If there ever was a good reason to establish a settlement. The picturesque mountain of Kirkjufell would be it! It rises tall out on its very own peninsula framing in the low land and giving anyone visits impeccable views. Grundarfjörður is a relatively small town on the Snæfellsnes peninsula with a population little under 900 people. It is a fishing town and until the tourism boom in the 21st century, the majority of all employment in town was linked to fisheries.
Today the town is commonly recognized as the town of Kirkjufell, the church mountain which is so conveniently located right above it. The town is vibrant, with colorful houses, many of them surrounded by the corrugated iron which is so popular in Iceland and the marina takes up a big part of the town. Many of the townsfolk are great nature lovers, which love to be surrounded by the mountains, the ocean and the fantastic hiking and horse riding trails which lay around the settlement. There is also a fantastic golf course, Vestarr, right at the brim of the town’s border.
Where is Grundarfjordur located?
GPS POINTS N64° 55′ 28.226″ W23° 15′ 26.830″
Grundarfjörður is located at the northern point of the Snaefellsnes peninsula, West Iceland. It is right between the towns of Stykkishólmur and Ólafsvík near the fjord, Kolgrafarfjörður. The distance between Reykjavík and Grundarfjordur is 177 kilometers or 110 miles.
How to get to Grundarfjordur?
Getting to Grundarfjordur is quite an easy task but will require some driving. You can easily get to Grundarfjordur by hiring a rental car, joining one of our many tours to the place or by catching the public bus.
Driving from Reykjavík to Grundarfjordur will firstly take you along the Ring Road 1 out of Reykjavík in a northerly direction. You will pass Reykjavík’s renowned mt. Esja and go through Hvalfjardargong undersea tunnel and continue onwards following road one until you reach the town of Borgarnes. At its last roundabout, you will see the turn to Snæfellsnes and that’s where you go off road one and on to road 54. You will continue on this road until you have the options to turn left for Grundarfjordur or right for Stykkisholmur (you cannot go straight). Take a left and the road will take you into Grundarfjordur!
What to do at Grundarfjordur?
- Admire Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss – Most of those travelers who visit Grundarfjordur are there, at least partially, to take in the magnificent mt Kirkjufell and its neighboring waterfall. It can be enjoyed from several viewing points around town, the bravest hike it (only advised with guide) and others admire from the sea. No matter which way you choose you simply can’t miss it!
- In Summer, join a Whale Watching tour – get to know the giants of the ocean in their natural habitat. Grundarfjordur is especially great for spotting Orcas (or Killing Whales).
- Take a dip in the local swimming pool – this costume is very distinctive to Iceland, no matter how small the fishing village you will find a swimming pool and luckily for the people of Grundarfjordur theirs is great!
- Visit Grundarfoss Waterfall – this water-charmer drops in a straight line down the stunning cliffs that surround Grundarfjordur. Its particular vertical falling is very unique and well worth the road trip.
- In Summer, join a sea kayaking tour under Kirkjufell – a truly new way to explore the popular mountain. Let’s get paddling!
- Check out the Shark Museum – at Bjarnarhöfn you will get to know everything there is to know about the Greenland Shark and can even give the shark a taste you so desire!
Where to eat at Grundarfjordur?
- Bjargarsteinn Mathús – the best-rated restaurant in Grundarfjordur and for many the very best in Iceland (some even say the world). The ambiance, the interior, the views, the quality of the ingredients, the local dishes and the presentation all get 5-star ratings. A must-eat! (Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-Free options)
- Café Emil (at the Information Centre) – grab some delicious coffee and maybe a slice of cake with your travel info! This is where art, books and delicious baked good come together for the perfect chill meal moment. (Vegetarian options)
- Laki Hafnarkaffi – great local food, such as the Plokkfiskur e. Fish Stew with rye bread but if you are less adventurous their pizzas are to die for! (Vegetarian and Vegan options)
- Meistarinn Food Truck – only open in summer but offers some sinfully good deep fried hot dogs and other comfort food par excellence!
- Kaffi 59 – a typical diner bar where you can get the basics. Hamburgers, Fish and Chips, soup, the traditional Icelandic meat soup and other tasty treats. Good for families!
Photo from bjargarsteinn.is
Where to stay at Grundarfjordur? | Grundarfjordur Accommodation
- Hotel Framnes
- Grundarfjordur HI Hostel
Guesthouses, B&B and Farmstays
- H5 Apartments
- G4 Apartments
- Kirkjufell Guesthouse
- Bjarg Apartments
- Guesthouse 43
- Hamrahlíð 9 Guesthouse
- Grundarfjordur Guesthouse and Apartments
- Hellnafell Farmstay
- The Old Post Office Guesthouse
- Jf Comfy Stay
- Grund í Grundarfirði
- Dis Cottages
Camping near Kirkjufell
Camping in Grundafjörður will give you a fantastic opportunity to view the glorious Kirkjufell mountain day in and day out. The campground is located right next to the local swimming pool and offers great wheelchair accessibility, and electricity (950 ISK). Further information for the campground is given at the swimming pool’s reception.
Price: Adults 16+ is 1100 ISK.
Open: From the 1st of June until the 7th of October.
Address: Borgarbraut 10, Grundarfjörður.
GPS POINTS N64° 55′ 17.494″ W23° 15′ 31.988″
Grundarfjordur in winter
Grundarfjörður is a great place to visit in winter, the mountains get covered with snow and the town somehow becomes even more peaceful and wonderful. It is also, usually, less busy with tourist so you might even have the mountain to yourself!
Grundarfjörður, due to its size and very limited lighting, is a fabulous place to witness the Northern Lights in winter. You might have to stay a few nights to see it but when they start dancing behind Kirkjufell it will all be worth it!
Interesting places near Grundarfjordur
- Snæfellsjökull National Park
- Kirkjufell Mountain
- Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall
- Berserkjahraun Lava Field
- Ólafsvík Town
- Stykkishólmur Town
- Lýsuhólslaug Swimming Pool
- Snæfellsjökull Glacier
- Bjarnarfoss Waterfall
- Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum
- Djúpalónssandur Black Pebble Beach
- Búðakirkja Black Church
- Eldborg Crater
- Ytri-Tunga Seal Beach
- Lóndrangar Stacks
- Berserkjahraun Lava Field
- Vatnshellir Cave
- Söngvellir Cave
- Gerðuberg Basalt Cliffs