Sunday, December 9, 2018

Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

This summer we visited Iceland for the second time, on our first trip to Iceland 6 years ago, we went to Reykjavik and then drove the Golden circle, a popular road trip taking in Iconic Volcano scenery, a huge water fall and some geysers and stayed on a horse farm in the South. This time we settled on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. This is a great destination if you don't have long in Iceland and a pretty easy drive from Reykjavik. Also its not as busy and full of tourists as the golden circle area. 

You can see the Route on the map above, you can drive around the peninsula in a few days, stopping along the way. We made the town of Grundarfjörður our base, this is a lovely little town with a nice coffee shop a few restaurants and a grocery store and a harbor. We rented an air b and b cabin on a near by farm and would drive into town for groceries and cook. You could see over the bay from the cabin and Kirkjufell the towns famous mountain. The funny thing is in this area, there are some crazy birds called arctic tern that nest at the bottom of the road and when you walk they can swoop at you, I remember reading this on an Icelandic blog, but if you hold a stick above your head they seem to not bother you as much!
Not far from here you can visit the little town of Stykkishólmur, this is a great place to take a puffin watching tour, it also has an amazing little Island in the harbor you can walk around, its very windy but the views are stunning. This little town has an old Norwegian house museum and some good local restaurants. We took a Viking Sushi adventure, great staff and not too long with little kids, we saw puffins and various seabirds and then got to eat freshly caught seafood, my hubby especially enjoyed this and the kids loved returning the sea urchins and starfish to the sea. 

In the summer months you can witness the magic of the midnight sun, due to Icelands northern location the sun sets really late, here it is setting at 11.30pm! truly a wonderful experience. 

 There are so many wonderful waterfalls in Iceland as you drive many will have a car park and walking trail so plan to stop and enjoy. 

Kaffi Emil, in Grundarfjörður, was a lovely cafe with books, and great cakes, Iceland has amazing bakeries and good coffee, and once out of Reykjavik they become a little more affordable, the capital is worth visiting as lots of shops and nice to walk around and most of the population lives there but its pricey. 

Sheep are everywhere in this region, it has a slightly milder climate and the soil is very rocky so you don't see a lot of fields of vegetables in Iceland, sheep and horses suit the landscape. Near the southern region you will see greenhouses growing vegetables using the geothermal heat from the volcanic earth. 

Ytri Tunga Beach in the South of the peninsula had some seals, it makes a nice place to stop and take a stroll. The weather is quite temperamental in Iceland and it was cold and rainy when we stopped, always have layers and a rain coat this was in July. 

Iceland is well worth a visit and easy to Visit from North America it also makes a good stop on the way to Europe.

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