Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag


More people discover the magic of Snæfellsjökull National Park: 25% increase this year

By Staff

  • Snæfellsjökull glacier Snæfellsjökull appears in the Voyage to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne, as the beginning point of the voyage to the earth's center. Photo/Vilhelm 

Snæfellsjökull glacier is unquestionably the crown jewel of West Iceland. One of the most magnificent mountains in Iceland, the 1,446 m (4,744 ft) tall Snæfellsjökull glacier, a giant volcano which last erupted 1750 years ago sits at the tip of the peninsula which is lined with dramatic mountains and seaside cliffs. 

Arnarstapi, snæfellsnes, vesturland, west iceland

Arnarstapi A tiny fishing village in the foothills of Snæfellsjökull. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

In recent years Snæfellsnes has made it onto lists of must visit destinations, not only in Iceland, but worldwide. And it's easy see why. As the US travel magazine Travel & Leisure put it, Snæfellsnes is "Iceland at its most stunning", making it "The Best Winter Destination in Europe". Hellnar, a tiny fishing village on the southern coast of the peninsula, was recently picked as one of 25 "hidden European villages" everyone should visit in their lifetime

Read more: 5 Things to know about Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Judging by the number of visitors to Snæfellsnes National Park it seems that more and more people are discovering the attraction of the most spectacular attractions of the peninsula. According to figures from the park the number of visitors has increased by 25% this year. Approximately 400,000 people have visited the park this year, a 27% increase over 2016.  

Snæfellsjökull, snæfellsnes, vesturland

Snæfellsjökull A giant volcano which last erupted more than 1700 years ago. Photo/Pjetur Sigurðsson

The glacier, along with the almost mystical lava fields and spectacular seaside cliffs at the peak of the peninsula were declared a r National Park in 2001. The visitor center, located in an old sheep shed at the farm Malarrif west of the village Hellnar, is open each day from 11:00 until 16:00.

Why visit?

There are several reasons to consider Snæfellsnes, aside from the magical landscapes. The first, perhaps, is that it's within easy driving distance from Reykjavík. You can easily visit Snæfellsnes in a day-trip from Reykjavík, but to truly explore the peninsula and its wonders you should try to budget a couple of days. 


Lóndrangar One of the spectacular seaside cliffs on the peninsula. Photo/Anjali Kiggal/Wikipedia

In summer visitors have the option of staying at one of the great campsites on the peninsula, (the campsite at Arnarstapi, a sister village of Hellnar is a true gem), but winter visitors should probably find a hotel or guesthouse in one of the picturesque towns or villages along its coast. The hotel at Búðir, an old trading post in the foothills of Snæfellsjökull is a favorite. Stykkishólmur, a picturesque fishing village on the north coast also has several good hotels and guesthouses.

The other main reason people should certainly consider Snæfellsnes is that it's nowhere nearly as popular as the top destinations in South Iceland: If you are searching for a destination in Iceland which has everything Iceland has to offer, is within easy reach of Reykjavík, but still "off the beaten path", you should head to Snæfellsnes!


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