The Elephant Rock

Updated: Jul 20, 2019

How many elephants are there in Iceland? We’ve counted two – one in the Westman Islands and another by Dyrhólaey.

Elephant Rock looks like an elephant that’s having a drink from the ocean.

The history of the "Elephant"

“Elephant Rock” in the Westman Islands became a viral sensation a couple of years ago. This giant basalt rock structure on the western part of Heimaey was formed in an eruption sometime in the last 15.000 years, much like the rest of the 15 islands and reefs on the Westman Islands volcanic archipelago. The most recent eruption happened on Heimaey in 1973, displacing all the island’s inhabitants for months.

You can visit The Westman Islands by taking the ferry or fly, the harbour and airport is only a 30 minutes drive from Hotel Rangá.

Elephant Rock looks like an elephant that’s having a drink from the ocean. The locals say it must have a drinking problem, since it’s been drinking for thousands of years. It’s best viewed from the sea but can also be seen from Heimaey’s golf course.

In Westman Islands they offer guided tours for a better view of the elephant. As visitors have to be connected with safety lines we recommend not trying this on your own. Connect our front desk for further information about tours.

The "other Elephant"

On the mainland, some 80 km/50 miles away (an hours drive from Hotel Rangá) there’s another, and less known, elephant rock. Located at the tip of Dyrhólaey viewpoint, the small cliffs take on the shape of a baby elephant, resting in the ocean. Dyrhólaey is also a great place to view the South coast’s black sand beaches and is just a pit stop away from Reynisfjara’s beautiful columnar basalt.

Behind the well-known rock formation in Dyrhóley there is a little baby elephant hiding, resting in the ocean.

Get directions to both the elephant rocks from our front desk or have us book you amazing day trips to the Westman Islands and around Iceland’s South coast. Contact us at +354-487-5700 or via email:

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