The Snæfellsnes Peninsula – Western Iceland

This is our second last day in Iceland before we head back to somewhere near Reykjavik tomorrow and then on Wednesday we catch a couple of flights that will take us to Oslo in Norway for the second part of our trip.

We had an easy start this morning. The main thing was that we were back to Brjánslækur (about an hour’s drive away) to  catch the ferry to Stykkishólmur on the other side of the bay. We pottered around the coast road and took a few additional photographs of things that caught our eye. This foss  (waterfall) was one of them . It is always hard to drive past a good foss. I must have photos of a hundred or so by now but they are all different and impressive in their own way.


We were at the ferry ticket office 90 minutes before we needed to line up on the pier, so we went and explored a little nearby church that was on a hill above a farm that bred Icelandic Horses. The ferry arrived right on time. Boarding was easy and we chortled across the bay along with about twenty other cars, a caravan and a few vans. We made a brief stop at Flately Island (Flately by name and flat by nature) in the niiddle of the bay. It is a popular place for day trippers and many people boarded the ferry there to return to the mainland. It looked as through the whole population of the island was evacuating. It took three and a half hours, all up, to get to Stykkishólmur and the ferry saved us about nine hours of driving.


About 35 kms around the coast from Stykkishólmu is the Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall. This is one of Iceland’s iconic sites and one that I have been looking forward to seeing. We had just enough time to visit it after driving off the ferry.

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall is  situated in Kirkjufellsa river and located near Mount Kirkjufell by Grundarfjordur town at the northern side of Snaefellsnes Peninsula. This beautiful five meter high fall flows in a couple of levels and is divided into three separate spouts. If you get the right angle, the pyramid- shaped mount Kirkjufell towers above and makes a superb view.. I have seen some beautiful photos of this site but mine won’t be quite as good. Firstly, we were there in the middle of the afternoons and not at dawn or dusk when the best light is available. Secondly, it is a really popular place and there were dozens of tourists around the falls. I’m going to have to do some serious photoshopping when I get home to remove them all.


On the way back to Stykkishólmu there was a mass death of herring in Kolgrafafjörður.  Because of some warm weather and the reduction of oxygen in the water a large number of fish died in this fjord. When I say large, I mean very large – 32,000 tonnes of herring died in this 10 square kilometre stretch of water within a few days! As a result the fjord was filled with bird and wildlife as seals, orcas, dolphins and a lot more came to this huge feast. But it soon started to decompose and the smell was terrible. But nature was really quick to recover with the help of the locals who buried most of the rotten herring. A year later the herring returned to Kolgrafafjörður for their  winter stay and they seems to have continued to thrive.


Mass death in kolgrafafjoerdur 2

Back in Stykkishólmu, we checked in to our very quaint hotel. Hotel Egilsen is a converted three story red house that was originally built in the 1880’s. It has only 10 small rooms but lots of character. I spent some time at the end off the day walking around the streets off this little town photographing some of the old buildings. It’s a cute town with some interesting places.




3 thoughts on “The Snæfellsnes Peninsula – Western Iceland

  1. Was pleased to read the word “chortled” as describing your progress on the ferry, such a lovely word. Do you manage to get any sleep after your hours of driving and photographing….Jo says Jill must be a very patient lady.! Cheers , see you soon. JnD

  2. Your excursions sound varied and interesting and I am impressed by the patience exercised to gain correct spelling of all Icelandic words – except foss. I loved the little red hotel. Much if this style of architecture says ‘Netherlands’ to me. Is there a link or is it that climate dictates much of the style?

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