Snæfellsjökull National Park
Snæfellsjökull National Park is situated on the Snæfellsness peninsula. The park was established on June 28, 2001 and its proximity to Reykjavik (approx. 2 hours drive) makes it one of the most visited parks in Iceland. Considered by many to be the jewel of West Iceland, Snaefellsjokull is the most famous volcano in Iceland.
The park include many famous sites including the magnificent Snæfellsjökull (Snæfell Glacier), Djúpalónssandur beach, Saxhóll volcano crater, Lóndrangar the two massive lava formations, Sönghellir (the singing cave) and Rauðfeldargjá the hidden waterfall. The main purpose for establishing the park was to protect the unique landscape of the area, the rare plant and animal life and also the important historical relics around the mountain.
Volcano covered with a glacier
The Snæfellsjökull glacier lies on top of a volcano and it’s the center of the park. Its peak reaches 1446m (4745 ft) and in a clear day it can be seen from Reykjavik about 200 km away. The mountain was first climbed in 1754 and like many other volcanoes in Iceland, it is still active. The latest eruption occurred 1900 years ago. The glacier cover the summit crater to the depth of 200m (650 ft). Due to global warming the glacier has shrunken and it continue to shrink. Some researches predict that the glacier would vanish in less than 50 years.
Self drive tours in Snæfellsness area
Visiting the park
Park Rangers operate in the area during the summer months, providing information and monitoring and tending the area.
Like all national parks in Iceland, admission is free.
Gate to the center of the Earth
Snæfellsjökull became world famous after Jules Verne described it in his book of “A Journey to the Center of the Earth” as the starting point of the journey.
A journey to the center of the world – Chapter 4
“That is Snaefellsjokull a mountain about five thousand feet in height, one of the most remarkable in the whole island, and certainly doomed to be the most celebrated in the world, for through its crater we shall reach the centre of the earth.”