Just northwest of Reykjavik, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is the perfect hub if you want to enjoy the unique natural beauty of Iceland. All within the same relatively small area, you can hike through a river gorge, gaze at Mt Kirkjufell and its idyllic waterfalls, go whale watching, search seacliffs for puffins, explore a lava cave, view glaciers, and more.

Getting Oriented

Enjoy the famous sites of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is one of Iceland's most popular regions—and for a good reason. Set just north of Reykjavik, the peninsula is under 2 hours from the capital city, so it's easily accessible. On top of that, Snæfellsnes hosts many of the attractions that draw visitors to Iceland, including scenic hikes, glaciers, wildlife, and more. All in one area, you can go whale watching, enjoy boat tours, tour through a national park, look for puffins, go hiking, view glaciers and mountains, walk through a lava cave, learn about folklore, and more. 

Things to Do

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula offers a range of activities, excursions, and experiences, all within a small area of Iceland's western region. A road trip through Western Iceland is a great way to see a lot in a short amount of time. And this extensive assortment of experiences makes any time of the year the best time to visit Iceland and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula!

Hike Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge

Enjoy the expansive views as you walk through the gorge.

On the western edge of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is the Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge, a long, narrow, and high ravine that (in the summertime) leads to a beautiful waterfall. In addition to the hike, getting to the gorge is part of the fun, as the area is set in an idyllic location near Botnsfjall Mountain and the tiny hamlet of Arnarstapi. Further, the canyon comes with tales of Icelandic folklore from the 14th-century saga about the giant named Bárðar. Read More

Boat Tour and Puffin Watching

See Iceland's famous puffins near Grundarfjörður.

Go birdwatching on Melrakkaey Island just off the northern coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Besides Iceland's most famous bird, the adorable orange-beaked puffins, you can also spot species such as shags, cormorants, guillemots, kittiwakes, and many others. A boat tour on a traditional láki boat takes you close to the basalt cliffs where the puffins nest, then around the island to find views of Mt Kirkjufell, waterfalls, and glaciers. Read More

Vatnshellir Lava Cave Tour

Explore under the surface in the Vatnshellir Lava Cave.

Visit Iceland's most popular cave, Vatnshellir Lava Cave. After an 8,000-year-old eruption created a river of lava, the top crusted over and the inside drained, resulting in a lava tube that you can explore today. The minerals left behind shine in bright colors: reds from iron, yellows from sulfur, and greens from copper. Enjoy exploring this 650-foot-long tube! Read More

Whale Watching near Ólafsvík

Spot whales on the coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

Starting in the town of Ólafsvík, you'll enjoy a tour of this area's scenic coastline, one of the country's best regions for whale watching. You'll get as close to the animals as you can without disturbing them in their natural habitat. Throughout the year, you'll have the chance to view orcas, pilot whales, and/or sperm whales, all swimming under the gaze of the mighty Snæfellsjökull Glacier. Read More

How to Craft the Perfect Snæfellsnes Itinerary

View of the Snæfellsjökull Glacier.

Because the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is relatively small and just north of the capital, it's a great area to focus your trip or pair with other regions in Iceland. Many visitors opt to combine Snæfellsnes with other parts of Western Iceland, such as the Golden Circle, but you can also extend your reach and add pieces of the southern and northern Ring Road

When it comes to how many days to spend in Iceland, it all depends on how much you'd like to see. To tackle the highlights of Snæfellsnes (and even add in Reykjavik or must-sees along the South Coast), you only need about five days. However, give yourself at least one week if you'd like to add the Golden Circle or more stops along the Ring Road.

Past kimkim travelers enjoyed the following itineraries with experiences on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula: