Iceland: The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Favourite Experiences:

  • Hiking along volcanic cliffs from Arnarstapi to Hellnar
  • Climbing through 8000 year old lava tubes at the Vatnshellir Cave
  • Taking in the views of Kirkjufell from Kirkjufellsfoss

About a two-hour drive north-west of Reykjavík, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula has some of Iceland’s most diverse landscapes. Before I left for Iceland, I got a couple of recommendations to visit this part of the country, and when I heard that one of my favourite movies was filmed in this area, I knew I had to add it to my list. Because of the weather, tours to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula typically start up in June, so I had a bit of a hard time finding one in early May. Luckily, I was able to book a day tour with Extreme Iceland called Journey to the Centre of the Earth, named after Jules Verne’s famous novel of the same name which was set in the area. This tour was excellent and covered many of the peninsula’s top sights. My day included a stop at the Ytri-Tunga beach seal colony, a coastal cliffside hike from Arnarstapi to Hellnar, a visit to the Vatnshellir lava cave, time to explore the shipwreck at Djúpalónssandur black beach, a hike up Kirkjufellsfoss, a stop at a hidden waterfall in the Berserkjahraun lava field, and a stop at the basalt columns at Gerðuberg. Below are my favourite photos from my day in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula:


Ytri-Tunga Beach is famous for it’s resident seal colony. You can’t see it in this picture, but I could see two!


On a clear day, Ytri-Tunga beach has an excellent view of Snaefellsjökull Glacier


Beside the beach is the isolated Ytri-Tunga farm


The sun came out just in time for my first views of Snaefellsjökull


The village of Arnarstapi has a coastal path connecting it to the village of Hellnar, this path is an excellent 45-minute hike with beautiful scenery and views of Snaefellsjökull


Amazing geological formations in the cliffs near Arnarstapi Village along the hike


A stream from Snaefellsjökull Glacier along the hiking path (I drank this water!)


More beautiful views from the hiking path


Unique lava formations on the beaches between Arnarstapi and Hellnar


A last look at the coast before heading into the lava field on the hiking path


Hiking through the lava field, the result of a former volcanic eruption


“The Bird Cave” at the base of the cliffs at Hellnar


Descending 35m underground into the Vatnshellir Lava Cave


Exploring the stalactites, stalagmites, and lava formations inside the Vatnshellir Lava Cave


Djúpalónssandur Black Beach, the site of a famous 1948 shipwreck


Iron remains from the British trawler that crashed on March 13, 1948


More cool lava formations line black sand beach


Amazing scenery on the hike up from Djúpalónssandur Beach


Kirkjufellsfoss from the base of Kirjufell


Kirkjufell (Church Mountain) is known for it’s natural symmetry


Kirkjufellsfoss with Kirkjufell in the background, amazing!




The stream from Kirkjufellsfoss leading to into the ocean


The view overlooking the Berserkjahraun Lava Fields


A hidden waterfall in Berserkjahraun


The basalt columns at the Natural Heritage Site of Gerduberg


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