Snæfellsnes, the peninsula to the north of Reykjavík, has some of Iceland’s best sights. Sparkling fjords, dramatic sea cliffs and endless lava fields make up the fascinating landscape of the 100 km long peninsula whose beauty and mystique inspire world famous novels, enchanting every visitor. The communities on Snæfellsnes peninsula were the first in Europe to receive certification from Green Globe for sustainable travel and tourism. Be it a one day trip or an overnight stay, it’s a visit that you will not forget.
Arnastapi is a small fishing village that used to be an important harbour and trading post in the area when the population was larger. Scattered along the edge of it shores are stunning basalt column cliffs that offer great walking routes. Along the way is Gatklettur, which literally translates to ‘cliff with a hole’, makes a popular photo opportunity as you walk over it’s bridge.
KIRKJUFELL – THE LONELY MOUNTAIN
Famous for making it’s appearance in Game of Thrones, Kirkjufell mountain rises 500 meters up right on the doorsteps of Grundafjörður, a small town with some amazing views. This has to be one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland.
Legend has it that for the longest time sailors did not land close to the Lóndrangar cliffs because it was believed that elves lived there. Lóndrangar cliffs are two rock pillars that stand high out of the ocean, one 61 meter the other 75 meters. Birdlife around the cliffs is vivid, you can even see puffins peeking out if you are in luck!
The small town of Stykkishólmur on the west side of Snæfellsnes peninsula is said to be the most beautiful town in Iceland with it’s well preserved colourful old buildings overlooking the countless islands in Breiðarfjörður bay. Have lunch at our favourite restaurant Narfeyrarstofan, who take advantage of the local produce and seafood, all within the cosiest settings before taking a walk through town as well as visiting The Volcano Museum or the Library of Water whilst there. If staying overnight, make sure to check into Hotel Egilsen which is a true gem in the town. The ten bedroom, family run boutique hotel is located in a recently renovated red house built back in 1867 by a businessman in the area overlooking the harbour.
The black church of Búðakirkja would have to be the most photogenic church in Iceland, with its stunning backdrop of lava fields and mountains. Built in 1832, the church building was used as a warehouse but pulled down shortly thereafter. The church that we now see at Búðir was built by Steinunn Sveinsdóttir, a merchant’s widow in 1847. Icelands church authorities refused her request to rebuild the church. However, stubborn as she was, appealed to the king who authorised the reconstruction of the church.
These are just a few of the amazing sights that can be visited within Snæfellsnes. It is one of the best day trips from Reykjavík, packing so many quintessential Iceland sights into one stunning little area. You can join Hidden Iceland to experience all these places and many more on our Snæfellsnes tour. Read more about our day tour to Snæfellsnes peninsula here.
Hi I’m Dagný Björg, a twenty-something Reykjavík-dweller, mother, designer and freelance journalist who loves getting lost in nature, coffee and easy Sunday mornings.