Category: West Iceland

The Mystery behind the Snaefellsjokull Glacier

The first national park to become established in Iceland was the Snaefellsjokull National Park. It stands at the foot of a volcano and a glacier and it happens to be the only park that reaches from the seashore to the top of the mountains.

Snaefellsjokull Glacier

There is no surprise that the Snaefellsjokull Glacier is the main attraction of the National Park. It is undeniably beautiful and the active volcano stands 1,446m high, which was the setting for “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.

This glacier is said to be one of the seven great energy centers of the earth and it is believed to have numerous mysterious powers. When at the top you can see the Reykjanes Peninsula and the Westfjords on the north side. Additionally, you can see well over the Snaefellsnes Mountains to the east. Tourists can book excursions on the glacier from the village Arnarstapi.

Arnarstapi

If you are looking to explore the wonders of the ocean, coastline and the beach, the Snaefellsjokull National Park is ideal for you to visit. Those who have an interest in marine life usually love it here; however, those who are interested in geology such as volcanology will have a great experience here too. You can take advantage of bird watching because the coast and lowlands are abundant with birdlife.

Access and Services 

Services in the area have improved since travelers were greeted by Axlar-Bjorn and found themselves in the Iglutjörn pond. All you have to do is get on Road 574 and you will arrive at the National Park and the nearby nature reserves. Additionally, the staff is always ready to serve you in any way that they can in addition to answering all of your questions and concerns. Lastly, guide tours can be booked so you can see all of the hotspots.

Snaefellsjokull Glacier

Unfortunately, there are no camping grounds near the National Park, however, hikers and cyclists can stay one single night in their tent if they desire. Arnarstapi, however, does have a campsite available and there are various hotels and restaurants available in Hellnar and Búðir. If you venture out to other nearby areas, you will find accommodations and food too. You can have access to swimming pools, supermarkets and more in the nearby villages.

If you are planning a visit to Iceland, make sure you schedule a trip to the Snaefellsjokull National Park.

 Snaefellsjokull National Park.

Travel Guide Iceland Team – Reykjavík (Iceland)

Travel in Wintertime in Iceland

Wintertime is once again upon us, and it is this time of year that I am reminded of my trip to Iceland. Winter is a great time to visit Iceland, the beauty of the Northern Lights in a crisp, clear starlit sky is something to behold. The snow capped mountains and frozen waterfalls give the place a truly unique and magical feel.

travel winter iceland

I also remembered a few practical points to keep in mind when travelling in Iceland in the winter. Here are my top five tips:

Don’t give up on the Northern Lights

If you are travelling in Iceland in the winter months then you are sure to have more than a passing interest in the Northern Lights. Your chances of seeing them are good, but bear in mind that they are an unpredictable natural phenomenon. You may get unlucky and not see them at all. You can increase your chances by heading out of urban areas (light pollution can seriously hinder your view) and by being diligent. Sightings are possible from early evening through to the early hours – so be prepared to stay up late and you just never know!

northern-lights-iceland

Remember the weather can change

The weather is notoriously changeable in Iceland. If you are heading out for the day check the weather reports – and be prepared for the exact opposite conditions to prevail. The good news is that Iceland is surprisngly mild in the Winter thanks to the warm air from the Gulf Stream. Temperatures in the capital area usually hover around 0 degrees.

Drive carefully

If you do hire a car in Iceland over winter then it goes without saying that you need to drive carefully, observing the speed limits and road signs, and keeping a close eye on the (possibly changing) road conditions. Driving within the capital area should present no problems, but when you venture further afield you are strongly advised to check the road conditions, (vegagerdin.is gives you a comprehensive overview of the state of the roads in Iceland in English) and take extra special care. Your vehicle should be provided with studded tires which will make it much easier to handle in slippy conditions.

winter road iceland

Make use of the hot springs

There is something really special about bathing in warm water whilst sat outside. Especially in winter. Geothermally heated hot pots are plentiful, both of the natural and man made variety. It is a wonderful way to relax after a long day, and no trip to Iceland would be compete without visiting one.

hot spring iceland winter

Pack warm layers

This one is important! Good quality clothes that you can wear in layers as oppose to thicker clothes is the key here. The oxygen between the layers helps keep you insulated and you can add or remove layers as the weather dictates. A warm waterproof coat and good quality boots are essential in winter. It is worth mentioning that the pavements of downtown Reykjavík are heated in winter, so walking about can be done in whatever footwear you desire!

travel winter iceland

Travel Guide Iceland Team – Reykjavík (Iceland)

Dynjandi (Fjallfoss): Superlative waterfall in a Land of Waterfalls

Dynjandi (also known as Fjallfoss) is the largest waterfall in the Westfjords region of Iceland and is considered to be one of the most impressive waterfalls in all of Iceland. The waterfall in made up of 7 waterfalls, each with its own name, one of which is Dynjandi. Dynjandi means “thunderous”. The total height of the waterfalls is about 100 m. There is also a nice campsite nearby-something to consider as the location is quite beautiful.

Dynjandi

Dynjandi is spectacular from a distance, but even more so up close after making the hike up the trail from the car park. The trail is not difficult, but will most likely be muddy and requires appropriate footwear. Like all places in the Westfjords, don’t be in a hurry to get here, or to go on to your next destination.

Dynjandi

Take your time on the winding roads, for safety’s sake as well as to enjoy every breath-taking view that comes your way. While this waterfall (and the Westfjords in general) is definitely off the normal beaten path of the Ring Road (route 1), it’s definitely worth it to venture to this place!

If you’re in the area, you can’t miss it anyway because the only road leads past it, but it’s well worth the drive!

Travel Guide Iceland Team – Reykjavík (Iceland)