DRIVING IN SNÆFELLSNES
Two hours driving from Reykjavík, an impressive coast of 90 kilometres long features dramatic cliffs and magnificent sceneries. The Snæfellsnes Peninsula’s decorum has been shaped by volcanic ash and glacier erosion. It is home to a majestic nature and a rich culture. In fact, the communities of Snæfellsnes Peninsula were the first in Europe to receive a certification from Green Globe, an international benchmarking system for sustainable travel and tourism.
According to Google Map, you could go around the peninsula and be back in Reykjavik in less than 8 hours. The reality is that you will most probably stop every 15 minutes to enjoy the view and take pictures! Let’s be honest, you won’t be able to see everything in one day, or two… Although, if this the only time that you have, some great tour are available to see the most important landmarks of the region. See amazing tours here: centerhotels.com/en/tours.
The ideal way to discover the gems of this almost untouched land is by car. The landscape is offering a remarkable selection of sceneries and having a car allows you to enjoy the ride at your rhythm. Of course, everyone is different and so is our tastes in travelling! If you enjoy driving, exploring nature and could savour a little bit of freedom, then that’s your way! This being said, remember to always be careful when you stop the car; Iceland’s roads are narrow and the weather conditions are not always the most favourable. So, enjoy the ride and be prudent!
On your way, you can find mineral springs in various places. For example, at Ölkelda and Lýsuhóll, which both have a thermal pool with naturally-carbonated water.
Likewise, you will find a secret hot spring called Landbrotalaug. Why secret? Because if you don’t know where to look, it’s impossible to find it! Indeed, it only fits 2-3 people at a time. It is worth the visit though. Especially with a loved one, as there is something majestic about the wilderness of Snæfellsnes and a hidden natural hot spring. As a matter of fact, there is no entry fee. On the other hand, there are no changing facilities either…Be wild!
GERÐUBERG BASALT COLUMNS Your next stop is approximately 3 minutes driving from the Landbrotalaug.
The Gerðuberg Cliffs of dolerite is a coarse-grained basalt rock formation. These basaltic lava columns are between 1 and 1.5 meters wide and between 7 and 14 meters high. The even columns appeared during the solidification of the lava by the cold ocean water.
STYKKISHÓLMUR We recommend to start with the northern part of the peninsula and stop by Stykkishólmur. The small town is surrounded by innumerable islands, creating an incredible view from the town’s lighthouse.
The inhabitants of Stykkishólmur have a strong will to preserve their nature and history for future generations. Their strong work led to receiving, in 2019, for the 10th consecutive time, the EarthCheck certification; making them the recipient of the Platinum Certification.
SNÆFELLSJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK One place you can’t miss is the country’s youngest national park, situated on the tip of the coast. Like the other national parks, the reasons for their official recognition is based on their geology, history and cultural significance. Because so, visitors can acquire a deeper insight into what makes Iceland so unique. In fact, the main attraction of the National Park is the mystical glacier and inactive volcano, Snæfellsjökull. It was made famous in 1864 by Jules Verne in his popular book “Journey to the center of the Earth”.
The national park extends also to Djúpárlónssandur, the black Lava Pearl Beach. In the past, the area was home to the most prolific fishing villages in the peninsula. Now uninhabited, you can still test your strength with some lifting-stones of different weight; just like the fishermen used to do it. The decorum brings you the world of Game of Thrones, or simply another planet!
ARNARSTAPI, a small village, was an important trading post in the past. By the gorgeous cliffs of the village, you can watch the birds and the spectacular landscape. The contrast offered by the glacier, the lava formation, the blue ocean and the yellow-greenish moss is absolutely charming. When admiring a landscape, always remember to turn around and admire what is behind you as well.
Finally, when visiting the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, make sure to ask about the tales and old ghost sagas of the region. They have given mystical energies to this beautiful area.
You can book your trip to Snæfellnes Peninsula right here.