Kirkjufell mountain is a 463-meter high mountain, which is located on the Snaefellsnes peninsula in the western part of Iceland. Kirkjufell mountain is one of the top 10 most beautiful mountains in the world as per many lists. The posture of the whole mountain and it’s narrow crown-like top make it look hypnotizing and distinct among other mountains on this planet. It is also called ‘Church Mountain’. It is not too far away from the town of Grundarfjordur.

Due to its perfect coastal location and dramatic story of formation, it is the most photographed mountain in Iceland. On the opposite side of Kirkjufell, the stunning beauty of nature is present- the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. It is also an outstanding subject for a travel photographer.


Location: West Iceland

Nearest Airport: Keflavik International airport

How to reach: 3 hr drive from Hornafjordur airport

Famous for: Picturesque mountain and waterfall

Best time to visit: Jan to Dec


Hiking on the aesthetic Kirkjufell mountain, Photographing the picturesque Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall

Capturing the beauty of the Northern lights

Exploring the nearby Grundarfjordur town

Visiting the serene beaches


Formation of Kirkjufell mountain


A glacial erosion led to the construction of Kirkjufell Mountain millions of years ago. As a result, it includes glacial and interglacial sedimentary rocks. Tertiary lava is also present at the mountain’s base. The age of this lava may range from 5 million to 10 million years. Every part of the mountain is fairly steep. Being surrounded by two glaciers throughout its creation, which shaped the peak into what it is now, is what makes Kirkjufell’s Peak special. In Iceland, this phenomenon is known as Nunatak. Sandstone and quaternary lava can be found in the mountain’s uppermost layers. The layers in question were created as a result of several volcanic explosions.


northen lights above kirkjufell mountain


What to do at Kirkjufell


There is much more to Kirkjufell than just the mountain. Much of Kirkjufell’s appeal can be attributed to the area. Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, one of the area’s top attractions, is captivating. There aren’t many visitors to Iceland who don’t want to see the picturesque mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. The river Kirkjufellsá creates three waterfalls at separate locations. The names of the three waterfalls are the same, though. Slowly, the waterfall cascades into the ocean from the lagoon. It spread throughout the sizable mountain that sits and surveys the rural environment, dropping roughly 54 feet. During the summer season, you can dive into the water. However, for obvious reasons, do not try out the same in the ice-cold winter season.


Apart from the waterfall, there are several beaches nearby. The beaches are quite scenic and the perfect place for photographers to show off their photography skills. To spend some time close to nature, you can choose to go for a stroll near the base of the mountain. Ensure that you visit the calm and scenic lake and click some beautiful pictures of the mirror image of the mountain formed in the lake.


small water streams flowing at the foot of kirkjufell mountain


Hiking Kirkjufell


The hike to the peak ofKirkjufell Mountains is pretty steep. It is difficult to reach the summit if you are not an experienced mountain climber or a hiker. It is advised to hire a guide who will help you ace the summit. However, the climb to the top is definitely worth the effort. It gives you the chance to view the scenic surroundings. The panoramic view of the rivers, fields, and coastlines is bound to fill your heart with a calming and satisfactory feeling. It takes one and a half hours to reach the peak. You might require another one and a half hours for the descent. However, you might not want to go away from the spot. This place has an enchanting view and can make you lose all concepts of time.



Grundarfjörður Town


It is a small town with a population of 900. Fishing is a popular activity in the town. You might also get a chance to play golf or do horse riding. This town also has a mention in the Hollywood movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. If you plan to stay in Grundarfjörður, it will not take you too long to reach the spot to view Northern Lights above Kirkjufell Mountain. If you choose to camp in Grundarfjörður, you will be able to view the mountain from your camping site itself.

polar lights near snow covered kirkjufell mountain iceland