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The Snæfellsnes peninsula juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. This slender slip of land is sometimes called “Iceland in miniature” as it showcases the unique and varied landscapes of the island all in one place. Waterfalls cascading over solidified lava, volcanic tunnels, an epic volcano- glacier and cute little fishing villages await those who visit.
Red-roofed church perched on a small hill, enveloped by a sea of purple lupins, with a glacier-capped volcano rising majestically in the background.
Best time to visit
All year round
Distance from Reykjavík
150 km (93 mi)

Related tours

    12 hours

    Wonders of Snæfellsnes National Park

    The Snæfellsnes peninsula is often referred to as “Iceland in miniature”, as you get a little bit of everything. The diverse landscape includes natural wonders like vast black sand beaches, magnificent mountains, large volcanic craters, rich birdlife, and the mighty glacier, Snæfellsjökull. It’s a spectacular slice of Iceland.

    From €133/person

    Exploring the Natural Wonders of Snæfellsnes Peninsula

    While most people visit the sights along the Golden Circle, perhaps consider a day trip to the lesser-explored Snæfellsnes peninsula for just as much beauty and awe.

    A man using his phone to capture a photo of a prominent sea stack.

    Sights across the Snæfellsnes peninsula

    There are many other natural sights across Snæfellsnes, like the striking basalt cliffs at Gerðuberg, reminiscent of the rock formations at Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. You can also descend into an 8,000-year-old lava cave at Vatnshellir or simply take it easy with a long soak in one of the geothermal outdoor baths.

    During the winter months, Snæfellsnes Peninsula Northern Lights tours are a popular option, as the snow-covered landscape and lack of light pollution out here seem to make the aurora glow even brighter.

    A quaint colorful village on a sunlit summer day, with the iconic Kirkjufell mountain and the shimmering sea framing the backdrop.

    Sights around Grundarfjörður

    One of the absolute highlights of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, Kirkjufell Mountain sits just outside the pretty fishing village of Grundarfjörður. You might recognise this conical mountain from the hit TV series Game of Thrones, where it represented Arrowhead Mountain.

    Layers of rock create a striking silhouette, and although you can’t climb to the top as it is too steep, there is a beautiful photo opportunity at the base of the mountain with the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall tumbling in the foreground.

    Within the town of Grundarfjörður itself, you’ve got a few overnight accommodation options and the opportunity to spot orcas whales out in Breiðafjörður Bay on a boat tour from the little harbour. Boat trips also leave from here to spot the colony of puffins that live out on Melrakkaey Island.

    "Stunning coastal rock formations sculpted by nature's forces.

    Sights around Arnarstapi

    Almost at the very tip of the peninsula, the Arnarstapi area is where you can follow meandering walks along the dramatic sea cliffs where stone archways frame the ocean, and arctic terns and kittiwakes make their nests. Close to the small settlement of Arnarstapi, the Snæfellsjökull glacier is a popular spot for a Snæfellsnes Peninsula hike of a different kind. Guided glacier hikes onto the frozen surface of Snæfellsjökull run between March and September.

    Snæfellsnes Peninsula vs. Golden Circle - Which Should You Visit?

    Those with just a short time in Iceland might have to choose between a day trip to the Snæfellsnes peninsula or a day trip along the sights of the famous Golden Circle.

    While the Golden Circle is considered to cover the absolute highlights of Iceland’s landscape – Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir area of geothermal activity – Snæfellsnes has its fair share of beautiful waterfalls, basalt cliffs, coastal villages and glaciers but over a smaller area.

    Due to its distance from the capital, day trips to the Snæfellsnes peninsula do tend to take longer than the Golden Circle route from Reykjavík, but you’ll be rewarded with quieter sights and a landscape that encapsulates all of Iceland’s unique geology in one place.

    Of course, you can always have the best of both worlds and take a day trip along the Golden Circle one day and then spend another day exploring the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Then you can make up your own mind about which is better.

    All About Snæfellsnes Peninsula