The Elephant Rock in Iceland is in the Westman Islands archipelago (Vestmannaeyjar) south of Iceland. More specifically on the brim of Heimaey*, the biggest island of the archipelago and the only one inhabited. This unique basalt geological rock formation is thought to have been formed in one of the many volcanic eruptions of Mt. Eldfell in the last 15.000 years. Its most recent eruption was in 1973 which resulted in a complete evacuation of the islands population (don’t worry, we came back).
There are many elephant rocks around the world. Sri Lanka, Australia, Nevada, China, Italy and Saudi Arabia***but not until recently did the world find out about the one in Iceland. Our Elephant Rock became a social media sensation a few years ago (we just thought: what took you guys so long?). Some people even claimed it wasn’t real, and some still think it’s a hoax. Nope. It’s real. And it’s amazing! In our humble opinion of course.
But one does not have to ponder long why people thought it was a photoshop prank. The basalt adds to the look of an elephant skin and it’s hard not to see the elephant dipping its trunk in the water.
How can I see the Elephant rock in Iceland?
This natural wonder is best viewed by boat. From May to September, you can take a boat tour around Heimaey, experiencing more of the archipelago and of course our Elephant. But don’t worry if you visit us in the winter months. By land you can enjoy it from our renowned golf course (which happens to be ranked as one of the #200 golf courses of the world. There are also guided walking trips from May to August with safety lines (which we recommend). Please see here for further information. There is even a campground nearby, so you can literally stay with our beautiful giant.
So what are you waiting for? Come on over. You could even start a new bucket-list adventure. Visit the Elephant Rocks around the world? It could (and should) become a popular trend, it’s at least easier than visiting the peaks of our planet! Can you imagine the instagram-food posts that would result as well? Speaking of good food – did you know that our restaurants, in our cute little island, are top ranked in Iceland?
What more do you want?
*Many visitors ask us why we always refer to the plural of Vestmannaeyjar (e. Westman Islands) when there is only one inhabited island, (which also has a beautiful name by itself, Heimaey, literally means Home island, the main homestead). The simple answer? We don’t know. We just do. And if there is one thing you need to understand about the Westman Islanders is that we often dance to our own tune. We’re quirky that way. We’d like to think that we’re adorably weird. We also pride ourselves of our hospitality (there is a festival once a year where we literally try to be the most-ess host-ess, called Þjóðhátíð), so our guests tend to simply love visiting our Westman Islands (plural) on our Heimaey (singular). Now, isn’t that just adorable?
But you have to visit us to find out and make up your own mind.
Most frequently asked questions:
Where is the Elephant Rock?
It’s in Iceland, more specifically on an island in the south, Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar), archipelago south of Iceland.
Is the Elephant Rock in Iceland real?
Yes! It is real. Although many dispute it still. Us islanders find it funny since we kinda know, we’ve seen it. Often. Of course no wonder people don’t believe it, think it’s photoshopped, because it is quite awesome. But, it is real 😊
Why is Elephant Rock called Elephant Rock?
Because it looks like an elephant dipping its trunk in the ocean. It even has that look that elephants skin has, leathery and grey. That is due to the basalt.
How old is the Elephant Rock?
The best estimate is that it is around 15.000 years old.
Can you visit elephant rock?
Good news, you can visit the elephent rock! Either see it from land, see it from a boat or even climb it, but we recommend you do that under the guidance of a professional.
How do you get to the Elephant Rock in Iceland?
After landing in Keflavík you can either take a plane or, like most people do, take a ferry to Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar). There you can either see it from land or by boat.
Can you climb Elephant Rock in Iceland?
Yes, you can climb it but we highly recommend doing it under the supervision of professionals.