Snæfellsnes peninsula sits to the north west of Reykjavik and houses a world of diversity, sparkling fjords, friendly towns and dramatic mountains. With dramatic scenery cloaked in mystery and the setting of Ben Stiller’s movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, it’s no wonder the peninsular is so high on bucket lists around the world.
We explored Snæfellsnes on a private tour with Solstice Tours. We were picked up from our hotel at 8am in the morning by owner and founder Jon Frosti and his 4×4 vehicle. Our first stop on the epic adventure was Egill Skallagrímsson Park in Borgarnes where we learnt about the Icelandic Sagas of the local area.
Driving in to Snæfellsjökull/Rauðarfellsgjá, we stopped along the way to pick wild blueberries and detoured to house with waterfall and fresh mineral water. From here it was on to Saxhóll Crater, a stone-shaped crater formed by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. We took the time to trek to the top and pose for some photos.
Our next stop was Dritvik where we walked along Djúpalónssandur Beach and tried (and failed) to lift the “lifting stones” used to test the strength of fishermen. We walked the black sand beach, also known as the Black Lava Pearl Beach, for its beautiful shiny black pebbles that line the shore.
From here we ventured to Londrangar- Thufubjarg, two uniquely formed ancient basalt volcanic rocks sticking out of the sea. Jon left us to wander the edge of the cliff and take photos of the beautiful scenery. Then it was on to Arnarstapi, a fishing hamlet in the south, featured in the Icelandic Sagas.
For lunch we stopped at a café in Arnarstapi where Jon recommended fish soup and delicious Skyr cake for dessert. It didn’t disappoint!
Then it was on the cave we’d been waiting for. But first we made a small detour to the Troll Cave where Jon sang us a song from the Sagas. We chose to make a stop at the popular Vatnshellir Cave, famous for the Journey to the Centre of the Earth story. Jon left us to join a session climb down into the cave where mythology comes alive.
After we survived the journey underground, it was time to visit the popular Kirkjufell, made famous by National Geographic which featured the mountain and nearby waterfalls on their front cover. The 436 metre tall mountain with the unusual shape sits near the small town of Grundarfjörður.
After snapping a few photos of the mountain it was time to return to Reykjavik, but not before a short and bumpy drive through Berserk lava field which was formed three to four thousand years ago.
On the drive home, we sat back, listened to the Icelandic music Jon played and watch the swans fly into the sunset across the flat plains of the beautiful country.
Solstice Tours is a small company, run by Jon Frosti, a great guide who taught us much about the rich history, geology and folklore of Iceland. We had a lot of flexibility with the itinerary to the point where we could change it while we were on the road. We were able to stop for photos when and wherever we wanted too.
Tour: The Myth of the Glacier
Price: 22.900 ISK each (we paid a little more as we were the only two on the tour)
Duration: 9-11 hours
Availability: All year