Iceland (IV): the Snæfellsjökull National Park (West)

One of the highlights of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula was the Snæfellsjökull National Park.  There are only three national parks in Iceland, the Snæfellsjökull NP is the small one in the west.  It is a must-see in my opinion.

We drove to the Snæfellsnes peninsula from Borgarnes. The scenery was stunning.

Every turn provided photo moments!

Mountains and no-name waterfalls.

Our plan for the morning was to visit three coastal towns–Arnarstapi, Hellnar and Londrangar and hiked in those areas.

We reached our first destination, Arnarstapi, in about one hour.

Arnarstapi was like a paradise on Earth! The beauty of her coastal cliffs blew my mind!

arnarstapi 5

I’d let the pictures do the talking…

This monument was to represent the guardian spirit Bardur Snæfellsas, the legendary deity of Mt. Snæfell.  According to the Saga, Bardur Snaefellsas was a descendant of giant and men, local people believe his spirit live in the Snaefellsjokull, a volcano mountain covered with glacier.

hellnar 1

From Arnarstapi you could hike to the next town Hellnar along the striking coastal trail.  We didn’t want to come back to get our car, so we only hiked half way, then drove to Hellnar instead.

I have no idea what Hellnar means in Icelandic, but the pebbles, the caves and the rock patterns down there were from a different world!

hellnar 3

The daredevil inside of me decided to walk to the top of the bridge.

The view was stunning, but I had to come down before the vertigo turned my legs to spaghetti noodles!

See the path between the red house (a nice local restaurant) and the blue house, that was the hiking trail to Arnarstapi.

Our next stop was Londrangar Basalt cliffs.

You could hike all the way to the lighthouse.

Near the parking lot was the unobstructed view of the Mt. Snaefell.

If you are interested in the rest of our journey through Snaefellsness Peninsula, please check my previous blogs.

About West Iceland:

(1) We stationed in Borgarnes for two nights while touring the West Iceland, which saved us two hours of round trip per day since we didn’t stay in Reykjavik.  Our Airbnb in Borgarnes was lovely.

(2) Since it was late July, the sky was not fully dark at 2:30 am (below top right) and the Sunrise at 4 am (lower right).  An eye-mask is a must if you want to get some sleep since the Icelandic curtains were not blocking any light.

(3) Our first day’s itinerary included hiking the Glymur,  Hraunfossar and Barnafoss and Krauma thermo bath at Reykholt.  And we had Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Viking sushi tour in Stykkisholmur on the second day.  Because sushi tour was in the afternoon at 3:30, we had to sacrifice Djúpalónssandur Beach and Skarðsvík Beach.  In retrospect, we could have made it if we got up an hour earlier, but we were on vacation…

Author: aihuacy

We learn from our travel. The different cultures, local food and new things stimulate and inspire us. We are compelled to share our experiences. Sometimes we wish we would have done things differently. Publishing our travel journey in this blog not only shares our fun adventures, we wish you would learn from our missteps and make your next vacation more enjoyable. "讀萬卷書不如行萬里路" is a Chinese Proverb, literally means "Reading ten thousand books don't quite match up travelling ten thousand miles". Indeed, a man who travels knows far more!