Although hard to choose a favourite place in Iceland, the west coast was at the top of our list. You’ll be wow’d by the lava rocks, land formations and blue lagoon. The snæfellsnes peninsula is the most western coast of Iceland and has so much to see. Here are some “secret” and incredible locations that should not be missed on your next trip to the west coast!
Landbrotalaug Hot Pot
The secret hot springs of the west! Don’t be fooled by the “Closed” signs and deserted land, a short walk away from the parking lot and you will see the 2 hot pots. The larger hot pot with the spout of hot water flowing was VERY hot when compared to the smaller (but deeper) hot pot. We were also very fortunate to see 2 Icelandic sheep slowly making their way towards the hot spring!
Yup, it’s THAT church. This instafamous church is a photographer’s dream as the contrast of the black church against the empty barren landscape makes for a beautiful photo. As this location is on the way to the Gorge, it is worth a quick stop to view, take some pics and stretch the legs before your next spot.
From a distance, you wouldn’t know what you were walking into, but this hidden gorge is quite the sight. Once inside, you’ll notice the light shining through the top and the water flowing down from the rocks. We didn’t attempt to go further in but we did notice a couple others that had ventured further than we had.
Note: The walk from the parking lot to the entrance of the gorge is about 15-20 mins one way.
Arnarstapi is a small fishing village on the far west coast. This location was one of our favorites as the landscape was breathtaking. A couple of our favorite views were the secluded white house against the water, land bridges hovering the ocean waves and the BEST fish and chips we have ever had!
To find the hidden land bridge that we walked on, you will need to drive to the furthest point of the village near the white house. At the parking lot, there is a sign “Strondin” continue up the stairs and walk towards the right. Once you see the sign “Midgja” you are there! As the land bridge is hidden, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled as it is not immediately noticeable.
I’ve had some pretty great fish and chips in my life, but the fish in Iceland is so fresh and the fish and chips at Munch Wagon is INCREDIBLE. Originally we weren’t planning on eating here but decided to grab something quick before heading to our next location. For $20 you get 2 pieces of buttery cod that has been dipped in light airy batter and paired with a side of crispy salted fries. Do yourself a favor and try this fish!
Located on the seashore of Snæfellsjökull National Park is Londrangar, the basalt cliffs that are surrounded by eroded rock at the edge of the ocean. We witnessed this landscape at dusk when the sun was setting, the waves were getting bigger and the silhouette of the cliffs was something out of a movie. If you don’t have the time to walk around the Londrangar area, I think it is simple worth it to drive to the lookout point and absorb this astounding work of mother nature.
One of the most photographed mountains in Iceland and we can all see why. Kirkjufell directly translates to Church Mountain as people say it resembles a church.
Our Airbnb was in the town of Grundarfjordur which was a 5 min drive away from the famous Kirkjufell viewpoint. If I could recommend an Airbnb, it would be Greta’s! We had a hot tub in the back yard with unobstructed views of Kirkjufell and the northern lights. This was one of the top stays we had while in Iceland due to the amazing views of the active northern lights dancing against the shadow of Kirkjufell. Although it was cold out, the hot tub was perfect temperature and allowed us to stay out for a couple hours watching the dancing lights.
Hraunfossar & Barnafoss
A wide series of lava waterfalls flowing into the bright blue water. This waterfall is a quick stroll from the parking lot and can be viewed on the platform or for a better view, on the nearby bridge. A little further down the path will lead you to Barnafoss, another waterfall of strong currents and milky blue water.
Have you really gone to Iceland if you haven’t been to the famous blue lagoon? Although some may consider this a tourist trap, I absolutely loved my time here and thought it was totally worth checking out. If you’re interested in a “spoil yourself” stay, check out my post on The Retreat Hotel for everything you need to know about this luxury stay at the Blue Lagoon.
A short 12 min drive away from the town Grindavik (fishing village with INCREDIBLE lobster soup) is a jaw dropping view of lava rock carved out by the strong waves creating mini natural pools. The day we went, it was very windy and rainy. Even though we were extremely high up on the cliff, the strong wind pushed the waves so high that we were drenched. Be VERY careful on windy days at this viewpoint as we weren’t aware of HOW strong the waves were.
Iceland has a population of ~360,000 people and 70% can be found in the capital city – Reykevik. This capital city has so much food, art and shopping! Not sure what to do with a full 24 hours in Iceland’s capital? Check out my post on what to see, do and eat in Reykjavik.