Information about Snæfellsjökull

Snæfellsjökull (1446 m) is an ice-capped volcano found on the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland. 

Though many consider Snæfellsjökull to simply be a particularly impressive ice cap, it is, in fact, a 700,000-year-old glacier-capped stratovolcano. 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. 

On clear days, one can see Snæfellsjökull from Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, approximately 120 kilometres away over Faxa Bay, making for an impressive sight—and a tick off the bucket list if you can’t make it to travelling across the Peninsula itself. The volcano makes up just a small part of the larger Snæfellsjökull National Park. 

History 

Nearby villages include Hellissandur, Rif and Ólafsvík, all of which were commercial and fishing hubs throughout the peninsula’s long history of human inhabitance. 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, one of the largest fishing stations in Iceland at the time, utilising around 40–60 boats and employing between 200–600 people. Fishing in the region declined during the 19th century due to a change in Iceland’s fishing practises, though it is still an important source of livelihood for those living on the Peninsula. 

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. This likely has something to do with the stratovolcanoes place in the Icelandic sagas; 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.”

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 SF 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 

Along with the glacier, attractions 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 strength just as the ancient 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

Snaefellsnes is a large peninsula extending to the west from West Iceland ending with a national park, Snaefellsjokull National Park, where the glacie...

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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 is an 8,000-year-old lava tube on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and a popular ...

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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 in the southern part of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. The area has several old and charming houses with interesting stor...

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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 ...

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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 (“Church Mountain”) is a distinctly shaped mountain found on the north coast of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula, ...

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Grundarfjörður

Grundarfjörður is a small town found on the north coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the west of Iceland. The town has an approx...

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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. Alongside ...

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Tours near Snæfellsjökull

Snaefellsjokull Glacier Tour

Snaefellsjokull glacier hiking tour This day tour takes you hiking to the top of Snaefellsjokull......

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Bus Tour to Snaefellsnes National Park

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Into The Underworld | Vatnshellir Caving Tour

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5 Day Self Drive Tour | Wonders of West Iceland

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12 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland & National Parks

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

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8 Day Winter Wonderland | National Parks & Ice Cave

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Snaefellsnes National Park Day Tour

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7 Day Self Drive Tour | The Ring Road of Iceland

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10 Day Self Drive Tour | Hot Spring Hunt | Circle of Iceland & The Westfjords

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6 Day Summer Package with Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

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7 Day Self Drive Tour | South and West Coast & the Golden Circle

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7 Day Guided Ring Road Tour | Explore the Circle of Iceland

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Iceland Midnight Sun Photography Workshop

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Around Iceland in Winter | Two-Week Photography Workshop

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Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Cave Exploration

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Beautiful Snaefellsnes Peninsula Minibus Tour

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

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Snaefellsnes National Park Tour in a Small Group

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

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Photography Day Tour at Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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Snaefellsnes | Local dinner included

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Westfjord Ring Road

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Downhill Skiing Adventure | Snaefellsjokull Glacier

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Wonders of Snæfellsnes

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Snaefellsnes Peninsula Tour

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8 Day Winter Self Drive | Northern Lights and Ice Caves

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8 Day Summer Package | Iceland in Depth with a Greenland Day Tour

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9 Day Self-Drive Winter Tour | Snaefellsnes Peninsula, South Coast, and Ice Cave

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10 Day Winter in Depth Self Drive | Snaefellsnes, Northern Lights and the South Coast

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12 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | The Ring Road of Iceland with the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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12 Day Budget Self Drive Tour | The Ring Road & National Parks

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7 Day Budget Self Drive Tour | Snaefellsnes and the South Coast

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Snaefellsnes Day Tour ​| Kirkjufell, Djupalon and Hellnar

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

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4-Day Discount Tour Combo | Ice Cave, South Coast and Snaefellsnes

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Discount Tour Combo | Snaefellsnes, Golden Circle, Secret Lagoon & Jokulsarlon

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

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Discount Winter Tour Combo | 3 National Parks & Ice Caving

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4-Day Discount Winter Tour Combo | Golden Circle, Ice Cave & Snaefellsnes

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4-Day Discount Summer Tour Combo | Snaefellsnes, Jokulsarlon & Golden Circle

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12 Day Winter Package | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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11 Day Winter Package | The Ring Road with Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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2 Day Snaefellsnes Tour | Lava Cave, Waterfalls, Seals & Hot Spring

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Reykjavik Observation Deck | Perlan Museum 360° Viewing Platform

Discover one of the best-known landmark buildings in Reykjavík, Perlan Museum, and its fabulous......

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Pearls of Iceland | Snaefellsnes, Lake Myvatn, the Highlands, Golden Circle & South Coast

Join this 8-day minibus tour that showcases some of the best that Iceland has to offer. On your......

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Iceland Classic Circle | 10-Day Minibus Tour

The circle tour around Iceland's Ring Road is the most popular for a reason: You get to see......

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Journey To The Centre Of The Earth: The Musical

Come along on a musical joyride on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Immerse yourself in both local......

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7 Day Summer Package | Iceland in Depth with a Greenland Day Tour

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Iceland, and fit in a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Greenland, on......

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The Great Snaefellsnes Peninsula | Day Tour

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The Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Borgarnes Town | Day Tour

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Whale Watching | Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Come along on an excursion of the marine life of Breiðafjörður Bay. This whale watching tour is......

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Snæfellsnes Minibus Expedition

Avoid the crowds and come along for a full day minibus exploration of the majestic......

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The Wonders of Snaefellsnes | Private Day Tour

Gather up your favourite people and join this private tour of the magical Snæfellsnes......

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The Magic of Snaefellsnes Peninsula | Full Day Super Jeep Tour

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Snæfellsnes Peninsula Helicopter Tour

Join this tour to soar over the enchanting diversity of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, to take......

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Snaefellsnes Peninsula Day Tour by Bus

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The 'Wonders of Snæfellsnes' Private Helicopter Tour

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The Magical Snaefellsjokull National Park Tour

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Snæfellsnes Peninsula Jeep Tour

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Snaefellsjokull glacier hike | Pick-up from Reykjavik

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Snaefellsnes Peninsula Private Tour | Kirkjufell & Snaefellsjokull

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Snaefellsnes Peninsula | Private Tour with Vatnshellir Cave

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Eight Hours in Iceland | Customise Your Private Tour

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Iceland in Autumn | 11-Day Photography Workshop

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Snaefellsnes Peninsula | Day Tour with a Home-Cooked Meal

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6-Day Untamed Tour | Golden Circle, Snaefellsnes, Highlands, Northern Lights and Animal Round-Up

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10-Day Untouched Tour | Circle of Iceland with Glacier Hiking & Ice Caving

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