Dimmuborgir, north-east Iceland

GPS POINTS N65° 35′ 31.385″ W16° 54′ 28.863″

Dimmuborgir, north-east Iceland

Location: North-east Iceland
Directions on Google maps

Dimmuborgir – the Dark Fortress at Mývatn are a true wonder of nature and nowhere else to be seen in the world, i.e on dry land. The Dimmuborgir area consists of a massive, collapsed lava tube formed by a lava lake flowing in from a large eruption in the Þrengslaborgir and Lúdentsborgir crater row to the East, about 2300 years ago. The formation of these extraordinary lava cliffs and pillars is caused by lava ponds, i.e. the hot lava streamed over these ponds trapping the water underneath the lava. Steam issued through vent in the lava pools and formed these pillars, which then remained standing even after the crust around them had gone away.

The whole area is well organized with nice walking paths that lead you through Dimmuborgir. One of the walking paths, which is called Kirkjuhringurinn – the Church route leads to Kirkjan – the Church. It is 2,4 km and takes ca 1 hour and takes you through extraordinary tall lava formations for half an hour until you reach the church. The sign says Kirkja.

In Icelandic folklore, Dimmuborgir is said to connect earth with the infernal regions. In Nordic Christian lore, it is also said that Dimmuborgir is the place where Satan landed when he was cast from the heavens and created the apparent “Helvetes katakomber” which is Norwegian for “The Catacombs of Hell”.

For Game of Thrones fans; Dimmuborgir was used as a location for the background of the Mance Rayders widling camp.

Dimmuborgir is part of The Diamond Circle, and Dimmuborgir can be visited all year round. However, we ask travelers to check that during the winter, there may be days when it is difficult to reach the area due to weather, snowy or icy roads.

Most people who visit Dimmuborgir are on the one hand coming from Akureyri and on the other hand from the east, for example from Egilsstaðir, on their way through Mývatn and other natural gems of The Diamond Circle. When driving from Akureyri, take Highway 1 towards Mývatn. When you get there, change to road number 848. Follow that road until you see a sign marked “Dimmuborgir” on the right that leads the person to the car park.

The same goes for if you are arriving from the east. Continue on Highway 1 until you can turn left before reaching Mývatn, on road number 848. Dimmuborgir will be on your left-hand’s side.

From Akureyri to Dimmuborgir – map on Google maps

From Egilsstadir og Dimmuborgir – map on Google maps

Dimmuborgir are truly a big part of the overall experience of north-east Iceland. The location is unique to say the least, just outside Lake Myvatn, and nearby to both Akureyri and Húsavík. These two towns are totally worth experiencing as they are known for their famous atmosphere, attractions and hostpitality. We also recommend travelers who visit Dimmuborgir to take advantage of this great location and explore all that Lake Myvatn has to offer.

Near Dimmuborgir is as well the world-famous Dettifoss Waterfall which is definitely worth a visit. On the other side of Dimmuborgir you can find Goðafoss Waterfall, similar in greatnessa and fascinates large number of tourists, and locals alike, every year.