One of the most famous postcard sights, Kirkjufell, is situated in Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the western Peninsula about three hours drive from Reykjavik. We were keen to see it in person and also wanted to explore the rest of the Peninsula whilst we were at it. Snaefellsnes Peninsula was one of the most empty parts of Iceland that we visited. I’m not sure why, maybe it is not a popular place to see as it’s a little out of the way from the other attractions and isn’t really on the Ring Road but it’s definitely worth it. Especially if you like the serene feeling of being somewhere without another person in sight.
There are a number of places you can check out here. I’ve listed a few of the most memorable ones below..
1. KIRKJUFELL / KIRKJUFELLSFOSS
Our drive to visit the scenic Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss view in Iceland was definitely a memorable one. We were chasing dusk whilst on a three hour drive starting from the south. Luckily, we made it just minutes before the heavy cloud cover decided to clear near the horizon to reveal a golden glow across the side of the mountain.
Kirkjufell (the mountain) and Kirkjufellsfoss (the waterfall) is famous because of the positioning of the two in relation to each other. The waterfall itself is actually quite small and split into two levels, but when framed with the picturesque mountain behind, it becomes an eye-catching sight. It’s probably the most known landmark in the area – and the busiest too.
2. ARNASTAPI AREA
We spent quite a few hours in Snaefellsnes Peninsula exploring Arnarstapi and surrounds. Arnarstapi is a really small local fishing village – the town is absolutely tiny with only a few roads. But there’s a long walking trail along the coast here which you can follow in both directions to check out the beautiful coastline. I found the coastline here really impressive, there are lots of stunning rock formations that you can see as well as more black pebbled beaches. It’s much more quiet than Vik, which makes it a really good alternative if you want to explore Iceland’s coastal areas without the crowds.
NOTE: The road that goes around the coast of Snaefellsnes Peninsula is a paved concrete road but the roads that go through the peninsula are mainly gravel roads. So whilst it seems longer to drive around the coast, it’s more comfortable. But if you want more of an adventure, you can take the gravel road through. We did both because we had the time!
3. SNAEFELLSJOKULL GLACIER
Snaefellsnes Peninsula is actually named after the large volcano and glacier in the middle. There’s a road that takes you all the way up the mountain which we decided to check out on a whim. It’s a rocky gravel path that I would only recommend for 4W drives – probably the most bumpiest drive we’ve been on but as we had hired a 4WD from Go Campers, we decided to make the most of it and check it out. The road takes all the way up the mountain so that you can see the glacier up close.
4. BUDIR CHAPEL
One of Iceland’s most picturesque churches is also situated on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It’s Budir Chapel,a black church that sits near the coastline. It’s actually an operating church and when we visited, there was even a wedding happening at the time.
5. ICELANDIC HORSES
On the drive home from Snaefellsnes Peninsula, we passed by heaps of paddocks with horses. Icelandic horses are unique to the country and a smaller than regular horses. They’re super cute and friendly so if you do pass some grazing by the road, do stop by and say hi.
Photography: Connie & Rowena
Wearing: Kathmandu jackets throughout