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Hvalnes Lighthouse

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Hvalnes Lighthouse

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  • The Hvalnes Lighthouse.- Hvalnes Lighthouse
  • A radio tower stands next to the lighthouse.- Hvalnes Lighthouse
  • The northern face of the lighthouse.- Hvalnes Lighthouse
  • Some wildflowers in bloom.- Hvalnes Lighthouse
  • Get up close to Hvalnes.- Hvalnes Lighthouse
  • The top of Hvalnes.- Hvalnes Lighthouse
  • Looking down the ocean.- Hvalnes Lighthouse
  • Mount East Horn to the west.- Hvalnes Lighthouse
  • Mountains to the north.- Hvalnes Lighthouse
  • Mountains to the south.- Hvalnes Lighthouse
  • Many fishery outfits were once in this area.- Hvalnes Lighthouse
  • Overlooking the Hvalnes Nature Reserve.- Hvalnes Lighthouse
  • The black sand beach nearby the lighthouse.- Hvalnes Lighthouse
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easily accessible.
Cons: 
Unappealing radio tower nearby.
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Region:
Other,
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

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The Hvalnes Lighthouse is in the eastern region of Iceland along Route 1 (the Ring Road) between the cities of Höfn and Djúpivogur. This bright orange concrete structure stands 11.5 meter (38 feet) high along the ocean coast and marks a prominent cape, the Austerhorn, on the southeastern corner of the country. It was constructed in 1954 by engineer Axel Sveinsson and house designer Einar Stefánsson and put into operation the following year. The light still operates to this day with two white flashes that are emitted every 20 seconds from a 29-meter (95-foot) focal plane.

A dirt parking lot and roadway lead up to the structure, making it easily accessible from the main highway. The lighthouse overlooks the Hvalnes Nature Reserve, which harbors some impressive mountain and beach scenery. Directly to the west, Mount East Horn is the most prominent land formation in sight. This precipitous and high gabbro (coarse-grained, dark-colored, intrusive igneous rock) is a granophyre mountain (sub-volcanic rock) that contains quartz and alkali feldspar at characteristic angular intergrowths. While vegetation is limited to some mosses, metals such as gold, silver, and mercury have been found here.

Over the years, many fishery outfits were situated near Hvalnes because of its close proximity to excellent fishing grounds. Many Icelanders from the northern parts used to come here seasonally to return home with their catch and make a living. Nearby, to the south, you can see the Hvalnes Cove with its black sand beach, which became an authorized trading post in 1912. Several centuries ago, in 1627, Algerian buccaneers robbed and plundered the area but found no one here because they were all busy working in their summer pastures. This stop continues to be a popular location along the Ring Road, and it is nice spot to go for a short walk along the ocean.

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(1 within a 30 mile radius)

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