Arnarstapi on the south coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is one of Iceland's favorite destinations. It is a mesa surrounded by exquisite nature, great history and has the best access to the Snæfellsjökull glacier. This tiny village wasn't always this small. During the fifteen and sixteen centuries, it was an important trading post and an important fishing village. Today, the Arnarstapi dock is and important harbor for small boats and also a popular destination for pleasure crafts and yachts.
A tiny village with an impressive history
The village is at the foot of Stapafell, a rather small but distinct mountain that already played a role in Iceland's history when the island was being settled. It was home to Bárður Snæfellsáss half brother Þorkell who emigrated to Iceland with his brother. And, Bárður was a large man as can be seen by the life-size sculpture the artist Ragnar Kjartansson erected by the village shoreline befitting the local guardian spirit.
In the midst of a beautiful landscape
Part of Arnarstapi's beauty is the columnar basalt ravines and grottoes surrounding the harbor, as well as the lava formations along the coastline. Following quite accessible and easy hiking trails, you will find magnificent cliffs and caves, with fantastic birdlife. You can comfortably inspect the kittiwake, the Arctic tern, razorbills and the fulmar up close.
Here you can see and feel the force of the Atlantic ocean
During your hike, you will also experience the full force of the ocean as it clashes with the cliffs at three ravines along the way. It is a powerful and energizing experience, but, mind you, do not stand too close to the edge if you want to survive the impact.