July 2017 • Canon 60D camera
Often called the “miniature Iceland”, Snæfellsnes Peninsula is a small region in Western Iceland. Around 2 hours drive from Reykjavik, it has many small villages, natural landscapes and wildlife all in one area.
We were driving from the North of Iceland on the way to Reykjavik passing through the peninsula. Below are just a few sights that we stopped along the way.
64° 56′ 27.73′ N, 23° 18′ 20.48′ W
This mountain is one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland. It located near the town of Grundarfjörður, the north coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The unique shape looks like it was purposefully fashioned or shaped in some way.
But the formation has taken shape over thousands of years through erosion. It is now made famous by the TV series Game of Thrones for being the “Arrow Head Mountain”.
64° 55′ 33.96′ N, 23° 18′ 41.26′ W
This small waterfall is located near Kiirkjufell on the River Kirkjufellsá, which flows from Snaefellsjokull glacier. It is usually photographed together with Kiirkjufell
64° 44′ 0.02′ N, 23° 46′ 59.99′ W
This part of the shoreline near Hellnar at the South West of the peninsula is famous for two large pillars. They are in fact volcanic plugs that have sustained the forces of the wind and ocean for thousands of years.
From a distance it looks like a castle at the edge of the sea.
Snæfellsjökull volcano featured in Jules Vernes’ famouse novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth is located in the penisnsula
64° 46′ 8.4′ N, 23° 37′ 26.4′ W
On the south side of the peninsula is the village of Arnarstapi. The costal area has a trail that you can walk to admire the surrounding lava formations. You start at the Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss Statue of a Troll, following a path to the village of Hellnar. Along the way you will discover caves and basalt columns on the costal cliffs.
It's a pretty cool and easy hike, with plenty to see along the coast shore and passing through an old lava field. At the end of the trail there is a great cafe that you can reward yourself with a piece of carrot cake and coffee.
64° 49′ 23.16′ N, 23° 23′ 5.64′ W
One of the oldest wooden churches in Iceland, it was first build in 1703 in the tiny village Búðir. It has subsequently been demolished and rebuilt several times the last in 1984–86.
Inside you can find a bell from 1672, an altarpiece from 1750 and a door ring from 1703.
64° 48′ 9.9′ N, 23° 4′ 49.1′ W
At this beach you have the opportunity to view seals, especially during the months of June and July, which was luckily when I was visiting. You can see Harbour Seals (Phoca vitulina) balancing on rocks striking a pose. Is as if they know you want to take a photo.
They can be as long as 1.85m and weight around 132kg. With a population found along the Artic marine coasts of the Northern Hemisphere, they are currently classified as Least Concern (LC) by IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Harbour Seal
We rushed through this area in a day which was not enough. Like all the places in Iceland you can spend a week in an area, and Snæfellsnes Peninsula is no exception.
I will have to explore of Snæfellsnes Peninsula the next time I am back in Iceland.
Flying over Iceland and landing on a glacier and geothermal area
Amazing waterfalls and volcanic lava formations along this popular route
Visiting Vatnajökull Glacier, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond beach
Sailing the Beagle Channel to see Sea Lions and the iconic lighthouse
Hiking up the mountain Emei Shan to spend a night at a monastery