Are You Ready to Visit the Elephant Rock in Iceland?

  If you are planning a trip to majestic Iceland, you should consider visiting Elephant Island. Iceland is popular for the rich sightseeing it offers, and this landmark is just one example.  In this article, we will cover the Elephant Rock in Iceland, general information about Iceland rocks, and do our best to expertly guide you to Elephant Rock.

What is the Elephant Rock in Iceland

The Elephant Rock is an elephant shaped island made of a natural rock formation on the Westman Islands. Although the Westman Islands attract tourism for many reasons, the Elephant Rock is one of the primary attractions. This magnificent rock, known around the world as the Elephant Stone in Iceland, is completely natural but yet it resembles the head of an elephant! It is as if a wise old elephant decided to rest at Iceland’s shores and has stayed asleep there ever since.. The rock’s texture adds another final touch to the look, by resembling the leathery, wrinkly look of elephant skin. 


Here are a few facts to remember about this impressive rock formation:

  1. It is located on Heimaey which means Home Island
  2. It is speculated that the Elephant Rock and other formations in the area came from Eldfell Volcano, which is still active. 
  3. Heimaey, where Elephant Rock Island is found, is the largest landmass in Vestmannaeyjar and it is the only island in the area with permanent residents. 
  4. Some people believe that the Elephant Rock in Iceland resembles Cthulhu, a monster living in the sea with the face of an octopus.elephant rock in iceland

How was Elephant Rock Formed?

Iceland Elephant Island is believed to have been formed from volcanic activity. Although the island’s volcanic activity is on-going, the last known significant volcanic eruption happened in 1973, which caused a full evacuation of the area. Residents have moved back since then, but the island has not reached the population it once had. 


The Elephant Rock is made from basalt rock, and its texture adds more authentic tones to the elephant image. Basalt formations are prevalent in Iceland. The particular rock is formed from the rapid cooling of lava that is rich in iron and magnesium. 90% of all volcanic rocks are basalt, and geologists observe around 20 eruptions that create basalt formations per year.  

Where is Elephant Rock? 

The Elephant Rock in Iceland is found at the edge of Heimaey, the only inhabited island at the Westman Islands. Heimaey is also the largest of the Westman Islands. Moreover, Heimaey is located 200 meters above the sea surface, and its total surface is 13.4 square kilometers. Out of the 13.4 square kilometers, 2.2 square kilometers were added in the last significant eruption in 1973. The Elephant Rock is found in the western part of Heimaey on Mountain Dalfjall.

westman islands

Best Ways to See the Elephant Rock in Iceland

To access Elephant Rock Island, you have to first go to Vestmannaeyjar on Westman Islands. The best way for you to get there is to take a ferry. If you have a car, you can take it on the ferry with you. Once you get to the island, you will have your car, which makes getting around much more comfortable. If you are visiting in the summer, you can take the ferry from Landeyjarhöfn. The ferry ride from Landeyjarhöfn to Vestmannaeyjar is between 35 to 40 minutes. 


Assuming you will be driving to Landeyjarhöfn, here is how long it will take you to get there:


  • Departing from Reykjavik, it will take around 110 minutes
  • Departing from Selfoss, it will take around 60 minutes
  • Departing from Hella, it will take around 35 minutes
  • Departing from Hvolsvöllur, it will take around 25 minutes


If you decide to take on this adventure, allow yourself at least two days to explore the Westman Islands. If you are visiting the Westman Islands in the winter, you will take a ferry from Þorlákshöfn. If you are driving to Þorlákshöfn, here is how long it will take you to get there:


  • Departing from  Reykjavik, it will take around 44 minutes
  • Departing from Selfoss, it will take around 25 minutes
  • Departing from Hella, it will take around 50 minutes
  • Departing from Hvolsvöllur, it will take around 65 minute


Another option, if you prefer to avoid the ferry, is to fly straight there from Reykjavik airport. Generally, there are many domestic flights to and from.

Herjolfur iceland

The Elephant Stone Iceland Activity Guide

While visiting the Westman Islands take some time to check out the following spots:


  • Eldheimar Volcano Museum: You can learn about life on an active volcanic island. The museum is mostly focused on the Mt. Eldfell eruption that caused 5300 people to evacuate.
  • Slippurinn Restaurant: If you are looking for authentic Icelandic food, this is where you will get to experience it. The restaurant uses only natural ingredients found on the islands. This is a real treat!
  • Brothers Brewery: Authentic Icelandic beer! Make sure you ask about the meaning behind each beer name. 
  • Heimaklettur Hike: If you are afraid of heights you might want to skip this one. However, the rest of you are in for a very rewarding hike! 

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Contact us for more information on how to access the Elephant Rock and explore the Westman Islands. is sure to have an Iceland camper rental that will suit our travel needs. Get ready for a breathtaking adventure!

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