… is 1446 metres (over 4800 feet) above sea level and one of the world’s best-known glaciers.
Besides its singular beauty, it boasts a tremendous energy level. Many people, all around the world, claim it to be one of the earth’s seven energy centers.
It has been a prominent theme of authors and inspired the composition of impressive works of literature. Worthy of mention is the story written by Nobel-prize winning author Halldór Laxness, “Christianity Under the Glacier,” which descibes the special way of living here in the past. Also, the well-known story, “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” by French author, Jules Verne, describes the glacier as the entry used by his characters to travel to the center of the earth.
The Excursion (operates annually from 01.03 -01.08)
Snow cats are used (snow cats have bench space for 20 passangers, in addition to being open, so riders can enjoy the views along the way). In many cases, snow cats are used for larger groups. The company has 2 snow cats. Scheduled tours departure: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 21:00 og 23:00. (NOW CLOSED UNTIL 01.03.2014)
After stopping at Arnarstapi, we go to snow-line where the equipment awaits us, along with snow-suits, gloves and helmets. From here, under careful supervision of a guide, we drive up on the glacier, between snow mounds, to about 1,410 metres (over 4,600 feet) above sea level. We pause for goodly while here to take in the view.
From here there is a vast and incredible panorama: Hellissandur, Rif, the wide bay Breiðafjörður, and as far as the West fjords (Látrabjarg cliffs). The mountain’s rugged terrain is also impressive, as is the view south encompassing all of the gulf of Faxaflóa, to Reykjavík and even beyond to Keflavík. Finally, we return down the mountain and at the end of the trip, we stop at the restaurant Arnarbær, where refreshments are available.
These are always fascinating excursions, but it is important for travellers to realise that views from the glacier are naturally dependent upon local wheather conditions at the given moment.
Hiking/what else to do ?
Between Arnarstapi and Hellnar in of a dramatic rugged cliffs. It is fascinating to see how the diffrence forces of nature have shaped this area through the ages.
It is possible to walk to the ancient regional meeting place and explore the ruins of the farmstead Laugarbrekka, birthplace of Guðrún Thorbjarnardóttir. At Laugarbrekka is the grave of Axlar-Björn and highest on the hillock is the pool of Bárdur Snæfellsás.
Just to the west is Laugarvatn where “some” see dancing elves and hidden people. From there it is possible to follow the road back to Arnarstapa or go lower along the Hellnahraun lava flow to the Maríulind springs and onwards along the “Midgatan” way through the lava area (along the electric power line) to Arnarstapa
Mt. Stapafell / Cave Sönghellir
One can also hike a ring around Stapafell mountain, stopping at Sönghellir cave. It is likewise possible to go to the top of Stapafell, which is about 526 metres (about 1,700 feet).
Great panoramas can be had across Breiðuvík, and of the historical sites under the glacier.
Sölvahamar / Rauðfeldargjá
Another route is out to Sölvahamar and on to Látur or up along the Hnausahraun lavas, stopped at the chasm, Rauðfeldargjá. Then follow the road back to Arnarstapa. From Sölvahamar there is an old horse trail below the glacier which can be followed to Búðir.
Hike on the Glacier
A hike on the glacier Snæfellsjökull can be treacherous for anyone, therefore we strongly suggest you hike under the supervision of a certified guide.