Dyrholaey is a 120-metre high promontory, not far from the town Vík and the famous black sand beach at Reynisdrangar. The place got its name from the massive arch that the sea has eroded from the headland. (The name literally means “door-hole-island”).
When the sea is calm, big boats can sail through it. There has even been a daredevil pilot that flew through the arch with a small-craft airplane! From the top of Dyrhólaey there is a great view of the surrounding area. The headland is thought to have been made in an underwater volcanic eruption late in the glacial period, not unlike the eruption of Surtsey. Dyrhólaey has been a natural reserve since 1978. There is a local legend about a monster having lived here for many centuries. The monster seems to have disappeared after a landslide over 100 years ago. Birdlife here is abundant, with puffins and eider ducks being the most common species in the area. The lighthouse on the top of the cliff stands impressive and stoic in this often very windy area. Although people have actually surfed here (under optimal conditions in wet suits), the rip tides and currents are devious and one should never attempt to go into the water! Leave the swimming to the numerous seals which one often can see in the area.