The Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Country: Iceland Language: Icelandic Currency: Icelandic krona (kr)
Iceland is a remarkable island in the North Atlantic Ocean. The island is full of spectacular natural scenery; all you have to do is follow the Ring Road, which will take you around the entire island! Iceland is volcanically and geologically active, with a plethora of lava fields, volcanos, glaciers, and waterfalls to explore! Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway to explore nature or an action-packed hiking trip, Iceland is the perfect place to visit. In the summer months, enjoy the midnight sun, where the sun never sets. In the winter, watch the dark skies light up with the incredible Northern Lights and explore one of the many ice caves.
CTW Must See
Gerduerg Basalt Columns
GPS POINTS N64° 51' 33.243" W22° 21' 59.774"
This impressive basalt wall will be at the start of your loop around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. The cliff was formed from cooling lava that slowly and evenly worked to form the columns. The turn off is not well sign posted, however you can see the columns from the road! As you approach from Reykavjik, you’ll see the columns on your right soon after the turn off for the 55.
Like most waterfalls in Iceland, Bjarnarfoss can easily be spotted from the road (the 54). Water falls 80 meters down a basalt cliff and is surrounded by a 566 meter tall mountain. The land here is privately owned, however the owners have built a parking lot and a pathway for visitors to see the waterfall up close!
GPS POINTS N64° 48' 11.375" W23° 5' 9.075”
Ytri Tunga is a seal colony that is accessible and well populated with seals, especially during pup season (June-July)! These adorable creatures can be visited, for free, after a small walk from the carpark. If you don’t see any seals immediately and are up for a little walk, then walk along the coast and keep your eyes peeled for sleepy seals napping on one of the many rocks off the coast! Please be respectful of the wildlife and keep a fair distance from any seals or pups!
GPS POINTS N64° 46' 12.731" W23° 37' 16.028”
Arnarstapi is a small fishing village on the peninsular coast. This small village is connected by a walking trail to another small village called Hellnar. The 2.5 kilometer walk, one-way, takes you through a lava field and along the dramatic Icelandic coastline. In Arnarstapi, you will find Arch Rock. This iconic rock will be found to the right of the dramatic cliffs. There are many photo ops of the arch, thankfully, as it certainly is not camera shy!
On the drive around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, you will see many lava fields that seem to suddenly take over the landscape! The large boulders are generally covered by moss, which creates a mystical fairy-like scene! If you can find a safe place to pull over, then take a wander through the lava fields, as they grow even more intriguing in the thick of it!
N 64.7992°, W 23.6468°
If you turn onto the 574 toward Helnar, then you will quickly spot the Raudfeldsgja Gorge; it simply looks like a crack in the mountain. But a 15 minute uphill walk from the car park will bring you to a narrow ravine with flowing glacial water. At the opening, you may carefully enter the ravine, but depending on the water levels, you might not get very far. At any time, the rocks are very slippery, so proceed with caution! If you walk to the opening, be sure to admire the view behind you, as the higher up the mountain you climb, the more impressive the Snaefellsnes scenery gets!
Lóndrangar Basalt Cliff
N64° 44' 20.217" W23° 45' 54.674”
The Basalt Cliff is an impressive sight; it is the remains of a volcano! The dark towers sticking out of the water feels like it can only be found in Iceland. There is a large carpark near the road and the walk from the carpark to the first viewpoint will take about 10 minutes. Once there, you will be rewarded with stunning views of the cliff. A further 15 minutes will take you along the edge of the cliff face, to a closer vantage of the basalt cliff.
Snaefellsjokull National Park
The National Park is located at the end of the peninsula and revolves around the Snaefellsjokull volcano/glacier. The tall, almost perfectly shaped mountain can be seen on a clear day from Reykavik, and the southernmost fjord of the Westfjords.
GPS POINTS N64° 56' 26.604" W23° 18' 22.653"
This mountain is one of the most photographed in Iceland! It is found at the northern part of the peninsula and is quite impressive at every angle. From the car park, a short walk around the lake to the other side will present to you with the famous frame that is featured in almost every Iceland promotional photo or blog. However, don’t be afraid to pull off a couple times while approaching and leaving Kirkjufell, as you will likely find another spectacular angle of the mountain! The carpark near the lake is small, but there is another lot across the road.
More Icelandic Adventures...
Snaefellsnes Peninsula is one small portion of the Ring Road. Check out our other Iceland Guides to keep your adventure going!