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Iceland Mag

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Snæfellsnes peninsula is full of adventures waiting to happen

By Sara McMahon

  • Snæfellsjökull glacier The glacier became world famous due to the novel “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” by Jules Verne. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

Hjalti Sverrisson is the hotel manager at Hótel Hellnar on the westernmost tip of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. He enjoys backcountry snowboarding on the Snæfellsjökull glacier. The glacier became world famous due to the novel “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” by the 19th-century French writer Jules Verne, in which the protagonists find the entrance to the centre of the earth on Snæfellsjökull glacier.


What’s the best thing about Snæfellsnes in your opinion?
“Snæfellsjökull glacier! There are numerous hiking and ski routes on the glacier and the view from the top is absolutely breathtaking. Personally, I love to go backcountry snowboarding on the glacier and the route down is fantastic for snowboarding. Snæfellsjökull Glacier Tours also offer great tours to the top with pisten bullies.”

Favourite restaurant in the area:
“Fjöruhúsið restaurant in the old fishing village of Hellnar serves great seafood soup and has an excellent ocean view.”


Hjalti Sverrisson, hotel manager at Hótel Hellnar.

Best place for a picnic:
“Nothing can beat a picnic on top of Snæfellsnes glacier. The second best place for a picnic is on the beach near Hellnar or Lóndrangar, a pair of volcanic plugs, which are the only remnants of a large crater.”

Mention three interesting things one should not miss when visiting the area:
“Visit Snæfellsjökull glacier either by foot or with a pisten bully. One can also hike around the base of the glacier and visit Sönghellir (The Singing Cave) on your way.”
“The town of Stykkishólmur is a charming old fishing village, which is well worth a visit. The movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was partially filmed in Stykkishólmur.”
“Lastly, I’d recommend a boat trip around the Breiðafjörður bay. It is truly one of the most beautiful places in Iceland.”

What can one do in the area when traveling with children:
“There are so many activities in the area that one can do with children. I recommend the charming swimming pool in Lýsuhóll, just before you arrive at Hótel Búðir. The pool is filled with natural hot mineral water. Visit the Volcano Museum in Stykkishólmur or go whale-watching in Grundarfjörður. A walk between Hellnar and Arnarstapi is also full of adventures just waiting to happen.”

Describe the perfect Sunday drive around the area:
“The drive from Hellnar to Stykkishólmur is enchanting – the route is dotted with abandoned farmhouses, lava fields, and amazing fjords. On a clear day, one can see all the way over to the Westfjords.”


Snæfellsnes is truly a magical place. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson


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