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Winter in Iceland – Snaefellsnes Peninsula

I’m a huge fan of the Snaefellsnes peninsula, I think it’s such a gorgeous region of Iceland. Every time I’ve been there, I’ve seen something different and each time seems more beautiful.

Lonely Planet has ranked it #2 in the world for top regions to visit in 2016. This part of Iceland is sometimes referred to as “little Iceland” because it combines the most diverse landscapes that Iceland has to offer: glaciers, lava fields, mountains, volcanic craters, jagged cliffs…all on a tiny peninsula in the Northern Atlantic!

When we were here on our honeymoon we both agreed we would love to come back for a winter trip…surely everything looks just as beautiful with snow! So I’m on a mission this winter to see everything again! And let me tell you…so far, everything looks really different dressed in white.

This new series of posts is like the Iceland landscape version of “Who Wore It Better”…summer or winter.

First up…Snaefellsnes Peninsula!

 

Roads

I would have been happy just driving around the peninsula and leaving without stopping at any of the sights. Driving the road around Snæfellsnes, you are wedged between huge mountains and the sparkling ocean…what could be better?! Pretty sure I almost went in the ditch several times, there was so much to look at!

Winter bonus: very few other travelers!

 

Harbors

I love the Stykkishólmur harbor. Just look at all of those adorable multi colored fishing boats, and then the cliff in the background? I can’t even.

Mountains

The snow covered mountains inSnaefellsness are unbelievably beautiful. And you can’t get those badass dagger icicles in the summer!

Lighthouses

I’m in love with this adorable lighthouse. Look at it just sitting on top of the hill overlooking the ocean. In the winter the path to the top is not maintained so it’s an all out trek climbing on all fours and trudging through two feet of snow to get to. I even slid on my butt on the way down because it was so steep and slippery!

Waterfalls

Kirkjufell and the waterfalls is the most iconic part of Snaefellsness. The mountain is the most photographed mountain in all of Iceland! I think it’s a really impressive sight to see, even if the waterfalls are frozen! I have now officially seen Kirkjufell in all weather and seasons…next up: aurora in the BG!

Coastline

I love the contrast of the snow on the black rock with the blue ocean crashing in. And I somehow manage to get to Lóndrangar by sunset every time. I’m not going to complain!

READ MORE:   Glacier Rivers of Iceland | 4K Drone

Londrangar basalt columns in Snaefellsnes //Winter in Iceland - Snaefellsnes Edition | Life With a View

Glaciers

The Snæfellsjökull glacier is my favorite. I love the cone shape of it, and it just sits at the end of the peninsula like the badass it knows it is.

Churches

Búðir is a small bay on the Southern tip of the peninsula. Set in a lava field with a clear view of the Snæfellsjökull glacier, this area is a beautiful spot to stop.

And seriously, this church needs to be in a movie.

Lakes

Okay, so lakes aren’t as stunning when you can’t get the mountain reflection in it, but this one is still gorgeous! This mountain is huge in real life, and I love the flat black face against the white snow. Probably one of my favorite instagram photos.

Also, how did I get so lucky with that blue sky?!

Sunsets

Hands down winter wins the sunset award. Not only does it last longer than you would expect, but I love the way the snow makes the colors of the sky standout.
The coastline at Arnarstapi was an unbelievable place to watch, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more beautiful sunset in my life!

P.S. You can see the summer version of Snæfellsnes HERE.

Question: What do you think…is winter winning you over?

Pin it for later!Winter is one of my favorite times in Iceland, and there are a lot of benefits to visiting at this time of year! Check out these gorgeous winter photos of Snaefellsnes Peninsula | Life With a View

 

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  • Cindy Windy
    February 14, 2017 at 3:15 am

    Is it too much to consider doing this as a long day trip from the big city?
    Thanks for your help…

    • Jeannie
      February 23, 2017 at 9:48 am

      Depends on the time of year! But in general I usually recommend 2 days because theres so much to see!

  • Hemali
    January 10, 2017 at 6:12 am

    Hi, is driving to Snaefellsnes advisable in the last week of Feburary? Or a guided tour is better for us inexperienced snow and winter drivers from India?!

    • Jeannie
      January 20, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      You might feel safer going with a guided tour if you aren’t used to driving on snowy/icy roads. Those roads can be pretty crazy!

  • Beth Fox
    November 29, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Hi! I am planning a march self driving tour of Iceland (Including the Snaefellsnes Peninsula) with the boyfriend. Do you think a 4wd vehicle would be necessary in early March?

  • May
    October 14, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    This is amazing! I’m planning on going in December and will be driving around the whole peninsula. What car did you rent to get around? Did you need a 4WD?

    Loved your post 🙂

    • Jeannie
      November 7, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      Hello May!

      I was using a 2wd Opel Astra which is tiiiiny. I still encourage SAFE road trips in the winter, but you will feel better renting a 4wd. The roads outside of Reykjavik are not always that well maintained. Good luck!

  • Michelle
    August 31, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    I just discovered your blog! We are planning a winter visit to Reykjavik and the Snaefellsnes peninsula in December. Where would you recommend staying on the peninsula that is likely to be reachable in winter? (understanding that weather is unpredictable!) I saw your post about the Budir hotel – but do you have any recommendations for more budget options?

    • Jeannie
      September 8, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Hey Michelle, welcome! I am so happy that you found my blog, and I’m happy to help! I have also stayed at Grundafjordur Hostel, Harbor Hostel in Stykkisholmur, and Hotel Olafsvik along the Penninsula. All very affordable options and good accommodation. December is such a beautiful time to visit Iceland, you will LOVE it! Let me know if you need anything else 🙂

      • Michelle
        November 8, 2016 at 3:22 am

        Thanks so much for your response, Jeannie. We are very excited. Have you ever visited the Snaefellsjokull National Park in winter as well? If we are planning a self driving tour but staying in Grundafjordur, would you recommend booking a tour to visit the park or is it easy to navigate on your own?

        • Jeannie
          November 10, 2016 at 7:37 am

          You will be able to navigate around the park and see certain sights which are marked by signs. However, hiking around this area in the winter would be unsafe without a guide. The “park” is technically the area surrounding the glacier, but there are some stops that good. If you read my post about 10 Things to do http://bit.ly/1KU8lJ9 you can make up a good itinerary!

  • Jacqui
    February 9, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    I am an absolute infant when it comes to cold weather…. but i think i would brave it for those sunsets. AND THAT CHURCH. Let’s make a movie!!

    • Jeannie
      February 11, 2016 at 10:36 am

      Haha, right?! I’m in, let’s do it!

  • Van (at snowintromso)
    February 9, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Oh my gosh, this is seriously so beautiful!! I definitely would love to visit Iceland in winter!!

    • Jeannie
      February 11, 2016 at 10:36 am

      Thanks Van! It’s so beautiful I can’t believe how different it looks in winter!