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.
Touring around Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Our first full day we drove around the peninsula admiring the landscapes with virtually no other people. Our first stop was the famous Kirkjufell. It’s a uniquely shaped mountain not far from Stykkish. Lots of people come to Kirkjufell for photography; especially some variation of the picture below. Luckily the sky was clear too!
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.
At the Western end of the peninsula is Svörtuloft Lighthouse. It was about 45 minutes from Kirkjufell to get to the area. You have to travel down a bumpy road for a couple miles, but it is worth it for the views.
Also within view is Snæfellsjökull, the highest mountain (and volcano) in Snæfellsnes. This volcano is visible around most of the Western peninsula.
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.
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). Hiking up the gorge only takes about ten minutes and you get a good view of the ocean from the higher elevation.
As I mentioned before, there are abundant waterfalls in Iceland. After venturing inland and 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.
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. Some of the best landscapes we saw were in Snæfellsnes along our drive.
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.