Snæfellsnes peninsula

Brimming with untamed natural beauty, make sure to check out Snæfellsnes peninsula. The region’s crowning jewel is Snæfellsjökull National Park, home to a glacier-topped volcano. But there’s plenty more to discover here, including charming villages, lava caves, and stunning coastal scenery.

The black sand of the Djúpalónssandur beach
Gatklettur rock arch at Arnarstapi
A man standing below Kirkjufellsfoss
The black sand of the Djúpalónssandur beach
Gatklettur rock arch at Arnarstapi

FAQs about the Snæfellsnes peninsula

The Snæfellsnes peninsula is part of West Iceland. This rugged headland juts around 90 kilometers (56 miles) into the Atlantic Ocean. To the north, you’ll find the Westfjords, and to the southeast lies South Iceland.

Travel to this magical corner of Iceland by driving north from Reykjavík for around 1½ hours. Along the way, you’ll pass Borgarfjörður, which boasts plenty of its own attractions.

Once you arrive, on the Snæfellsnes peninsula there are a few different roads that’ll let you explore the region’s cultural highlights and natural wonders.

Absolutely! If you love nature then you won’t want to miss the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Why, you ask?

Well, here you’ll find impressive volcanoes, moss-blanketed lava fields, and wild coastline. And if you head to Ytri Tunga beach, you might even spot a few seals lounging on the golden sand.

It’s not just about the natural highlights though. It’s also well worth delving into the local culture. Dotted along the coast, you’ll find charming small towns and fishing villages.

Plus, join a guided tour, or do your research, and you’ll discover lots of Viking tales from the region. Snæfellsnes is also home to iconic photo stops, such as Búðakirkja, a striking black church on the peninsula’s south coast.

You can visit the Snæfellsnes peninsula on a day trip from Reykjavík. To make sure you can fit in all the region has to offer, you’ll want to set off early.

That said, it’s best to spend at least 2 days getting to know the region. You can also combine sightseeing with activities, such as glacier hiking or visiting lava caves. In this case, you might want to allow up to 3–4 days.

Snæfellsnes is located in West Iceland, just off the main road circling the country – known as the Ring Road (or Route 1). How you get there depends on whether you’re traveling directly from Reykjavík, or visiting as part of a Ring Road tour.

The quickest way to reach the Snæfellsnes peninsula is by going north on Route 1 from the bustling capital of Reykjavík. When you come to the town of Borgarnes, turn off the Ring Road and follow route 54 to reach Snæfellsnes.

From there, you can explore the area using routes 54 and 56, along with other country roads.

Good to know: Beyond the main roads, some routes are gravel, rather than paved. So you’ll want to factor this into your journey time if you’re planning a road trip. Check out this handy guide to driving in Iceland to find out more.

The special æ character can make the word ‘Snæfellsnes’ look intimidating to say. But don’t worry, it’s actually quite simple. You pronounce the ‘æ’ like ‘i’, as in ‘I am’.

Sound it out like this – ‘SNAI-fells-ness’ – and you’ll be off to a good start.

Visiting the Snæfellsnes peninsula is all about immersing yourself in nature. In fact, the scenery is so captivating that it inspired the novel Journey to The Center of The Earth by Jules Verne.

Get inspired by some of these things to do at top Snæfellsnes attractions:

  • Glimpse the famous Kirkjufell mountain, which featured in Game of Thrones
  • Visit the Snæfellsjökull National Park, complete with a glacier-topped volcano
  • Walk the stunning coastal path between the villages of Hellnar and Arnarstapi
  • Surround yourself with otherworldly rock formations on a guided tour of Vatnshellir cave
  • Admire historic architecture on a day trip to Flatey island, a haven for local artists
  • Enjoy a short hike to Svöðufoss waterfall, nestled between basalt columns

Don’t miss this guide to the Snæfellsnes peninsula for more ideas on what you can do here.

If you’re based in Reykjavík then you’ll be able to choose from a few guided day tours to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. This is ideal if you want to hear all about the local culture from a knowledgeable guide while you sit back and take in the scenery.

On the other hand, renting a car on a self-drive package is best if you’d rather take the wheel yourself. This will also give you the freedom to pick and choose where and when you’d like to stop. Just don’t forget to check out the places you’d like to visit most before you travel.

Whether you’re exploring with an expert guide or enjoying an independent adventure, incredible Snæfellsnes sights await!


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