Lóndrangar sea stacks pillars at Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Updated: Apr 7
Lóndrangar is the name of two large pillars, or sea stacks, towering over their surroundings at the shore near the tiny hamlet Hellnar in Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The two towers are believed to be ancient volcanic plugs that have endured the forces of nature for tens of thousands of years. They have sustained the wind, the forces of the ocean, and even eruptions that have pushed more lava around them some thousands of years ago. The higher one is 75 meters (246 feet) tall, and the shorter one is 61 meters (200 feet) high. Lóndrangar is one of the most visited landmarks on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
A place that has always captivated Icelanders throughout centuries
Icelanders have noticed the two pillars ever since the island was settled around twelve hundred years ago. Our Book of Settlement documented that a troll was sitting on the larger pillar when a gentleman named Laugarbrekku-Einar passed by at one time. Although the troll did not harm anyone, it helped us understand that the pillars were always a big part of the inhabitants who lived in the area. Much later, when our first natural scientists started documenting Iceland's nature and geology in the 18th and 19th centuries, Lóndrangar was among the natural phenomena he examined.
A challenge to climb
Like the two Lóndrangar, pillars are somehow made to challenge people like other towering natural wonders. Throughout the centuries, they were considered unclimbable. But in May 1735, a daredevil from the Westman Islands by the name of Ásgrímur Böðvarsson climbed the taller one. But in recent years, fortunately, few have taken on the challenge as the climb is highly dangerous and possibly only for professional climbers with appropriate gear.
An old fishing station at Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Although a small fishing station was operated on a small scale by the shore some centuries ago, conditions have yet to develop into a village, like in many other parts of Iceland. Today the pillars are mainly home to many species of birds and a joy to view from many angles. By the roadside on road nr. 574, there is a parking lot and a viewpoint towards the west where you can see the magnificent pillars and the rocky shore on its eastern side. This parking lot is quite convenient, and the path gives you good photo opportunities. On the other hand, if you want to see the pillars up close, the best option is to drive a bit farther on road nr. 574 and take a turn on road nr. 5737 towards Malarrif. Here we have a parking lot by the lighthouse, and from there is a relatively easy walking path by a fascinating shoreline all the way to Lóndrangar. It is an enjoyable scenic walk where you can experience the power of the ocean if there is a bit of wind. But then again, one must never forget when approaching the ocean on a beach in Iceland that waves can be hazardous, although they look innocent. You also have excellent photographic opportunities here as the mighty glacier Snæfellsjökull is a great background on a clear day.