to behold!

How long does it take to climb Kirkjufell?

The climb up to Kirkjufell's peak may take a challenging hour and a half, but the spectacular view at the top is worth it!

Is Kirkjufell worth visiting?

Kirkjufell is undeniably one of the most spectacular natural gems in Iceland and an absolute must-see if you're visiting the area. Take a detour off the Ring Road and make sure to add it to your itinerary - you won't regret it!

How much does it cost to go to Kirkjufell?

Experience the natural majesty of Kirkjufell at no cost. The attraction itself has no entrance fee. However, there is a small parking fee of 700 ISK (approximately $5), ensuring a memorable experience at an affordable price!

When is the best time to visit Kirkjufell?

Winter is the best time to experience the majestic beauty of Kirkjufell with snow and Northern Lights, while summer may bring more crowds and longer daylight hours.