Snæfellsnes Peninsula: The Best 1-Day Trip

Snæfellsnes Peninsula: The Best 1-Day Trip

Angie Diamantopoulou Author

Text by: Angie Diamantopoulou

Are you planning a short trip to Iceland? Do you want to explore and experience as much of the Icelandic nature as possible in one day? Then this guide on the Snæfellsnes peninsula is for you!

While Snæfellsnes is by no means unknown to tourists, it is not quite as popular as the Golden Circle or the South Shore. In terms of beauty and authenticity, though, it might just be one of the most overlooked places in Iceland!

Known for its diverse landscapes and unpredictable weather among the locals, Snæfellsnes makes for the perfect 1-day trip in Iceland; especially if you only have a bit of time to explore the country!

So, keep reading to find out everything you need to know for the perfect 1-day trip around Snæfellsnes!


Before we begin to explore Snæfellsnes, let´s first take a quick look at what you can find in this blog:

  • where is the Snæfellsnes peninsula?
  • why visit the Snæfellsnes peninsula?
  • what are the best places in the Snæfellsnes peninsula?
  • what is the best tour in the Snæfellsnes peninsula?
  • some tips from a local!

don't miss out!

Our tours are very popular and are often booked weeks or even months in advance! Make sure you book a spot in your favorite tour ahead of your trip here!


snæfellsnes peninsula: everything you need to know

So, what is it about the Snæfellsnes peninsula that makes it the perfect place for a one-day trip if you only have a little time to spend in Iceland? Keep reading to find out!

Where is the Snæfellsnes peninsula?

Kirkjufell in the Snæfellsnes peninsula

You can find the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Western Iceland, just a couple of hours away from Reykjavik! Its tip is occupied by the Snæfellsjökull National Park.

While the park is neither the biggest nor the oldest national park in Iceland, it is one of the most diverse​ in terms of geology. And, of course, as the name suggests, a glacier lies in the middle of it! Snæfellsjökull is a glacier-capped volcano, meaning that the glacier lies on top of a (dormant) volcano.

The park is also the only national park in Iceland that stretches all the way to the ocean. However, it is not the only attraction in the Snæfellsnes peninsula! There are so many places and things to see in Snæfellsnes, but more on that later!​

Why visit the Snæfellsnes peninsula?​

Snæfellsnes Arnarstapi Iceland August

There are many gorgeous places in Iceland. In fact, that is what the country is known for; its breathtaking nature.

However, there are not many places like Snæfellsnes, not even in the whole world! The Snæfellsnes peninsula has been dubbed Iceland in Miniature due to its geology and weather, and is thus the perfect place to explore Iceland's nature if you only have one day to spare.

From glistening fjords under a midnight sun to sea cliffs that look like they jumped straight out of a painting, the Snæfellsnes peninsula has it all. Unlike most of Iceland and other places in the world, everything you will see there was created throughout millions of years. Every geological formation, from the cliffs to the lava, creates a patchwork of Iceland prehistoric times.

As a result, you can find every single different landscape in Snæfellsnes that you can find in all of Iceland! Due to its peculiar formation, it is not only a magical place, but it is also of great scientific interest!​

The weather in the Snæfellsnes peninsula is also full of variety! According to locals, you can experience every season in one day, with the weather changing vastly within mere minutes.

Now you can see why it is called Iceland in Miniature!​


the best places to visit in the snæfellsnes peninsula

​Now that we know a little bit more about the Snæfellsnes peninsula, let's take a look at all the best spots you can find there!

1. Kirkjufell​

Northern Lights Kirkjufell Iceland 2019

The first spot in our list must, of course, go to Kirkjufell. Kirkjufell is perhaps the most popular and well-known attraction in the Snæfellsnes peninsula.

It is Iceland's most photographed mountain, which is attributed to its peculiar, easily recognizable shape. The mountain towers over some magical waterfalls​ that make for the perfect partner to the mountain, especially when it comes to photographing opportunities!

There are plenty of different ways to view and photograph this mountain, so make sure you look around and explore!​


2. Snæfellsjökull glacier

Snaefellsnesjokull

Snæfellsjökull towers over the peninsula at 1,446 meters. On a clear day, the glacier-capped volcano can be seen all the way from Reykjavik!

Apart from the fact that the glacier is a beautiful, majestic place, it is also a hot-spot of myths, folklore, and stories! ​For years, locals thought that Snæfellsjökull was a source of mystical energy, and that all sorts of mythical creatures call it home, such as trolls and elves. 

In fact, Snæfellsjökull serves as the entry point towards the center of the Earth in Jules Verne's novel Journey to The Center of The Earth. ​

The glacier owes its fame to its otherworldly beauty​, so make sure to check it out!


3. Arnarstapi village

Arnarstapi in Snaefellsnes peninsula

Arnarstapi used to be an important trading post in the past. Nowadays it is a popular rest stop for travelers, as well as a beautiful location to explore!

With colossal cliffs and the ocean waves crashing against the shore, Arnarstapi is one of my favorite places in the Snæfellsnes peninsula! There is a gorgeous beach for you to enjoy, as well as a walking path that will take you over the hills for a beautiful view of the ocean

There is also a statue of the protector of Arnarstapi, Saga, who was said to be half human and half troll. The giant statue attracts many tourists, and it is one of Arnarstapi's most famous attractions!


4. Djúpalónssandur beach

Djupalonssandur in Snaefellsnes

One of my favorite spots in the Snæfellsnes peninsula is the Djúpalónssandur beach (try saying that after a few drinks)!

A beautiful black sand beach, ​Djúpalónssandur is not nearly as famous as Reynisfjara, but it is equally breathtaking! With jagged cliffs and violent ocean waves, Djúpalónssandur has the raw kind of beauty that Iceland is famous for.

To get to the beach, you have to walk a little bit, in a path that will take you through rocks and cliffs that are just as photo-worthy and interesting as the beach itself!​


what is the best tour in the snæfellsnes peninsula?

Snaefellsnes peninsula

One of the best ways to explore the Snæfellsnes peninsula is with our amazing tour!

Our Snæfellsnes peninsula tour will take you to all the amazing places I told you about! Furthermore, because of the ever-changing character of Snæfellsnes, and the fact that different wildlife calls the peninsula its home every season, each tour can be different depending on when you visit! Our guides will change some of the stops, depending on the wildlife you come across!

​The tour is small-group only, so that you enjoy your experience even more! We will pick you up from your accommodation in Reykjavik, and take you through the entire peninsula throughout the day!

Book a spot in our tour here!​


some tips from a local!

So, now that we have gone through everything you need to know about traveling around Snæfellsnes, I will give you some tips to make your trip even better!​

  • Bring some snacks and water. Your trip around the peninsula will be quite long, and it is hard to find food while you travel around the area. So, make sure you bring snacks and water with you!
  • Wear layers. It is always a good idea to wear several layers in Iceland, to keep warm and be able to cool off when you are inside. It is even more important in Snæfellsnes, as the weather can change so fast!
  • Wear good hiking boots. They will help you be comfortable while you explore, and give you some more grip!

some final words

I hope you enjoyed my guide to the Snæfellsnes peninsula, and that your trip there will be amazing!

Is there anything that I missed that you think your fellow travelers should see? Let me know in the comments! And, as always, don't forget to share!​

Are you planning a short trip to Iceland? Do you want to explore and experience as much of the Icelandic nature as possible in one day? Then this guide on the Snæfellsnes peninsula is for you!

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