Although this majestic rock was never a popular sight or attraction among Icelanders in the past, it has become an important tourist attraction today. The reason is not a big puzzle as it is a magnificent work of nature and its origin has both geological and supernatural explanation. When visiting Hvítserkur the neighboring Borgarvirki and Kolugljúfur are also interesting places to visit.
The evil troll a place to visit
Rising from the beach 15 meters above the surface of the beach located on the east side of Vatnsnes peninsula, Hvítserkur (The White Caftan) resembles a large animal or a fossilized creature from another dimension. According to an Icelandic folklore, Hvítserkur is an evil troll late on a night mission attacking a neighboring church, grabbed by the early ray of sunlight and turned to stone. The only enjoyment the troll has in its petrified situation is to make a home for hundreds of birds, who apparently return the hospitality by shitting over the cliff and giving it the white color. Probably helped to name the rock as it sometimes looks like a white caftan and the locals wanted eagerly to forget it is a troll.
Interesting to see from a geological point of view
The rock is a basalt cliff that has lost parts of its foundation to centuries of a battle with the powerful forces of the Arctic Ocean, severe storms and constant temperature changes. Currently, Hvítserkur stands like a three-legged creature, with its two holes in it’s footing. Most diffidently doomed to lose the battle for centuries to come if not for the human intervention of fortifying the substance with concrete. Possibly because the locals fear that a fall could help the troll to lose its spell and renew its evil presence in the area.
In high tide, it is surrounded by sea, but when the tide is low, it stands on the beach resting from the battle with the ocean forces.
Hvítserkur is easily accessible on Road 711 approximately 30 kilometers drive from the Ring Road.