A Wild Day in the West! Snæfellsness Peninsula.
This part of Iceland is a lot of fun since the distances are so small that you can visit the most important places in only one day. And there are some amazing spots waiting to be discovered!
Snæfellsnes has some spots that are easy to reach, even from Reykjavik in a one-day trip. The spots you can visit on this trip are:
Kirkjufell Mountain & Waterfall
Arnarstapi Cliffs & Stone Bridge
Búðakirkja – Black Church
[Optional] Lóndrangar Rocks
Woah, a lot to go for again, but trust me – it is so worth it to visit this peninsula.
Kirkjufell & Kirkjufellsfoss
Everyone who has achieved some slight skills in the Icelandic language knows that “kirkja” is the term for a church. “But, isn’t Kirkjufell a mountain”? Yes, it is and from the right perspective, it looks like a church steeple. This spot, by the way, is one of the most iconic places in Iceland when it comes to photography. Google it and you will find endless images that are pretty much the same, with the mountain in the background and the smaller waterfalls in the foreground. You can try to step up your photography game by putting something into the photo that isn’t in the photos of others. Maybe the flowers that you can find next to the waterfall? Maybe a person in the background or any creative motif of your choice? You decide – it’s your playground.
You can arrive this gem by following the Road 574 which is in really good condition. There is a huge parking lot right in front of the small waterfalls and next to the mountain. Downside due to the popularity of this spot: you might spot the tourist’s busses from a mile away.
Staying on the Road 574 makes you drive around the whole peninsula. At the north-western corner, you can spot a tiny street leading away from the 574. This road is fun to drive and leads directly to Skarðsvík Beach. This beach is amazing. However, please be cautious there. The waves there are pretty similar to the “killer waves” at Reynisfjara thus you really shouldn’t get too close to the water.
There are only a few parking slots right in front of the entrance to that beach, so better be early. You can find some awesome rock formations and strong waves that cover this place in a rough but beautiful atmosphere. Get some impressions below!
Just a few minutes away from the first beach, you will get to Djúpalónssandur Beach, which is totally and 100% different. That’s what I love about Iceland. There is so much diversity in the landscapes that you don’t even realize when your environment changes. This is a gravel beach with a lot of rusty parts of shipwrecks everywhere. This leads to a very interesting contrast from the strong orange of the rust to the black and grey of the gravel beach and the green vivid moss everywhere. Just go along the beach, discover the area and soak up the awesome atmosphere. There are some pretty impressive rock formations in the water. Oh, and of course, there is a huge parking lot at the main entrance!
Arnarstapi – Cliffs & Stone Bridge
As always, get back into your car and drive for some minutes. The next spot isn’t far away. Between Djúpalónssandur Beach and Arnarstapi, you can find the famous rock formation “Londrangar” – We were not too amazed by it from the distance and decided not to invest more time into watching this spot. We have been there in October which means that days are short and time is really limited. However, you decide!
Arrived at Arnarstapi, park your car in front of the “Bárður Snæfellsás”-Troll-Statue. From there start walking towards the sea and the cliffs. There are some serious “Game of Thrones”-vibes to catch at this place. Caves that look like you could find dragon glass inside them tiny rock-formation-islands in the sea and, not to forget, the amazing stone bridge! Get your impressions below. This place is impressive and pretty versatile!
Búðakirkja – Black Church
Well, if you are going to visit this or not, really depends on your preferences. I think it is a very iconic building in a very iconic scenery you won’t find anywhere else. It’s not a real time-consumer thus it’s okay to check this place out. however, PLEASE respect this place. This still is a church and a religious place where people find their inner peace for many years. It really hurts to see people climbing on the walls of the adjoining graveyard. Photograph this lace from a respectful distance and everything is fine. My tip: During sunset, this looks really amazing! When we reached the place there was a wind alert with super strong wind thus I just could do some quick shots. Well, that’s Iceland I guess!
Afterwards, we drove for one hour and slept at a farm that also serves as a camping site.