Iceland is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous places to visit. When in Iceland, you will come across varied unexplored and stunning places and amidst those places, Snæfellsjökull National Park is one such place in Iceland that is sure to leave you mesmerized by its natural, and raw beauty. Snæfellsjökull National Park is located adjacent to Arnarstapi and Hellnar and will take approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes to reach from the main capital city, Reykjavik.
Explore Snæfellsjökull National Park:
Located on the tip of Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Snæfellsjökull National Park is listed amidst the three national parks in Iceland and is specifically named owing to the presence of a volcano and the mighty glacier. This national park, amidst the all, is the only one that stretches to the sea. Snæfellsjökull National Park is not just known for the glacier, the unique geology, serene landscape, native plants, and animal life, in combination makes this place a perfect attraction in Iceland. Unlike Þingvellir and Vatnajökull National Parks, this national park is not the largest one but has everything that you wish to explore ever!
Snæfellsjökull National Park was established in 2001 with a vision to protect the nature’s site, and also keep the important historical relics protected; it is located on the Snæfellsness peninsula. This national park is opened for visitors and adventure enthusiasts from all across the world. Snæfellsjökull National Park is a home to many famous sites that includes the stunning Snæfellsjökull Glacier, Saxhóll volcano crater, Djúpalónssandur beach, Lóndrangar (massive lava formations), Rauðfeldsgjá canyon, and Sönghellir cave.
The main attraction of the Snæfellsjökull National Park is the most iconic and gorgeous sub-glacial volcano Snæfellsjökull, which is a glacier-capped volcano on the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The glacier can easily be spotted on clear days across Faxaflói Bay from the capital city Reykjavík. The raw and untouched beauty of this place has managed to grab the attention of famous writers and also artists across the world. One of the most famous examples is Halldór Laxness’ novel ‘Christianity Beneath the Glacier’ and Jules Verne’s novel ‘A Journey to the Centre of the Earth’, which has Snæfellsjökull as the primary setting. Apart from this, this site is also known as one of the most preferred locations for adventure enthusiasts for super jeep tours or glacier hiking.
Buðahraun Lava Field:
Apart from exploring the volcanic site, there is another one of the most famous places in Snæfellsjökull National Park, Buðahraun lava field. It is located on the southern shore of the Snaefellsnes peninsula and allows you to explore and walk amidst the unique sandy lava fields. Seeing the black church and strolling around the sandy beach adds up to the experience. The terrains are covered in moss while the fascinating geology makes it look unique in all aspects.
Another most beautiful place to visit in the national park is the Djúpalónssandur, which is a pebble beach and is surrounded by stunning landforms, high-dramatic cliffs, and mysterious rocks. Djúpalónssandur is also known as Deeplagoonsand, was once home to 60 fishing boats, but today the cove is abandoned. The gleaming and sparkling pebbles on the beach area known as Djúpalónsperlur, which translates to “pearls of the deep lagoon”. So, one of the best places for stone collectors and nature lovers.
Lóndrangar Basalt Cliffs
Now, another destination in the national park is Lóndrangar Basalt cliffs that is nearby Djúpalónssandur and is located in the south-west of Snæfellsjökull national park. A quick break is recommended here to explore the area around and witness the impressive view near the massive cliffs. This place is one of the most dramatic and picturesque places to visit. So, make the most of your tour to Snæfellsjökull National Park and explore the maximum places in this area to witness the majestic nature closely.
Vatnshellir Lava Cave
Vatnshellir Cave is located in the Snæfellsjökull National Park. It is an 8000-year-old lava cave that is often visited by adventure seekers. Vatnshellir cave was recently opened for the public in 2011 making it an exciting place to visit if you are in Iceland. This cave has amazing folklores attached to it that make it more interesting to visit. Vatnshellir Cave is situated at a 10-minute drive from the hamlet of Hellnar.
Skarðsvík Golden Beach
Skarðsvík Golden Beach is a small beach with basalt rock formations (formed due to the cooling of lava) and golden sand. It is a picturesque destination that is worth visiting in Iceland. You will find a dedicated parking lot with various signs. Just read the signs and follow the path that will take you to the mesmerizing Skarðsvík Golden Beach. There is a small cave adjacent to the Skarðsvík Golden Beach that used to be a grave earlier. To explain the beauty of this golden beach, it is difficult to frame it in words.
Guided tours to Snæfellsjökull National Park
Locations Around Snæfellsjökull National Park
There are so many interesting locations to explore around Snæfellsjökull National Park. The Peninsula, Snæfellsnes, is known to offer all kind of sightseeing. It is often called Iceland in a miniature, because of the variety of landscape that you can find. Don’t miss these locations on your way to Snæfellsjökull National Park.
Also known as the “Church Mountain”, Kirkjufell is the most-photographed mountain in the country, all thanks to the exceptionally unique shape that it boasts. The Kirkjufell resembles a church steeple with a pointy top and curved slope on the sides. Kirkjufell is 463 meters high and boasts beautiful vistas that are always changing face with the season which makes it a very impressive attraction among tourists and photographers alike despite its diminishing height.
Arnarstapi is a small village which once used to be a very popular fishing town, is a fueling stop now frequented by tourists heading towards the Snæfellsjökull National Park. Arnarstapi is one of those towns in Iceland that gained a rather accelerated growth and turned a new leaf after the independence of the country.
Hellnar is located in the western part of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. It is one of the oldest fishing towns in the country, its history dating back to 1560. Earlier, Hellnar was a hub of trading and there were quite a few farms in the area. By 1703, the town had 38 houses. But, with modern developments, the trading and fishing industries started moving to the country’s capital, Reyjavík. This resulted in people migrating to other areas leaving Hellnar with nothing. Gradually, with the rise of tourism in Iceland, Hellnar saw an increase in tourists coming to the area. Therefore, this town started providing rural lodges to the visitors to keep the economy intact.
Rauðfeldsgjá is a beautiful gorge in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The name Rauðfeldsgjá means ‘Red-Cloak rift.’ You can easily find a parking lot in this area. After parking your vehicle, take a little walk to the opening of the gorge. Walk around the narrow path along the stream and grasp the stunning views of the place. If you want to go a little further, then you should be quite fit and well-equipped with hiking shoes and clothes. Rauðfeldsgjá gorge offers scenic views and landscapes that make us go in awe of its beauty.