Making the 141 mile (227 km) journey from the capital city of Reykjavik to the Vatnsnes Peninsula in the northern region of Iceland is an endeavor best done by self-driving. While a private transfer would be an option, it doesn't offer as much flexibility to explore the gorgeous scenery along the way. Because of its more remote and off the beaten path location, public transportation to the peninsula isn't a stand-alone option.
For travelers with enough time, a visit to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula to explore the volcanic landscape and quaint fishing villages is highly suggested. This article features some of the top stopping points for making the most of a driving tour through the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The Westfjords are another option on the way, however, exploring this region would require an extra 2-3 days.
Once arriving at the Vatnsnes Peninsula, you'll have a fairly solid chance to view seals in the wild as large colonies reside in the area. Birding is also a popular activity. The famous coastal rock formation, Hvitsnerkur, with its origin rooted in Icelandic troll legends is a worthwhile stop as well.
Duration: 5-7 hours
Driving directly on the Ring Road (Route 1) will have you arriving at the Vatnsnes Peninsula in just under three hours. However, it's wise to allow for extra time to stop at various natural attractions along the route. After departing from Reykjavik, a hike to Glymur falls is a fantastic first stop. Another relatively short (approximately one hour) detour off the Ring Road will have you at two more waterfalls: Hraunfossar and Barnafoss.
Heading north to the remote Vatnsnes Peninsula rewards with a scenic drive and plenty of photo opportunities. On the peninsula, some of the best spots for seal viewing are Illugastaðir on the western coast and Hindisvík on the northern portion. A visit to the Icelandic Seal Center in Hvammstangi is also recommended.