The basics

In a country famous for its dramatic landscapes, Dimmuborgir stands out. It was formed when a volcanic eruption poured into a lake, causing the molten flow to harden into surreal pillars and craggy chambers. The area merits a visit not only for its geological spectacle but for its cultural importance. Grýla and Leppalúði, evil-doing giants featured in the Icelandic sagas, are thought to shelter here each December.

Visitors will find a network of well-marked walking trails through the Dimmuborgir lava field. The most popular loop, Church Circle, is 1.4 miles (2.3 kilometers) and takes about an hour, while the longest, Dimmyborgir-Hverfjall-Storgja, is 5 miles (8 kilometers). Plan on either coming independently with your own transportation or as part of a guided day or week-long tour. Most excursions combine visits to Dimmuborgir with other nearby natural attractions, such as Lake Mývatn or Dettifoss waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park.

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Things to know before you go

  • Dimmuborgir is free to visit, but visitors can offer a donation if they wish.
  • You’ll find several restaurants within a few miles of the lava fields, but you might want to pack your own lunch for an easy meal on the go.
  • Weather can be unpredictable in northeastern Iceland, with cool summers and snowfall well into spring. Make sure to check the weather forecast ahead of your visit and dress accordingly.
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How to get there

Whether visiting independently or as part of a group, many people use Akureyri as a base when visiting Dimmuborgir, which is 51.6 miles (83.1 kilometers) from the city. It’s an easy one-hour drive along Road 848. If you prefer to stay closer, you can find a range of hotels, hostels, and resorts off Lake Mývatn, just west of Dimmuborgir.

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When to get there

If you’re traveling with children and can brave the winter chill, December is a festive time for visiting Dimmuborgir. You can even “meet” Grýla and Leppalúði’s 13 sons—mischievous bearded pranksters known collectively as the “Yule Lads”—in their cave through the 23rd of the month. Free for children, there is a small fee for adults.

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Enjoy a soak in Mývatn Nature Baths

A dip in the milky blue geothermal waters of Mývatn is a must after a strenuous hike among the region’s volcanic peaks. Far less famous than the Blue Lagoon, Mývatn Nature Baths provides roughly the same wellness experience with only a fraction of the crowds. Outdoor pools are right within the landscape, so you can admire stunning views while soaking in mineral-infused tubs.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Dimmuborgir?
Attractions near Dimmuborgir: