In a wonderful location in pretty Stykkisholmur, the hostel formerly known as Harbour has been reborn as trendy Sjavarborg, a new, fantastic and atmospheric option to bed down while exploring the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland.
Location & Nearby
Sjavarborg is located in the village of Stykkisholmur on the northern shore of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, just 600 yards (550 meters) from the ferry Baldur which sails from here to Brjanslaekur in the Westfjords. Several restaurants and cafes are within stumbling distance from the hostel, including Hafnarvagninn, where you can enjoy fish and chips right on the water directly across the street from your accommodations. The peninsula's only Bonus supermarket (and an Orkan gas station) are also found in the village.
Stykkisholmur is a cultural hub considering its size. The Norwegian House, in the oldest two-story building in Iceland (1828), is next door to Sjavarborg. The Volcano Museum is less than a two-minute walk and the country’s oldest weather station, dating to 1845, is also nearby. Stykkisholmur has also played a significant role in film and literature. Scenes representing Greenland in the film ""The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"" were shot here; in the novel ""Red Storm Rising,"" the town was the landing point of American troops liberating Iceland from the Soviets.
Of course, Stykkisholmur's position is perfect for reaching attractions further afield on the northern side of Saefellsnes Peninsula. Guests can effortlessly visit Mount Kirkjufell 26 miles (41.5 kilometers) - its distinct conical peak is often touted as the most photographed mountain in Iceland. The 170-square-kilometer Snæfellsjokull National Park, one of Iceland's three national parks, is 56.5 miles (91 kilometers) west of Sjavarborg. Here you'll find the sub-glacial Snaefellsjokull volcano, geologically-impressive beaches at Djupalonssandur and Skardsvik, and the Vatnshellir lava cave. These areas also figure significantly in literature. Novels such as Jules Verne’s ""A Journey to the Centre of the Earth"" and Halldor Laxness’ ""Under the Glacier"" have used them as settings. On the peninsula's southern side, Londrangar basalt cliff 58 miles (94 kilometers), Raudfeldsgja gorge 51.5 miles (83 kilometers) and the seal-watching beach at Ytri Tunga 33.5 miles (54 kilometers) are reached via scenic Snaefellsnes drives from Harbour Hostel.
Facilities & Amenities
The former Harbour Hostel was completely renovated and revamped by the same owners in 2021, reopening in early 2022 as Sjavarborg. It's not the first time the space and undergone a transformation as the basement of Sjavarborg was built 1914 as a storage facility for ice to be delivered to fishing vessels at the harbor. In 1938 two floors were added to accommodate a private home and a shop (over the years, a bookstore, a barber shop, a supermarket …). So sleeping here comes with a bit of history. Today, the dorm beds are gone, replaced with single, double and family room options. The basement now houses bathrooms for guest use (hairdryers, cotton buds and pads, shower gel, and soap are provided for guests). A café, opened in summer 2021, has taken over the ground floor space and serves breakfast, lunch, coffee, homemade cakes and wine. There is also a well-equipped kitchen in a former garage space for guest use and a communal living room that is as cozy as a genuine Icelandic home. There is even a piano for visitor to serenade fellow guests. Wi-Fi is standard in communal areas.
Why Choose Sjavarborg?
If new is your thing and location is everything, Sjavarborg is as well-positioned as anything Stykkisholmur – within walking distance of cafes, restaurants, museums, and transport options. It's an excellent spot from which to explore West Iceland's Snaefellsnes Peninsula in style. Book your room from March 2022 forward today!