The Snæfellsnes Peninsula in west Iceland is truly a hidden gem just waiting to be explored! Unlike the very popular south coast of Iceland, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is a bit out of the way. The extra effort is worth it when you are rewarded with sparkling fjords, stunning glaciers, beautiful beaches, world-class landscapes, and more!
The Ultimate Guide To Exploring Iceland’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula
When leaving Reykjavik, take Highway 1 [The Ring Road] to the west. Your GPS may give you multiple route options, but buckling down and paying the $10 [each way] toll for a tunnel under the water is the fastest choice. Learn more about road tolls in Iceland here. Shortly after the tunnel, you will pass a town called Borgarnes. After the town, you will come across Highway 54 to your left. Once you are on Highway 54, you are on the road that circumnavigates Snæfellsnes Peninsula! Yes….it really is that easy!
Where to stay on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Although there are a variety of hotels/hostels on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, we always suggest staying in an Airbnb when traveling in Iceland in order to get the most bang for your buck. Book your stay in Grundarfjörður. This lovely town is nestled between the mountains and the fjords and is minutes away from Kirkjufell, is one of the most visited places in Iceland. We stayed at the
We stayed at the Lárperla / Ocean Pearl Airbnb and our hosts Greta and her husband were so kind. We had the entire lower level guest house to ourselves and the listing came complete with two bedrooms [we didn’t use one of them], a full kitchen, a hot tub, and best of all, a view of the famous Kirkjufell Mountain!
What to do and see on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
You could spend weeks exploring the Snæfellsnes Peninsula because it is so magical and diverse. If you only have a couple of days or a few hours, be sure to hit the sites below!
Take epic pictures at Kirkjufell
Kirkjufell is the most popular stop along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and is one of the most popular spots to visit in Iceland. Kirkjufell is unmistakable and a wonderful place to stop and take some memorable photos. Don’t forget to include the waterfalls in your shot and to get creative for a few photos!
Walk on a land bridge in Arnarstapi
Arnarstapi is a very small Icelandic town located on the south side of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Tucked on the coast of the town is a land bridge that you can actually walk on. To get there, pull into the main parking lot in Arnarstapi which is on your right when you arrive at the town. Walk to the coast, and walk left along the coast as far as you can go. Enjoy the basalt columns and stunning sea views! As always, be very careful.
Drive through Snæfellsnes National Park
Snæfellsnes National Park is the only park in Iceland that reaches from the mountains to the seashore. From beaches and lava fields to glaciers and caves, Snæfellsnes National Park makes for a wonderful mini-road trip, with a ton of fun stops along the way. Keep an eye out for signs and stop where you see fit.
Marvel at the Snæfellsjökull Glacier
The Snæfellsjökull Glacier sits atop an active volcano and looks over the entire peninsula like a dedicated watchman. The glacier can best be seen from Snæfellsnes National Park or from inland roads on the peninsula. Fun fact: the glacier was actually the setting for the popular Jules Vern novel “Journey To The Center Of The Earth.”
Do go chasing waterfalls
Like pretty much everywhere else in Iceland, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula has a ton of waterfalls to explore. Everywhere you look you will see lovely cascades making their way from the mountains above to meet with the sea below. There are plenty of pull-outs off the road to make exploring these waterfalls safe and easy. Make sure your camera is ready at all times!
Two or three days is the perfect amount of time to spend exploring the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. If you only have one day, don’t pass it up! Choose your top sites and make the most out of the time you have. This part of west Iceland is NOT to be missed!
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