Kirkjufell mountain

  • Kirkjufell near Grundarfjörður at Snæfellsnes Peninsula


Kirkjufell is a spectacular mountain near the town Grundarfjörður at Snæfellsnes Peninsula.  In recent years it has become one of the most recognized landmarks and one of the most photographed places in Iceland. Kirkjufell has always been considered one of the most beautiful mountains in the country, but with growing tourism, social media, and many competent photographers it has been enhanced to a new level. Photos of the mountain with the Kirkjfellsfoss waterfalls in the foreground and often northern lights in the background are well known and published throughout the world. 

Kikjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall

Kikjufellsfoss waterfall and Kirkjufell moutain

The name Kirkjufell

For an island packed with mountains, the icelandic language offers many terms for this spectacular product of the forces of nature depending on its size and form.  Although most people would look at Kirkjufell and conclude that it is a mountain, things are not so simple in Iceland. Early on Kirkjufell was called Kirkja or Church. Not surprisingly as the shape resembles a church and its beauty has a divine presence. Fell, on the other hand, is a term describing a small mountain that fits between a hill and a mountain and stands alone. The stand-alone factor is obviously one of Kirkjufells significant modern day qualities as it is quite photogenic from all directions.  Kirkjufell also gave names to places nearby like the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall and even in the past the cove Grundarfjörður on the east side of Kirjufell bore the name Kirkjufjörður.  Somehow it didn't stick.
Neither, most, fortunately, did the name Danish seamen gave Kirkjufell in the 18th century when they called it the ill-fitting and downgrading name Sugartop.

Kirkjufell is part of a Snæfellsnes Peninsula scenic drive

Kirkjufell is part of a Snæfellsnes Peninsula scenic drive

A spectacular climb but dangerous

Kirkjufell is 469 meters high.  It is a product of many forms of geology throughout millions of years which gave it the many fascinating installments, one on top of the other. Kirkjufell has tempted many people to climb up to its peak throughout the centuries and has also taken many lives. It is not easy to climb but will remain interesting for those who seek adventure and is, of course, a point of spectacular view over Breiðafjörður and Snæfellsnes Peninsula.  It is highly recommended, for those who are interested, only to climb Kirkjufell with a local guide. And for those who are interested in hiking, there is a hiking trail around Kirkjufell which takes about three to four hours to walk.

Good walking paths around the waterfalls and around the mountain Kirkjufell

Good walking paths around the waterfalls and around the mountain Kirkjufell

How to visit Kirkjufell?

Kirkjufell is on the north side of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Both Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall is within walking distance from the small town Grundarfjörður.  It is an inseparable part of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula drive, and a must stop.  By the waterfall on the main road Nr. 54 Snæfellsnesvegur is also a parking lot and walking paths around the waterfall.  It is a great place to take photos of Kirkjufell and one of the most scenic places when driving the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Kirkjufell mountain on the map of Iceland