The Snaeffelsnes Peninsula is sometimes called Iceland in Miniature. It’s because almost everything you can find in Iceland, waterfalls, glaciers, lava fields, you can find it on the peninsula. Luckily, If you are only in Iceland for a short period of time, it’s possible to fit a lot of the peninsula’s main attractions into a single day. These are 7 steps you can’t miss on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in Iceland.
Even though this waterfall is visible from the road, it is absolutely worthwhile to stop and walk up to it. The waterfall is 80 meters high. Some people say the bottom half of the waterfall looks like a fairy woman taking a bath.
This black church was originally built in 1703, but the version there now was rebuilt in 1987. It sits on a lava field right at the coast and there’s a trail system you can walk around on. Like elsewhere in Iceland, don’t be surprised to see some sheep around!
The name Raudfelsgja translates to red cloak rift. It’s said that this deep canyon was created by Bardar – the half giant protector of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. When some boys pushed his daughter onto an iceberg, Barder slammed the boys deep into the earth as punishment creating the canyon.
Hellnar and Arnarstapi
Both Arnarstapi and Hellnar were once major fishing hubs in Iceland. Today, tourism is a much more important part of the local economy. This short walk between the two towns is a great way to see where the Atlantic meets the basalt cliffs. Arnastapi also happens to be the home of Bardar, the half giant of Snaefellsnes.
The beach gets its name from the two lagoons that are tucked just a bit on shore, but when you visit this beach, it will be the wreckage that captures your attention. Most of the debris is what remains from a 1948 shipwreck off of the coast. 14 men were killed and the wreckage has been left behind as a memorial.
There are a lot of craters in Iceland, but the Saxhol is one of the most convenient. It is only 100 meters high and the trail starts right from the parking lot. The 5 minute climb is well worth it for the views. The crater is estimated to have erupted 3,000 years ago!
The name Kirkjufell translates roughly into church mountain. It was given this name because of the resemblance to a steeple. For photography buffs, getting the waterfall and the mountain in one shot is one of the quintessential iceland photographs!