Dominated by a 700,000-year-old glacier-topped stratovolcano, Snæfellsjökull National Park embodies Iceland’s moniker, the land of fire and ice. Covering an area of more than 65 square miles (170 square kilometers), the park has lava fields, basalt sea cliffs, black- and golden-sand beaches, caves, and peculiar lava formations.
Most visitors explore the park on day trips or multi-day trips from Reykjavik. Organized day trips typically include other sites within the park, such as Mt. Kirkjufell, the Lóndrangar rock pinnacles, Sönghellir cave, Skarðsvík beach, and black-sand Djúpalónssandur beach, as well as towns and villages on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula such as Hellnar, Arnarstapi, Stykkishólmur, and Grundarfjörður. On 2-day tours of the region, visitors may have the chance to hunt for the elusive Northern Lights after dark.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Snæfellsjökull National Park is a must for nature lovers and adventurers.
- Wear hiking boots and warm layers, including a rainproof outer layer.
- Because of the rough, uneven terrain, Snæfellsjökull National Park may be difficult for wheelchair users to navigate.
How to Get There
Snæfellsjökull National Park is situated at the western tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula on Iceland’s west coast, about 124 miles (200 kilometers) from Reykjavik. As attractions within the park are dispersed, it’s best to go by car or as part of an organized tour.
When to Get There
The best time to visit is during the summer months, when daylight lasts longer, temperatures are typically warmer, and services are operating. Get there in the morning to maximize your exploring time.
Snæfellsjökull’s Literary Connections
Snæfellsjökull has long been known to literary-minded Icelanders, having been the setting for the legendary Icelandic saga, Bárðar saga Snæfellsáss. The glacier also famously featured in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, where it served as the entrance to the center of the Earth.