10 Must Visit Churches in Iceland
We spent an amazing 18 days exploring Iceland. The churches in this beautiful country are unique and usually are accompanied by stunning scenery. The churches on this list are in order of us visiting them as we drove clockwise around Iceland.
If you are considering doing a road trip in Iceland, read my 11 Tips for Driving in Iceland.
1 – Reykholt Church
There are two churches on this site, with this church being the oldest, dating back to 1896. The church sits behind its new counterpart and amongst an old cemetery. It is also open to the public.
2 – Budir Black Church
The Budir Black Church is one of the most photographed churches in Iceland and is found on the southern side of the Snaefellsness peninsula. The uniqueness of the Black Church against the rugged Icelandic landscape provides the perfect location for stunning photographs.
3 – Raudasandur Church
The Raudasandur Church sits on the stunning Raudasandur Beach. To get to the beach, located in the Westfjords, you need to take an unsealed road consisting of a number of switch backs. But the drive is definitely worth it as you arrive to this stunning black church and the vast beach.
4 – Holakirkja Catherdral
There has been a church in the town of Holar in northern Iceland since the 11th century. The current cathedral was build in 1763 from the red stones found in the mountain above the town. It is also unique in Iceland as it is the only church in the country that has a free standing bell tower.
5 – Akureyrarkirkja
Akureyrarkirkja is a Lutheran church which sits on top of a hill overlooking Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city. The church was consecrated in 1940. It is an easy walk up the hill from the town centre.
6 – Vik i Myrdal Church
This church sits on a hill overlooking the town of Vik and the stunning black basalt beach. There is also an historical cemetery behind the church. The one disappointing thing to me is that this beautiful church is surrounded by a bitumen car park.
7 – Reyniskirkja Church
Blink and you may just miss this beautiful church. As you turn off the main Ring Road of Iceland just outside of Vik and head to the Black Beach, this old, weather worn church is on the left side of the road. There is a car park just outside so you can pull off the road to have a look around the church and cemetery and take some photos.
8 – Keldur Church (and turf houses)
Keldur is more famous for its historic and UNESCO listed turf houses than for the church, so it is a great opportunity to visit both the houses and the church as they are within the cemetery grounds. The church and houses are not open all year, but even if you visit when they are not open you can wonder the grounds of the cemetery.
9 – Skalholt Church
The Skalholt Church stands tall in an open field. The church is amazing to explore with not only a turf house outside but also a 13th century tunnel that leads to a crypt. Once you have discovered the tunnel and the crypt, stairs lead you up into the church were you find stunning stained glass windows.
10 – Hallgrimskirkja Church
This stunning church, designed in 1937 by the late Gudjon Samuelsson began construction in 1945. When visiting Reykjavik you will see that the church is visible from many parts of the city and you can take a lift to above the clock in the tower for stunning views of the city. The church is also famous for the stunning pipe organ which stands 15 metres tall.
You can find out more details about Hallgrimskirkja Church from the church Hallgrinmskirkja website.