We traveled through Snaefellsnes on a day where the Reykjavik Area had record snowfall. Exploring Iceland and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula covered in snow was an amazing experience!
We started our tour with shuffling 51 cm of snow to get our Van ready for the trip. Reykjavik did not get as much snow in the past 20 years. The amount of snow caused chaos on the roads. We had to start the pick-up much later than usually, many people were running right on the streets and several streets were not well cleaned at that moment. But we did it, after only 30 minutes, our 6 customers were comfortable sitting in the van and happy that the tour has not been cancelled. To put in links:
Wall of basalt columns
Our tour guide had to change the whole schedule, always depending on the road conditions. Nevertheless, we had the most beautiful weather! Blue sky, lots of snow and not much wind. Our first stop was Gerðuberg, which is an incredible wall of basalt columns. The wall is about 500 meters long and the basalt columns 15 meters high and between 1-1,5 meters wide. It is fun to climb to the top of the wall and to enjoy the beautiful view from the top.
As the road from the southern to the western part of the peninsula opened, we took the opportunity to visit the most photographed mountain in Iceland: Kirkjufell. The mountain is located right beside the town Grundarfjörður and is standing out of the sea, surrounded by beaches and waterfalls. We walked up to some little waterfalls which were partly frozen and perfect to take pictures of together with the mountain. It was quite cloudy but then the sun came through and lit up the peak of the mountain. What a magical moment!
Back to reality and the snow chaos, we started our rescue-mission. We had to pull out one of our colleague who got stock in the snow as well as another car just a few meters further. We got a shuffle in Grundarfjörður and a friendly inhabitant provided us with a good rope. We were able to pull out both cars and accomplished our mission successfully. Everyone could joyful continue their trip around the peninsula by saying hello to some Icelandic horses, climbing to the top of crater Saxhóll and watching a magnificent sunset.
Hike against the wind
On our next day, we were as lucky as the day before with the weather. We just watched the sun rising above the horizon when we left out cosy accommodation. Our first stop of the day was the canyon Rauðfeldar. The wind had a speed of more than 20 m/s which turned the quite easy walk into a challenge. One moment the wind was so strong that I almost could not hold myself on my legs anymore. I was impressed by our customers who did not even think about turning around. Experiencing such a strong wind is fantastic. It makes you feel alive! We all made it into the canyon by climbing from one stone to the other in the little river and got rewarded for the difficult hike. The canyon is beautiful and totally windless inside. The walls are covered with green moss, the snow lighted up the inside of the canyon and created a great contrast to the black stones. In my opinion, this was the most incredible experience on our trip.
To the centre of the earth
But of course, the adventure did not stop yet. Afterwards we walked 35 meters deep into the Vatnshellir cave. The cave is about 8000 years old and was created when a small volcano erupted. Even though it was a small eruption, it created the 200-meter-long lava tube and the tube is the biggest one I have seen so far. Our tour guide was fun and explained the creation of the lava tube and many more interesting facts about it. For example, how long it takes for the water to drain from the surface through the lava into the cave.
Most incredible black sand beach
Our last stop was not any less unique as the others. The black sand beach Djúpalónssandur has many different shaped rock formations to present and is a paradise for photo lovers. The rocks are very colourful and create a high contrast to the black sand. When you listen closely, you can hear the sound of the small stones rolling up and down the beach due to the waves.
The diversity of Snæfellsnes is endless. Every tour to this unique peninsula is different but always special.