Iceland boasts countless geological formations that attract visitors from all over the globe. The Saxhóll Crater in Snæfellsjökull National Park is one of the most popular and isn’t to be missed when enjoying the wonders of Western Iceland.
The Saxhóll Crater is an otherworldly attraction on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The rim that surrounds the collapsed core offers views of the surrounding dried lava fields as well as the inside of the crater itself. Its height of 358 feet above sea level means that on a clear day, you can even gaze over the Atlantic Ocean.
Located on the westernmost tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the Saxhóll Crater is situated within the Snæfellsjökull National Park. If you’re staying in Reykjavik, the journey from the capital typically takes around 2 hours and 50 minutes by car and will take you through several scenic towns including Mosfellsbær and Borgarnes.
You can park nearby in a lot at the base of the crater, just off of Útnesvegur. There is a short path that leads from the parking area to the top, making for easy access to the crater.
If you’re keen to discover the peninsula, we operate many Snæfellsnes Peninsula tours that allow you to enjoy the surrounding attractions with our friendly, expert guides, saving you the worry of planning your itinerary or making your own way there.
It’s estimated that between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago, a volcanic explosion caused the formation of Saxhóll, which is in fact 2 craters. The 2nd crater is rarely thought about, however, as it was quarried many years ago for precious minerals and doesn’t often receive many visitors.
The flora and fauna that surrounds the crater have an extremely delicate balance, like most of the nature you’ll find in Iceland. This means it’s extremely important to stick to marked paths when visiting and not to intentionally disturb or remove the stones from the ground.
The hike to the top of the crater is a short one up and down the Saxhóll crater stairway, making it an ideal activity for most visitors regardless of physical hiking ability. The metal staircase is a solid, safe structure that wraps around the crater, meaning it isn’t too steep.
If you are looking for a more challenging crater hike on the peninsula, Eldborg, which is located on a volcanic rift in a large plain of lava, requires a 2.5km hike either way.
Whilst visiting the crater, you may notice that the area is isolated and remote. However, there are a variety of activities and attractions nearby that you can explore including:
The remote location of the crater means that accommodation options in the vicinity are fairly limited, therefore it is advised to plan your trip and book accommodation accordingly, in advance of your visit.
The surrounding towns on the peninsula offer various hotels and guesthouses, however, it is also possible to get set up in campgrounds that border the national park. Hellisandur Camping can be found on the Northside of Snæfellsjökull.