#snaefellsjokull

 

Snæfellsnes Peninsula offers many interesting and fascinating places to stop by, view and experience.  When you enter the Peninsula driving from Borgarnes town one of the first places that we recommend is Eldborg crater.  The hike back and forth from the parking lot to the top of Eldborg is not necessarily a short hike and takes about two to two and a half hours.  But for those who prefer a shorter walk to see a crater, Saxhóll is a good option although the crater is nowhere as impressive as the larger Eldborg crater.  Saxhóll is actually two craters where the lower one is more popular and easier to visit and climb.

Saxhóll the view and the crater

Saxhóll crater is only about 100 meters high, and recently a convenient walking path and steps have been set up making it quite easy to climb.  The crater is probably one of the most accessible places in Iceland to see a crater that once spewed a thousand degrees of magma from the ground delivering the massive surrounding lava.  As the craters also stand higher than the vicinity, it is also a good place to view the tip of the Peninsula with the Atlantic ocean to the west and north and the magnificent Snæfellsjökull glacier on the east side.

For centuries an isolated part of Iceland

Although the region around Saxhóll, particularly by the shore, had farms and fishing stations throughout the centuries the tip of Snæfellsnes Peninsula was always a very remote and isolated place.  Communications were difficult, and few people had reasons to visit the place.  Only a few centuries ago there was a church near Saxhóll as there were quite some people that lived there despite the isolation.  But a few years ago the road was fixed, and today there is an asphalt road around the Snæfellsnesjökull glacier area, and it is far from being isolated.  In fact, it has become one of the most popular scenic drives in Iceland. To access Saxhóll, you simply stay on the main road around the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula called Útnesvegur in Icelandic, Nr. 574 and on the western most part you will find Saxhóll as it is only a few meters from the road.

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
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Below is the location of Saxhóll on the map of Iceland

Saxhóll crater is only about 100 meters high

 

Before the Eyjafjallajökull (glacier/volcano) eruption in 2010 Snæfellsjökull glacier was probably the best-known glacier in Iceland for decades. Located in the westernmost part of the Peninsula Snæfellsjökull is around 1450 meters and towers over other mountains on the peninsula. One of the reasons for its fame came about when the glacier found its way into world literature in Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth in 1864. In the novel a German professor, Otto Lidenbrock travels through the volcanic tubes towards the center of the Earth. It is quite an adventure where he encounters prehistoric animals and natural hazards, before surfacing again in Italy. Ever since, Snæfellsjökull has inspired countless authors, poets, and artists. There is something otherworldly about this beautiful and accessible glacier. So, it may come as no big surprise that Snæfellsjökull is considered to be one of the World's seven largest spiritual centers.  It is also the home of Bárður Snæfellsás who made the glacier his home around 1100 years ago.

Like many glaciers in Iceland Snæfellsjökull is also a volcano

Snæfellsjökull is an active volcano with a crater in the middle of the beautiful mountain under the ice cap.  It is a product of many eruptions, the last one occurring around 1800 years ago with lava flowing down the slopes, forming the peninsula's extraordinary landscape. The glacier on top has been gradually diminishing during the last decades and is only about 11 square kilometers today. But, its pristine beauty has by no means diminished. Neither has its inherent energy. It still conveys the combination of ice and fire at its most extreme.

Find your way to Snæfellsjökull

Snæfellsjökull is accessible during most seasons of the year, and a number of tour companies in Iceland will take you to the summit to experience the full energy – and breathtaking scenery.  During summer it is quite simple to drive up to the edge of the glacier from the main road Nr. 54 circling the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula by taking the turn north on the difficult dirt road Nr. 570 near Arnarstapi. 

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Snæfellsjökull on the map of Iceland

Snæfellsjökull is irrefutably the best know glacier in Iceland.