Snaefellsnes Peninsula | A unique Icelandic Wonderland

On our trip to Iceland we did 3 organised tours and the first of these was to take us up the west coast to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, The Kirkfujell mountain, the black beach and the black church. It was an all day tour and was incredibly good value for money.

The other 2 we’ll cover in other blog posts as well as our blog about our time in Reykjavik. Click the links for more info.

Kirkjufellfoss Waterfall Snaefellsnes Tour Iceland
Kirkjufellfoss Waterfall Snaefellsnes Tour Iceland
Búðakirkja Black Church Snaefellsnes Tour Iceland
Búðakirkja Black Church Snaefellsnes Tour Iceland
How did we get to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula?

The tour we chose was with Troll Expeditions to the Snaefellsnes national park on their Snaefellsnes, the Hidden Gem of the West Tour and an area where some of the scenes in Game of Thrones is filmed. Actually there’s not many places in Iceland where they’ve not filmed. It’s most certainly GOT territory. The weather wasn’t great but we were armed with several layers of clothing, waterproofs, hat and gloves, cameras, binoculars so all being well we should have a lot of fun.

About the tour

Our guide Maria picked us up from the front of the hotel at approx 8am in a Troll Expeditions Mini bus.

The journey up the west coast was spectacular but the rain on the windows obscured it a little. We could see mountains, flat valleys and the coast through gaps in the condensation and raindrops.

We stopped off at a service station Borganes get provisions for the day, as we’d be out all day we got some sandwiches, drinks, crisps and haribo.

Its pretty windy on the west coast and the further North we got the windier it became. Just getting to and from the mini bus was like an olympic feat.

The scenery was incredible and slightly similar to the North of Scotland but without any trees. The only trees they have here, that are native, are small stumpy bushes and some areas are covered in them. Maria, our guide, told a joke. What do you do if you get lost in an Icelandic forest……..stand up! Yes, it was funny at the time.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula landscape
Snaefellsnes Peninsula landscape
Snaefellsnes Peninsula Landscape
Snaefellsnes Peninsula Landscape

Arrowhead Mountain, Kirkjufell, featured in many GOT scenes was the first thing we saw when the minibus came to a halt. To get the best shot of the picture Maria suggested we walk up and round the waterfall Kirkjufellfoss and take a picture from the other side. My waterproof trousers would have been a good idea at this point but I was too keen to get out of the van to take the shot of the holiday to remember to put them on and it was a task I’d live to regret.

The wind was blowing so hard the spray from the waterfall was thrust upon us. Exhilirating, exciting and such a beautiful spot.

Walk up to the waterfall she said, that’s where you’ll get the best picture, she wasn’t wrong.

We spent around 30 – 40 mins there and that was enough to walk up and round the waterfall and get a great picture.

Kirkjufell Mountain Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Kirkjufell Mountain Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Kirkjufellfoss Waterfall Snaefellsnes Tour Iceland
Kirkjufellfoss Waterfall Snaefellsnes Tour Iceland
Our next stop was the Volcanic Crater

Here our guide advised us not to climb the iron steps to the summit as she was fearful of the wind.  It was blowing an absolute gale and as the immediate landscape was so flat it blew down the valley with such force it was hard to keep on our feet.  I decided to keep to the ground level but a few of our party did venture up to the top. 

Chris was one of them and off he went to the top as I ventured round the side of this cone shaped structure and was pleasantly surprised that round the side and back there was no wind at all. 

The landscape was breathtaking and in the gloom of the drizzly day it made it all the more foreboding. 

Volcanic Crater Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Volcanic Crater Snaefellsnes Peninsula
View from the Volcanic Crater Snaefellsnes Peninsula
View from the Volcanic Crater Snaefellsnes Peninsula

The black sand beach

The next stop was the black beach and again it was an area that you can see in some GOT scenes.

This place was quite something with a lava landscape like I’ve never seen before

The beach was black ash and the sea was wild. It wasn’t until some light peeked through the clouds that the true beauty of the place showed itself with light glistening off the wet volcanic stone and the white water. Absolutely stunning.

Black sand beach Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Black sand beach Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Black sand beach Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Black sand beach Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Sea stacks and impressive cliffs

After this we had a quick bathroom stop at some sea stacks and then we went onto an old Fishermans village which had some impressive cliffs and sea birds nesting but no puffins yet.

It was at this point of the day that the sun finally decided to come out and what a difference that made. Dark, gloomy, mysterious water suddenly turned into the bluest of blues and the white waves were whiter than white.

The sunshine really made everything come alive and our last few mins here were bathed in beautiful sunlight.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula coastline
Snaefellsnes Peninsula coastline
Snaefellsnes Peninsula sea stacks
Snaefellsnes Peninsula sea stacks

The black church & the seal beach

Onto the van again and this time we were headed for the Black Church, another iconic Iceland feature. It was a nice little church with a little graveyard behind, it could have done with a paint job but very picturesque none the less.

Back on the bus again and heading to our last stop of the day, the seal beach. This was an area of beach where seals are known to gather.

When we arrived we had 30 mins so which gave us time for a good walk down the beach.

Initially we only found a couple of oyster catchers, a group of birds we thought were purple sandpipers but no seals apart from one that bobbed his head up in the water not far from us and we kept an eye on him as he bobbed up and down making his way up the coast. Too far for a picture but lovely all the same.

Búðakirkja Black Church Snaefellsnes Tour Iceland
Seal Beach Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Homeward bound

After a very long and full day we now had a 2 hr drive back to the hotel which meant we’d be back around 8pm. Our guide was true to her word and at approx 8 we were back at the hotel. This was a fantastic tour and would recommend it to anyone visiting Iceland.

Some tips to help you enjoy your day:
  • Make sure you take plenty of spare clothing as there are ample opportunities to get wet regardless of the weather.
  • Take clothing for all weathers as its can be so changeable – gloves and hats are a must.
  • Pack plenty water and snacks as its a long day and lunch is not provided 
  • Good sturdy footwear as some of the cliff and beach areas are quite rocky and sandy 
  • The cafe we stopped at took card so no need to carry cash
  • Make sure your camera and phone are charged as you don’t want to miss that iconic shot
  • Most of all enjoy your day
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