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7 Places to Visit on Snæfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland

Positioned on Iceland's Western coast, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is referred to as “little Iceland.”

This is because it is home to all the natural wonders Iceland offers, including glaciers, fjords, mountains, and lava fields, all in one location. 

To visit the peninsula, having your own form of transport is the best way to explore, as it allows you to have more freedom when checking out the area.

Stykkisholmur port on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland (photo: Patricia van den Berg)
Stykkisholmur port (photo by Patricia van den Berg)

Furthermore, a two-in-one solution such as an RV will give you a memorable experience.

Finding motorhomes and sleeping vans in Iceland is easy. This has become a popular way of visiting the country in the last few years, and companies like Campervan Reykjavik have increased their fleet.

Whether you're looking for a cheap campervan or a luxury RV, you'll find an option that fits you. At Snæfellsnes, there is so much to see, and below you will find the seven best places to visit. 

Basalt columns (photo: Chris Henry)
Basalt columns (photo by Chris Henry)

1. The Gerðuberg Basalt Cliffs

Your first stop on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula should be the Gerðuberg basalt columns as recommended by Icelandtravelguide.is. The structures look like imposing, perfectly symmetrical fortress walls.

They're set on a breathtaking expanse of land, and it's even possible to climb the columns if you're fit enough. 

You don't need much time here, but it's pleasant to wander around and take it all in. It's also a unique area for photo opportunities.

Stykkisholmur (photo: Marcel Dominic)
Stykkisholmur (photo by Marcel Dominic)

2. Stykkishólmur

The largest town in Snæfellsnes is Stykkishólmur, a fishing village in the northern part of the peninsula. It's also the most urban area, with many restaurants, grocery stores, and accommodation options. 

Boat trips operate from Stykkishólmur regularly, taking visitors to the Westfjords and Flatey island. 

While there, you can hike to the top of the cliffs, finding your way to the tiny little orange lighthouse. It is easily the best spot to enjoy panoramic views over the town. 

Boat used for shark fishing (photo: Rafael Vila)
A boat used for shark fishing (photo by Rafael Vila)

3. The Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum

If you want to try a local Icelandic delicacy, you need to head to this charming, family-run museum. 

The entry fee is around $10. The tour will teach you about the Bjarnarhöfn's and their expertise with Greenland shark meat. The family has hunted and processed sharks for over 400 years.

A tour also includes a visit to the drying house, where you can see the shark meat hanging up to dry. Since shark meat is toxic, it must be fermented for six months to become edible.

Witnessing the detailed process makes it the perfect activity for all ages. And, of course, you get to see what it tastes like in the end.

Kirkjufell mountain on Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland (photo: Ivars Krutainis)
Kirkjufell mountain (photo by Ivars Krutainis)

4. Kirkjufell Mountain

Located near Grundarfjörður on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the pyramid-shaped mountain is one of Iceland's natural wonders. It's best known for its appearance on the popular TV series, Game of Thrones

The best time to visit Kirkjufell is in summer when the area is covered by a lush green, grassy blanket and thriving with wildlife. 

On the other hand, it's also meant to be quite beautiful in the winter, as the dark, earthy colors give it an otherworldly appearance. 

The mountain itself is fronted by waterfalls, making it appear incredibly picturesque. It's no wonder that it's the most photographed mountain in Iceland. 

The best time to catch a glimpse of Kirjufell in all its glory is during the June equinox. At this time, you can witness the colors changing. 

Londrangar (photo by Tanner Crockett)
Londrangar (photo by Tanner Crockett)

5. Londrangar

Situated on the coast, Londrangar comprises two large towering rocks. According to local tradition, the stones symbolize a male and female troll. 

Although they have been climbed in the past, it isn't advisable as it requires a lot of skill and can be pretty dangerous for the average hiker. 

The area is home to various wildlife, including rare birds like the black-legged kittiwake, common murre, puffin, and northern fulmar.

Djúpalónssandur beach - Snæfellsnes Peninsula (photo by Alberto Zanetti)
Djúpalónssandur beach (photo by Alberto Zanetti)

6. Djúpalónssandur Beach

The next stop on our Snæfellsnes Peninsula itinerary is Djúpalónssandur beach. Also known as the Black Lava Pearl beach, it's dotted with the rusted remains of an old fishing vessel. 

You need to follow a short path through a majestic lava field to arrive at the beach itself. After the short journey, you will see the area covered with smooth, black pebbles, perfect for a picture. 

A unique thing about this location is the presence of lifting stones. Historically, they were used by anglers to determine who could work on the boats. 

They range from Fullsterkur (“full strength”) weighing 339 pounds (154 kilograms) to Amlóði (“useless”) at 51 pounds (23 kilograms).

Related: Witnessing the Northern Lights in Iceland

Arnarstapi, Iceland (photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)
Arnarstapi, Iceland (photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

7. Arnarstapi

The town of Arnarstapi is probably most famous for the massive basalt columns that run off into the ocean. 

For explorers, you must take the popular lava field trek between the villages of Arnarstapi to Hellnar. The hike is magical, taking you along the seaside and the cliffs. 

Moreover, Arnarstapi is the home of a huge sculpture dedicated to Bárðar. According to legend, the half-man, half-ogre once lived there and is now considered the area's guardian spirit. 

The town was under the control of the Danish monarchy from the 15th till the 19th century, when it was a busy trading port. 

As a result, it has some of the oldest buildings in the country, including the Danish Prefect's Residence.

Nowadays, it's a popular tourist destination, with many Icelanders owning second homes in the region. 

Many More Hidden Gems

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula contains many other hidden gems, like the Rauðfeldsgjá gorge and the Bjarnafoss Waterfall. Kirkjufell is probably the most beautiful spot in Snæfellsnes.

However, it's up to the individual, with gobackpacking.com showcasing all of Iceland's natural wonders to help. One guarantee is that the peninsula will leave you mesmerized by all its beauty.

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This story is brought to you in partnership with Campervan Reykjavik.

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