West Iceland and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula was rated the most scenic destination in Europe by Luxury Travel Guide. Stunning Snæfellsnes is fast becoming one of the most visited places in Iceland, for good reason! This place is simply magical and spellbinding with moss-cloaked lava fields, picturesque mountains, stunning black sand beaches, roaring ocean waves, lava tube caves, charming little villages and sea cliffs.
This day trip from Reykjavík will show you the very best of Iceland in a single day.
The epic day begins when we pick you up in Reykjavik. Together we will be heading on a journey of dramatic landscape and endless visual adventures. We’ll make a quick stop giving you a chance to snack up for the trip ahead.
On Snaefellsnes peninsula, we will make our way through the dramatic lava field of Berserkjahraun. According to Viking legends from the pagan times in Iceland, this is the place where two Swedish “berserkers“ forged Iceland‘s first road. Over to the south side of the peninsula through a rural highland pass.
Our first highlight will be one of the best ones, every photographer’s dream – the epic “arrowhead” mountain Kirkjufell, at the northern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula. Rising 463 meters out of sea this idyllic landmark stands tall above the fishing village.
After soaking in the view of this outstanding natural treasure and its beautiful waterfalls, we’ll continue along the coast of Snæfellsness.
Our next stop will be the dramatic black pebble beach of Djúpalónssandur which offers astonishing views of the sea and here your guide will tell you fascinating stories of shipwrecks that lie on the beach.
Next, we will visit another, even smaller fishing village, Arnarstapi. There are few places in the world as charming as this location and here we will take a walk to the scenic coastline. While in town, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Miðgjá stone bridge, a natural rock arch off the coast.
Just east of Arnastapi, we’ll stop to admire Búðakirkja, the 19th-century church.
Next up on the adventure is the optional Vatnshellir Lava cave which is located in the Snæfellsjökull National Park. This is very close to the Snæfellsjökull glacier which is where the author Jules Verne decided to have his famous book Journey to the Center of the Earth begin.
As an optional extra, you can join a guided caving tour to explore Vatnshellir lava cave. You will descend into a magical underworld of stalactites, stalagmites, and strange lava formations. The light from your headlight might form eerie shapes and shadows, which dance across the walls of the cave adding to the excitement of the tour. The caving is short, very easy, and considered suitable for everyone.
On our way back to Reykjavík, a view of Gerðuberg basalt columns will be seen from the road. This lava paradise is home to a belt of basalt columns in impossibly geometric shapes and is quite exquisite to look at.
Before arriving back at the capital, we’ll make another shortstop in the town called Borgarnes, where you can get a good Icelandic hot dog. Finally, we will drop you off at Reyjavík, allowing the day’s magic to sink in.
Pick up is at 08:00 am from your hotel or a selected nearby meeting point in Reykjavík. Picking everyone up can take up to 30 minutes, your patience is much appreciated. Available pick-up points: Arctic Adventures’s pick-up list.
Optional extra: (Recommended) The caving tour to Vatnshellir cave is optional (see price in booking engine). For those who do not book the caving tour, you can take a short walk around the area with your guide.
There is a saying in Iceland, if you don’t like the weather just wait 5 minutes. This might sound like a joke but it is strangely true! Thanks to the beloved Gulf Stream, our country enjoys a cool, temperate maritime climate, this means refreshing summers and fairly mild winters. So basically, Iceland maintains a surprisingly moderate temperature all year around. For further information about the weather in Iceland and how to dress for it. If your tour includes a glacier activity it’s very important to dress appropriately. Dress in 3 or 4 upper layers such as a light t-shirt (preferably wool) next to the skin, then a fleece or heavy wool garment, topped off with a waterproof windbreaker. Jeans are not recommended for our trips as they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when they get wet. Lightweight hiking pants, track pants or long cotton pants are best and then wind/waterproof pants over. We also recommend using sunglasses and sunscreen even if it is cloudy due to the high UV and sunlight reflection from the glacier.
You will need sturdy hiking boots that fit crampons for the glacier hiking tours.
The drive from KEF airport to Reykjavik takes around 45 minutes. If your flight is delayed, please call our customer service team to go over what options you may have.
These are the two most common ways to get from the airport to Reykjavik city:
The cheapest and most convenient way of getting to and from Keflavik International Airport. The shuttle drops you off at the BSI Bus Terminal downtown or takes you all the way to your hotel or the closest drop off location. If you’re arriving on the same day as your tour departures we highly recommend to pick BSI Bus terminal as your pick up location.
Driving in Iceland can be tricky for two different reasons. The first being the weather conditions, especially in the winter months. The second reason is that if you’re not experienced in driving in conditions such as ice and snow then it could become dangerous.
If you are choosing a self-drive tour or to meet on location then make sure you have checked the driving conditions to make sure it is safe. At road.is you can find all the latest updates about travelling around Iceland. You should still check in the summer months just to make sure there is no storms or other types of weather warnings.
Iceland is a very high-tech country and we actually have one of the highest rates of Internet usage in the world. Many restaurants and cafés, especially in Reykjavik, have free Wi-Fi access, so if you have a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone you can get Internet access almost anywhere. All of our vehicles also have free Wi-Fi.
Here is the plus side to a cold country like Iceland. No dangerous insects survive here! Iceland has about three areas where some mosquitoes have now settled but nothing you will have to worry about on our tours. So, to sum it up, no you will not need any repellant!
We offer pick-ups from most known hotels, hostels and guesthouses in the capital area. We do not pick up from Airbnb. To make the process of finding the nearest pick-up location to your accommodation easier we have made a map of the locations.
Snaefellsnes & Kirkjufell Small Group tour | Average rating: 4.7/5 based on 39 customer reviews
"Great Tour" | By Nick L 18/04/2019
Tour was awesome and very informative. The van was nice, clean, spacious and comfortable. Would highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see some great views up the West Coast of Iceland. This tour will take about a full day (~12 hours).
"Beautiful tour" | By Lindsey DeLodder 14/04/2019
The landscape on this tour was breathtaking. There are several stops so it doesn't seem like you are in the van long. The lava tube is a must as well but beware there are a lot of steps. Highly recommend this tour.
"Very well organized tour operator" | By Ilja 12/04/2019
"This was our second tour with Aron as guide. Which was a nice surprise at the pickup of the second day, since he has a good sense of humor and is a really pleasant person to be on tour with. This time we had less good weather as on the first tour, which made some stops of the tour inaccessible. However, Aron from morning was checking weather predictions with his operation team and finally flexible altered the route to some alternative stops. Well, about the stops itself I don‘t think much has to be said about it: the nature landscapes of Iceland are simply very impressive and beautiful. About the organisation of arctic adventures I can only say positive things: punctual pickup, very competent and sympathic guide, perfect stops on the way for picking up snacks and coffee, always open to discuss alternative or extra stops with the group. And you travel in rather small groups, that is also a nice thing. Overall I can recommend arctic adventures in any aspect. @Aron: thanks once more for two wonderful days!"
"A great introduction to Iceland" | By Rob Andrews 31/03/2019
"I booked the Arctic Adventures Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Kirkjufell Small Group Tour for my first day in Iceland and it was a perfect start to my holiday. The tour takes in some truly spectacular sites, including the iconic Mt. Kirkjufell and the beautiful black beach of Djúpalónssandur. The tour lasted over 11 hours, partly due to some adverse driving conditions, but there were regular stops for food, coffee, toilets etc. and the pace of the tour was perfect so the day didn't feel overly long. My main reason for visiting Iceland was the opportunities it would offer me as a photographer; with this in mind, I opted not to take the cave tour and was driven to another beautiful beach and given an hour to explore, one of my personal highlights of the day. Einar, our guide for the day, was the perfect host. He was extremely knowledgeable, teaching us a great deal about the area. He had a great sense of humour and spoke perfect English. Einar kept offering to answer any questions anyone had, whether they related to the tour itself or to visiting Reykjavík generally, he even wrote a great list of must see places, recommended bars and restaurants for me! This tour was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Iceland, I recommend it highly. Thank you Arctic Adventures and Einar."
"Wonderful tour" | By Louis Lam 25/03/2019
There are a lot to see in this tour and the scenery is very nice! Very enjoyable trip!
"Wonderful trip" | By Tina 18/03/2019
The scenery was gorgeous and our tour guide was funny and enthusiastic. Even though there was heavy wind and storm alert at the end of the day, our tour guide sent us back to hotel safely and on time.
"Fantastic day" | By Michaela Webb 17/03/2019
"Ragnar was our guide for the day and he was a proper character. Funny, knowledgeable with a touch of sarcasm. Loved him and his pink jumper. The day itself was fantastic, snaefellsnes is stunning. From the black beaches to beauty of kirkjufell, to climbing a crater and listening to fascinating stories from Ragnar...I'd do this tour again myself, so I'd definitely recommend it to others."
"Cool tour!" | By Melissa wagner 18/02/2019
Our guide, Albert, was great! Very personable and good sense of humor. I felt I learned a ton about the area from him. The sightseeing tour shows off the beautiful west coast, very different views from our Sourh coast tour. We really enjoyed spending the day with Arctic Adventures! I would definitely use again when we come back to Iceland!
"Great Northern Adventure!" | By Paola Bonanno 28/01/2019
We traveled in January so it was a great treat to get to venture to the north and not have to worry about driving. The lava cave was AMAZING! Worth the extra fee for sure. On the way back to Reykjavík there was an accident blocking the route and a blizzard hit. Our guide, Maggi, was a great driver and I never for once felt unsafe. He entertained us the best he could until we were clear to drive on. I’d recommend this tour to anyone.
"Very well organized tour with a wonderful tour guide!" | By Mina V Garrey 14/01/2019
"We really enjoyed spending the day with our tour guide Bjork. She was very nice, extremely knowledgeable and very funny. Even though we started a little later than expected and the day was short (winter time) she managed to take us to all the places promised in the tour and we did not feel rushed. We enjoyed the everything about this tour. I would highly recommend it."
"Snaefellsnes tour" | By Franca Sonnenberg 09/01/2019
"The tour was a great experience. Everything was perfectly organized and the driver/ guide was great. He knew everything and willingly shared his knowledge and also experiences with us - all that in a very ""icelandic way"", with a lot of humor! We really enjoyed this absolutely recomendable tour!"
"Enjoyable Trip" | By Sue Lynn 03/01/2019
"The tour was enjoyable. The only downside of it was that the weather was very very unpredictable as it was raining and very windy at the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. So practically everybody on our tour was drenched and cold. So, its best to come prepared with windproof and rainproof clothing. Our tour guide for that day, Svenni, was very considerate and turned up the heater in our van. Besides that, he was very knowledgeable and explained all places as we were passing through Iceland, even though the outdoors was pretty dark and we couldn't distinguish where we were. He even accompanied and showed us the best spots to see and take pictures at some of the stops. He also explained in advance the our plan for the day, our lunch break, multiple toilet stops and ensured that nobody in our group was left behind. A highly recommended tour for those wanting to go do the Snæfellsnes Peninsula"
"Very good tour!" | By Anika Berning 27/12/2018
The tour was very good and exciting. We had a lovely tour guide, very friendly and fun. She made random pit stops to show us the sunrise and other nice views. However, it would have been nice to have her tell us more about where we are driving and what we are looking at. But otherwise, amazing tour!!
"Amazing day out" | By Lindsay craney 19/11/2018
This was probably our favorite trip of all the trips we have done in Iceland! The guide was amazing and the day was full of many sights to see!! We would definitely book trips with arctic adventures again and recommend them to family and friends!
"Awsome Tour" | By Shirley Campbell 16/11/2018
When trying to see as much of Iceland as possible in a very short time taking a tour with Arctic Adventures is the way to go. We so enjoyed this tour. Our tour guide Emily was fantastic. She was well versed in the history and legends of the area we were touring. We had plenty of time at stops to explore and we never felt rushed. The country is uniquely beautiful with the volcanoes, lava fields, waterfalls, lakes, streams,ocean and even a lava cave. The wind can be a bit strong, to say the least, but bundle up and you will be fine. Arctic Adventures run a very clean and safe operation. We would use them again and encourage others to do the same.
"Loved it" | By Victoria Nations 11/11/2018
The places we visited were amazing, our guide was informative and funny. The bus was clean and comfy. Loved it and would go again.
"Amazing tour!" | By Yen Hoang 05/11/2018
At first I didn’t expect the tour to be exciting or such...! Because of the weather was so cold and wet, however, it turned out so great that I’ve never experienced anything like that before. The tour guide was so nice, he has very great knowledge about every place we went to. Overall, I am so satisfied with the tour and definitely will visit Iceland again.
"Beautiful scenery, and Holly was great!" | By Linda H 20/10/2018
This was a very long day, made enjoyable by our guide Holly. She is educated in geology, which proved extremely helpful for this tour. The black sand beach was our favorite, but all of the stops were interesting, different, and beautiful. Note that there is no lunch stop, but the bus stops at a "travel plaza" where you can pick up sandwiches first thing on the tour, to eat later. The tour covers ~300 miles and Holly gave us tons of great information about both the landscape and the people who lived in this remote area during the entire trip.
"Discovered new places in Snaefellsnes" | By Veerle 17/10/2018
Snaefellsnes has been a long time favourite, but I hadn't been at Ytri Tunga and near Kirkjufell yet. Our guide Saga was really good and I loved her sense of humour. It was a magical day!
"Excellent tour with a great tour guide!" | By Jonas 15/10/2018
Great 12 hours around the Snæfellsnes peninsula with our guide Finn! There was never a dull or boring moment during the commute on the bus, Finn has tons of information and interesting facts about Iceland that kept me awake through the whole tour. Although the stops at each attraction could be longer, I thought that the time spent at each stop was decent enough to take in the sights and do some light exploration. Would definitely recommend Arctic Adventures if you are visiting Iceland for the first time.
"Beautiful coastline and countryside" | By Sue Schlange 10/10/2018
"We thoroughly enjoyed our day tour to Snaefellsnes peninsula. The tour included the lava cave 'journey to the center of the earth', the black sand beach and waterfall. Our only suggestion is to have the driver engage more with historical facts, or folklore regarding places we were visiting. Maggi told us a story about a farmer and his daughter. We would have loved to hear more of these type stories that make Iceland so special."
"Wonderful Tour Despite Difficult Weather" | By Michelle C Brock-Fisher 06/10/2018
We had a great time! Our tour guide was very good, patient, kind and compassionate. She did her best to turn the adverse weather (wind & rain) into a 'feature' of the tour! She added an unscheduled stop, at the Svortuloft lighthouse, where we watched 30 foot waves break against the 100 foot cliffs, sending spray up & over! It was a long day, but she never showed signs of tiring of us. If you have already done the Golden Circle tour, you have to add this one to your trip!
"Relax on the Snaefellsnes Tour" | By Norma 01/10/2018
Snaefellsnes and Kirkjufell was a great tour to do on my first full day in Iceland. Our driver Gisli was full of information and I learned so much about Iceland. He gave our tour a great orientation to the land, the country, the stories and the people. The West Coast had less tourists than the South Coast making it a more relaxing day driving and sight-seeing. So I was glad to do this one before I did the 2 day South Coast. I'd recommend seeing the cave too as that is distinctly different than most sites on this tour. The scenery will keep you captivated. This tour is a great way to ease into an Iceland vacation.
"Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Kirkjufell with a personal touch" | By Martina Burroughs 29/09/2018
We were so fortunate to have Ricki as our tour guide! His knowledge of the area was deep and broad, going back for generations. His colorful personal accounts and knowledge of local and Icelandic history dotted our trip and helped us connect to the many extraordinary sights and their human history. A memorable excursion into a beautiful landscape.
"The best tour ever!" | By Chris Sanborn 11/09/2018
The previous day I had gone on a big bus tour with another company and I gotta say this tour was much better! The smaller group and smaller bus enabled the other tour group members and the leader to have a more enjoyable time together. Our tour leader Poly was amazing! He was so knowledgeable about the area! I learned so much about the geology of the area, as well as the history. Poly was so smart and encourage questions! Arctic Adventures is def gonna be my go-to tour operator whenever Im in Iceland!
"AMAZING" | By Magdalene Kuehnel 06/09/2018
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I wasn’t sure which company I should book tours with, but am so happy I chose Arctic Adventures. We took three tours and each was on time, well planned, and had the friendliest guides.
"Mini Iceland Tour" | By Anil 13/08/2018
Ragnar made the tour extra special recounting local folklore and facts. The tour is a small sample of the many spots in Iceland.
"A great day at Snæfellsnes" | By Laura Poon 07/08/2018
"The Snæfellsnes day tour was wonderful and we were captivated by stunning vistas at every stop. Our guide Finn was positive, humorous and informative. He made the driving time pass swiftly by sharing many engaging stories and tidbits of info along the way. This was our 4th Arctic Adventures day tour and we learned a lot about Icelandic geology, culture etc. One of the solo travellers in the group was having bit of a challenging day and I was very impressed with our guide who showed concern, respect and professionalism, even at the end of a long 12-hour day. Now reviewing the tour itinerary, we noticed that missing from our tour was the stop at Ytri Tunga and Gerðuberg Cliffs. Perhaps it was omitted due to time constraints, but it would have been nice to see everything listed. I guess this gives more reason to come back - to visit the lesser-known places."
"GREAT TOUR" | By Meira Steinbock & Sigal Ron 26/07/2018
We LOVED the tour even though it was raining the entire day. Our tour guide, Mayka, was AMAZING and went out of his way to make sure that we see and visit as much and as many places. Would definitely recommend!
"I would like to thank the Guide" | By Livia Raele 16/07/2018
I would like to thank the Guide, Linus! He certainly made it very nice ! Thank you! Livia Raele
"A great tour with the best guide !" | By Phil 08/07/2018
We had Hjalti and our tour up the northwest peninsula was nothing short of amazing . I was a little worried about it being a 13 hour day but it went by so fast that I never even thought of the time ! Our guide was funny , interactive and kept us in the loop of every place with a little history. We had so much fun that I didn’t want it to end . I would recommend for anyone wanting to see Iceland !
"Do not miss the Snæfellsnes Peninsula!" | By Bobby 26/06/2018
Noris with Arctic Adventures was an awesome guide! We started the day watching seals play and then went to a fishing town with beautiful natural arches near the water. Next we went down into a lava cave - don't forget this is a (reasonable) add-on to the basic tour. This is where the tour gets it's name - Journey to the Center of the Earth. Afterwards we visited a gorgeous beach, stopped off at one of the most photographed waterfall/mountain combos, went to a waterfall "guarded" by sheep, and finished the day viewing rock formations.
"Fantastic Tour" | By Ana Mir 24/06/2018
The tour was amazing with beautiful scenery. All was very well organised and we had enough time to walk and to make photos in each spot. The guide was very professional and kind with all of us. Thanks so much ! Ans
"I think this tour is great with many sightseeing spots" | By Candis 18/06/2018
I think this tour is great with many sightseeing spots. Highly recommend to join the optional lava cave tour if physically capable of it.
"I really enjoyed the tour" | By Smaragda 17/06/2018
I really enjoyed the tour and learned many things about the local history and myths.
"Great tour and tour guide!" | By Smriti 13/06/2018
We had Bjork as our tour guide and she was a total delight to have as a tour guide! You could see how much she enjoyed her job which meant we had a great tour experience! Beginning of the tour she told us roughly what places we would be visiting (and she would keep updating us now and then) as well as what our pit stops would be, where to expect lunch, where to grab something to eat, etc. This was really good information to have and something all tour guides should give. That way we know what to expect - especially w.r.t. where and when can we have something to eat. The tour itself - starting off we didn't know what would be the great thing about this tour. After looking at the spectacular sights like the Seljalandfoss, snowmobiling on Landjokull, Jokulsarlon etc we were wondering if we would get much satisfaction from this tour. Turns out our skepticism was uncalled for. This area had a beauty of its own! It was just so beautiful that we were left spellbounded. The perfectly aqua colored water under the azure sky with lush green pastures dotted with a red and white house here and there... it was so beautiful! If you are looking for hikes, this is not the tour for that. It is a tour for admiring the various sceneries. Bjork was so excited to show us all the places, she didn't care even though it was past the scheduled time. She showed us what was on the list and more - even though she was the one driving. At every stop, she would come with us and tell us details about that place.
"I was disappointed that the visit to..." | By Deborah 04/06/2018
I was disappointed that the visit to the Natural Heritage Site of Gerðuberg was not included during the tour. There was time since we arrived in Reykjavik at around 19:15. It would also has been helpful if the information included a statement that the caving tour to Vatnshellir cave included some time in total darkness.
"Journey to the Center or the Earth - Snaefellsnes" | By S-Dog 27/05/2018
This tour was excellent - a wide variety of sights and landscapes. The smaller group format is the only way to go! Our guide on this tour (and all of the other tours with this organization - we did two) was excellent, very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable...this made the trip just that much better! All in all highly recommend this organization and in particular this tour.
"Beautiful and memorable day trip" | By Lizzie 04/04/2018
This trip takes you up the absolutely beautiful west coast to some unforgettable locations. My tour guide was very friendly and extremely knowledgeable, offering lots of fun facts along the whole trip. This tour gives an opportunity to see several Game of Thrones locations including the mountain shaped like an Arrowhead and the Bloody Gates. You don't want to miss this experience!