Snæfellsbær is home to many natural wonders.

We encourage you to stay for a few days in the area and soak in the beautiful nature surrounding the Snæfellsbær municipality.

Below are listed some of the more popular stops in the area and by no means a conclusive list. It is meant to aid travellers when in the area and guide them around the Snæfellsbær municipality. 

This site is constantly being updated and under construction. Feel free to contact us at if anything or drop by in our information centre in Ólafsvík.

How many of these attractions would you like to visit?

Tourist information centre


The tourist information centre of Snæfellsbær was officially opened on the 23rd of April 2009. It is located in Kirkjutún 2 in Ólafsvík. Open all year round, opening hours vary during the winter time. Feel free to stop by and find some local expertise. Free Wifi, WC.

Phone number: +354 433 6929


Seal colony

Driving past the old farmhouse you arrive at a yellow sand beach with many rock formations where a colony of seals often resides. Just make sure you don‘t try to feed the seals, they may not like it.

Lýsuhólslaug / Lýsulaugar

Swimming pool

Do you fancy a dip into the (sometimes) green slimy water of the swimming pool at Lýsuhóll? It‘s one of a kind and it‘s filled with warm naturally carbonated, geothermal water. Rich in minerals and considered extremely healthy and healing. No chemicals, such as chlorine, are added. Lýsulaug is located by the school at Lýsuhóll.

Vatnasvæði Lýsu

Salmon/trout angling

Would you like to try your hand at angling and catching salmon or trout? Why don‘t you buy a permit to fish in the beautiful Lýsa waters? Sold at

Lýsa is a beautiful and peaceful combination of 4 lakes and the rivers which connect them. This is one of the few places in Iceland where you can catch all the fresh water fish that exist in Iceland.




You can see the majestic Bjarnarfoss from highway 54, where it falls between basalt cliffs and lush green slopes beneath them. In high winds, this beautiful waterfall has a tendency to flow upwards! Recently, a parking place has been made at the foot of the falls, with walking paths, a bridge and some picnic tables to enable people to enjoy more this magical place and the views it offers.


Black church

The first church at Búðir was built in 1703, but the current church was rebuilt in its original picture and ordained in 1987.

The church at Búðir sits stark black within the moss covered lava field and is very popular amongst travellers and photographers.

The church is considered extremely photogenic and is a popular destination for weddings and wedding photography.

Photo by Michelle Tresemer on Unsplash


Lava Field

From the church at Búðir, an old, narrow path leads to an abandoned farm on the west side of the crater Búðaklettur, from which the lava Búðahraun stems. Walking through the lava to the west of the crater you‘ll find a 382 meter long cave, Búðahellir. You can climb into the cave and explore it, just make sure you carry a torch while you do it, it‘s not advisable to explore lava caves in darkness.



Shortly after you pass Búðir, you‘ll see the farm Öxl in Breiðuvík. It‘s made infamous by it‘s late 16th century inhabitant, Axlar-Björn who was Iceland‘s most notorious serial killer. Jesters say that Axlar-Björn was the first to offer farm holidays in the area, because he offered outstanding hospitality, food and lodging, to travellers. However, sometimes, it was as far as they would go, because Björn would let them disappear, rob them and thus add to his tourism revenue. Right now, there is a parking place with an outstanding view and an information sign at Öxl.


Gorge / hiking

From the outside, Rauðfeldargjá may not look any different than any other mountain gorge in Iceland. However, following the walking path from the car park will take you inside the mountain, where the path leads you further inside along the river flowing through it. In places, you may need to climb slightly, but there are robes in those spots, assisting you on. Currently, work is in progress to improve the access to Rauðfeldargjá to make the experience more enjoyable. Not only is it an exciting and a unique place to visit but it is also filled with history. An information sign with detailed story about the Rauðfeldargjá is now accessable by the parking site.



Turning off highway 54 towards Jökulháls, just west of Rauðfeldargjá, you‘ll reach Sönghellir on your way up the mountain. Sönghellir, or the Singing Cave, derives it‘s name from it‘s acoustic resonance. Stand in the middle of it and start singing, you‘ll hear your voice echoing between the cave‘s walls for a long time. The path from the car park to the cave is slightly rocky, but well worth the walk.



Glacier / Volcano

The Snæfellsjökull glacier lies on top of an active, but dormant, volcano. Many believe the glacier to have energy and mysticism not found elsewhere and it is also considered to be one of 7 biggest energy sources on earth.

Image: Gunnar Ólafur Sigmarsson



Places in the vicinity of Arnarstapi and nearby Hellnar village are inspired by Bárðar saga Snæfellsáss, an Icelandic story telling about Bárður, half man and half ogre. Arnarstapi was a natural site for landings and harbor for small vessels, and therefore ideal for a shipping port. In the olden days, Arnarstapi was thus from very early on, a busy fishing port and commercial centre servicing the West coast area from 1565.

Bárður Snæfellsás


Big statue of Bárður Snæfellsás is located in Arnarstapi. Made by Ragnar Kjartansson, one of Iceland most renowned sculptures. The statue is his interpretation of the giant character that dominates the area around Snæfellsjökull glacier.

Hiking trail

Hiking trail

Many beautiful walking paths lead from Arnarstapi, one of the most beautiful being the path along the shoreline between Arnarstapi and Hellnar. The path is well marked and the starting point is by the statue of Bárður Snæfellsás.



Although Hellnar village used to be a major port of call for fishing vessels and the largest and busiest centre of fishing and fishing vessels in Snæfellsnes, there were also a few farms in and around Hellnar village along with quite a few semi-permanent and short-stay living quarters for seamen and the migrating workforce. Hellnar village can in all probability trace its function as a major port of call back to the Middle Ages, and the oldest written source of it being describes as a fishing port dates back to 1560.


Arch Rock

Gatklettur - Arch Rock - is a cliff with a circular arch near Arnarstapi. Rock Arch shows how distinctive wave action has eroded the rocks into arches and beautiful swirled patterns.

There is great birdlife around the cliffs and pretty flora surrounding the area.


Fountain / Statue

At Hellnar there is a fountain which was well known as Gvendarbrunnur, because it was thought that Bishop Gudmundur had blessed it. The rumors suggest that the fountain has since been called Lífslind and eventually Maríulind for the reason that Mary Virgin appeared to Bishop Gudmundur in this place in 1230. By the fountain there has been built a statue.



Hellnakirkja was founded in 1880, now it is a cathedral from Staðarkirkja, and has been since 1917.

Image: Sigurður Fjalar Jónsson via Unsplash



Bárðarlaug is a small lake near the road 574, the ring road that goes around the glacier Snæfellsjökull. When you take the turn to Hellnar, the lake is on your right and a parking spot ten minutes walk from the lake. The part of the name "laug" in this context means bath. So the name is really the bath of Bárður Snæfellsás, referring to the mystical person that has hovered over the area around Snæfellsjokull as well as the glacier for centuries.

Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir

Monument / Statue

Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir was a Norse explorer, born at Laugarbrekka in Snæfellsnes, Iceland. She appears in the Saga of Erik the Red and the Saga of the Greenlanders, known collectively as the Vinland sagas. She and her husband Þorfinnur Karlsefni, led an expedition to Vinland where they begat their son Snorri Þorfinnsson, the first European born in the Americas outside of Greenland. In Iceland, Guðríður is known by her byname víðförla.



Svalþúfa is a large cape just east of Lóndrangar, under Snæfellsökull glacier. The front part of the cape is called Þúfubjarg and is inhabited by big birds. Although Svalþúfa usually have high grass, it must not be cut, as the cape is thought to be owned by elves. The story suggests that the devil and Kolbeinn Grímsson had been subjected to a rhymingfight on the rocky rim and Kolbeinn conquered by finding a new way of rhyming, which he is still known for today.


Rock pinnacles

The Lóndrangar are a pair of rock pinnacles in Iceland. They are volcanic plugs of basalt, that have been hewn out from softer surrounding rock by erosion. At 75 and 61 m tall, they are a singular sight, rising above and outside the ocean front due east across from Malarrif and some 10 km from Hellnar, on the southern coast of Snæfellsnes peninsula. History has it that the taller of the cliffs was ascended in 1735, while the smaller one was not climbed until 1938.



About 2km south of Djúpalónssandur, a paved road leads down to the rocket-shaped lighthouse at Malarrif, from where you can walk 1km east along the cliffs to the rock pillars at Lóndrangar (an eroded crater), which surge up into the air in surprising pinnacles. Locals say that elves use the lava formations as a church. A bit further to the east lie the Þúfubjarg bird cliffs, also accessible from Rte 574.

Image: Richard Bartz via Unsplash.

National Park Visitor Centre


The guesthouse of the National Park is at Malarrif and was opened summer of 2016. There you can find some fun for people of all ages and access to information and education about the area around the glacier from the park rangers working there.


Black beach

Djúpalónssandur beach is one of the highlights of Snæfellsnes peninsula wonders. The picturesque beach is covered by countless little black stone which were shaped by the non stopping forces of the ocean and the wind.

A short walk from the parking lot is Nautastígur/Bullpath, which leads you past the lava rocks, where you can also see a lava formation called Gathraun and is a popular sight. If you take a picture through the hole, you can see the glacier framed in.

It was once home to sixty fishing boats and one of the most prolific fishing villages on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula but today the bay is uninhabited. Four lifting stones are in Djúpalónssandur, used by fishermen to test their strength.



Dritvík is a place with beautiful landscape and rich history.  It was one of the largest fishing station in Iceland for centuries with up to 60 fishing boats, dozens of huts and full of life. From the middle of the 16th century up to 400 inhabitants lived here during the fishing season and this continued until the early 20th century. At that time Iceland was more or less an agricultural society with few hamlets or villages. 

Image: Roan Lavery via Unsplash


Volcanic crater

In Snæfellsnes one can see ancient volcanic craters, one of which is called Hólahólar and is located about 14km from Hellnar. One crater is open on the side and is accessible to motorized vehicles. The crater is grass-grown on the inside and the feeling is like arriving at a sports stadium when one stands in the middle of the crater.



It is believed that four farms were at Bervik back in the day. There was a lot of farming and a lot of fishery from the bay, although the situation was extremely difficult for sailing from that area. A variety of monuments are to be found from this time when one walks trough the area, that support the stories of the great farming that was at this beautyfull place. When entering the lava, follow the path called Stutthalastígur and come to Klofningsrétt.


Volcanic crater

Another popular volcanic crater in Snæfellsnes is called Saxhóll, it is 9km south of Hellissandur on the western part of the peninsula. The sightseeing and the easy walk path makes this 100m high crater a must see for everybody.


Mountain / hiking trail

The mountain Hreggnasi is very beautiful and it takes a short while to get there. To get to the mountain, drive the road up Eysteinsdalur, which is accessible to 4x4 vehicles. When you get closer you arrive at the parking lot from where you walk up to the top of the mountain, in the parking lot there is a bench and a table suitable for having a snack and enjoying nature. The trail up the mountain is not very steep so most people should be able to enjoy the walk. The route is also well marked most of the way with sticks. The same way is taken back to the car.


Volcanic crater

To get to Rauðhólar in Snæfellsnes, the road to Eysteinsdalur has to be taken and when arriving at the parking lot a sign is seen to the right, which points to the crater. Much lava flowed when Rauðhóll erupted and the lava around the hill is called Prestahraun, but the lava at Hellissandur came from the same eruption, as is the same for the lava field at Dritvík. It can therefore be imagined how terrible this eruption was. The trail is well marked with sticks and the walkway is good to the top of the crater so most people should be able to walk around and enjoy the magnificent and beautiful nature.




Skarðsvík an exceptional beach Iceland. Surrounded by harsh and bare black lava, the orange-yellow sand beach is a magnificent place for the whole familie. Skarðsvík lies by the Atlantic ocean and while it has its beauty you might watch out for the tide and it is recommended that one visits the beach at low tide.


By the western coast of Snæfellsnes if you are coming from Hellissandur on Highway 574 take a right turn to Highway 579. This is a gravel track that takes you further west through a lava field and brings you to the tip of the peninsula called Öndverðarnes. If you are interested in whale watching, this is a good spot for you. Rising from the sea at Öndverðarnes is a big rock created from volcanic eruption called Skálasnagi, and it stands under what is called Svörtuloft. The lighthouse of Öndverðarnes is called Öndverðarnesviti, but there is also a smaller one that is called Skálasnagaviti.


Volcanic crater

Svörtuloft in Snæfellsnes are about 4km long hammer cliffs at Öndverðarnes. These are devastating cliffs, and a great experience to stand by the lighthouse on top of these black cliffs and look over the sea that brakes on the cliffs below.

Image: Gunnar Ólafur Sigmarsson



At Öndverðarnes you can find a deep well. You can walk down into the well. The well is called Fálki and because of how ancient it is, it is protected by Icelandic law.



Just south of Gufuskálar in Snæfellsnes take a turn down a short road lane that leads to Irish wells and ends on a parking lot. It is not entirely known where the name comes from, but it may be related to Irish people believed to have been in this area prior to settlement.


Old fishing station

From the Irish Wells, a good hiking trail that leads out on Gufuskálavör and to a monument that was built to commemorate the last housewife at Gufuskálar, which stopped farming in 1948. As you walk the area, it is possible to see tracks in the ground from the boats that were dragged on land when there was farming both to land and sea in the area.


Ancient antiques

At Gufuskálar in Snæfellsnes, many ancient antiques have been discovered, which can be traced back to the middle of the 13th century. There are a number of monuments that can be attributed to Vikings, whalebones and the ruins of old farms and farmlands that give an idea of the great farming that was in the area up until mid-20th century.


Fish farms

Fish farms were used for drying fish and those farms can be traced to Gufuskálar during the 15th-16th century. However, it is not possible to fully identify the time at which each farm was used or erected, because they were built for a long period of time and were used at a variable time . Sources say that proof can be found for up to 14 fish farms at Gufuskálar in the 15th century,  which had one boat each, rowed on open boats, and it is clear that there must have been a great deal of exports from the area and extensive processing. Walking pedestrians are advised to take care in the lava area when walking and try to stay on marked walking trails, also do not go up on or down in the farms as these are sensitive and danger can arise if something goes.



In Krossavík outside of Hellissandur you will find the main harbor for fishing from Hellissandur in the past. There is a beautiful house by the harbor, always called the White House, which was built in 1930. It is nice to drive the road to Krossavík and see the old harbor that is still visible although it is disappearing more and more through the years and to see how great the fishing industry must have been there. The old house was renovated in 2010. There is also great bird life to be seen there.

Maritime museum


At the Maritime Museum in Hellissandur there are two exhibitions, "Nature at the seaside" and "Seaman's life under the Glacier". In the former you can see birds, fish, shellfish, stones and information about the nature in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The latter is about the life of fishermen in the past.

The main spectacle of this show is Blikinn, (1826), the oldest fishing boat preserved in Iceland, owned by the museum. Also shown in the garden of the museum is Þorvaldarbúð, a restoration of the last seaman's camp  that was built at Hellissandur, (1942). The facilities show the life of those living and working on the seaside at that time. There are also old machines, whalebones and much more to see at the museum.


Outdoor area

At Hellissandur just south of the highway there is a beautiful outdoor area with open forests, benches and tables as well as beautiful hiking trails around the area and the lava field. This is a wonderful place for all those who want to enjoy nature and relax. There is a great view of Snæfellsjökull and a lot of birdlife.

Beðið í von


At Hellissandur you can find a monument about the seamen's families from earlier times. The work is on the seafront, above what is called Brekknalending. The work reminds us of the families that waited for their men who sailed the seas on open boats, but not all of them returned from their travels. The monument was unveiled on the Icelandic day of Fishermen in 2000.

Hellissandur Street Art

Street Art

Hellissandur is a cultural phenomenon and the street art capital of Iceland. A project that started in 2018 has sprung to life and beautiful murals of all kinds are to be found on many buildings throughout the town of Hellissandur. The murals are all made by international artists that visit the town with the sole purpose to brighten the life of locals and visitors by splashing some paint...



Ingjaldshólskirkja is the oldest concrete church in the world. It belongs to Ingjaldshóll province in Snæfells and Dala federation of parishes. The church was built in 1903. The church that existed before and stood in the cemetery was the third largest church in the country for a long time, its ruins can be seen in the cemetery. The new church was refurbished in 1914. The church is also magnificent with views from the hill across the glacier and across the countryside to all directions.

The story states that in 1477 Kristofer Kolumbus had a winter stay at Ingjaldshóll. He is said to have come to Rif to retrieve information about Iceland's Wineland tours. If you see the congregational in Ingjaldsholskirkja, you can see a painting that shows Kristofer Kolumbus along with the priest of the place looking at a map with the church and the glacier in the background. There are no sources of a parish church found on the site until 1317, but there are sources about a prayer house there before that time.



A number of people attend bird watching in Iceland and that applies to foreign as well as domestic tourists. On the south side of the main road at Rif is a great facility for bird lovers. There one can find a shelter for those who aim to get the best pictures of the birds in the adventurous nature surrounding Snæfellsjökull. A number of Seagulls are in the area around Rif and Ólafsvík, as well is the fact that Rif has one of the largest nesting areas of the Arctic tern in Iceland.



Icelandic sagas tell of Björn Þorleifsson, who was the governor at Skarð. At Rif, Britain did a great deal of shopping in the 15th century which the Danes disliked, and Björn is said to have been killed by them in 1467. Björn is said to have been weighed on a rock that is still visible and is called Björnsteinn.



Many tourists who visit Iceland have a great interest in waterfalls and travel around the country to enjoy the many and varied waterfalls the country has. Waterfalls are a special wonder of nature and bring calm to all those who come to them, whether it's by listening to the waterfalls flow or experiencing the power streams that many waterfalls contain. Under Snæfellsjökull south of the highway at Rif in the northern part of Snæfellsnes, you will find a waterfall called Svöðufoss and it is a big tourist attraction. 10mtr high and flowing from the river Hólmkelsá, Svöðufoss is wonderfull and beautiful and something that enthusiasts about waterfalls should not let pass, running in the magnificent landscape of Snæfellsness National Park. Walking paths to the waterfall lie from the parking lot and it is also easy for most people to get up above the waterfall. In beautiful weather, footage of the waterfall with the glacier in the background is priceless.

Ólafsvík swimming pool

Swimming pool

Ólafsvík swimming pool has everything you need to have a relaxing day, with a 12.5m indoor pool, a hot tub inside, two outdoor hot tubs and a water slide for the youngest generation. It is wonderful to relax after a good swimm in the outdoor pools, enjoy the weather and the mountain range surrounding Ólafsvík while the kids play. The swimming pool stands next to the elementary school of Snæfellsbær, the sports center of Ólafsvík and the football field. On the upper floor of the house we have the gym Sólarsport and from the swimming pool area it's short to all services, driving or walking.



The church in Ólafsvík was consecrated on the 19th of November in the year 1967, the same day as the first church at Snoppa had been built in 1892. The church stands high in the town at the foot of the towns waterfall and over the ground of the football stadium, the sports hall and the elementary school.



There are not many shopping centers that still exist since the 19th century, but the old Pakkhús in Ólafsvík is one of them. The house was built in 1844 and has been sheltered by law since 31 August 1970. On the first floor is a store but on the second and third floors you'll find a folk museum of life in the area some hundred years ago.

Fishermen's garden


The seamans council of Ólafsvík received the equivalent of half the land that today is called Sjómannagarðurinn í Ólafsvík in the years 1955-1957. The park was to expand with increased gifts, and it can be said that the park as it is today in the current form expanded from 1967 to 1980. A statue by Guðmundur from Miðdal is found in the park of a seaman with a Halibut on his back. It was consecrated on 3 of June 1961. The house Kaldilækur stands in the garden and is named after a creek that ran down the park, where brothers now have a great cafe.



At Bug east of Ólafsvík is a beautiful hiking trail that goes along the gorge, around the golf course, to Fróðá and back along the highway. In Bug flows a beautiful waterfall and it's called Bugsgil.