Stykkisholmur is a town with a population of about 1,100 people, situated on the northern shore of the Snaefellsness Peninsula. This is a picturesque fishing town that has traditional wooden houses and is often called the village of color. It was the first community in Europe to obtain EarthCheck Certification. The town is praised for its eco-consciousness and even got Blue Flag Award for its harbor and became a plastic-free town. It is one of the best winter destinations in the peninsular region. It has a good choice of accommodation and restaurants, and handy transport links.
Stykkishólmur: A Picturesque Coastal Gem
Nestled along the shores of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland, Stykkishólmur is a captivating coastal town that exudes charm, character, and natural beauty. This idyllic settlement sits by a headland, offering mesmerizing views of the surrounding landscapes and the tranquil waters of Breiðarfjarðarflói bay.
Stepping into Stykkishólmur feels like stepping into a painting, where colorful houses dot the landscape and charming streets wind their way through the town. The town’s architecture is a delightful blend of traditional Icelandic styles and contemporary influences, creating a unique visual tapestry that’s both welcoming and aesthetically pleasing.
One of Stykkishólmur’s notable features is its vibrant cultural scene. The town is home to several museums, galleries, and cultural institutions that showcase Iceland’s rich history, art, and heritage. One such highlight is the Library of Water, an innovative space that features columns filled with glacier water collected from different parts of the island. This art installation provides a unique and contemplative experience, allowing visitors to connect with Iceland’s natural elements in a thought-provoking way.
Stykkishólmur is also a hub for exploring the surrounding natural wonders. Its location along the coast makes it an ideal starting point for boat tours, where you can venture out to explore nearby islands, observe local wildlife, and take in the stunning views of the ocean and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The town’s harbor is often bustling with activity, as fishing boats and leisure crafts come and go, contributing to the authentic maritime atmosphere.
For those with an interest in folklore and history, Stykkishólmur has its own share of intriguing tales. The town is said to be the inspiration for the setting of Sjálfstætt fólk (“Independent People”), a novel by Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness. Additionally, the town’s proximity to the mystical Snæfellsjökull glacier lends itself to local myths and legends, some of which claim the glacier to be an otherworldly portal.
Stykkishólmur isn’t just a destination; it’s an experience that encapsulates the beauty of Iceland’s coastal landscapes, the warmth of its people, and the magic of its culture and history. Whether you’re exploring its colorful streets, enjoying local cuisine, or embarking on an adventure to discover the wonders of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Stykkishólmur is a place that will capture your heart and imagination.
Things to do in Stykkisholmur
Visit Volcano Museum
Volcano Museum provides you an understanding of the Icelandic environment. Several exhibits are worth watching, reading, and touching. The staff in the museum is friendly and is always ready to answer questions. This museum houses a charming old cinema and was founded by Haraldur Sigurdsson, a volcanologist.
Hike up to Helgafell Mountain
Also known as Holy Mountain, Helgafell is a sacred mountain and is referred to in Eyrbyggja Saga. The settler Þórólfs Mostrarskeggs and his successors established a temple dedicated to the Norse God at Helgafell. Earlier, there used to be a monastery over here. If you hike this mountain without looking back or uttering a word, three honorable wishes will be granted.
The church of Stykkisholmur
This is an elegant site in the region. Located by the sea it is a picturesque wonder. It was inaugurated on May 6th, 1990, and is a landmark of the small town both from the sea and land. The church was designed by the Icelandic architect Jon Haraldsson and the altarpiece was painted by Icelandic painter Kristin Gunnlaugsdottir. The altar has a portrait of Mary carrying the baby Jesus. The church is renowned for its acoustics and musical events that are hosted regularly.
Baldur- Town’s Ferry
Stykkisholmur Ferry takes you to Flatey, an island that has been forgotten with time. You get to explore the old village and library, the church that is exemplary of artwork and unspoiled nature. This place is worth the time. If you take the ferry all the way, it will take you to the Westfjords.
Winter Activities in Stykkisholmur
The town appears stunning in winter. You dress warmly and walk between the cafes and sip the hot chocolate and soup. The rooftop of the houses is covered with snow and the sunbeam glints in the harbor. Take a moment and breathe it all in.
Relish the Icelandic Cuisine
The town is home to several restaurants and cafes that offer everything from fine dining experience to hot dog stand. The prices are fairly good. Enjoy Finsens fish and chips, pizza, Scandinavian, vegetarian food. One restaurant named Sjavarpakkhusid on the harbor-side offers the best fish soup in the region.
Watch the Northern Lights and Explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Explore the peninsula for its beauty and various other small towns and fishing villages. You can also explore the vast mountain ranges, lava fields, and beautiful open spaces. Iceland is famous for Northern Lights, a unique natural phenomenon. You can explore the phenomenon in the nearby countryside where there is minimum air pollution.
How to Visit the Town?
Usually, scheduled buses leave once a day from the BSI bus terminal in Reykjavik. We recommend that you rent a car in Reykjavik or Keflavik and drive there on your own. If approaching from the capital city, take Road 54 out of Borgarnes and cross the peninsula on road 56. From North Iceland, take road 59 over Laxárdalsheiði. The town is 2 hours away from Reykjavik by car.
If you are not comfortable with driving on your own, you can also check out variety of guided tours that will take you around Snæfellsnes Peninsula including Stykkisholmur village.