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  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

Exploring the History and Beauty of Öndverðarnes Lighthouse on Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Updated: 2 days ago

Öndverðarnes Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Öndverðarnes is the name of the outermost point of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and a little lighthouse. The place is a small land or a stripe by the shore that made it possible for centuries to serve as a fishing station. Unlike most of the nearby area that is covered with lava and craters from eruptions thousands of years ago. Öndverðarnes is, therefore, surrounded by large lava fields on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other side. It is a fascinating place, although not necessarily one of the most beautiful places in Snæfellsnes Peninsula or Iceland, for that matter.

West Region and Snæfellsnes Peninusla on the map of Iceland
West Region and Snæfellsnes Peninusla on the map of Iceland

There are remains from the old fishing station

Shorline by Öndverðarnes
Shorline by Öndverðarnes

Understandably Öndverðarnes was an extremely isolated place for those who lived there and those who worked at the fishing station. When you drive the harsh road through the lava from the main road, you might be surprised to know that this road was built only 70 years ago. For centuries people working at the fishing station had to walk a difficult path through the lava. Although the main attraction throughout the centuries for living at Öndverðarnes was rich fishing grounds nearby, the place seriously lacked a suitable landing place, like a cove. This made life much harder and probably contributed to the end when the fishing station was permanently closed in the first decades of the 20th century.

The small lighthouse and the cave and the well Faxi

Öndverðarnes lighthouse
Öndverðarnes lighthouse

For Icelandic fishermen, a lighthouse at Öndverðarnes was crucial to guide them past this point at Snæfellsnes Peninsula before GPS. Access to the lighthouse was one of the main reasons why the road was built. Curiously there is also an unusual hole or a cave by Öndverðarnes. It is also a well and has the name Faxi. To reach the water, you need to walk down a narrow path. The well also made it possible to have a fishing station at Öndverðarnes for centuries, as access to water was crucial.

How to drive to Öndverðarnes

If you are looking at Öndverðarnes and planning to go there, you are most likely planning to drive the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. At the end of the peninsula, you drive the road nr. 574. This is the road that you drive around the glacier Snæfellsjökull. On that road west of the small village Rif, you find road nr. 579, where you turn westward. This is a road that will take you to Öndverðarnes. The first few kilometers is an asphalt road, but most of the road is a narrow gravel road. Be prepared to meet other cars in a narrow space. This road also takes you to Svörtuloft, and soon after, you take the turn to the beautiful Skarðsvík beach.

If you're planning to tour Iceland in a rental car, make sure to read this article about the type of car that would be best for your trip.


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