Recently we have written about the famous Golden Circle, which is considered as one of the most touristic places in Iceland. This time, we wanted to head north of Reykjavik to the not -so -well- known Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It might not be as famous as the Golden Circle but it is for sure a magical place that words simply cannot describe. Do you want to discover it? Then come along with us!
The Peninsula is located in the west part of the island and just a couple of hours away from the capital. Although it is not really a vast area, it is full of hidden wonders and landscapes of contrast worth visiting. Whenever we want to run away from the city life looking to enjoy solitude, this is our favorite place to go. Nowadays this region has such a low population density that it creates a sense of being completely forsaken in the middle of the wilderness. Do not get fooled by this feeling, this land has loads of history and attractions to offer. Here you have our preferred ones:
Probably the main attraction at the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. We really love how otherworldly this place is! According to the local folklore, this is an enchanted, 1500 meters high, dormant volcano whose mere presence supposedly gives off magical energy. It is also described as the direct entrance to earth’s center in Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.
→ Here you can take a cave tour. This caves were created by flowing lava thousands of years ago, price range from 7€ and up.
This is a very scenic landscape consisting of a series of basaltic columns formed by volcanos. This natural structure is located in the southern part of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. You can easily run up the slope to check closely how big this rock formation actually is, the highest columns are almost 14 meters high!
→ Light trekking can be done here to reach the top of the hill.
You will feel like you have just dived into another world. This is a fantastic point to watch the sun set and admire the picturesque views offered: lava fields, impressive beaches, stunning rock formations. This area’s crowning jewel: its lighthouse located at the westernmost tip of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. If you are just like me, a lighthouse lover, then this one will definitely appeal you!
→ There are a few hiking trails to explore this area by foot.
Tired of feeling lonely in the middle of nowhere? Well, maybe it is time for you to come to this small fishing village! It is a natural harbor on the southern side of the snaefellsnes Peninsula between Hellnar and Breiðavík. During the summer time, this port gets quite busy and thrives with tourism activities for anyone to enjoy. Arnarstapi also appears in Jules Verne’s well know book as the last stop the protagonists take before heading directly to Snaefellsjökull.
→ You can visit the white-coloured lighthouse, the stone bridge close to it and the black sand beaches.
→ This is also a great place for bird watching from the sea cliffs.
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall is a waterfall that channels the glacier melt water of Snæfellness mountains.
Where to eat?
As stated before, the Snaefellsnells Peninsula is a deserted place so you might as well stop at any of Arnarstapi Restaurants to refill your tummy!
You will also find a lovely café by the sea side called Fjöruhúsið located in Hellnar, a village three kilometers away from Arnarstapi. It is quite popular all around the country!
How to get there?
There are several companies that offer 1-day excursions to this area but we personally prefer to take a self-drive tour.
If you are departing from Reykavik, just head north taking the N1 road. Once you arrive to Borgarnes, you can exit the N1 road and take the N54 road into the Snaellfellsnell Peninsula. This road and the N56 go through the whole region.