Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Auroras - 2 day tour (EI47)
Winter tour - Northern Lights, black sand beaches and more
Snaefellsnes peninsula has been given the well deserved nickname "Iceland in miniature". We offer you scenic winter tour with great ocean view, stunning landscape, northern lights hunting and an easy cave exploration in Cave Vatnshellir, making this two-day tour great value for money.
From 39 900 ISK per adult
* A single room costs extra
Age limit: 6 years
Duration: 2 days
Small groups: Operated in a minibus
Departures: Daily, Nov - Mar
Tue, Fri & Sun in Oct
Pick-up: 09:00 - 09:30
Drop-off: ~20:00 on day two* (see below)
Available: Oct - Mar
Two-day tour around Snaefellsnes Peninsula
1 Night in a local Guesthouse w/ Breakfast
The Picturesque Kirkjufell Mountain
Cave Exploration in Cave Vatnshellir (optional)
Northern Lights Search
*Drop-off information: We drop you off at your hotel sometime around 19:00 - 20:00 on day two, depending on weather and road conditions.
Map of the route: click here
Included: Hotel pick up & drop off in Reykjavik, tour by minibus, English guidance, accommodation with breakfast, and northern lights search.
Not included: Lunch and dinner are not included in the price.
Optional extra: An easy cave tour to Vatnshellir cave (see booking engine for prices). If you do not want to go caving, you can go for a short walk with your guide around the area.
Bring with you: Warm clothes, sturdy shoes (see below). Spikes that fit over shoes to provide extra grip on ice.
For further information:
Note: Due to weather and limited daylight during winter time the itinerary can vary between days. Our guides evaluate circumstances and take the best informed decision possible.
When we have picked you from your hotel we will begin the tour when we drive to Hvalfjordur, if weather allows. Hvalfjordur is a peaceful fjord, with dramatic landscape, waterfalls and cliffs, rich in history. We travel onward over a mountain pass called "Dragi" to the valley of Skorradalur with its crystalline lake and legends of a monster. We will visit the hot spring, Deildartunguhver, which has the highest flow of any hot spring in Europe. The water temperature is 97 degrees and the flow rate is over 180 litres per second.
Our next stop is at Reykholt, a little village in the valley of Reykholtsdalur. Snorri Sturluson, author of the Edda Sagas and one of Iceland's most significant people in historic times, lived in Reykholt. He was a famous poet and politician whose work left records of the Old Norse language and medieval Icelandic mythology which are invaluable to modern day scholars. He also left what is probably the oldest hot tub in Iceland.
One of the highlights of this day is probably Hraunfossar Falls, a stone’s throw away from Reykholt. The falls consist of a series of waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming over a distance of about 900 metres through a very porous lava field. The waterfalls pour into the River Hvita from ledges composed of the less porous rock in the lava.
A few steps upstream from the Hraunfossar Falls we will find the waterfall of Barnafoss. This name means "the Waterfall of the Children", and is derived from an accident which is said to have taken place there in ancient times. The tale says that once upon a time there was a natural bridge over the waterfall and two children from a nearby farm fell to their deaths using that bridge to cross the river. It is said that the grief stricken mother had the bridge destroyed.
We will then continue to the valley of Hnappadalur, passing the magnificent crater of Eldborg. We will see Gerduberg, an impressive wall of beautiful basalt columns forming geometric patterns in the cliffs. We will also stop at the mineral spring of Raudamelsolkelda in Hnappadalur. Driving west along the peninsula we travel through peaceful countryside with a dramatic backdrop of towering cliffs and peaks. Rhyolite from ancient volcanos colours the mountains in bluish and pastel tones.
At the end of the day we stay at a locally situated guesthouse on the south coast, close to a wide sandy beach where seals can be spotted. We can enjoy magnificient views to the mighty glacier of Snaefellsnes where the well known tale, Journey to the Center of the Earth takes place. Maybe the northern lights will show up above the accommodation.
Today, after breakfast, we will continue our journey around the peninsula of Snaefellsnes.
We drive to a ravine named Raudfeldsgja. There is a very beautiful brook flowing from deep within an enormous crack in the mountain wall which cleaves it all the way down to the root of the mountain. We might take a short hike into the murky depths of the ravine but in winter conditions it might be difficult.
Arnarstapi fishing village
We will see a sculpture of Bardur Snaefellsas at the beach of Arnarstapi, who was half human and half ogre. After some quite dramatic events in his life he is reputed to have vanished into Snaefellsjokull ice cap. We take a short hike along the coast at Arnarstapi to see ravines, caves, basalt columns and seabirds.
We will then travel on to Hellnar, which is another really nice little village were we will enjoy a hike to explore, seeing the cliffs, seabirds and beautiful views towards the sea and to the glacier of Snaefellsjokull. After a refreshing hike we might catch a cup of coffee at the smallest coffeeshop in Iceland at the pier at Hellnar.
The black-sand beaches
Our next stop will be the black sand beaches of Djupalonssandur and Dritvik, where there were fishing operations in the olden days. The debris of two shipwrecks from some decades ago is still spread along the beach. These beaches are stunning and extremely interesting places to see with unusual cliff formations and black pebbles.
If time allows, we will take a short 30 minute hike along the coastline connecting the two beaches to see the amazing scenery in this area.
One of the tour highlights is this easy cave exploration in the National Park of Snaefellsnes. Note that this caving tour is optional (see booking engine). If you do not wish to go caving you can take a short walk around the area with your guide, while the rest of the group goes caving.
** There's no need to be in any particular physical condition to explore Cave Vatnshellir. Helmets, gloves and torches are provided to all travellers during this guided visit **
Inside the lava tube there are two main sections. The upper section has great features and unique formations of lava statues curved on the sides of the lava tube. The lower part of the lava cave which can be reached by a long and narrow staircase takes us deep down underground to a place which was hidden from the outside world for thousands of years. Vatnshellir was created in an volcanic eruption some 7,000 years ago.
Visiting this beautiful cave offers a unique experience. In the total darkness of the lava cave most sense shut down and the sense of smell becomes dominant, deep underground there is absolutely no sound.
Next we visit small fishing villages on the north side of the peninsula. First the long wave radio mast at Hellissandur is a 412 metre high guyed radio mast for long wave transmissions at Gufuskálar in the vicinity of Hellissandur plains. This mast was once the highest structure in Europe. We will make a quick stop here mainly to look at some peculiar rock shelters that might be the oldest man-made structures in Iceland.
We make a stop at the waterfall with the iconic mountain Kirkjufell in the backdrop, on our way from Olafsvik. At the foot of the mountain is the peaceful little village of Grundarfjordur. We may buy some lunch pack there.
From Grundarfjordur we proceed through the small fjords of Hraunsfjordur and Kolgrafafjordur and drive through Berserkjahraun lava field. We will hear interesting legends about the Swedish berserks that laid the road in exchange for the farmers daughter but paid with their life. We will then turn south and drive across the mountains at Vatnaleid and head for Reykjavik.
We estimate that we will be back to Reykjavik city around 19:00 - 20:00 on day two, depending on weather and road conditions. We drop you off at your hotel.
Note: The northern lights don't always show up! It is highly dependent on weather and solar flare activity.
We also have a private tour to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, The Legend of Snaefellsnes. It can be customized to suit your travel needs and wishes.
Map - click to enlarge
Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Auroras - Book here...
Note that selected departures during the holidays can be more expensive.
Please make sure that you select the correct accommodation type under Extras. Single rooms are more expensive. Solo travelers have to book a single room.