Depart your Reykjavik hotel by air-conditioned vehicle, and with your small group of no more than 15 travelers, venture northwest toward the Snaefellsnes peninsula.
On route, hear about this scenic peninsula, dubbed ‘Iceland in miniature’ for its geological variety. Steeped in folklore, it consists of sheer cliffs, sandy beaches, volcanic mountains, fjords, and quaint villages, and is crowned by the Snaefellsjökull volcano.
On arrival, admire the vast, snow-capped Snaefellsjökull, the region’s highest peak, and learn how it was chosen by Jules Verne as the entrance to the earth’s core in his novel, 'A Journey to the Centre of the Earth.'
Next, visit Ytri-Tunga, where a farmstead overlooks a sand-and-shingle beach that’s home to seal colonies. View the seals, and then continue to Hellnar and Arnarstapi, two coastal villages framed by lush fields, basalt cliffs, and pyramid-shaped Mt. Stapafell.
Here, stroll the clifftops to enjoy the scenery and sea air, viewing the rock formations and Arnarstapi’s natural harbor. Plus, see the two coastal basalt pillars of Lóndrangar and head to Djupalonssandur black beach where the sounds of seabirds and roaring waves fill the air.
Here, check out Djupalonssandur’s famous ‘lifting stones:’ four boulders of different sizes. Named after their weights—fullsterkur (full-strength) at 340 pounds (154kg); hallfsterkur (half-strength) at 220 pounds (100kgs); hallfdraettingur (weakling) at 119 pounds (54kgs); and amlooi (useless), at 50 pounds (23kgs)—the stones were once used to gauge the strength of fishermen. To earn a place on local boats, they were expected to lift the hallfdraettingur—anything less, and they weren’t strong enough.
If you wish, try your strength on the stones, and then stop at Kirkjufell, a cone-shaped 1,519-foot (463-meter) mountain that’s one of Iceland’s most photographed spots. Hop out for pictures of this fairytale-like mountain, whose base is skirted by trickling rivers, lush pastures, and sandy beaches.
Finally, return to Reykjavik where your tour concludes at the original starting point.