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  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

Skarðsvík cove

Updated: Jun 19

Skarðsvík cove Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Skarðsvík cove Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Skarðsvík is a small and rather exceptional beach in the landscape of Iceland. Surrounded by harsh and bare black lava, the soft orange-yellow beach conveys a convenient contrast to the surrounding landscape. In Iceland, one would expect a black beach instead of a beach that looks like a beach in the southern part of Europe, in Spain or Portugal. But, although beautiful, this is absolutely not a typical sunny beach. Due to the depth and the bright and clean Ocean by the beach, the color is a bit light blue and turquoise, only enhancing the whole experience of visiting the beach. Because of its location in front of the mighty Atlantic Ocean, it is recommended to visit the place at low tide. The waves can be pretty aggressive and even dangerous when high tide and strong winds play together and anger the Ocean. A spectacular sight also but a game you would prefer to view from a distance.

Snæfellsnes on the map of Iceland
Snæfellsnes on the map of Iceland

The road and the pagan grave

In 1962 when the road was built, a man operating the bulldozer discovered a skeleton by Skarðsvík cove. It was a remarkable discovery as it was ancient and below the lava. When an archaeologist had researched the bones, it was concluded that it was a pagan grave and the bones belonged to a young boy of who was 14 years old at the time of his death. He had been buried more than one thousand years ago at the time of settlement. A spear and a sword were also found in the grave.

Part of the beauty and scenic drive around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Skarðsvík cove and beach
Skarðsvík cove and beach

From the main road around the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, called Útnesvegur in Icelandic, Nr. 574, the distance to Skarðsvík is short when you take a turn west of Öndverðarnesvegur Nr. 579. The road to Skarðsvík has asphalt, although further driving in 579 is a narrow gravel road. So the drive to Skarðsvík is quite simple and easy for any vehicle. It is a place where you can see the kind of artwork Mother Nature puts to display, giving you one of those places that are immensely relaxing. Particularly when the weather is calm and sunny, and the tide is low. So if you are driving the Snæfellsnes Peninsula Drive, you should take the short drive to Skarðsvík.

Other interesting places on Road Nr. 579

Skarðsvík and view to Öndverðarnes
Skarðsvík and view to Öndverðarnes peninsula

If you choose to continue on the gravel road, it will take you to other exciting places here at the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. For example, the lighthouse at Svörtuloft and the Saxhóll cliffs, in addition to Faxi, well to name a few. Near Skarðsvík, you will find also find interesting tracks leading through the lava if you have more time to spend at the tip of Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

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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