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Stretching 55 miles into the Atlantic Ocean, the Snaefellsnes peninsula is blessed with spectacular natural landscapes. Known as 'Iceland in Miniature,' it is home to black sand beaches, a glacier, dormant volcanoes, interesting wildlife, and mesmerizing waterfalls. From visiting Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge to seal spotting at the Djúpalónssandur beach, the Snaefellsnes peninsula has so much to offer. We have curated this exclusive list of top things to do while exploring the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
Top 9 Things to Do in Snaefellsnes Peninsula
1. Visit the astonishing Gerðuberg basalt cliffs
Gerðuberg basalt cliffs in Iceland
Located just outside Route 54, Gerðuberg cliffs are truly a marvel to look at. These giant, towering hexagonal columns were formed by ancient lava flows, creating a tall, solid wall. These basalt cliffs have an incredible geometric symmetry and run along the southern side of the Snӕfellsnes Peninsula. Gerðuberg Cliffs, an incredible natural geological structure, is one of the most iconic sights in Iceland.
2. Taste waters from Ölkelda Mineral Spring with carbonated water
Ölkelda Mineral Spring, Iceland
Mineral waters from Ölkelda Mineral Spring situated in Ölkelda Farm are rich in iron with a strong metallic taste. Tasting naturally-carbonated water from the mineral spring is one of the unique experiences you can have in the area. This mineral-rich water is believed to remedy various health conditions, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes.
3. Go seal spotting at Ytri Tunga beach
Seals at Ytri Tunga beach, Iceland
Ytri Tunga beach, located along the south coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, is known for the golden sands, stunning ocean scenery, and, most importantly, seals. Visit the beach during June or July to get the best chance to spot local seals lazing on the black rocks.
4. Chase the waterfalls to Bjarnarfoss
Bjarnarfoss waterfall in Snæfellsnes peninsula, Iceland
These little-known, narrow waterfalls of Snæfellsnes peninsula flow through the mountains is truly a mesmerizing view. Although the waterfalls are visible from Highway 54, we highly recommend you get a view up close and walk up to the bottom of the cascade. Located right by road 54 on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Bjarnarfoss is a paradise for nature lovers. The formation of these majestic waterfalls was a result of the now-extinct volcano Maelifell.
5. Photograph the Búðakirkja Black Church
Búðakirkja Black Church during winter in Iceland
Originally built in the 19th century, Búðakirkja Black Church is a little black wooden church situated amongst the Budhahraun lava fields. Besides the isolated location and picturesque views that this place offers, you can also go on a horse riding adventure at nearby Lýsuhóll.
6. Take on a hiking challenge from Arnarstapi to Hellnar hike
Arnarstapi village during winter in Iceland
This hiking challenge will take about 1.5 hours to complete and is one of the must-do things while visiting the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Explore the two tiny towns of Arnarstapi and Hellnar. Go on a coastal hike, tour through the mossy lava fields and enjoy the spectacular views of rugged cliffs. Start hiking from the Hellnar View Point, take a coffee break at the Fjöruhúsið Café, enjoy the stunning coastal views, and take tons of photographs to fill up your camera roll.
7. Check out the historic Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge
Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge in Iceland
Walk up the hill from the parking lot and get to the narrow opening to see the marvelous views of Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge. Situated right outside the village of Arnarstapi, this is one of the must-visit natural landmarks on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. The historical connection of Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge with prominent characters from the Icelandic sagas is fascinating. Spend some time learning about Bárðar Snæfellsáss, who is believed to be the guardian spirit of Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
8. Take a tour of the Djúpalónssandur Beach
Djúpalónssandur Beach in winter time, Iceland
If you brave through the touristy crowd and get through the longer hiking trails to reach the lava fields down the Djúpalónssandur beach, you'll be rewarded with an experience unlike any. As you explore the black pebble beach, you'll also see the shipwreck of a British trawler from 1948 and a small freshwater lagoon backed by the Snæfellsjökull glacier.
9. Hike a glacier at the Snaefellsjokull National Park
Snæfellsjökull glacier and volcano view at Snaefellsjokull National Park, Iceland
Visiting the Snaefellsjokull National Park is typically placed on top of the list of things to do. Spreading across the entire western tip of the peninsula, this national park is home to lava fields and caves, black sand beaches, basalt cliffs, and Snæfellsjökull glacier and volcano. We highly recommend you take a fully guided tour of the glacier-capped volcano, Snæfellsjökull. This 700,000-year-old glacier volcano is one of the key landmarks on the Snaefellsnes peninsula.
Snaefellsnes peninsula is a year-round destination and can be explored any month of the year. Although, summer months with endless daylight and mild weather make driving conditions and hikes less challenging. You may also notice that specific landmarks and experiences close during winter. Snaefellsnes peninsula is an exceptional part of Iceland and must be explored fully. We hope this quick travel guide on top things to do in the Snaefellsnes peninsula will help you plan your travel.