North East, Iceland
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Hrossaborg, (Horse Fortress) is an ancient explosion crater in the northeast of Iceland, almost perfectly circular, 500 meters in diameter and stands alone in an otherwise desolate landscape. Erosion has had a big impact on the crater and now there is an opening on its east side, making it easy to enter the crater itself. Hrossaborg is a tephra and scoria crater, and thus a black one. The black color of the crater is a result of the volcanic materials it is composed of. The crater and the surrounding landscape feel and look like being on the moon, so it is not a surprise to learn that the Apollo 13 crew trained here for the famous moon mission from 1965-1967. Hrossaborg was also used in Tom Cruise’s movie Oblivion, shot in Iceland in June 2012. The unique landscape of Hrossaborg added an authentic touch to the movie’s futuristic setting.

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    Lighting conditions

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  • Accessibility, services and permits

    Accessibility, services and permits

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  • Visitors and risk factors

    Visitors and risk factors

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The location is just 1.5 km off route 1. It is an F-road, which means you are not supposed to drive there on normal rented cars even if you could, due to insurance policies. You can drive inside the crater itself and there is an easy hiking trail to the top of the crater for a panoramic view of it and the surrounding landscape.
Public transportation unavailable
There is no public transportation available in this area
4x4 required
Challenging terrain accessible only by off-road vehicles with high ground clearance
Good phone coverage
Generally good phone coverage without any major interruptions
Guide recommended
Guidance is suggested, but not required

Services nearby

Nearest hospital is in Akureyri, 117 kilometres away. Within 100 kilometers, there are a few small villages, airbnbs and guesthouses. Within 20 kilometres radius, there are convenience stores, a gas station, restaurants and more hotels and other services.
< 50 km
Gas station
< 50 km
Hospital or emergency room
More than 50 km away
< 1 km
< 50 km
< 50 km


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This area needs a two-way permit.
Shooting permits are issued by the local government
Hrossaborg is a natural reserve and protected by law.
Shooting permits are issued by the local government

Basecamp and facilities

Around the crater, black sands stretch for miles, they could be used as basecamp with a special permission from the environmental agency and rangers in the area. There are no facilities at this location and phone coverage is average.

Risk factors

The crater’s walls are sandy and quite steep. Erosion has made the scoria rocks loose and unstable. The road to this location is an F-road so it can only be reached in a 4x4 in the summertime. To travel there during winter, you need a specialized vehicle or superjeeps.


The location is en route to a medium/high tourist attraction in the highlands, so many people stop on their way at Hrossaborg to take a picture or hike a short distance up to the craters rim.

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