As you drive along the South Coast of Iceland toward Seljalandsfoss waterfall, you’ll pass the Westman islands or Vestmannaeyjar. Southern Iceland is known for volcanic eruptions and this unspoiled archipelago is the result of volcanic activity. You’ll want to stop by Heimaey island (Home island), the only inhabited island of the cluster. Heimaey is the largest island and home to Elephant Rock Iceland.

Elephant Rock Iceland on Heimaey in the Westman Islands


Elephant Rock Iceland: What is it Exactly? 

Elephant Rock is a natural rock formation on the sea cliffs that looks just like a giant elephant. We get the name Elephant Rock from the appearance of the giant pachyderm dipping its trunk into the ocean grab some refreshing water. The resemblance is uncanny, especially because the basalt rock that makes up the natural wonder is dark gray. Combine this with the wrinkly skin appearance of the rock’s texture and you can see how Iceland’s Elephant Rock couldn’t be called anything else.

While the advancing lava has long since cooled, what we are left with is Elephant Rock in Iceland. The mossy rocks that cover the head and ears add to the beauty of this dramatic spot.

Some have pointed out the surface of the rock also bears a resemblance to HP Lovecraft’s terrifying sea demon Cthulhu. His horror-genre comics from 1928 featured a cosmic daemon with the face of an octopus.  If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, picture Bill Nighy as Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies instead. The rocky sea cliff has holes in the rock which give the eerie impression of eyes and realistic appearance of a face.

Elephant Rock in Heimaey Iceland 

You may sometimes hear Heimaey referred to as Elephant island Iceland because they are so closely associated with one another. In fact, many visitors come to see Elephant Rock in Heimaey Iceland as part of a day trip or stopover. To get to the island, you’ll need to catch the ferry. It’s a very straightforward and enjoyable ride.

The Westman Islands are home to Elephant Rock Iceland

Elephant Rock island is located 7.4 km (4.6 miles) nautical miles off the coast of Iceland. Spread among the 13 square kilometers (5 square miles) of the entire area, you’ll find 15 islands and 30 natural reefs. To get to the Elephant Rock in Iceland is easy to get to via ferry. Book your ferry tickets on the Herjólfur passenger ferry that leaves from Landeyjahöfn.

It holds 500 ferry passengers and 60 cars, which sounds like a high capacity. But remember that during the summer high season, everyone is going to want to take a trip. Tickets might sell out, so the sooner you can book, the better.

Don’t worry if you’re not able to bring your car or camper on the ferry. Landeyjahöfn has free parking and everything on the island is within walking distance. You’ll be able to get around easily and have a nice active day out.

The ride itself is short; around 35 minutes each way. Then, get ready to explore all of the wonderful natural beauty and make your way to Elephant Rock. There are around seven departures and returns every day, so just plan your schedule and give yourself plenty of time. Ticket prices are quite reasonable. Adults pay 1600 ISK ($13.25 or 11.90€) and there are discounts for children, teenagers, senior citizens, disabled travelers, and students.

Directions to Arrive

So where is Elephant Rock? Once you’ve landed in Heimaey and gotten your bearings, start heading toward the western side of the island. There are some protected nesting areas, so depending on the season, you might need to take a small detour. If you’re wondering where is Elephant Rock, keep going towards the Westman Islands Golf Club. The rock itself is located on the northwestern tip of the island.

Elephant Rock Iceland is on Heimaey island

Once you’ve passed the Latter Day Saints Church Monument and Mormon pond, you’ll see it off in the distance. Walk up the shore to get a closer look from the rocky coast to the south of our elephant-like friend.

The best angle for viewing the rock is actually from the sea, and you can access this by private boat or on a boat tour. In addition to Elephant Rock, the island is famous for its rock formations, coves, inlets, and bird cliffs. Take a Westman islands boat tour for a relaxing few hours enjoying the amazing view. If you plan on going this route, please remember that the tours leave from Heimaey (the main island) and not from the mainland.

Elephant Rock Heimaey Iceland 

A visit to Elephant Rock in Heimaey Iceland is one you won’t soon forget. Our country boasts thousands and natural wonders and this is a very special one indeed. It combines the best of volcanic rock formations, the sea, and areas filled with typical Icelandic wildlife that are a nature lover’s dream. Come visit the Elephant Rock in Iceland to see what all the fuss is about.

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