Dimmuborgir - Iceland's dark castles: map, parking, access, sightseeing, interesting facts

Dimmuborgir, Iceland

Lava works wonders

Nature likes to amaze. The first thing that occurred to me was when I stepped on the threshold of the entrance to the Dimmuborgir. Rocks twisted into strange shapes, protruding from the ground like some devil's spikes, covered a huge swath of land in front of me. Red-hot and turned into a thick, greasy liquid, a rock substance from the very center of the earth - colloquially known as lava - froze here in some inexplicable way. She created something similar to a dark city, as if a ready-made setting for fantasy films. Lava city: rock cones, tight crevices, wide pits, rocky cliffs and needle eyes, small hiding places for trolls and gloomy rock cathedrals several dozen meters high ...

Taking the strangest possible form, the frozen lava stuns thousands of tourists every day, who, like me at the entrance, ask the same question: how is this possible?

Dimmuborgir, Iceland

I climbed on my toes to look a little further and see where this strange land ends. Did not help. There was no end in sight. Only the information board, showing the course of several walking routes, dispelled doubts. You can walk around it. We didn't have that much time, so we decided to walk for nearly an hour, which turned out to be quite satisfying.

At the end of the walk, when we went to the parking lot bar for an excellent Thai soup, we came across a viewpoint that allowed us to see everything from above.
From this perspective, the name Dimmuborgirwhich in translation means "dark castles”Really captures the nature of the rocky park.

Dimmuborgir is really like a dark rock city

Fire and water

Despite considerable mental effort, unfortunately I was unable to unravel the mystery of the Dimmuborgir uprising on my own. The internet was in motion and it turned out again that everything was created at the meeting point of adversities. Two antagonistic elements joined by blind fate.
In the place where we walked today, about 2300 years ago, there was probably a shallow lake. Then there was an eruption. Lava began to flow out of the 12-kilometer-long fissure south of Hverfjall and flowed north into Skjalfandi Bay. On the way there was the lake mentioned at the beginning. The furiously hot lava in contact with the lake's waters instantly evaporated the water. Everything was boiling and boiling at the same time. Huge bubbles of steam were forming under the lava layer. The water continued to evaporate rapidly, the pressure in the bubble rose until it burst the lava cover, releasing steam, tearing up the liquid and partially solidified rock material. This is how fanciful rock shapes were created.
The dramatic struggle between water and fire continued until the eruption ended and the liquid lava drained away (it flowed all the way to the ocean in Skjalfandi Bay).
The pillars, chimneys, caves and other rock formations we see today are a testimony and record of dramatic events from 2300 years ago.

Dimmuborgir, Iceland
Dimmuborgir, Iceland


Several walking routes are available in the Dimmuborgir area. From the shortest ones, only 600 m, to slightly longer ones, exceeding 2 km. The routes connect with each other and by arranging the walk appropriately, it can be extended to over 5 km. There are quite a few possibilities.
The terrain is flat and does not require any condition. The paths are wide and comfortable (they are covered with asphalt). The place is perfect for a pleasant family walk.
A detailed map of the trails is provided below (it is simply a photo of the information board that you will come across on the spot).
If you do not have to go through all the paths available here, then an hour should be more than enough to see most of the interesting parts.

Map of walking routes in Dimmuborgir, Iceland
Trail trees in Dimmuborgir, Iceland

Access and parking

You will reach the site by a comfortable, asphalt road, and right at the entrance to Dimmuborgir there is a convenient and free parking lot (the navigation coordinates are provided below).
Right next to the parking lot there is a catering point where they serve really tasty food. It was lunchtime for us so we enjoyed it.

Parking at Dimmuborgir, GPS coordinates:
65°35’29.7″N 16°54’46.5″W
65.591572, -16.912915 - click and route

Accommodation and hotels near pseudokraters

Dimmuborgir is just one of the interesting places nearby lakes Myvatn - [click] (follow this link for more information about other attractions). So you may need an accommodation in the area. The prepared link filters the accommodation so that the closest ones are on the top of the list. Look: accommodation near Myvatn - [click]
In addition, below I present a few selected proposals.

Skutustadir Guesthouse - [click]

Hotel Laxa - [click]

Dimmuborgir Guesthouse - [click]

Iceland sightseeing itinerary

The entry you are reading is an element prepared by me Iceland sightseeing plan. Most likely, everything you need to prepare for your trip to Iceland can be found in this entry. Weather, accommodation, car rentals, tourist attractions and a map of a trip around Iceland ... all in one place: Iceland - map and sightseeing plan, tourist attractions, excursions, the most beautiful places - [click]. Be sure to read!
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