This post focuses on Day 12 (Snæfellsjökull National Park and Snæfellsnes peninsula) of our Ultimate Itinerary for 2 Weeks / 14 Days in Iceland.
If you’ve just starting planning for your vacation or holiday in Iceland, check out our Iceland planning and resources post.
NOTE:Our itinerary outlines activities and drive times. Everybody has different eating habits so stop for groceries and food as needed. Picnic areas are suggested when extraordinary, otherwise eat where and when you want. We rarely ate out and instead enjoyed yogurt and fruit for breakfast, prepared quick lunches and snacks throughout the day, and cooked a hot meal every evening at the campground.
Table of Contents
Iceland Itinerary Day 12 Summary
|Skarðsvik Beach||10 min|
|Svörtuloft Lighthouse||20 min|
|Öndverðarnes Cape and Öndverðarnesviti Lighthouse||15 min|
|Saxhólar Crater||30 min|
|Djúpalónssandur Beach||1 hr|
|Malarrif Lighthouse||30 min||Suggest skipping this stop|
|Londrangar Cliffs||30 min|
|Landbrotalaug||1 ½ hrs|
|Akranes Campground||accommodation||1200 ISK per person|
|Total = ~ 10 hrs|
Iceland Itinerary Day 12 Details
Day 12 Activities
This day consists of a lot of short drives and brief stops within Snæfellsjӧkull National Park and on Snæfellsnes peninsula.
Drive 30 minutes from Ólafsvik Campground to Skarðsvik Beach. There’s a photo op along the way at Ingjaldshóll (a church between Rif and Hellissandur).
Spend 10 minutes at Skarðsvik Beach. It took us a few minutes to realize that the beach seemed different because it wasn’t a black sand beach! Although black sand beaches are not the norm throughout the world, we had become accustomed to seeing them in Iceland.
Drive 10 minutes through a lava field to reach Svörtuloft Lighthouse. This lighthouse may be the most lovely lighthouse we’ve ever seen. We were enamored by its bright orange color and the curve of the walkway. Stay for 20 minutes.
Öndverðarnes Cape and Öndverðarnesviti Lighthouse
Return the way you came but continue past the fork in the road by which you arrived. Drive another 5 minutes until you see yet another lighthouse. This lighthouse – Öndverðarnesviti Lighthouse – is a bit stumpy but still a fun orange color.
FUN FACT: This is the westernmost point of the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
Spend 15 minutes exploring the Öndverðarnes Cape and the ruins of the fishing huts and farm that have been abandoned since 1945.
Return through the lava fields and drive onward 30 minutes to Saxhólar Crater. Take 30 minutes to ascend the stairs 300 meters for views of the surrounding lava field.
Drive 15 minutes to Djúpalónssandur Beach. Walk out to the viewpoint but then definitely walk down to the beach itself. In 1948 a fishing trawler was shipwrecked here and there are remnants of the ship scattered all along the shore. It’s an interesting juxtaposition.
TIP: Djúpalónssandur Beach is a good spot for a picnic lunch and there’s also toilets. So, plan to spend an hour here.
Another 10 minute drive will take us to Malarrif Lighthouse and Snæfellsnes Visitor Center. From here you can walk along the cliff side over to the Londrangar cliffs parking area. However, this will take over an hour and we’d suggest skipping this stop altogether and heading straight to the Londrangar Cliffs.
But, if you do visit the lighthouse, don’t miss the old salt house. When we visited there was an exhibit created by the local school children inside the salt house. There’s also a random short zip line.
Drive 5 minutes from the lighthouse (or 15 minutes from Djúpalónssandur Beach) to Londrangar cliffs. Spend 30 minutes walking the circular path to the viewing area. Enjoy the view and stay on the lookout for whales!
Drive 15 minutes to the village of Arnarstapi. Along the route you’ll pass the Hellnar viewpoint at which you can pause to take in the coastal view. There’s a 2.5 km walking path between Hellnar and Arnarstapi (45 minutes each way) but we suggest spending approximately an hour exploring from Arnarstapi.
Upon arriving in Arnarstapi there’s a unique rock sculpture of the protector of Snæfellsnes – Bardur Snæfellsnes – a half-troll half-man.
Explore the coastline, a Natural Reserve, on the walking paths. You’ll see basalt formations, ravines, grottoes, and birds. The beautiful rock arch is called Gatklettur.
Another 20 minutes drive and we arrive at a picturesque black church – Búðakirkjia – for a quick photo op.
Our last stop of the day is the Landbrotalaug hot pots, 45 minutes from Búðakirkjia.
Look around for walking paths as there are a few different small natural hot pots in this area. We were lucky enough to get one to ourselves for a little while. Honestly, it was lukewarm, muddy, and shallow. But, hey, an experience nonetheless!
Plan to spend about 1 ½ hours at Landbrotalaug hot pots.
Day 12 Accommodation
Akranes Campground is 1 hour from Landbrotalaug hot pots. The campground is very large with multiple areas to park. We suggest trying to get a spot in the smaller, more private area next to the water. There are two very small gender-segregated bathrooms, each containing two toilets and one shower.
TIP: Akranes Campground is on the camping card.
Akranes Campground cost 1200 ISK per person without the camping card.
Mosskogar Campground is 30 minutes farther than Akranes Campground and looks even nicer. When we planned our Iceland itinerary we had anticipated spending tomorrow, Day 13, hiking to the Glymur waterfall and hence Akranes Campground was the most convenient accommodation. However, we changed this plan after settling in at Akranes Campground and, had we planned in advance, we would have instead stayed at Mosskogar Campground.
Mosskogar Campground costs 1500 ISK per person and includes showers.
Iceland Itinerary Day 12 Map
Day 12 covers points 53 – 63 on the map layer Our 2 Week / 14 Day Itinerary.
Other layers include additional points of interest, accommodation (camping and hotel), and dining/groceries. Most of these points have a description and a link for more information.
September 13 – 14, 2018