Things to do in and around Stykkishólmur
This picturesque fishing town with traditional wooden houses is on the north side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula in West Iceland. The Snæfellsnes peninsula has been picked as the best winter destination of Europe by the Us magazine Travel + Leisure and as the most scenic destination in Europe by The Luxury Travel Guide so you know it’s insanely beautiful.
Stykkishólmur, the town, was the first community in Europe to obtain EarthCheck Certification. Stykkishólmur raised its eco-consciousness even higher when it got a Blue Flag Award for its harbor and became a plastic bag free town.
If you are looking to do a lot Stykkishólmur Iceland punches above its weight.
1. Shopping and Scenery at Stykkishólmur
Enjoy the quaint gift shops, exhibitions, charming buildings and scenery around the town, if avant-garde art is your passion do not miss The Library of Water.
2. Stykkishólmur swimming pool
|All year Monday – Thursday||07.05 – 22.00|
|From 1st of June to 31st of August|
|Friday||07.05 – 19.00|
|Saturday – Sunday||10.00 – 18.00|
|From 1st September to 31st May|
|Friday||07.05 – 22.00|
|Saturday – Sunday||10.00 – 17.00|
|Children 6-17 years||230 ISK|
|Children 5 years and younger||FREE|
|Retired, invalid or unemployed||230 ISK|
|Retired, invalid or unemployed living in Stykkishólmur||FREE|
3. The Volcano Museum at Stykkishólmur
For a great understanding of the Icelandic environment, you should visit the Volcano Museum (Eldfjallasafnið). There are so many exhibits to see, read about, watch and even touch. The staff is friendly and they just love answering your questions.The Volcano Museum is housed in this charming old cinema and is the brainchild Haraldur Sigurðsson, a volcanologist.
4. Tours and activities at Stykkishólmur
Tours and activities include sea kayaking from Stykkishólmur. Paddling through Breiðafjörður (fjord) you will see a different perspective and get to know the abundant wildlife, seabirds, puffins, seals and sometimes whales. A 2-day sea kayaking tour offers a crazily magical couple of days of kayaking way out on Breiðafjörður. With a qualified guide, you paddle to a remote island to camp out in nature for the night, all equipment and meals are provided.
Maybe you want to summit Iceland´s most iconic glacier? No problem! The Snæfellsness Glacier Hiking Adventure tour can be taken from Reykjavík, or Arnastapi, not so far from Stykkishólmur. A Snæfellsness Small Group tour from Reykjavík would really show you around this spectacular peninsula.
Photo from Kristján Sveinsson master kayak guide in Stykkishólmur
5. Hike up to Helgafell mountain
Hike to the top of Helgafell (Holy Mountain). This sacred mountain is referred to in Eyrbyggja Saga. Settler, Þórólfs Mostrarskeggs, and his descendants established a temple to the Norse God, Þór, at Helgafell. In Christian times there was a monastery here. If you hike to the top without looking back or uttering a word three honorable wishes will be granted, so says the legend!
6. Kirkjufell mountain and Kirkjufellsfossar waterfalls
Kirkjufell (Church Mountain) is an amazingly shaped, almost symmetrical 473 m high mountain, rising like an elegantly crafted ice cream from the surrounding land.
You must see Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall (Church Mountain Falls) just a breath away! They are stunningly beautiful from any angle. The mountain and the falls are mind-blowingly lovely! It is no surprise they have featured in so many paintings and photographs.
The stunning Kirkjufell mountain has been listed as one of the top 10 most beautiful mountains in the world
Kirkjufellsfossar waterfalls, locals jump into the waterfall on warm days, amazing adventures can be found in the area.
The drive from Stykkishólmur to Kirkjufell is about 40 min.
Kirkjufell is located right above the town of Grundarfjörður.
7. The church of Stykkishólmur
The starkly elegant architecture of Stykkishólmskirkja is a photogenic wonder to behold. Located right by the sea it truly is unique. It was inaugurated May 6th, 1990. It truly a landmark of the small town both from sea and land. The church was designed by the Icelandic architect Jón Haraldsson and the altarpiece was painted by Icelandic painter Kristín Gunnlaugsdóttir. The altarpiece shows Mary carrying the child Jesus. The church is well known for its fine acoustics and musical events are hosted on regular basis. Summer recitals are conducted by The Friends of the Arts Society Stykkishólmrkirkja every summer.
Photo by Framepool
8. Baldur – Stykkishólmur’s ferry
Stykkishólmur Ferry will take you to Flatey, an island which time forgot, explore the old village and library, the church with outstanding artwork and unspoiled nature. This is well worth the time. If you take the ferry all the way it will take you to the Westfjords.
9. Eating in Stykkishólmur
Stykkishólmur restaurants and cafes offer everything from a formal meal to a hot dog stand and the friendly coffee house, Slowly Kaffi. Prices are fairly good for Iceland. Whether Finsens fish and chips, pizza, Scandinavian, vegetarian or something else is your thing you will find it. I love Sjávarpakkhúsið, on the harbor-side for the best fish soup ever – but a wide choice.
– Slowly Kaffi
– Finsens Fish & Chips
10. Snæfellsnes and Northern Lights
Stykkishólmur is, like you might know, located on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The whole peninsula is beautiful and has small towns and fishing villages all around. In between them, you have great vast areas of mountains, lava fields, and beautiful open spaces. This makes the area around Stykkishólmur and the nearby countryside perfect for Northern Lights exploring, with minimum light pollution and a location further north than the capital area or the famous south coast.
If you are looking to hunt for the Northern Lights you will only need to travel a few minutes out of town and voilá!
Northern Lights Photo Moments from Stykkishólmur
Everyone rushing out for the Northern Lights show / Photo by Bryan Ledgard
Northern Lights dancing right above Stykkishólmur / Photo by Jeroen
11. Winter Activites in Stykkishólmur
Stykkishólmur is stunning in winter. It’s perfect for a slow winter day, dressing warmly and walking between the cafés and warming up with hot chocolate and soup. When the snow sits beautifully on the colorful houses and the winter sunbeams glint in the harbor you will need to take a moment, stop and really take it all in – but there is one problem. Getting to Stykkishólmur in winter can be a little bit more tricky than in the summer.
Winter time in Stykkishólmur / Photo by dconvertini
The roads might get icy and the drive is riskier for those who aren’t used to driving in winter. Therefore we recommend joining tours. Tours that take you to this beautiful place and tours which show you everything you need to see around this beautiful peninsula which so many happy Icelanders like to call home.
The best selling tours going to Stykkishólmur in winter are:
Fun Facts about Stykkishólmur
- The whole town offers free Wi-Fi.
- Plastic bags are banned, the locals of Stykkishólmur like to keep it green and clean.
- They have an excellent basketball team called Snæfell, one of the best in Iceland.
- Stykkishólmur was featured in the Hollywood movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
48 hours in Reykjavík might not seem like a lot, but with the right itinerary, some advanced planning and a good pair of walking shoes you’ll get to enjoy all the best things the city has to offer. From swimming pools to schnapps and everything in between, we’ve compiled the perfect 48-hour itinerary for Reykjavík.