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Best Hikes in the Snæfellsnes National Park

|May 5, 2023
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Want to experience Iceland's raw natural beauty up close? Explore Snaefellsnes National Park on foot with our guide to the best hikes in the area.

Hiking is an absolute must-do on a trip to Iceland for anyone drawn to the activity. It provides a chance to be surrounded by the rugged landscape and to discover places that cannot be reached by car. The island is wild and untamed which makes for some of the most impressive views and scenery on offer.

If you’re visiting Western Iceland, then you are in luck. Dotted around this peninsula is a variety of stunning and distinctive hikes, each offering visitors something different. Hiking in Snæfellsnes National Park, Snæfellsjökull, lets you get close to craters, lava rocks and waterfalls. Visitors to this area are left raving about what they discovered and experienced. From short to long and flat to steep, here we go through some of the best hikes on offer. 

If you aren’t a fan of hiking but want to experience the area's rugged beauty, then explore our Snæfellsnes Peninsula tours.

Kirkjufell Mountain and Kirkjufellsfloss

Kirkjufell Mountain and Kirkjufellfoss Iceland at sunrise

The Kirkjufell mountain hike is a must-do adventure for anyone visiting Iceland. It is a popular hike that takes you to one of the most photographed locations in the country. The highlight is the Kirkjufellfoss waterfall - not to mention the incredible scenery.

The hike to the waterfall is relatively easy and takes 10 to 15 minutes from the car park. The trail is well-maintained, making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels. Along the way, you'll enjoy breathtaking views of the Icelandic countryside.

If you want to carry on and tackle the mountain, that will require a higher level of skill and potentially more danger. While the mountain is climbable, it is a challenging ascent that should only be attempted by experienced hikers. If you're up for the challenge, it's crucial to find a professional guide to ensure your safety and help you navigate the terrain.

You can either start your journey from the Kirkjufellsfoss parking lot or the nearby town of Grundarfjörður (3km away).

Londrangar Cliffs

Views of the Londrangar Cliffs in Iceland

The Londrangar Cliffs hike is another popular hiking trail located on the Snæfellsnes peninsula in western Iceland. The hike offers stunning views of the dramatic volcanic cliffs rising out and above the ocean, as well as the surrounding countryside.

The trail is relatively easy and suitable for hikers of all skill levels, with a round trip distance of about 4 km (2.5 miles) and an elevation gain of around 330 feet (100 meters). The hike typically takes around 1 to 2 hours to complete, depending on your pace and how often you stop to take in the stunning scenery. Along the way, hikers can enjoy the unique geology and wildlife of the area, including seabirds such as puffins and kittiwakes.

To start the hike, head to the visitor center, where there you’ll find a car park and toilets.

Hellnar to Arnarstapi

Iceland’s Arnarstapi on a clear and calm day

The beautiful coastal hiking trail called the Hellnar-Arnarstapi trail runs between the two villages and offers stunning views of the rugged coastline and the surrounding mountains. The distance between Hellnar and Arnarstapi is only about 1.5 kilometers and it can easily be covered on foot.

The trail is well-marked and takes about 30-40 minutes to complete at a leisurely pace. Along the way, you will pass unique rock formations, sea caves, and impressive cliffs. It's a great way to experience the natural beauty of Snæfellsnes National Park - and then you can reward your efforts with coffee at the end.

If you have time, explore the charming villages of Hellnar and Arnarstapi, which offer several cafes, restaurants, and shops selling local handicrafts and souvenirs. To start the hike, park in town and follow the coastal path.

Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge

Hike to the Raudfeldsgja Gorge Iceland

Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge is located on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland. The gorge is well-known in Icelandic history and is featured in the Bárður Saga.

The hike to the gorge is relatively easy, however, the trail is rocky and uneven. Each way takes about 30-45 minutes which makes it an ideal hike to add to a short itinerary. The trail takes you along the base of cliffs and then into the narrow gorge itself, which features a small stream, rocky terrain, and towering cliffs on either side. Set some time aside to explore the gorge and take photos of the incredible natural wonder.

Once you reach the end of the gorge, you'll come across a small waterfall and a rock pool. This is a great spot to take a break and soak up the scenic surroundings before making your way back the way you came.

To start the Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge hike, park in the village of Arnarstapi then follow the signs for Rauðfeldsgjá. The trailhead is located at a parking lot near the beach, and the trail is well-marked from there.

Saxhóll Crater

Saxholl crater in Iceland

Saxhóll is a small volcanic crater that rises 357 feet (109 meters) above sea level, offering hikers stunning and uninterrupted views. The hike to the top of the crater is relatively easy as there is a sturdy stairway up and down. Even if you haven’t got much time, adding this hike to your itinerary is a must as it takes only about 15-20 minutes to the top.

The views from the top of the crater are breathtaking, with panoramic vistas of the surrounding lava fields, mountains, and coastline. It gives you a chance to explore and see more of Snæfellsnes National Park from a safe and comfortable height.

To start the hike, you will need to drive to the Saxhóll parking lot, which is located about 5 km east of the small village of Hellissandur on Route 574.

If you are looking for a longer and untouched adventure, then join one of many of our hiking tours across Iceland. Our expert guides take you into the wild and rugged landscapes and offer you something not many get to experience.

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