The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is described as “Iceland in miniature” and is home to lava fields, mountains, lava caves, black sand beaches, glaciers and much much more.
The Snæfellsnes peninsula is an area that is incredibly rich in its natural sights, its culture as well as its history.
The peninsula is often known as “Iceland in miniature” and this is due to the fact that a majority of the highlights that people come to Iceland for in general can all be found here in this peninsula. It has a glacier, a number of mountains, lava caves, fishing villages, a national park and black sand beaches all of which rival the beauty of similar area in other parts of Iceland.
It’s difficult not to recommend a trip around this part of Iceland to anyone visiting the country as, no matter what your tastes are as a traveler, it is almost guaranteed to have something you will enjoy.
Kirkjufell, also known as the church mountain, is a 463 metre tall mountain that stands on the northern edge of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Besides being perhaps one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland this location has another claim to fame as being the “Arrowhead mountain” featured in the television series ‘Game of thrones’
This black sand beach sits towards the base of the Snæfellsjökull mountain. It was once home to a large number of fishing boats but these have since been cleared away leaving behind a gorgeous setting for some rest and relaxation. The area maintains in connection to the fishing industry and namely the fishermen via the four lifting stones that sit on the beach. A man would have to prove his worth by lifting these stones over a distance and up onto a hip height ledge.
Hellnar is an ancient fishing village on the western edge of the peninsula. In the past this village would have been a major stopping point for fishing vessels and boasted a number of farms as well as fisheries and short term accommodation for fishermen and workers.
A census done in 1703 recorded as many as 194 people were living in this area and while today its popularity as a living area may have decreased it has found new life as a tourist destination thanks to some stunning nature in the area and its rich history.
Arnarstapi, often shortened to simply Stapi, is a small fishing village that sits at the base of the Stapafell mountain in the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The place names of the villages in this region originate from the Icelandic sagas which are some of the oldest examples of literature to have come out of europe. In particular the place names here draw from the saga of Bárðar who was a half man, half ogre said to have lived in this area.
The village has seen new life breathed into it and its fishing facilities thanks to the increase of tourism in the area and during the summer months you can see a large number of boats sitting in its newly renovated docks.
Snæfellsjökull, or the snowfall glacier, is actually a glacier capped stratovolcano that is believed to be as old as 700,000 years. It sits on the western edge of the Snæfellsnes peninsula and thanks to its size it can be seen from as far away as Reykjavik if the conditions are clear.
The glacier volcano became popular after novelist Jules Verne used the central location for his popular work “Journey to the center of the earth”.
The mountain is also a part of the nearby Snæfellsjökull National Park and is celebrated for its immense natural beauty.
The first stop we will be making will be at Kirkjufell, this is perhaps one of the most popular mountains in Iceland and has been photographed by a large variety of people.
It sits just out from the rest of the peninsula which makes it easy to spot from long distances. With it being surrounded by water you will often see amazing visuals of the mountain reflected and stretching out both up and down from the ground.
The whole area is surrounded by gorgeous beaches and it is a hotspot for fish and bird fossils.
After exploring our first destination we travel a little further along the peninsula to Djúpalónssandur. Once home to around sixty fishing boats these black sand beaches are some of the most beautiful in Iceland. One of the most interesting features of this beach is the four “Lifting stones” that are on the beach and were once used by fishermen to test their strength. The minimum a man would have to lift was a 54 KG stone to hip height.
We will next be heading towards Arnarstapi via a brief rest stop in the ancient fishing village of Hellnar.
Arnarstapi is a fishing village on the southern edge of the peninsula, place names for these two aforementioned villages originate from one of the old Icelandic sagas that told the tales of a half man, half ogre called Bárður. This whole area is a living museum for the literary history of Iceland as well as its deep rooted connections to the fishing industry. Arnarstapi in particular had an ideal location to allow it to grow into a large shipping port and it in fact serviced much of the needs of the entire west of the island.
The harbours here are still very well maintained and have become a popular tourist destination.
This town is also the last stop the protagonists of Jules Verne's “Journey to the centre of the earth” make before they summit Snæfellsjökull and journey into the planet's core.
As we journey along the western and southern edges of the peninsula you may also be able to see the Snæfellsjökull if the skies are clear and the visibility is good.
Following on from our stop in these southern villages we will begin our return to Reykjavik but not before making a few more rest stops in towns such as Borgarnes.
The duration of the tour is 11 hours
There is no food included on this tour but there will be stops where you are able to purchase food
Make sure to note down your pickup times and Departure Times. Pick up can take up to 30 minutes starting from the time on your ticket. Please wait at your hotel / guest house in this time span. We collect our guests with several mini buses, so please be aware that you may need to change busses at a meeting point before the tour begins!
Pick-up and drop-off from accommodations and special Tour Bus Stops in central Reykjavik
Warm, water- and windproof clothing are always useful in Iceland.
All tickets are e-tickets so there is no need to print them out.
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