Dimmuborgir Iceland is a surprising area near Lake Myvatn in the North os the island. The lava formations and the surrounding vegetation will make your imagination wander: cave, pinnacles, apertures and a few imaginary faces… I recommend stopping on your way around lake Myvatn especially if you enjoy geology or photography.
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INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Dimmuborgir Iceland
There are many lava fields in Iceland, but none of them are like Dimmuborgir located near Lake Myvatn. The formations you can admire in that field are intricate and have triggered the creation of many stories with elves, trolls and other mystical creatures. I was there in autumn (end September) and had the chance to admire them surrounded by colorful vegetation and low bushes.
Geology of Dimmuborgir Iceland
They are thought to be the remains of a lava tube which formed above a lake about 2300 years ago, trapping the water. As it began to cool, the reservoir estimated to have been 10 meters deep, was released, leaving only those shapes created by steam. These rock formations are completely unique (only known similar feature is off the coast of Mexico under water).
Mythology of Dimmuborgir
According to Icelandic folklore, Dimmuborgir is the home of a homicidal troll Grýla, her third husband and their sons The Yule Lads. They now come back in the snow to give cildren either get gifts or rotten potatoes depending on whether they´ve behaved well or not.
The walking paths - Dimmuborgir Map
Here is a picture of the Dimmuborgir map with all the hiking trails for you to choose:
- Small circle (white) – 570 meters – 10-15 minutes takes you to the Borgarskora channel and some of the main features
- Big circle (yellow) – 840m – 15-20 minutes takes you to Hallarflöt (Hallar place), a small grassy area surrounded by lava pinnacles and rock formations near the gate and further formations
- Church circle (Kirkjuhringur - red) – 2.3 km – 1h takes you to the most famous feature: the church
- The crooked path (Krokastigur): – 2km – 1.5 to 2 hours – Indicated as difficult it goes through the middle of the field. This is a less flat trail. But all comments I saw what that it was not really difficult.
- The Mellond Circle (Mellanahringur) – 3.4km – 1.5 to 2 hours takes you to sand filled lava and sand meadows
- Dimmyborgir-Hverfjall-Storgja – 8km, 2 to 3 hours is a longer hike going out of the Dimmuborgir
Dimmuborgir Iceland from the entrance
At the entrance you can have a view of the field from above and more explanation thanks to the orientation table.
The most visited Dimmuborgir Lava Formations
Not far from the entrance, and along a well maintained path are some impressive features with few holes
Dimmuborgir & Hverfjall
One of my favorite point of view was on the yellow path between both ends of the red path (church walk) as you get vegetation, formation and the Hverfjall volcano crater that I later climbed.
The Church at Dimmuborgir Iceland
The most famous of these formations is “The Church”. And as you can see on the picture below, it is clear why this name was chosen for the feature. This is a cave opened at both ends has a dome-like ceiling.
A great place to walk and relax
The Church is at the other end of the field compared to the other feature above. In between the path winds beteen lava. The formations are less interesting but the walk is quite relaxing.
Nearby is the Dimmuborgir Guesthouse, one of my favorite places to stay in Iceland. Right next to the lake and with the Hverfjall crater in the background... perfect! Learn more on my Iceland Accommodations article.
Want to see more of Iceland's beauty?
Discover more things to do and places to see in Iceland in my online Iceland Destination Guide.
Quite a unique location, don’t you think?
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