Dyrhólaey ‘Door Hole Island’ is a 510 acre promontory, south of Mýrdalsjökull and used to be the southernmost point in the country, until the formation of Kötlutangi during the 1918 eruption of Katla volcano. The western side, called Háey, (High Island) is made of tuff and Lágey (Low Island) on the eastern side is mainly made of basalt. The south side of Dyrhólaey is a narrow strip,100 m in height, with vertical cliffs that drop abruptly to the sea on either side. The promontory forms an archway large enough for boats to pass through and is the ‘door’ from which the its name is drawn. Dyrhólaey was formed about 100 thousand years ago in the warmup period of the last ice age in an underwater eruption that has its similarities to Surtsey, the famous volcano island southwest of the Westman Islands. Dyrhólaey is an important bird nesting site and the area has been protected since 1978.
The Environment Agency has decided to limit the access in the Dyrhólaey nature reserve from the 8th of May till 25th of June between 9 am and 7 pm. During the restriction hours it is not allowed to be out of the paths and the roads. The nature reserve is closed during the night from 7 pm to 9 am. From the 25th of June from 9 am the area will be open 24 hour. This limited access is due to the bird protection during the nesting season.