Introduction

Snæfellsjökull National Park encompasses much of the western tip of Snæfellsnes Peninsula and wraps around the rugged slopes of the glacier Snæfellsjökull (pronounced sneye-fells-yo-kutl), the icy fist at the end of the long Snæfellsnes arm. Around its flanks lie lava tubes, protected lava fields, which are home to native Icelandic fauna, and prime hiking and coastal bird- and whale-watching spots.

When the fog swirling around the glacier lifts, you'll see the mammoth ice cap, which was made famous when Jules Verne used it as the setting for Journey to the Centre of the Earth. In his book, a German geologist and his nephew embark on an epic journey into the crater of Snæfells, guided by a 16th-century Icelandic text with the following advice:

Descend into the crater of Yocul of Sneffels, which the shade of Scartaris caresses, before the kalends of July, audacious traveller, and you will reach the centre of the earth.