The Charming & Nature-Rich Snaefellsnes Loop in West Iceland

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Of all the beautiful drives you can take in Iceland, heading north and then proceeding to do a westerly loop through an area called Snaefellsnes is a must do on your travel agenda. It winds along the coast bringing you to one breathtaking view after another, however along the way, there’s plenty of mountains and beautiful landscape to take in. There are ruins and remains of ancient fishing settlements to be found as well.

Whether it’s a cloudy day or a sunny one (and in Iceland, you can have both within an hour of each other), the views are spectacular.

Taking a four wheel drive is the way to go even though most of the roads are fairly easily accessible compared to other parts of the country where they are a “must.”

There are many extraordinary geological formations within the region, magnificent coastlines and birdcliffs. Along the coastline are relics that refer to the harsh conditions former generations fought for survival and you could see just how windy and stormy living on a farm could be during the colder winter months when the sun rarely shines.

It was here that I saw my first Icelandic horse, which are rare to Iceland and as noted in previous posts, the only kind of horse they have in the country.

The bird life is prominent at every turn with over 54 different species nesting in the area. The most common birds are eiders, fulmars, Arctic terns, guillemots, sea gulls and certain waders. The rarer ones are the whitetailed eagle, Slavonian grebe and the shoveler. The whitetailed eagle is an endangered species but the population has been growing slowly during the past few decades.

The only native terrestrial mammal on the peninsula is the Arctic fox, which has been increasing in number in the past few years. It can often be spotted in the National Park at night or in the twilight, although I didn’t see one on my trip. Whales can often be seen from the coast of Snaefellsnes, the best spots being at Hellnar (which we drove through) and Ondverdarnes.

Ships pull up in various ports as well. Below is not far from Grundarfjorour Road.

A stark contrast: urban rust not far from Armastapi.

Not far from urban grunge lies even more natural beauty and wildlife. You can hike along a path from Armastapi to Hellnar along the sea

Once in Hellnar, be sure to stop at the infamous and ever so quaint Hellnar Coffee House, where you can order some tea, biscuits and scones or a simple lunch, such as homemade soup or a quiche. See our write up on the Hellnar Coffee House.

Below, more port energy at Grundarfjorour.

For more on Iceland, check out Iceland section / Travel to Iceland / Traveling to Iceland. All photos Renee Blodgett. 

Renee Blodgett
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Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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One Response to The Charming & Nature-Rich Snaefellsnes Loop in West Iceland

  1. Cave Vatnshellir October 8, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    Don’t forget to visit Vatnshellir Cave

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