Embark on a journey to the awe-inspiring land of Snaefellsnes, just under two hours to the north-west of Reykjavik, where nature's grandeur takes centre stage. The Snaefellsnes region is a starkly beautiful peninsula jutting out into the North Atlantic on Iceland's western coast. This breath-taking peninsula beckons adventurers with its diverse landscapes, from creaking glaciers and towering mountains to serene black sand beaches. In the long summer days, when the sun hardly sets, holidays on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula revolve around fishing for sea trout or river salmon, whale watching, or snowmobiling
on the glacier-topped volcano that dominates the end of the peninsula. Discover local culture, literature and history as you visit historic sites such as the mesmerizing Bjarnarfoss Waterfall, the dramatic Arnarstapi Cliffs and the crater of Snæfellsjökull, that famously leads to the Centre of the Earth according to Jules Verne. When legs get weary and fingers and toes feel frosty, choose to bed down on your Snaefellsnes Peninsula holiday in anything from a cosy guesthouse to a swanky hotel, and end each day with a sense of wonder and awe for the world around you.
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What can you find in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula that you won't find anywhere else?
The concentration of natural beauty that’s packed into the 60-mile long Snaefellsnes Peninsula, extending out from Iceland’s west coast, is truly astounding. It is a land of enchantment and adventure, where nature reveals its most magnificent and unexpected treasures. You can expect to see everything from imposing volcanoes, towering glaciers and tumbling waterfalls, to moss-covered lava fields, dramatic coastal cliffs, echoey caves and black-sand beaches; to say the region packs a mighty natural punch would be a big understatement. The majestic Snaefellsjökull glacier tops the western tip of the peninsula like a frozen crown and the Arnarstapi cliffs are adorned with a plethora of seabirds who nest there and perform camera-busting aero acrobatic displays in a symphony of sounds and colours. Known as ‘Iceland in miniature’ because it encapsulates so many of the country’s best bits, Snaefellsnes Peninsula holidays have a distinct end-of-the-earth feel to them.
What are the best ways to discover the Snaefellsnes Peninsula?
The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is easily explored by car, and a self-drive adventure is an excellent way to get the most out of your trip. Stykkishólmur is the peninsula’s largest town and an ideal starting point for discovering the region’s many charms; stroll past its colourful wooden houses, visit its Volcano Museum or simply take in its tranquil beauty on a nature walk. The glacier-capped Snæfellsjökull Volcano is the peninsula’s most famous landmark, which stands in a national park of the same name. Its magnificent soaring peak is an Icelandic icon and on a clear day it can be seen from Reykjavik, the country’s capital. The peninsula is a photographer’s paradise, so is the ultimate spot for a tailor-made tour learning how to snap shots of its ever-changing light, dramatic landscapes and abundant wildlife. After filling up your memory card with photos of this natural giant and its surrounding wilderness, wander the pretty fishing villages, Arnastapi and Hellnar, that sit at its base for a splash of Icelandic culture. Continue your deep dive into the untamed beauty of the region with a guided tour of the 8,000-year-old Vatnshellir Cave and its secret chambers, or visit the majestic waterfalls of Kirkjufellsfoss, which are backed by Iceland’s most photographed mountain, Kirkjufell (so magnificent it starred in ‘Game of Thrones’), leaving you wondering what planet you landed on. Talking of otherworldly landscapes, Snaefellsnes Peninsula holidays are teeming with them, from the black sands of Djúpalónssandu to the towering cliffs of Svörtuloft. The black wood Búðarkirkja Church is another stirring sight of Snaefellsnes – the lone structure stands amid an ancient lava field and its inky outline is a famed image of natural beauty and isolation.
Things to Do in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Tailor made holidays to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula are all about outdoor adventure – drive from one awe-inspiring natural sight to the next and get closer to Iceland’s lunar-like landscape with whale-watching tours and fishing excursions, hikes through craters, snowmobile excursions on glaciers or kayaking through sparkling fjords. Take to the water and sail around the fairy-tale-like scenery as you spy the incredible bird life in the region or see some of the fantastic scenery on the back of a noble stocky-legged Icelandic steed. Explore age-old lava tube networks on a guided tour or discover waterfalls that are completely off the beaten track, including the cascading waters at Hraunfossar and the magnificent yet secluded falls at Dynjandi, that look as though they flow over an ancient set of stairs. When legs are weary, head to Landbrotalaug for a lovely languid soak in the hot spring’s warm waters or head to one of the peninsula’s fishing villages and settle down for the evening with a delicious dinner of freshly caught seafood, with a side of fascinating Icelandic culture.