Iceland – Snæfellsnes

Pronounced: stnai-fɛls-nɛːs

We stayed in Stykkishólmur (Aka Stykkish) on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Snaefellsnes is located directly North of Reykjavik, but its not exactly a straight shot to get there.

Stykkishólmur is located on an even smaller peninsula on the North side of Snaefellsnes. They have a small harbor with fresh fish arriving daily. At the end of town is a hill (Súgandisey Cliff) where you can see the mountains to the South and the water to the North.

Town of Stykkishólmur with Snaefellsnes mountains

Touring around Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Parking at Kirkjufell was a little confusing as there is a paid parking (on private land) that is completely automated (and difficult to pay for). There is also free parking which requires a short walk.

Our first full day we drove around the peninsula admiring the landscapes with virtually no other people. Our first stop was the famous Kirkjufell.

Kirkjufell
Kirkjufell (mountain) and Kirkjufellfoss (waterfall)

Svörtuloft Lighthouse

At the Western end of the peninsula is Svörtuloft Lighthouse. You have to travel down a bumpy road for a couple miles, but it is worth it for the views.

Svörtuloft Lighthouse
Ocean view near Svörtuloft Lighthouse - May 2022
Ocean view near Svörtuloft Lighthouse

Snæfellsjökull Volcano

Also within view is Snæfellsjökull, the highest mountain (and volcano) in Snæfellsnes. This volcano is visible around most of the Western peninsula.

Snæfellsjökull - May 2022
Snæfellsjökull

Rocks and Cliffs

There are a ton of rock formations on the Southern coast of the peninsula. I’m sure we missed a few of them along the way. The first place we stopped was Lóndrangar.

Lóndrangar - May 2022
Lóndrangar

A little farther along the coast is the Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge. There is a story behind the gorge (as there are with many geological figures in Iceland.

Waterfalls

As I mentioned before, there are abundant waterfalls in Iceland. After venturing inland returning to Stykkishólmur, we passed by Selvallafoss (translated as Sheep Falls). You can walk behind the waterfall. It appeared as though some sheep traverse the waterfall during the grazing season which I suppose gives it the name.

Selvallafoss - May 2022
Selvallafoss

Westfjords – sort of

The following day we tried to drive to the even more remote Westfjords. Our farthest point we made it to, ironically, was in the Eastern Westfjords at Drangsnes. At Drangsnes, there are a few “seaside hotpots” that we checked out. Unfortunately the water was a little too hot to sink anything more than your feet into.

We drove all day around the Westfjords but the landscape was not as dramatic as most of the Westfjords. We drove to the Eastern area because it was closer to Snæfellsnes. Additionally we had to drive on dirt/gravel roads for long stretches which takes more time. The best landscapes we saw were in Snæfellsnes.

Snæfellsnes Mountains on the dirt road to the Westfjords

Nighttime in Iceland

We were in Snæfellsnes a few weeks before the Summer Solstice. Therefore Stykkishólmur received around 21 hours of daylight. The Sun set just before midnight, so we went out one “night” to see a midnight sunset at Súgandisey Cliff.

Sunset at 11:40 PM – Don’t worry the Sun will rise again in about 3 hours

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