Eystrahorn is a splendid mountain located at the extreme south-east tip of Iceland. It is also called Austurhorn or Hvalnesfjall because it is located in direct proximity to the orange lighthouse of Hvalnes, which marks the border between the east and south of the island.
Eystrahorn, literally the “Horn of the East”, is part of the Krossanesfjall mountain range and is often compared to the famous Vestrahorn on the other side of Lón Bay.
Eystrahorn with swamps in the foreground
Eystrahorn is, as most landscapes here, of volcanic origin and dominates the landscape from its towering 757 meters.
The mountain is made up of layers of magma that cooled slowly, and it's very likely that a caldera previously covered what is now the Bay of Lón.
This same bay extends for several tens of kilometers to Vestrahorn, which is much better known. The black sand beach extends as far as the eye can see and is home to all sorts of birdlife, including swans and gulls.
The stunning colours are what make the Eystrahorn mountain so photogenic. It owes this colors scheme to its volcanic minerals, the darker gabbro and paler granophyre, the stone rich in magnesium and iron.
Although it is not safe to climb, Eystrahorn is very popular with photographers due to its unique shape and colors, which are even more beautiful at sunset, and the numerous viewpoints to capture its beauty.
This mountain is a dream for photographers. There are numerous locations with great angles on the dramatic peak. Near the Hvalnes lighthouse there are several excellent spots with an angle on Eystrahorn with the waves crashing on the rocks. The late afternoon is a favourite time of day because the colors are simply incredible.
As you get closer to the road, there are several small lakes with still waters that allow you to capture Eystrahorn reflected perfection for the most beautiful effect. In winter, these small lakes are frozen, so while you won't get a mirror image, the ice has its own charm.
Also, between the lighthouse and the beach, the swamps display vivid greens and blues that contrast perfectly with Eystrahorn.
The orange lighthouse of Hvalnes, otherwise called “Whale Point”, forms a small rocky promontory that overlooks the ocean. As the name suggests, it's a known whale-watching spot. And if you're not lucky enough to spot any of the giants cetaceans, you have a good chance of seeing seals playing around the rocky shore.
Finally, the black sand beach is huge, stretching over a few kilometers, that and makes for a very pleasant walk.
Despite being very poorly indicated, it is rather easy to get there.
Just park your car at the Hvalnes lighthouse parking lot, as this is near the various viewpoints to admire Eystrahorn. Coming from the south, it takes about 45 minutes to drive the 50 kilometers from Höfn to the Hvalnes lighthouse. Coming from the east, it's about the same time and distance from the small port of Djúpivogur to Hvalnes.
When you arrive at the foot of Eystrahorn from road number 1, you'll have to find the small dirt road leading to the small car park in Hvalnes. There are no signs however, so the only way to find the way is to keep your eyes peeled for the orange lighthouse, but it's a pretty obvious landmark, so the path is not hard to find.
Road 1 is in tip-top condition, so no need for a 4x4 vehicle to get there, as the small dirt road over a few hundred meters is in very good condition. The site is also accessible in winter, most of the time.
From the car park, a small path leads to the lighthouse and to the black sand beach.
The place is not very busy, photo enthusiasts like to go there early in the morning or in the evening to get the best light to highlights the beautiful colors of Eystrahorn.
There are no accommodations options directly on site, but two options stand out less than 20 minutes from Hvalnes:
Hrafnavellir Guesthouse is located on the way to Höfn and offers small, modern chalets with sea views. The breakfast is excellent with an exceptional homemade Skyr that has made them a reputation.
The Starmýri cottages are only 15 minutes from Hvalnes and offers quite spacious holiday homes with a good reputation as well.