Top choice in Snæfellsjökull National Park

It’s easy to see why Jules Verne selected Snæfell for his adventure Journey to the Centre of the Earth: the peak was torn apart when the volcano beneath it exploded and then collapsed back into its own magma chamber, forming a huge caldera. Among certain New Age groups, Snæfellsjökull is considered one of the world’s great ‘power centres’. Today the crater is filled with the ice cap (highest point 1446m) and is a popular summer destination.

The best way to reach the glacial summit is to take a tour with Summit Adventure Guides, Snæfellsjökull Glacier Tours or Go West!. These companies approach the peak from the south, on Rte F570; Rte F570’s northern approach (near Ólafsvík) is frustratingly rutty (4WD needed) and frequently closed due to weather-inflicted damage. Even the well trained and outfitted are not allowed to ascend the glacier without a local guide; contact the National Park Visitor Centre in Malarrif for more information.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Snæfellsjökull National Park attractions

1. Snæfellsjökull National Park

3.05 MILES

Snæfellsjökull National Park encompasses much of the western tip of Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and wraps around the rugged slopes of the glacier…

2. Rauðfeldsgjá

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Just north of Arnarstapi and Stapafell, on Rte 574, a small track branches off to the stunning Rauðfeldsgjá (pronounced roith-felds-gyow), a steep, narrow…

3. Vatnshellir

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This 8000-year-old lava tube with multiple caverns lies 32m below the earth’s surface, 1km north of Malarrif. The pull-out is visible from Rte 574, and…

4. Djúpalón Beach

5.21 MILES

On the southwest coast, Rte 572 leads off Rte 574 to wild black-sand beach Djúpalónssandur. It’s a dramatic place to walk, with rock formations (an elf…

5. Saxhöll Crater

5.33 MILES

Southeast of the Öndverðarnes area, on Rte 574, follow the marked turn-off to the roadside scoria crater Saxhöll, which was responsible for some of the…

6. Malarrif

5.48 MILES

About 2km south of Djúpalónssandur, a paved road leads down to the rocket-shaped lighthouse at Malarrif, from where you can walk 1km east along the cliffs…

8. Pakkhúsið

6.54 MILES

Mildly interesting display telling the story of the town’s development as a trading centre, and has an on-site handicraft shop and cafe (coffee included…