Updated: Apr 7
Before the Eyjafjallajökull (glacier/volcano) eruption in 2010, the Snæfellsjökull glacier was probably the best-known glacier in Iceland for decades. Located in the westernmost part of the Peninsula, Snæfellsjökull is around 1450 meters and towers over other mountains on the peninsula. One of the reasons for its fame came about when the glacier found its way into world literature in Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth in 1864. In the novel, a German professor, Otto Lidenbrock, travels through the volcanic tubes towards the center of the Earth. It is quite an adventure where he encounters prehistoric animals and natural hazards before surfacing again in Italy. Ever since, Snæfellsjökull has inspired countless authors, poets, and artists. There is something otherworldly about this beautiful and accessible glacier. So, it may come as no big surprise that Snæfellsjökull is considered to be one of the World's seven largest spiritual centers. It is also the home of Bárður Snæfellsás, who made the glacier his home around 1100 years ago.
Like many glaciers in Iceland, Snæfellsjökull is also a volcano
Snæfellsjökull is an active volcano with a crater in the middle of the beautiful mountain under the ice cap. It is a product of many eruptions, the last one occurring around 1800 years ago with lava flowing down the slopes, forming the peninsula's extraordinary landscape. The glacier on top has been gradually diminishing during the last decades and is only about 11 square kilometers today. But, its pristine beauty has by no means diminished. Neither has its inherent energy. It still conveys the combination of ice and fire at its most extreme.
Find your way to Snæfellsjökull
Snæfellsjökull is accessible during most seasons of the year, and a number of tour companies in Iceland will take you to the summit to experience the full energy – and breathtaking scenery. During summer, it is quite simple to drive up to the edge of the glacier from the main road Nr. 54 circling the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula by taking the turn north on the difficult dirt road Nr. 570 near Arnarstapi.