Translating to ‘Dark Fortress’, Dimmuborgir is an unusually shaped lava field in northern Iceland. The volcanic activity in the surrounding region is responsible for the eerie beauty of this lava field. Some of the rocks reach a towering height of 20 feet, giving Dimmuborgir an almost otherworldly feel. Akin to a mediaeval castle with rising towers and hidden chambers, this lava field in Iceland has a haunting history that goes even further. 

Geology of Dimmuborgir 

The lava field called Dimmuborgir is located in the volcanic region of Lake Mývatn. Nearly 2,300 years ago, there was a volcanic eruption in the region. During this period, the lava flowed into a lake causing it to cool. Parts of the lake were demolished by the steam and then solidified. Since then, Dimmuborgir has been distinguished by towering stacks of rocks, caves, and caverns.

Cultural Representations of Dimmuborgir 

According to Icelandic folklore, Dimmuborgir is believed to be the home of Grýla and Leppalúði, troll parents of the 13 Yule Lads who cause mischief during Christmas in Iceland. Following the Christianisation of the country, the lava field came to be known as the place where Satan landed and created the ‘Catacombs of Hell.’

In pop culture, Dimmuborgir is renowned for its representation in the HBO Game of Thrones series. Mance Rayder's wilding camp was shot at this location. Metal fans may also recognise the Norwegian black metal band, Dimmu Borgir, named after the lava field.

An eruption crater near Dimmuborgir, Iceland.

How to Get to Dimmuborgir

Dimmuborgir lies before the black sand mountain of Hverfjall, which is approximately 470 km from Reykjavík. You can join a multi-day tour covering the lava field, or rent a car for a self-drive exploration. If you follow Route 1 from the north of the city, you’ll get to see plenty of attractions during this six-hour drive.

Be prepared to leave the Ring Road for Route 848. You will soon spot the rocky terrain near Lake Mývatn.

GPS Coordinates: 65° 35′ 25″ N, 16° 53′ 58″ W

Things to Do at Dimmuborgir Lava Field

Once you’ve reached Dimmuborgir, you can go on a hike to explore the area. Simply follow the signs and you’ll discover the magic of Mývatn’s geothermal energy. 

Moulded lava fields in Dimmuborgir, Iceland.

There are also some fascinating eateries nearby if you get hungry. Vogafjós Farm Resort is best for trying local produce. You can also have pizza at Daddi’s or coffee and cake at Kaffi Borgir.

To experience this fascinating lava field, all you have to do is book your next trip to Iceland. With our selection of rental cars, we guarantee you’ll find a vehicle to suit your needs. You can even add additional extras to optimise your driving experience.