Arnarstapi: The Fishing Village in Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland


Basic Information

Arnarstapi, also known as Stapi, is a beautiful small fishing village that is located at the foot of Mt. Stapafell, which is in between Breiðavík Farms and the Hellnar Village, southern side of Snæfellsnes, Iceland. This is believed to be a fishing hub once but now has turned to a tourist place, or a place to rejuvenate in between, before we enter to Snæfellsjökull National Park. The population has shrunk considerably. You will see numerous old houses and hear many interesting stories about the place. It is indeed a mesmerizing place known for its beautiful landforms and picturesque views! The eye-catching formations of lava rocks and the gorgeously stunning gatherings of sea birds will add to the charm of this Icelandic Village! You will notice how beautifully Arnarstapi is framed in pictures from Snæfellsnes Peninsula and is often showed with a small white house under a spiny black mountain. 

Arnarstapi fishing village in snæfellsnes peninsula

Arnarstapi: Trading Point for Fishermen

Arnarstapi is one of Iceland’s most favorite and frequently visited destinations amidst tourists and natives! Situated in the lap of nature amidst the exquisite beauty all around, it is a mesa that has easy access to the Snæfellsjökull glacier. It was during fifteenth and sixteenth centuries it became an important fishing village. But eventually, it turned out to be a famous and most important Arnarstapi dock for small boats and a destination for crafts and yachts too! Arnarstapi with surrounding cliffs along the coastline has been occupied by the myriads of kittiwakes, birds, fulmars, and razorbills with many others too in the area. Arnarstapi harbor is amidst the few places in Iceland, which is perfect for shipping ports that offer the convenience to ship the fishing village grew. It gradually became the hub for commercial services for West Iceland. It was a trading point for commercial fishermen and the fishing boats were anchored to unload stocks and other merchandise in the 16th century during the rule of Danes over the Iceland that flourished for over 200 years. The Arnarstapi lighthouse was built in 1941.

The Historical Aspect of Arnarstapi

Stapi was enlisted amidst the most important trading post in the near past with larger population size as compared to today! Turning the pages of history, and following the Bardar-Saga – a mythological person, which is half a man and half an ogre, used to live in the cave located in the northern slopes of the mountain. The name of this place and the tourist attractions nearby this place are inspired by the legend of – half-human half-ogre Bárður.

Gatklettur at Arnarstapi fishing village in snæfellsnes peninsula

Don’t Miss Out on These Spots!

Gatklettur Arch-Rocks

Arnarstapi is a perfect place to hone your photography skills! A haven for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers. Gatklettur is a huge, and magnificently beautiful arch-shaped rock formation that positions between the beach and sea, which is near the port of Arnarstapi.

Bárðar Snæfellsás Statue

Just near the Arnarstapi coastline, while you walk along, you will witness a large stone sculpture of a man in the Viking helmet. According to Icelandic saga, this is a sculpture of Bárðar Snæfellsás, whose father was a huge troll and mother was human. The legendary stories about his adventures are well-known by everyone there. He touched the shores of Snæfellsás and came with his family from Norway. Many regions across that place carry his name and stories. Not just this, it is still believed that he is the protector of the Snæfellsnes peninsula and his spirit roams around that area to help tourists who travel there!

Arnarstapi fishing village in snæfellsnes peninsula

How to Get There?

The entire journey from Reykjavik to Arnarstapi will take you around 2 hours and 30 minutes if you drive without refueling in between. Drive along the Ring Road 1 to Borgarfjordur that will take you to the town of Borgarnes.  Take a left turn – West, which is a roundabout onto the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Now follow road nr. 54 – along the southern part of the peninsula, past Búðir and Lýsuhólslaug swimming pool before you reach Arnarstapi.

Map of Arnarstapi

Interesting locations in the area

Hotels & Restaurants

More Nearby Locations

Lóndrangar in Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Lóndrangar Basalt Cliffs | The Natural Wonder of Iceland

Grundarfjörður village in Snæfellsnes Peninsula with view over Kirkjufell mountain

Grundarfjörður Village | Your Complete Guide to Grundarfjörður

Eldborg crater

Eldborg Crater: Western Iceland’s Fortress Of Fire

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Popular Articles

Nightlife in Reykjavík

Traveling is mostly about enjoying the local attractions of a certain place which has made it renowned in the world

Music Festivals in Iceland

Iceland hosts many festivals and events throughout the year, including music festivals. The country never ceases to amaze those who

Highlands of Iceland – Top Attractions

Previous Next Almost all of us who have Iceland on their bucket list of traveling must have heard about the

Top Locations in the Golden Circle

Previous Next Iceland, the land of blazing fires and freezing ice, is world-famous for its unique geothermal landscape and the

Secret Locations of The Golden Circle | Hidden Gems in the Most Popular Route in Iceland

Previous Next One of the best things about visiting places that have still not been visited by many and are

Luxury Tours in Iceland – The Ultimate Travel Guide

Iceland Luxury Tours If you want to do Iceland in style, we’ve made a list of Iceland Luxury Tours that
Most Popular Tours
0 Reviews

Volcano Tour – Geldingadalur Erupting volcano

0 Reviews

Crystal Ice Cave & Northern Lights | Day Tour from Reykjavik

0 Reviews

Northern Lights Super Jeep

0 Reviews

Golden Circle & Northern Lights

0 Reviews

South Coast & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Most Popular things to do in Iceland

Northern Lights Hunting

Ice Caving




Whale Watching / Puffins

Glacier Hiking

Horse Riding

Hot Spring Bathing

Top Attractions in Iceland










Blue Lagoon

Explore Iceland by Region

Golden Circle

South Iceland


West Iceland

East Iceland

North Iceland




Hidden Gems