Grotta Lighthouse is a small lighthouse at the north-westernmost point of Reykjavik, Iceland. Located on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula, it’s a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors, go for a walk, or do some bird watching.
If you’ve rented a car during your stay in Iceland, then visiting Grótta will be a piece of cake. It’s about a 10 minute drive from downtown Reykjavik and there’s a small parking lot in front of the lighthouse.
If you don’t have a car, you still have a few options. You can take a taxi, take a bus, walk, or do a combination of the three.
How To Get To Grotta
To save some time, we took a taxi to get there. We were already downtown, so we walked over to Ingolfstorg Square where there is a taxi stand. The taxi ride cost us 2600 ISK (about $23). Keep in mind, however, that once you’re out there you are in an area that doesn’t have much else around. You will either have to walk back or take a bus.
If you want to take a bus to the lighthouse instead of a taxi, look for bus number 11. We suggest bus stop Ráðhúsið near City Hall or the Harpa bus stop, depending on where you are in the city. Take the bus to Lindargotu road (stop Hofgarðar). From there it’s about a five minute walk to the lighthouse. Bus tickets cost 500 ISK (about $4). Note that you have to pay in cash and they do not give change.
Pro Tip: If you’re visiting Iceland during the winter, check out this packing list.
Between Reykjavik and the lighthouse, there is a really nice paved path that follows the shoreline. We walked about half way back to Reykjavik (about 30 minutes at a leisurely pace) and then took the bus the rest of the way. The bus stops and buses are bright yellow so you can’t miss them. Look for bus number 11 again.
There are four bus stops along Norðurströnd road, which is the road that follows the shoreline. After those four stops the bus route turns south to get into the city so if you’re planning on walking and taking the bus back to Reykjavik, be on the lookout for those four stops. We had originally planned to walk all the way back into Reykjavik along Norðurströnd road (which turns into Eiðsgrandi road) but we were losing valuable daylight so we decided to catch the bus. We walked over to one of the four stops and saw that a bus was due to pass in 10 minutes.
Pro Tip: If you’d like more information on the public transportation in Iceland, you can visit this website that has route planners and timetables.
The lighthouse itself is nice, and you can walk out to it during low tide. The area surrounding it is really nice as well, and walking by the rocks, smelling the salt in the air, and hearing the ocean waves was probably my favorite experience of the day. As we walked along the path, we stopped to take a lot of pictures. There were cool rock formations, old anchors, and lots of birds.
Some Additional Tips For Visiting The Grotta Lighthouse:
- – If the weather is cooperating, we heard that this is a good place to see the northern lights since it’s outside of the city.
- – If you’re a birder, keep an eye out for placards along the path that have pictures and descriptions of birds that are common to the area.
- – Unfortunately, the lighthouse itself isn’t usually open to visitors.
- – Be mindful of the tides. If you’re out by the lighthouse and the tide starts to come in, you’ll be swimming back!
- – Note that the islet is closed off during June while birds are nesting.
Below is a Google Map that shows where the lighthouse is in relation to downtown Reykjavik. We included the small parking lot (in case you are driving), the closest bus stop to the lighthouse (Hofgarðar), and the four bus stops along Norðurströnd road.
We hope that you’ve found this guide helpful! If you have any questions or additional tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below! 🙂
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