Streitishvarf is a tiny peninsula between the Berufjörður fjord and Breiðdalsvík bay in Eastern Iceland. It is a great pit stop, as it presents a breathtaking view toward its south and north of the East Fjords. Moreover, the seashore is endowed with fascinating rock formations and large rounded stones by the tideline. Amidst all of this, you can’t miss the relatively small, 12-meter-high, lighthouse called Streiti at the tip of the peninsula, which can be easily seen even from the main road. A parking lot is on offer just by the road for those who would not want to miss the excellent opportunity to take a short hike to admire the landscape around the lighthouse or to just rest after a tiring drive.
To be sure, hiking by the shore offers an amazing view of the mountains, sea, and coastline. It is a place where even the locals prefer to come and hike. Down by the shore, there are several enticing photo opportunities with the rocks, cliffs, and mountains forming a most picturesque setting. It is undoubtedly an ideal stop to enjoy nature, view the rich birdlife in the vicinity of the cliffs, or just relax.
A gentle giant lives in a rock
Folklore has it that a giant resides in the rock near the road. He has two brothers; one lives on the Skrúður Island, north of Streitishvarf, and the other lives on Papey Island, near the coast, south of Streitishvarf. These three giants are believed to be good-natured and on good terms with each other. The story goes on to describe how they salute each other every morning when they wake after a good night’s sleep and how, once a year, around Christmas, they meet for a chat.
It has been documented that, on at least one occasion, some decades or centuries ago, a tired traveler stopped outside the giant’s rock or home called Srkúðskambur, and sang a small verse that he had composed himself. As he finished the singing, the cliff opened, and a table with food and a bottle of wine was placed in front of him.
Although this is a true story, we can’t, of course, assure today’s travelers a repeat of the giant’s response. However, it might be worth a try to sing a verse out loud once you are at the parking lot to see if the gentle giant can still be swayed enough to want to offer you a treat.
Access is as easy as it is possible
The parking lot is only a few meters from the main road, i.e., Ring Road No. 1, and access to Streitishvarf is quite simple. It is basically a turn to the parking lot. Even if you stop here for a short while, a walk to the lighthouse is a good way to spend your time, stretch your legs, or take a break. If you are interested in photography or need a good background for your travel photography, the shoreline is spectacular. Besides, to reiterate for emphasis, it is a good spot to see the lines in the mountains and how they slide from the east to the inland toward the west. This is one of the fascinating geological phenomena in Eastern Iceland. It must have played out over millions of years. One can clearly see how a load of new lava has drawn the plate down along with the mountains.