Traveling the 243 miles (392 km) from the Snæfellsnes Peninsula to the village of Akureyri—the largest town in the northern region—is best done by self-driving. Although it is possible to arrive by bus, it's not recommended as a top option, since you'll miss out on many of the attractions to explore along the way. A private transfer is another possibility, though this is an expensive way to go in Iceland.
For the not-to-miss highlights on the Peninsula, check out this article. Stops include the iconic Kirkjufell mountain and waterfall, Snæfellsjökull National Park, and the Hellnar Arch. Traveling north to Akureyri will have you passing by the Kolugljúfur canyon and waterfall, and Hvitserkur, a natural rock formation on the coast; all well worth exploring.
Duration: 8-10 hours
Taking Route 54, the main road on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, to the Ring Road (Route 1) for a direct route to Akureyri, would take a little under five hours. However, there are several places to stop and roam along the path to the north, so it's wise to plan for extra time.
For a seaside infinity pool swim, detour off the Ring Road to Hofsós, about 35 minutes north of Varmahlíd on Route 1. For an island venture, take a ferry to the nearby island of Hrísey, a birdwatching haven. You can also check out the Laufás turf houses built in 1865 and residing just north of Akureyri. Whale watching, horseback riding, and the Arctic Botanical Gardens are other popular options in the area.
For an in-depth look at a potential itinerary, check out this 5-day self-driving tour with highlights from the volcanic Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and the area around Akureyri, and everything in between.
Duration: 7-9 hours
Taking the bus will take between seven and nine hours, depending on weather and time of year. Buses only depart from Vegamót. From Vegamót, you would take bus line 58 to Borgarnes (leaving once in the morning), and then transfer to bus line 57 to Akureyri.
By Private Transfer or Group Tour
Duration: 10-12 hours (Private); Multi-day (Group)
It is possible to do a private transfer to Akureyri from the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, stopping to see some of the highlights along the way with a driver.
A group tour would only be possible as a multi-day itinerary, and leaving from Reykjavik. These tours cover the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the trip north to Akureyri, including featured attractions in the surrounding area.