Photographing Hvitserkur

Rising like a prehistoric sea monster from the sea at the Vatnsnes peninsula in Northwest Iceland is the massive basalt monolith Hvitserkur, one of the North‘s most distinct and photogenic natural attractions. Its distinct shape is the result of the natural sculpting of sea and weather and its white colour, wherefrom it gets is name (meaning “white shirt“) comes from the excrement of birds, particularly fulmar and sea gulls as well as the arctic tern in summer, who nest there and in the surrounding area. Another great feature of Hvitserkur is its different appearance according to its angle and how the sun shines on it, resulting in a great variety of opportunities for photographing.

Legend has it that the rock is indeed a troll that was turned to stone by the rays of the sun. And speaking of sun, the midnight sun in midsummer is particularly nice for photographing the monolith, as well as photographing it it by sunset and sunrise. In winter, further whiteness will be added by snow and ice and the fantastic scenery may be further complemented by the appearance of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), dancing their quiet and colourful dance across the arctic sky.

Vatnsnes itself is a mountainous peninsula, adding further to the scenery and seals may be found in the area, Hindisvik and Osar being two good places to seek them out and nearby, at the town Hvammstangi is a seal center, well worth visiting. Also on Vatnsnes and highly recommended is a natural fortress basalt columns natural called Borgarvirki, with further opportunities for great photos.

To access the area you can take a rather bumpy gravel road from the town Hvammstangi in the fjord Midfjordur in Northwest Iceland or take road 711 off the ringroad, thus making a semicircle on Vatnsnes. There is a parking lot in the area, as well as a table and several benches where one may rest. From the parking lot one can easily access the shore , either straight down or following a trail towards it.




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