Snaefellsnes translates as “Snow Mountain Peninsula” and as we head west from Reykjavik past the beautiful Mount Esja and then by a tunnel under the waters of Hvalfjordur, you’ll soon see why!
Snaefellsnes Day Tour will start with a pickup from your accommodation in Reykjavik and a pit stop for snacks and refreshments in Borgarnes, once we’ve crossed the gorgeous bridge over Borgarfjordur.
As we leave Borgarnes behind, the highest volcano in the area, Snaefellsjokull, starts to come into view with its magnificent crown of ice and snow. This is the place that inspired Jules Verne to write “Journey to the Center of the Earth” with the entrance to the planet’s core found in this wild location, a place of enchantment and wonder.
Your magical journey on this stunning peninsula will pass Eldborg, a beautiful volcanic crater, and many little farms with only Icelandic horses and a few seabirds for company – this really is the place for isolation, peace and serenity.
Ytri-Tunga Seal Colony
Our first stop on the peninsula is at Ytri-Tunga, a charming farm with a seal colony on a nearby beach, which is golden in color rather than the usual Icelandic black sand. The seals are cute and often playful when they’re here in the summer – we’ll show you where to find them!
Black Church - Budakirkja
Then we will spend some time at the beautiful black 19th-century church of Budakirkja. This church is famous for being built by a local woman despite the church authorities not being very interested in having a church here. Nowadays, people from all over the world come here to get married!
Arnarstapi – fishing village and sea arches
The waves from the Atlantic Ocean crash just offshore from the old fishing village of Arnarstapi, which is our next stop.
The coastline here is a dramatic combination of colors, with black lava rocks and deep green and bright yellow mosses clinging to them, all set against the brilliant blues of the sea and sky.
The sea air will refresh you as you stroll along the cliffs to take stunning pictures like these, with our guides to help point the way to the best images, including the marvelous sea arch of Gatklettur, the “Rock with a Hole”.
Just a little further onwards, we come to the towering Londrangar Cliffs, where awesome basalt columns cling to jagged 70-meter-high pillars, providing a summer home for puffins and other seabirds while they feed and raise their chicks. Watch out for the Arctic terns, who often dive-bomb unwary visitors!
Black Beach of Djupalonssandur
We’ll also take you to Djupalonssandur, another gorgeous black sand beach where the air is filled with the sounds of birds and the Atlantic waves pounding the sands. You’ll be able to walk through the lava fields on rock steps to the ocean, with the rusty remains of an old shipwreck offering a stark contrast to the black sand beach. These ruins are a memorial to men lost at sea here and should be left as they are.
Here you’ll also find another curiosity – four large smooth stones. These are the famous “Lifting Stones,” used for many years by the locals to test the strength of the fishermen who once lived and worked along these coasts.
The biggest one is called “Fullsterkur” (Full Strength) and weighs more than 150kg (340lb)!
Next is “Halfsterkur” (Half Strength) at 100kg (220lb), then “Halfdraettingur” (Weakling) at 54kg (119lb) and then finally, “Amlodi” (Useless) at 23kg (50lb).
If a fisherman wanted to earn a spot on a fishing boat, he had to show that he could at least lift the 54kg Halfdraettingur stone – anything less was just not good enough! You’d be the shame of your village if you couldn’t even manage Amlodi!
Try your strength! Would you have been able to go fishing with the Vikings? If you do try, remember to lift with your legs and not your back!
We are now inside the second biggest National Park in Iceland, enjoying a smooth drive on well-paved roads through craters like Saxholl and picture-postcard villages like Olafsvik, on our way to our last stop, Kirkjufell.
Kirkjufell – the most photographed mountain in Iceland!
This is one of the most popular places for a photo in all of Iceland and major highlight of our Snaefellsnes Day Tour, as Kirkjufell (Church Mountain) rises majestically out of the surrounding green hills with its almost triangular shape, which will be well-known to “Game of Thrones” fans as the Arrowhead mountain. There are many great spots to take an extraordinary photograph here, particularly by the little waterfall – we’ll show you where!
We are beginning to return to Reykjavik, as we pass by Grundafjordur and the famous lava fields of Berserkjahraun – your journey around “Iceland in Miniature” is complete!
Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to see the most stunning landscapes in western Iceland!
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The maximum number of passengers on tour is 19, which we believe creates a more personal and enjoyable experience for our guests.
We want the best for our customers, so the tour direction may be reversed, dependent on weather conditions.
Do you have one more day in Iceland? Then why not consider our 2 Days Snaefellsnes Peninsula Tour that will take you to the Borgarfjordur area as well? Here you will see the stunning Vidgelmir Lava Cave or bath in stunning Husafell Canyon Baths! Ask us for more details!