Elephant Rock Iceland | Westman Islands

•Where is the elephant rock?

-200 meters above sea level, situated near Heimaey, is the huge island of elephant rock, the only one which has inhabitants amongst all other islands of the Westman.
-its area is approx 13.5 square km and an eruption of a volcano in 1973 contributed 2.3 square km of it.
-found at Heimaey’s western part, it peeps out from the Mt. Dalfjall

•How did the elephant rock come into being?

– Formed by a volcanic eruption, is a pretty famous living area for a relatively active volcano. Although after the eruption of 1973, the population has been a bit low compared to earlier.
– the structure of elephant rock is made up of basalt rock. You’ll find more of this rock in other places of Iceland, like the Reynisfjara Black sand beach, some parts of Snæfellsnes, and the Svartifoss waterfall.
– the basal rock makes the rock look more elephant-like because of its texture.

•how to visit the elephant rock?

– start by reaching the Westman Islands. If you have a car, take the ferry called Herjólfur to go there. Once you’ve reached your destination, you can drive around as you please.
– for summer: make a detour off the ring road and near Seljalandsfoss waterfall to take from Landeyjarhöfn.
– for winter: a ferry from Þorlákshöfn should do it. It might extend your trip up to 3 hours but it’ll be worth it.
– there’s always an option of flying from the Reykjavík airport to the Vestmannaeyjar airport via domestic flights.
– after making it to the Westman Islands, with the help of a boat, row towards the elephant rock on the sea and get an upfront close view of it.
– you can take the rib boat tours around the Westman Islands for an hour or two. Keep in mind that these boats operate only from 15 April to 30 September.

• Elephant rock in Iceland has several interesting facts.

– Mistaken identity: 3 pictures of which two were headshots and one was an aerial photo of elephant rock went viral. However, only the headshots were of the elephant rock. The aerial shot was of another island that’s situated in Asia.
– a grand festival called Þjóðhátíð takes place here every August, on its first weekend. Around 10,000 people gather up and enjoy the festivities. If you want to attend it, make sure to book reservations beforehand.
– the first settler in Vestmannaeyjar was Herjólfur. He along with his brother found Iceland. And the ferry taking people to the islands is named after him.

•What can you see and do in the vicinity of Elephant Rock?

– Eldheimar volcano museum- from the natural disasters taking place in Iceland to the story of what it’s like to live on an island that’s volcanically active, this place tells it all. The tale of the eruption of Mt. Eldfell in the middle of the night and the immediate evacuation of its citizens isn’t one to be missed. Around 400 houses were destroyed and the ruins of one of those homes are preserved in this museum. You’ll definitely be awestruck!
– Skansinn church- to celebrate 1000 years of Christianity in Iceland, the Norwegian government gifted this authentic Viking style church. From where the ferries arrive, it’s at a walking distance by the harbor. It’ll be a treat to wander around this church.
– Slippurinn restaurant- you’ll get Icelandic local cuisine at its best over here. The materials for the dishes are gathered from all across the island, including the wild. Sheep’s sorrel, rhubarb, fresh lamb, and fish are all thrown in together according to the dish and an exquisite result is served to you on the dining table, along with their amazing cocktails. Make sure to add it to your list of places to visit! You won’t regret it.
– Beer tasting at the Brothers Brewery- it’d started as a hobby by some local beer lovers and eventually turned into a ravishing business. The beers are named after lively characters, so don’t forget to ask the name of the one you’ll be trying!
– A hike up Heimaklettur- a stunning hike with some jaw-dropping views along the way and striking beauty all around. Be prepared to get your minds blown.