Snæfellsnes Peninsula Self Drive – Do Your Own Tour with These 9 Stops

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The Snæfellsnes Peninsula can be done in a day trip from Reykjavik, but prepare yourself for a long day! Get a good night’s sleep, charge your camera batteries, and get ready to see some of Iceland’s most beautiful landscapes! The drive from Reykjavik to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula takes about 2 hours.

Snaefellsnes Map
Snæfellsnes Peninsula Map | Image Credit:

TIP: Hire a Local Guide in Iceland

Jórunn, a Reykjavik local and talented photographer, was our helpful tour guide on our Snæfellsnes Peninsula self drive for the day!

Hire A Private Guide in Iceland

Jórunn led us to all of the most beautiful places along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. She was absolutely invaluable as we were planning our trip to Iceland, offering endless tips and advice. We found Jórunn through a blog she writes on a helpful planning site, Guide to Iceland. In addition to the helpful advice she provided as we were in the planning stages of our trip, she offered to join us on some of our adventures, at a very reasonable day rate! She took us to places we would have never been able to find on our own and also taught me some new photography tips along the way! If you’re looking to see much of Iceland on your own, as opposed to going with a large bus company, consider hiring a private guide like Jórunn.

A Drive Along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland


We were grateful to have our own vehicle (through Geysir Rental) while exploring the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, allowing us to stay in any given place as long as we wanted!

Iceland Car Rental

The scenery on the way to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is so stunning. We guarantee you will want to stop for many photos along the way!

On the drive from Reykjavik to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Icelandic horses can be found all over the country, including on the journey to the peninsula. They are the friendliest of creatures and will usually approach anyone who stops to take a photo. If you stop often like we did, the drive from Reykjavik could end up taking longer than 2 hours. For more time on the peninsula, consider booking accommodations near the start of the peninsula.

On the 2 hour drive from Reykjavik to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula


Create Your Own Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour

We stopped at the following 9 stops on our Snæfellsnes Peninsula self drive tour. If you’re looking to do a similar day trip from Reykjavik, feel free to follow the same itinerary!

Stop #1: Búðir

Our first stop on the peninsula was the tiny village of Búðir. The tiny black church in Búðir is one of the village’s main structures along the windswept sandy and lava rock beaches.

Búðir Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Black Church Iceland - Búðir Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Stop #2: Arnarstapi

Our next stop was the quaint fishing village of Arnarstapi. No doubt, you can always find fresh fish in Iceland! 

Arnarstapi Iceland - Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Be sure to check out the natural arch formation- Gatklettur during your stop in Arnarstapi.

Natural Arch - Arnarstapi Iceland

Another not-to-be-missed feature in Arnarstapi is the statue of Bárður Snæfellsás.

Bárður Snæfellsás - Arnarstapi Iceland

Stop #3: Hellnar Beach

You will find some spectacular rock formations at Hellnar Beach, including another naturally form arch. Ready for lunch?  You’re in luck! There is a cafe here called Fjöruhúsið (which means Harbor House in English). Simple meals like pastries, waffles, and their special seafood soup, are available. Keep in mind, they are closed during the winter months.

Hellnar Beach

Stop #4: Snæfellsjökull Glacier

Ok, so we didn’t technically stop at the glacier. Though Snæfellsjökull is so massive, it be seen throughout much of the drive on the peninsula. If time permits, you can actually go on a guided snowmobile or snow cat tour of Snæfellsjökull. This glacier/mountain is one of the most famous sites of Iceland, primarily due to the novel Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) by Jules Verne. In this adventurous tale, protagonists find the entrance to a passage leading to the center of the earth on Snæfellsjökull.


 Want someone else to do the driving on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula? Check out these tours!

Stop #5: Dagverðará Abandoned House

We then came across an old abandoned house- Dagverðará.

Abandoned House Iceland

After leaving the abandoned house, we drove closer to the seaside cliffs, just to see the view!

Snaefellsnes Peninsula Stop #6: Lóndrangar

Next, we drove to Lóndrangar basalt cliffs including a pair of sharp, volcanic plugs protruding near the ocean. The tallest pillar measures 247 feet (75 m) and the smaller of the two measures 200 feet (61 m). The surrounding area has abundant bird life, so keep your eyes peeled for puffins!



  Stop #7: Malariff Lighthouse

Near Lóndrangar is the Malariff Lighthouse. The off-shore wind was intense, creating some monster waves on the nearby cliffs! Near the lighthouse we came across a sturdy, homemade zip-line. What a fun, impromptu adventure!
    Malariff Lighthouse Snæfellsnes Peninsula Iceland

Stop #8: Djúpalónssandur Beach

The walk from the parking area to Djúpalónssandur is other worldly. And the beach itself is definitely worth checking out! It was the final beach stop on our self guided Snæfellsnes Peninsula tour.


Stop #9: Mt Kirkjufell

As the sun was setting, we made Mt Kirkjufell the final stop for the day before making the 2 hour drive back to Reykjavik.

Mt Kirkjufell

We did this drive in March, so our hours of sunlight were limited. Do your Snæfellsnes Peninsula self drive in the summer months and you will have much more time to explore!  Despite our limited daylight, it was a day trip full of beauty, awe, and wonderful memories!
 Snæfellsnes Peninsula Self Drive

For a (printable) quick-reference destination guide to what we did during our entire stay in south Iceland (where we stayed, where and what we ate, activities, money saving tips, etc.), click here.


  1. This looks absolutely stunning!!! I hope to visit Iceland in 2015, any recommendations of what I really shouldn´t miss there?

    • Well, as you can see from this post, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula should not be missed! So much beautiful scenery! Also, a dip in the Blue Lagoon is a must while visiting Iceland. We really enjoyed the drive along Ring Road on the south part of the country; heading west. The further west you go, the more beautiful it gets! The glacier lagoon (Jokulsarlon) was like nothing we had ever seen before. Stayed tuned to this site, as I will continue to post blogs and many beautiful photos from our time in Iceland!

  2. Dennis Kopp

    Toccara, Island looks really amazing in your photos! I have to admit that Island is not really a place that is high on my travel radar, but seeing your photos really makes me curious to eventually explore those rugged landscapes as well. Thanks for sharing those beautiful impressions of your trip… 🙂

    • Honestly, it was never really high on my bucket list either. What was high on my list was seeing the Northern Lights, so when I came across a great package deal to Iceland, I couldn’t resist! My husband and I couldn’t have been more pleased with our decision to go. We were beyond pleasantly surprised with how much we fell in love with Iceland and plan to go back again some day… next time, in the summer months, so we can hike and camp in the Highlands!

  3. Henrik Olsen

    I’m going to Iceland later this year.

    Your beautiful photos from your trip is great inspiration.
    Do you remember more specific where you found the old abandoned house- Dagverðará?

    • We had a local guide with us the day we drove the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Dagverðará is nearby Gjafi, Hellnar and Hellnanes and is also close to Merarvík. I found these coordinates online (Latitude: 64.743637 Longitude: -23.720558), but cannot guarantee their accuracy. A quick Google search should hopefully provide you with the information you are seeking. Have a wonderful time in Iceland!

  4. Hi Toccara & Sam,

    I am very inspired by your Iceland pictures and will be visiting soon (end September). Can you please drop me a reply on my email id? I will be travelling alone. I have a few questions and was hoping if you could help.


  5. The pictures alone are so beautiful, I can’t imagine how breathtaking it would be to be there in person. I will be visiting end of February 2018. Your page is really helping me plan out our day in the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Thank you. 🙂

    • Awesome! So glad we could help you with your planning! It’s a beautiful region of Iceland. You will love it! Fingers crossed you get to see the Northern Lights during your visit.

  6. Hi Toccara
    Loved your pics. We are also planning a day trip to Snæfellsnes Peninsula from Reykjavik in mid March. I was wondering did you guys drive there in winters? How were the weather conditions and all. Do you advice to stay overnight in area or a day trip is a better idea. We are planning to cover south east coast too.
    Many Thanks

    • We had a Nissan Pathfinder that we obtained through Geysir Car Rental during this particular trip. The road conditions were just fine the day we visited the peninsula, but a few days later, there was a small blizzard, so it’s really hard to predict in the winter months. We’ve been twice in the winter now (once with a 4WD drive vehicle and once without). We were fine in both situations, but again due to the unpredictability of the weather, that’s not always a guarantee. We did not stay overnight anywhere and to be quite honest it was a loooooong day that left us exhausted. If coming from Reykjavik, I would recommend an overnight stay on or near the peninsula, so you can get the most out of your day.

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