Elephant Rock is a natural rock formation in Iceland that looks like a giant elephant carved out of a sea cliff and heading into the ocean.
Elephant Rock is one of Iceland's most incredible natural sculptures. As it truly looks like the head of an elephant is peeking out from a cliff to dunk his trunk in the water of the North Atlantic Ocean.
Where is Elephant Rock?
Elephant Rock is located in Vestmannaeyjar (e. Westman Islands). An archipelago off the south coast of Iceland.
The Westman Islands is a world full of wonder and everyone traveling to Iceland should have the Westman Islands on their travel plan.
The Westman Islands archipelago consists of 15 islands. The largest is Heimaey (e. Home Island). It is also the only one with a current population in the town of Vestmannaeyjabær.
They are one of the most beautiful places in Iceland. Known for its unique nature and culture. There is truly nothing like them anywhere in Iceland or the world, for that matter.
What is Elephant Rock?
Elephant Rock is made out of basalt rock, the volcanic material that makes up all the Westman Islands. Its unique form has been shaped by erosion from the sea. Over time the powerful waves of the Atlantic Ocean have shaped the rock to make it look like the elephant's head we see today.
When approaching Elephant Rock you will immediately notice how overwhelming it really is. It looks like a statue in a HP Lovecraft fantasy novel. Or an ancient creature frozen in time. Much like the trolls in Iceland.
The sea battered basalt rock also gives Elephant Rock a wrinkled appearance. Making it look even more authentic and real.
Volcanic Eruptions Hot Spot
Westman Islands are a hot spot for volcanic eruptions. Elephant Rock is believed to have been formed in one of the island's many volcanic eruptions. Possibly when the Eldfell volcano erupted on Heimaey for the first time.
This is before the first settlers arrived in Iceland and has therefore always been a part of the scenery in Vestmannaeyjar.
The latest volcanic eruption in the Westman Islands was in 1973 when Eldfell volcano erupted. This led to the evacuation of all islanders. Giving The Westman Islands the title Pompeii of the North.
How do I get to Elephant Rock?
To go see Elephant Rock in Iceland, you first need to get to the Westman Islands. There are two ways of getting there. Either flying or by boat.
We recommend hiring a rental car in Iceland and taking the ferry, called Herjólfur, at Landeyjahöfn harbor. The ferry dock to Vestmannaeyjar is 137 km (85 mi) from Reykjavik, or about two hours to drive. The ferry ride takes only about half an hour.
It is also easy to navigate as you only need to stay on the Ring Road. This route takes you through the beautiful south coast of Iceland. Making the trip to go see Elephant Rock in Iceland also a great opportunity to explore the amazing south coast of Iceland as well.
Just a few kilometers from the exit turn to Landeyjahöfn harbor, the ferry dock for the Westman Islands, is one of Iceland's most beautiful waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Another must see in Iceland.
It is possible to take the rental car to the Westman Islands or to leave it at the harbor. Home Island is not large and can easily be explored on foot within a few hours.
To see Elephant Rock in Iceland, we recommend booking a boat tour as it is best viewed from sea. Boat tours are the best way to explore the Westman Islands, as it will give you a much better view of its incredible landscape and nature.
Getting you closer to the island's incredible wildlife, including whales and puffins. As a matter of fact, the Westman Islands are home to Iceland's largest puffin colony.
So, make sure to put Elephant Rock in Iceland and the Westman Islands on your travel itinerary for your trip to Iceland. It is the perfect day tour for all travelers in Iceland.
For more information about traveling in Iceland we recommend our other blogs about Iceland.