#snæfellsnes

 

At the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, some interesting places are delightful to visit and explore.  Apart from Skarðsvík bay the road to visit all of the places is a gravel road and bit difficult to drive.  Not necessarily a 4X4 road but a narrow and bumpy gravel road.  Svörtuloft is a lighthouse and a four-kilometer long cliff that is worth visiting during summer, especially if the tide is low and the weather is calm.  The formation of the cliff is quite spectacular as they are dark and black lava cliffs. An excellent viewing panel was put up by the cliffs not long ago for a better and secure view of the most interesting part of the cliff.  The natural arch by the lighthouse is a spectacular part of the cliff, and with the stack that stands up from the sea line, the sight and experience are great.

A place feared throughout centuries

Sailing in the Faxaflói bay and the Breiðafjörður bay in the western part of Iceland might be secure and calm, but traveling from one to the other can be quite tricky.   The sailing by the tip of Snæfellsnes peninsula, past Svörtuloft is still a serious business.  Throughout the centuries there have been drastic incidents and casualties.  Ships have stranded, and as anyone can imagine looking at the sharp and black lava cliffs, this is not a good place to strand a ship. Most of them are quickly blown to pieces by the shore.  When you add the strong currents attacking the shore from the Atlantic Ocean, it is most likely a place impossible to survive.  This is perhaps one of the reasons that a lighthouse was built on the cliffs. 

Finding your way to Svörtuloft

From the main road at the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula called Útnesvegur in Icelandic, Nr. 574, the distance to Svörtuloft is about five and a half kilometer after you take a turn west of Öndverðarnesvegur Nr. 579.  At the end of the road, you take a turn south to Svörtuloft and drive a few kilometers. Here you will find a small parking lot that gets overcrowded if there are more than eight vehicles.  If you turn to the north, you will find another interesting part of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula tip, Faxi the well. 

Svörtuloft is a lighthouse and a four-kilometer long cliff that is worth visiting during summer
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For centuries and even up until the eighties and the nineties most places on the westernmost part of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula were isolated.  This was because the road was tough and the part from Ólafsvík village to Rif / Hellissandur villages was often considered dangerous until it was permanently changed, and moved lower to the shore, in the eighties. Although this might seem a bit strange today at Malarrif where you have an information center for the Snæfellsnes National Park, the farm Malarrif was quite isolated. Today it is a simple drive and an asphalt road accessible for any car. But like most roads in Iceland, a precaution is required during winter and looking at the weather forecast before taking this part of the road is a must.

Malarrif is an old farm and an old lighthouse with a new role

The shore by the farm and information center is interesting as most of the shoreline of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.  Today it is the main center for the Snæfellsnes National Park and when traveling in Iceland and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula you should visit the center. The walk from the tourist center to Lóndrangar is quite spectacular as well as the rocky pebble beaches. The old lighthouse had an important role for Icelandic fishermen for decades as they fished in the rich fishing grounds by the shore. Fishing grounds that Icelanders used for centuries. It was built in 1917 and rebuilt in 1947. The height of the lighthouse is 20 meters, and the light had a range of eighteen miles.  At that time the farm Malarrif was one of the most isolated farms in Iceland. It was also the westernmost farm on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

A center for all the beautiful places to visit at Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Malarrif Information Center is an important stop when visiting the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. It is an information center for Dritvík, Djúpalónssandur, Vatnshellir cave, Hellnar, Snæfellsjökull glacier and many other interesting places at Snæfellsnes Peninsula

 

Malarrif is an important place to visit when driving the Snæfellsne Peninsula

Ingjaldshóll is an old farm and a church that you should visit if you are traveling the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland. The farm and its history can be traced back to the 10th century. It has always been an important place in the surrounding region throughout the centuries. Currently and for the last fifty to sixty decades it has been deserted as a farm because the quality of the soil declined due to wind erosion. But still, it can uphold its importance and role in the nearby region as it is the home of the church for the communities in the twin villages of Rif and Hellissandur. The church is one of the oldest concert buildings in Iceland built 1903 and Ingjaldshóll is one of the most spectacular places in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula for a grand view of the fjord Breiðafjörður and also towards the glacier, Snæfellsjokull.

A place with a pile of stories and folklore

Ingjaldshóll is renowned for strange stories involving trolls and spells as well as protection from the powerful spirit of Bárður Snæfellsás. One of the best-known stories is the story of the farmer Inngjaldur at Hóll and the troll Hetta.  The troll woman Hetta told Inngjaldur about a very rich fishing ground after being caught stealing his sheep. It was a change in their negotiations to soften him up. Inngjaldur believed her and soon enough headed tor the rich fishing ground only to find himself caught in a severe storm. Possibly facing his final hour, he called upon the powerful spirit Bárður Snæfellsás who apparently came to his rescue, much to the annoyance and surprise of Hetta.  This, of course, is a true story from the Saga Báður Snæfellsás.

A very busy place for ages although small today

In the 15th and throughout the 18th century Ingjaldshóll, as well as the nearby region, was a busy place both as a trading post and as a tiny fishing village. In 1477 a young sailor came to Rif on a ship from Bristol in England.  He stayed for the winter at Ingjaldshóll eager to learn about the journeys of the Vikings to the west, Greenland, and Vineland.  Possibly visiting the not so distant Eiríksstaðir to learn about Erik the Red and his son Leif the Lucky, who discovered America five centuries earlier. This gentleman came from Italy, and his name was Christopher Columbus. So if you stop at Ingjaldsstaðir and enjoy the magnificent view over Breiðafjörður and to the glacier Snæfellsjokull you are in the same steps as the great explorer stood some five and a half century ago.

Access is very simple

So we recommend if you are traveling the Snæfellsnes Peninsula on the road Útvegur Nr. 574, you should look for the Road Nr. 5738 to Ingjaldshóll. Today it is mostly interesting because of its history and also because of the view, in any direction.  Quite a scenic place to visit.

Ingjaldshóll is an old farm and a church that you should visit if you are traveling the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland.

If you are looking for an exciting drive or a tour in Iceland where you can comfortably drive and see the magnificent landscape and beautiful natural wonders, astonishing small villages and places with entertaining stories, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula Drive is an excellent option.  Especially, if you have your own car, a camper or a rental a car.

The many reasons why you should drive the Snæfellsnes Peninsula on you trip to Iceland