Information about Snæfellsjökull

Snæfellsjökull (1446 m) is a glacier-capped volcano found on the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland, in one of the country’s three National Parks. It stands at 1,446 metres (4,744 feet) tall, and on clear days, is visible across the bay from Reykjavík.

The stratovolcano beneath Snæfellsjökull is 700,000-year-old.

The mountain is actually called 'Snæfell' (Snowy Mountain), though the 'jökull' (Glacier) is often added to help distinguish it from other mountains of the same name. For the first time in recorded history, Snæfellsjökull had no snow or ice at its peak in August 2012, causing concern amongst locals that climate change is threatening the nature of the mountain.

History

Nearby villages include Hellissandur, Rif and Ólafsvík, all of which were some of the busiest commercial and fishing hubs in the country for much of the last millennium. Fishing took off primarily in the 13th-Century, with fishing stations being built in all areas with easy access to the open ocean.

One notable example would be the settlement of Dritvík; in spite of its miniscule size today, it once utilised around forty to sixty boats and employed up to six hundred people.

Fishing in the region declined during the 19th century due to change in Iceland’s industry and fish stocks, though it is still an important source of livelihood for those living on the Peninsula.

The Snæfellsjökull National Park was established in 2001, and tourism is rapidly changing the trade of the area.

In Folklore

Snæfellsjökull has, for centuries, been considered to be one of the world’s ancient power sites, a source of mysticism, energy and mystery for the peninsula’s superstitious population.

The feature takes a prominent role in Bárðar saga Snæfellsáss, a late 14th-century saga that tells the story of  Bárður, half-human-half-troll, who became the 'guardian spirit of Snæfellsjökull'. There are many rock formations on and around Snæfellsjökull that are said to be trolls petrified by sunlight, or else homes of hidden elves.

On November 5th, 1993, thousands of people came to Snæfellsjökull as some paranormal enthusiasts believed there would be an alien landing; CNN even showed up with a camera crew. Though the evening passed without a galactic invasion, the incident shows the strange significance of Snæfellsjökull to many.

In Literature

Snæfellsjökull serves as the entrance to a fantastical subterranean world in Jules Verne’s classic 1864 novel 'Journey to The Centre of The Earth.' Given its central place in the novel, Snæfellsjökull has become one of the most popular spots for visitors in Iceland and has inspired a wealth of writers, poets and artists.

Since 'Journey to The Centre of The Earth', Snæfellsjökull has appeared in the ‘Blind Birds’ trilogy by Czech science fiction writer Ludvík Souček (partially based on Jules’ work) and in ‘Under The Glacier’, a novel by Iceland’s only Nobel laureate, Halldor Laxness.

Nearby Attractions

Londrangar are basalt stacks near the mighty glacier.

Along with the glacier, attractions on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula include the two nearby basalt cliffs called Lóndrangar and the many fascinating lava formations at the beautiful Djúpalonssandur beach, such as the arch rock Gatklettur.

At Djúpalonssandur, one can also test their muscle as historic sailors once did with the four 'strength' stones, Amlóði ('Useless'), Hálfdrættingur ('Weakling'), Hálfsterkur ('Half Strength') and Fullsterkur ('Full Strength').  

In the area, one can also explore the Saxhóll volcano crater and 'the singing cave' Sönghellir, which is named after the loud echoes inside.

 

Services near Snæfellsjökull

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Snæfellsjökull

Snæfellsnes

Snæfellsnes is a large peninsula extending from West Iceland, often nicknamed ‘Iceland in Miniature’ due to its wealth and diversi...

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Sönghellir Cave

Sönghellir, or 'Song Cave', is a cave on the Snæfellsnes peninsula famed for its echoing quality. The acoustics inside have a magic...

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Vatnshellir Cave

Photo from Into the Underworld | Vatnshellir Caving Tour Vatnshellir Cave is a lava tube on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and a popular site for ca...

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Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge

Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Emstrur.  Rauðfeldsgjá ("Red Mountain Rift") is a narrow gorge on the east side of the mountai...

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Snæfellsjökull National Park

Snæfellsjökull National Park is found on the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and is one of three National Parks in Iceland. It is ...

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Lóndrangar

The Lóndrangar basalt cliffs are amongst the many geological wonders of the Snæfellnes peninsula. Once a volcanic crater, all that rema...

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Arnarstapi

Arnarstapi is a village on the southern side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, once a fishing hub and now a place for travellers to refuel before ...

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Djúpalónssandur

Photo by Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir Djúpalónssandur is an arched-shaped bay of dark cliffs and black sand, located o...

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Hellnar

Hellnar is an old fishing village on the westernmost part of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. It used to be one of the largest fishing stations of the pe...

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Gatklettur

Gatklettur ("Hellnar Arch") is a famous, naturally formed stone arch found between the villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar on the Snæ...

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Saxhóll

 Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Credit: Diego Delso.  Saxhóll is one of the most popular craters on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, f...

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Ölkelda

  Olkelda is a farm in the south of Snaefellsnes, taking its name from a renowned mineral spring close by. The pristine mineral spring by the O...

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Ólafsvík

Olafsvik is a fishing town of just over a 1000 people, located on the west side of the Snaefellsnes peninsula.  Economy and services Olafsvik h...

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Skarðsvík Beach

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Ulrich Latzenhofer.  A golden sandy beach found on the northwestern tip of the Snæfellsnes P...

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Hellissandur

Photo above from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Chensiyuan Hellissandur is a village dating back to the 16th Century, found on the northwesternmost ...

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Búðir

Búðir is a small hamlet in the municipality of Snæfellsbær on the westernmost tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The ha...

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Kirkjufell

Kirkjufell, or Church Mountain, is a distinctly shaped peak found on the north shore of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula, only a short di...

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Grundarfjörður

Wikimedia, Creative CommonsChensiyuan  Grundarfjörður is a small town found on the north coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula ...

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Melrakkaey

Melrakkaey ("Fox Island") is a small island found at the mouth of Grundarfjörður. Melrakkaey was protected in 1972 and today, onl...

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Ytri Tunga Beach

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by pjt56. Ytri Tunga is a beach by a farm of the same name on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Unlike many...

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Tours near Snæfellsjökull

Snaefellsnes National Park Day Tour

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2 Day Snaefellsnes | Lava Cave, Seals, Waterfalls, and Northern Lights hunting.

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7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave

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6 Day Winter Trip In Iceland | From Reykjavik to the Ice Cave

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Into The Underworld | Vatnshellir Caving Tour

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Bus Tour to Snaefellsnes National Park

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8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

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10 Day Self Drive Tour | Top Ring Road Attractions & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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2 in 1 Bundle Discount Tours | All National Parks & Ice Caving

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Whale Watching | Ólafsvík

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2 in 1 Bundle Discount Winter Tours | Golden Circle, Ice Cave & Snaefellsnes

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9 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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The Top of the Diamond | Jeep and Snow Buggies on Snaefellsjokull Glacier

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12 Day Winter Package | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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Circle of Iceland with Snaefellsnes Peninsula | 10-Day Winter Package

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5 Day Family-Friendly Winter Package | Golden Circle, South Coast, Reykjavik & Blue Lagoon

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The Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Borgarnes Town | Day Tour

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Reykjavik Observation Deck | Perlan Museum 360° Viewing Platform

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10 Day Summer Package | Reykjavik, Akureyri & Icelandic Nature

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6 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | Snaefellsnes & The Golden Circle

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Summer 8 Day Self Drive Tour | Westfjords & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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15 Day Summer Hot Spring Hunt Self Drive | Iceland in-Depth

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10 Day Slow-Paced Summer Self-Drive | Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle & South Coast

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Kayaking Under Mt. Kirkjufell | Midnight Sun Adventure

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Kayaks Under Mt. Kirkjufell | Snaefellsnes Day Tour

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Snaefellsnes Peninsula Super Jeep Tour | Stykkisholmur, Mt Kirkjufell, Snaefellsjokull Glacier

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6 Day Summer Self-Drive | Hidden Gems under the Midnight Sun

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The Wonders of Snaefellsnes | Private Day Tour

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Snaefellsnes Peninsula | Day Tour with a Home-Cooked Meal

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Iceland Midnight Sun Photography Workshop

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14 Day Budget Self Drive Tour | Iceland's Ring Road & the Westfjords

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The Wonders of Snæfellsnes | 2-Day Getaway

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Snaefellsnes Peninsula Private Tour | Kirkjufell & Snaefellsjokull

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Small Group Minibus Tour of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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The Magic of Snaefellsnes Peninsula | Full Day Super Jeep Tour

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The 'Wonders of Snæfellsnes' Private Helicopter Tour

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The Great Snaefellsnes Peninsula | Day Tour

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Snaefellsnes Peninsula Helicopter Tour

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Snæfellsnes Peninsula Jeep Tour

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