Iceland 2023 Day 5 – Skogafoss and Dyrholaey

Date: 26th Feb 2023

We decided to visit Skogafoss early in the morning, aiming to take some pictures of the waterfall before any tourist buses arrived.  However we were not as early we would have liked and it was about 9:30am before we were set up. We managed a couple of shots clear of people, but after that it became too crowded. I have seen numerous dark mono pictures of Skogafoss, and as the morning was quite dull, I have tried to duplicate this stye in the image below.

Skogafoss Mono

Close to Skogafoss is a small folk museum with a row of traditional turf buildings. We did not enter the museum, but it was possible to take a panoramic view of the buildings from the car park.

Turf Houses At Skogar Museum

The weather began to brighten up slightly, so we decided to visit the headland of Dyrholaey. There are two car parks here and we visited the lower east car park first. This provides a view across Kirkjufjara beach towards the Reynisfjara pinnacles, and also a view west towards the higher part of the Dyrholaey headland. The main feature of Kirkjufara beach is the rock stack of Arnardrangur, also known as the Eagle Rock as eagles have been known to nest there.

Kirkjufara Beach and Arnardrangur

I have used a long telephoto lens and a series of images stitched into a panorama to get closer to the Reynisfjara Pinnacles in the image below.

Reynisfjara Pinnacles From Dyrholaey

Loooking in the opposite direction towards the west gives views of the impressive cliffs of the Dyrholaey headland.

Dyrholaey Cliffs

We then drove to the upper car park from which there are views from the top of some impressive cliffs, looking over a very long beach, sometimes known as the Endless Black Beach.

The Endless Black Beach

The headland also has a small lighthouse which was built in 1927 and still operates today.

Dyrholaey Lighthouse

Also on the headland is an impressive rock arch, however the rocks making up the arch are a very dark basalt, and with the sun in entirely the wrong position it was not possible to take a decent photograph – something left for next time perhaps!

After visiting Dyrholaey we were returning to our hotel when the unexpected happened and the sum came out, and for a few minutes we had early evening light shining on the south facing cliffs above Highway 1. Looking for a location, we headed to Irafoss, which is one of the lesser known waterfalls along this stretch of the coast. With several large waterfalls in the area, Irafoss tends to get overlooked, so we had it to ourselves, and it is an impressive sight with a drop of just over 40m. The translation means the Irish Falls, and it got its name from a local inhabitant who came from Ireland, but as a Christian was driven out at a time when the rest of Iceland remained pagan.