view-countries-simple.phtml

Snæfellsnes and Snæfellsjökull National Park - A view from our expert author


Mt Snæfellsjökull, Iceland by kfk, Wikimedia CommonsMt Snæfellsjökull last erupted 1,800 years ago © kfk, Wikimedia Commons

This part of Iceland’s west coast is filled with majestic sea cliffs, beaches and lush fjords

Snæ-fells-nes merely means ‘snow mountain peninsula’, which it clearly is. Covered in a permanent shield of lumpy ice, Mt Snæfellsjökull (1,446m) is the tallest mountain in the long row of grey peaks that divides the sea between Breiðafjörður and Faxaflói. Rising alone from the water, no other point is so visible from the rest of Iceland as this one majestic volcano. Be you in Reykjavík or in the West Fjords, a sunny day will grant you a vision of the mountain and its glacier. As you approach the peninsula the view becomes even more astounding, but once you arrive at the base, the mountain disappears – it is too big to see up close. The mystique of Snæfellsnes lies in its remarkable terrain, the energy of the mountains and the legends connected to this place.

Snæfellsnes seems a determined detour that might feel like going way out on a limb. Anxious tourists often bypass the whole area just to make good distance on the ring road. That is a big mistake, since they are missing a most magnificent place. This long volcanic ridge is a natural paradise with very few people and memorable landscapes. Serious hikers will want to trek any of the many trails, especially those that cross the peninsula – a short distance that ascends some mighty mountains. Everyone should feel encouraged to experience the national park. It’s a personal favourite among Icelanders and offers a tranquil escape with powerful views. Below the white cap, the sloping lava descends into a rough and desolate landscape of grey-black hills, craters, cliffs, and fields of broken lava rock. This is not some kind of action-packed adventure land at the edge of a volcano. On the contrary, wandering through this lost world feels meditative and ethereal. If anything, Snæfellsjökull is pure silence. It’s gorgeous and serene, so if you have some spare time, be sure to spend it here.

Back to the top

Iceland articles

View all

13 European national parks that you’ve probably never heard of

There are many national parks in Europe that remain fairly unknown. Here you can discover 13 of the best. Why miss out on visiting somewhere spectacular? 

Read more...

Interview with Discover the World’s Clive Stacey

We speak to co-founder and Managing Director of tour operator Discover the World, a company that has been pioneering holidays to Iceland for almost 35 years and is now one of the UK’s leading specialists. 

Read more...

Day trips from Reykjavík

In addition to being Iceland’s captial city, Reykjavík is an ideal base for those who want to explore more of what the country has to offer. 

Read more...

Related guides and other books

View all