The Snæfellsness is a wonderland of great geothermal activity, the most photographed mountain in Iceland, charming little fishing villages and extraordinary sights. Visit “Iceland in a nutshell” to see all of the country’s best natural landscapes in one spot!
Snæfellsnes Peninsula – or “Iceland in a nutshell” – is a geological wonderland in West Iceland with spectacular vast views reaching over mountains, lava fields and empty roads.
Driving along the peninsula you can visit charming little fishing villages often with a clear Danish influence, both in culture and architecture.
Snæfellsjökull, Iceland’s most iconic glacier, dominates the peninsula landscape – and you can actually hike to its top, the reward being otherworldly views. This staggering glacier can on most days be seen from the capital and its vicinity where it seems to rise solely from the ocean in all its splendor!
Kirkjufell, Djúpalónssandur Black Sand Beach Day tour
Kirkjufell Mountain, Hraunfossar & Barnafoss, Black Sand Beach, & Deildartunguhver Hot Spring
See the best of Iceland on this award-winning tour
There is something truly special about the peninsula. In the year 1864, it became famous, along with its towering Glacier Volcano, Snæfellsjökull. It became famous when author Jules Verne wrote it to be the opening to the center of the earth in his book Journey to the Center of the Earth.
The book became a big hit and ended up being portrayed in movies, in 1959, 1978, 1989 and lastly in 2008. It starred the Icelandic actress Anita Briem and the famous Brendan Fraser.
The story has also been portrayed in theatre, theme parks, radio, video games, television, and film. But long before all this, Snæfellsnes was mentioned in the Icelandic Bárðar Saga.
The saga tells the story of Bárður, who according to legend was half-ogre and half man. There is a tall sculpture of Bárðar on the hillside at Arnarstapi, a picturesque fishing village.
Mt. Kirkjufell is 172 km (106,8 mi) from Reykjavík. Arnarstapi is 186 km (115,6 mi) from Reykjavík and Hellnar is 4.3 km (36,7 mi) from Arnarstapi and 188 km (116,8 mi) from Reykjavík.
Latitude: 64.8703° N
Longitude: 23.1136° W
There are so many different options when it comes to visiting Snæfellsnes peninsula. You can easily visit an exciting tour, be it a day tour or a multi-day tour. You can jump on a public bus to reach Snaefellsnes or you can easily rent a car and drive!
Driving from Reykjavík to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula should take about 1,5-2 hours. You will, for the most part, follow the Ring Road 1 through Mosfellsbær, into Borgarfjörður valley and into the town of Borgarnes.
Here you will make a left turn at the last roundabout on to road 54. The road 54 will take you well into the beautiful peninsula.
Driving from Akureyri to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula should take about 4.5-5 hours and again you will mainly be following road one. The drive will take you into the horse mecca of Iceland, Skagafjörður, and into the area of Reykholt.
Following route 1, you’ll reach the border of the town Borgarnes. Here you will take the turn onto road 54 on the roundabout and continue to the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
There is so much to see and do on Snaefellsnes peninsula. The small towns and fishing communities include Arnarstapi, Hellnar, Rif, Grundafjörður, Stykkishólmur, Ólafsvík and Búðardalur. Each place has a different character.
The people of Snaefellsnes care deeply about protecting nature. In 2008 this was the first community in Europe to receive the EarthCheck Certificate for sustainable tourism and Stykkishólmur was the first town in Iceland to go plastic-bag free.
Visitors from around the world have declared Snæfellsnes to be one of the world’s most important energy centers. Most certainly, it is very hard to forget the forces of nature and creation here.
Snæfellsnes Peninsula is packed with adventures at every corner and is a great location for any age to visit because of is vivid variety in activities and sights.
From South clockwise around the peninsula – Firstly South, West then North and East.
Read our detailed article about the best places to eat on Snaefellsnes!
Guesthouses, B&B and Farmstays
Cabins and Cottages
Camping at Hellnar, the campsite Snjofell at Arnarstapi is a beautiful experience. It is quite a large camping site and known for exquisite marine views.
Camping at Hellissandur is an opportunity for a scenic sleeping location. The site is quite new, made in 2011 and all the basic service is found there, a gas station, a museum, a supermarket, and a swimming pool. Facilities include running water, toilets, showers, and electricity.
Camping in Grundafjörður an excellent chance to view Kirkjufell during day and night. Located right next to the swimming pool and has electricity for campers for an additional 950 ISK. All information for the camping site is provided at the swimming pool’s reception.
Camping in Ólafsvík is located at the charming Ólafsvík municipal boundary. The facilities include showers, toilets, electricity, running water, a playground and nearby you can find walking paths, a swimming pool, a golf course, and restaurants.
Camping in Stykkishólmur one of the best-equipped campsites in Iceland. Facilities include running hot and cold water, toilets, showers, electricity, washing machines, tumble dryers, WIFI, a playground, a dining tent, waste disposal, sports area, and nearby a swimming pool and a golf course.
Seeing Kirkjufell in its snowy winter coat during a winter trip in Iceland is magical. The frozen drops fall from Bjarnarfoss waterfall and you can enjoy a hot meal at the colorful town of Stykkishólmur.
You can also watch the Northern Lights dance above Berserkjahraun lava field! You just need to dress warm.
If you aren’t used to driving in snow, you might want to rethink driving on your own. Arctic Adventures offers both day and multi-day tours to Snæfellsnes all year round!