Snaefellsnes Peninsula Iceland

Complete Guide about Snaefellnses Peninsula

Snaefellsnes is a treasure-trove of ethereal landscapes! If you don’t believe us, just google it and see whether it looks real to you! Heavenly isn’t it? Maybe that’s what happens when natives actually care for their environment.  

Apart from getting an EarthCheck certificate and discarding plastic, Snaefellsnes is home to everything that Iceland has to offer – a volcano, snow, Northern Lights, fishing villages and biodiversity. And that’s the reason why it's called “Miniature of Iceland.” Looking for more reasons to visit the place? Keep reading!

a small house with oceanside view in iceland
guide taking a selfie with happy customers in iceland
snaefellsnes peninsula cliffs in iceland
seal relaxing in ytri tunga in iceland

Guided day tours visiting Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Historical Backdrop of Snaefellsnes

Folklore shapes culture and culture shapes folklore. The same is true for Snaefellsnesl. If one traces back time and looks for the earliest records of the place, they wouldn’t be disappointed. Interesting folklore awaits history fanatics for sure! 

Snaefellsnes is a part of the famous Icelandic Baroar Saga, which is about Barour who is half ogre and half man. A large sculpture of Baraor located in Arnarstapi, a scenic fishing village of Snaefellsness, supports the lore. And if one wishes to get a first-hand experience of it, visiting the place is a must. While this was all about the age-old narrative, more contemporary records are there to behold Snaefellsnes.

winter stone statue monument in iceland

Undoubtedly, Snaefellsnes owes its popularity to the glacier volcano, Snaefellsjokull. However, the book Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne also needs to be credited for the reputation the peninsula commands today. Not to say that Snaefellsness is dependent on cinematic publicity and recognition for its swoon-worthy features. However, one cannot forget to mention that the place has been portrayed in several movies throughout decades. One as recent as 2008! Stars like Icelandic actress Anita Briem and Brendan Frases, have featured in them too.  

While movies are just one aspect of the artistic presentation of the book, there are adaptations of the same in several plays, radio shows, theme parks, video games, and television series.

How To Reach Snaefellsnes

Snaefellsness is a favorite among vacationers. However, its strategic placement makes it an ideal one. Stykkisholmur is just 165km from Reykjavik and 96km from Borgarnes. And other interesting spots like Mt. Kirkjufell and Arnarstapi are 172km and 186km away from Reykjavik, respectively. Hellnar, on the other hand, is 4.3km away from Arnarstapi and 188km away from Reykjavik.

minibus in front of kirkjufell in iceland

Commuting in Snaefellsnes is extremely easy. Whether you opt for public or private means of transportation, road trips in Snaefellsnes Peninsula are going to be fun.

There are two major driving routes to travel to Snaefellsness Peninsula, one through Reykjavik and the other one through Akureyri. The former is just a 1.5 to a 2-hour ride that goes through Ring Road 1 via Mosfellsbaer, Borgarfjorour Valley and the town of Borgarner. Once you reach the border of Borgarnes, turn toward road 54 and continue your ride to Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

The latter, that is, Akureyri, involves a 4.5 to a 5-hour drive via the horse mecca of Iceland, Skagafjorour and Reykholt.

Things To Do In Snaefellsnes

woman on the walking path sightseeing snaefellsnes

The serenity and calmness of Snaefellsnes Peninsula is what attracts most people, but what most people tend to overlook is the fact that it's actually a playground for explorers. Small towns and fishing communities, including Arnarstapi, Hellnar, Rif Grundafjorour, Stykkisholmur, Olafsvik and Buoardalur, are major crowd pullers for the destination.

With that being said, below is a list of must-try activities in Snaefellsnes that make it ideal for tourists of all age ranges.

kirkjufell mountain in summer in iceland
  • Undertake an off-beat fishing village tour in places like Stykkisholmur, Grundarfjorour, Arnarstapi, Olafsvik or Rif.

  • Snaefellsnes is home to one of the top 10 most beautiful mountains: Kirkjufell Mountain. Any trip without a visit to this charm is incomplete. 

  • The remarkable terrain which is a blend of soft moss and lava creates the perfect backdrop of interesting Instagram clicks, so make sure you spend some time in Berserkjahraun parking lots. 

  • Snæfellsjökull Glacier is simply the most exquisite of attractions of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. To add a cherry on top, add a hiking escapade to the day. 

  • Cover Lava Cave on a day tour and pay a visit to Lofthellir or Vatnshellir. 

  • Go for a walk on the pebble beach Djupalonssandur and learn about some fishing tactics like the trick of using four lifting stones for placement of men in fishing boats.
a view of djupalonssandurbeach in iceland
  • Catch a sneak peek of the artistic feats of Snaefellsnes at the Londranger rock formations.

  • Get a dose of cuteness at the Ytri-Tunga seal colonyTaste the fresh waters of Rauomelsolkelda mineral spring and take some back home too.

  • Bathe in the Lysuholslaug mineral water pool and rejuvenate in the hot spring Icelandic waters.

  • Game of Thrones fanatics, Rauofelsgja Gully is an ultimate stop for you. If this doesn’t find a place in your social media feed, you don’t qualify as a real GOT fan!

  • The Gerouberg Basalt Cliffs is blessed with an intriguing topography and naturally formed sculptures, so you can’t afford to miss out on this too!  

Dining Options In Snaefellsnes

Icelandic cuisine can be best explored with a simple mantra  First South, then West, followed by North and East.

happy friends eating in a restaurant in iceland


  1. Grillhúsið at Borgarnes, a great BBQ.

  2. Rjúkandi Café & Restaurant, enjoy a sweet treat with cake and coffee, and a piping hot soup!
  3. Langaholt, gorge on a luscious fish-based menu. 

  4. Hótel Búðir, the best place to treat your taste buds to a flavorful meal!


  1. Mönsvagninn, fish and chips, a combination of an appetizing and savory meal. 

  2. Fosshótel Hellnar Restaurant, exquisite dining options to treat the tongue and oceanviews to treat the soul.  

  3. Fjöruhúsið, a homey place to enjoy spectacular vistas.


  1. Viðvík Restaurant, go for a romantic date or a family dinner. This place is versatile enough to serve all.

  2. Gilbakki Kaffihús Gamla Rif, spend some time appreciating Icelandic culture and antique vibes while enjoying some baked goodies.


olafsvik town street in iceland


  1. Kaldilækur Café, what’s better than a cup of coffee and cake in the evening? 

  2. Restaurant, heaven for seafood lovers. 

  3. Hraun Restaurant, best for food experimenters on a budget!



  1. Bjargarsteinn Mathús, mesmerizing views of Kirkjufell combined with sumptuous meals. 

  2. Café Emil, an ultimate homey vibe combined with an authentic taste of flavors.



  1. Sjavarpakkhusid, vegans you are kept in mind. 

  2. Narfeyrarstofa, renowned for local delicacies and seafood at Stykkishólmur. 

  3. Skurinn offers the best vegetarian menu on the table. 

  4. Finsens Fish and Chips, enjoy the classic of Iceland: fish and chips.  

  5. Stykkið Pizzagerð, go for a cheesy delight that is light on the pocket. 

  6. Café Nu, all about morning coffee, delectable morning meals and misty morning views. 

  7. Stykkisholmur Slowly Cafe, a tiny cafe with wonderful coffee, tea and biscotti. 

  8. Nesbrauð Bakery, for those with a sweet tooth, we found a spot for you. Don’t forget the pastries. 

  9. Meistarinn, savor a large Icelandic hot dog here!


Staying In Snaefellsnes


  1. Hotel Rjúkandi 

  2. Hotel Búðir 

  3. Arnarstapi Hotel 

  4. Fosshotel Hellnar 

  5. Hotel Hellissandur 

  6. Hotel Framnes 

  7. Hotel Olafsvik 

  8. Hotel Stundarfriður 

  9. Helgafell 

  10. Hotel Stykkishólmur 

  11. Hotel Egilsen 

  12. Fransiskus Hotel



  1. Bodvarsholt HI Hostel 

  2. The Freezer Hostel and Culture Center 

  3. Grundarfjordur HI Hostel

Guesthouses, B&B and Farmstays

  1. Snorrastaðir Farm Holidays 

  2. Hömluholt Holiday Homes 

  3. Lava Water Apartments 

  4. Tradir Guesthouse 

  5. Guesthouse Hof 

  6. Langaholt 

  7. Kast Guesthouse 

  8. Lýsuhóll 

  9. Öxl Guesthouse 

  10. Westpark Guesthouse 

  11. North Star Apartments Rif 

  12. Welcome Apartments Ólafsvík 

  13. Við Hafið Guesthouse 

  14. Bikers Paradise 

  15. Hellnafell 

  16. Grund I Grundarfirði Guesthouse 

  17. Snæfellsnes Farmhouse 

  18. Helgafell 2 

  19. Bænir og Brauð 

  20. Guest House Langley 

  21. Drangar Country Guesthouse


Cabins and Cottages

  1. Langafjaran Cottages 

  2. Sodulsholt Cottages 

  3. Arnarstapi Center 

  4. The Holiday Home Lodge 

  5. Dis Cottages


Camping In Snaefellsnes

camping site in iceland

Apart from the soul-reviving views of the mountains and terrestrial sceneries, camping at Hellnar, the Snjofell at Arnastapi offers a glimpse of the colorful world below the ground. 

A camping day at Hellissandur is surely packed with breathtaking vistas. However, you can be assured you’ll have all of the amenities like running water, toilets, showers, and electricity too. It is also in close proximity to a gas station, a museum, a supermarket and a swimming pool.

  1. Timeline: 1st of June - 1st of October  
    Grundafjorour campsite is an excellent way to appreciate the beauty of Kurkjufell during both the daytime and nighttime. It is equipped with a swimming pool and electricity, making it convenient and fun for campers to enjoy at an additional cost of 950 ISK. For more information, inquire at the swimming pool’s reception.
  2. Timeline: 1st of June - 7th of October  
    Campers head to the scenic Olafsvik municipal boundary for a hassle-free camping experience. Be assured of showers, toilets, electricity, running water, playground, walking paths, swimming pool, a golf course and restaurants, while being the closest to nature in the most convenient camp ever.  
  3. Timeline: 1st of June - 1st of October  
    Camping in Stykkisholmur comes power-packed with stunning sceneries and leisure facilities like a dining tent, a playground, waste disposal, sports area, golf course and a swimming pool. Other amenities include hot and cold water, toilets, showers, electricity, washing machines, and tumble dryers. 

Winters In Snaefellsnes

kirkjufell mountain view in winter in iceland

Once winters drape Snaefellsnes Peninsula in ivory-hued snow, the pristine terrain of the peninsula is surreal and serene. Admiring the snow-capped mountains and the immaculate layout is one thing but to witness the frozen avatar of Kirkjufell and Bjarnarfoss is another. Nothing compares to the captivating backdrop of this frozen landscape, so keeping your cameras handy would be a good idea. Don’t forget, layering with cozy clothing equals a Snaefellsnes Peninsulavacation well enjoyed.

Guess what, this isn’t all! Northern Lights are a blessing to the world, and admiring them during the winters of Snaefellsness is just pure bliss. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to deal with the tricky business here... driving. Driving in the snow isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, so Arctic Adventures is here to help. Whether you chose day or multi-day tours, our representatives are here to assist you in planning and experiencing memorable trips throughout the year.

Cinematic Presence Of Snaefellsnes


  1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) features Olafur Darri and Gunnar Helgason and has a storyline that revolves around Stykkisholmur. Many scenes of the movie are shot at the peninsula. 

   2. Journey to the Center of The Earth (2008) stars Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, and Anita Briem. It is centered around Snaefellsjokull Glacier and portrays it as the center of the earth. 

TV Shows

  1. Game of Thronesis a classic and what not many aren’t aware ofis the fact that most of the spectacular sites areactually realand in Iceland!The episodewhere John Snow and his army go to fight the army of the dead andthescenes with the Arrowhead Mountain featuringKirkjufellMountain areactually shotinSnaefellsnes.

Music Videos

  1. Elliphant- Down on Life (2012) is a music video of Swedish band that has the most surreal of shots. Now you know where the opening scene was shot: Longufjorur Beach!

Must Visit Places In Snaefellsnes

a view of a town of grundarfjörður in iceland
  1. Grundarfjörður village 

  2. Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum 

  3. Hraunfossar Waterfall 

  4. Barnafoss Waterfall 

  5. Ólafsvík village 

  6. Deildartunguhver Hot Spring 

  7. Krauma Geothermal Baths 

  8. Borgarfjörður 

  9. Húsafell – Meet-on-location site for Into the Glacier Langjökull Ice Cave Experience 

  10. Surtshellir Cave 

  11. Víðgelmir Cave 

  12. Háafell Goat Farm 

  13. Reykholt and Snorrastofa 

  14. Steðji Brewery 

  15. Hvanneyri 

  16. Hvítárvellir 

  17. Varmaland 

  18. Harmarsvöllur Golf Course