A long spit of black beach runs parallel to the road, the sea beyond. Birds including whooper swans feed and tend their young in this protected lagoon and Lonsfjordur and Alftafjordur further north. Hvalnes or Whale Point is the final point of a ridge including Eystrahorn mountain, Vestrahorn mountain and Brunnhorn mountain in a spiky run of horn like peaks.
Eystrahorn is at the far end. Rising 756 metres from the shoreline it is an often overlooked peak. Nearby is the more famous Vestrahorn, but this neighbour is equally impressive. It is composed of gabbro and granophyre rocks, but the slippery steep scree makes it difficult to climb. It has an imposing feel. Caught in the afternoon sunlight the shadows highlight the different rocks as well as the small coating of scree over the lower slopes.
In 1912 the small cove to the south of the mountain and lighthouse became an authorised trading post due to its proximity to good fishing grounds. However, all that remains today is the ruins of a turf farm and buildings. The beach by the lighthouse is black, but rather than sand it is a mass of small rounded black pebbles. All are smoothed after time spend rolling around in the endless surf.
Hvalnes Lighthouse is bright orange concrete and stands 11.5 meter (38 feet) high with a radio mast very close by. It was constructed in 1954 by Axel Sveinsson and designed by Einar Stefánsson and became operational in 1955. The light is still in operation with two white flashes every 20 seconds.
Eystrahorn is a huge mountain and looks totally different from every angle. The easiest access for photography is from the nature reserve or the lighthouse. From here the sheer enormity of the mountain will make its presence felt. A wide angle lens is needed to fit the whole area into one images.
The lighthouse sits on the headland. Even on a clear sunny day the wind howls so care is needed when photographing. It is possible to get the lighthouse with Eystrahorn in the background but this does involve clambering down below the lighthouse which is not always safe. If the lighthouse is open it is worth taking the stairs to the top as this gives a totally different perspective to the headland and the road heading north.
The beach has black pebbles which can be really photogenic especially as the tide goes out and they are reflecting the light.
Getting to Hvalnes Lighthouse and Eystrahorn
Hvalnes Lighthouse is easy to find on Ring Road 1 between Höfn and Djúpivogur. There is a large parking area by the lighthouse or a smaller and quieter car park a little further west for the nature reserve.