On the 7th day of our family vacation, we continued our road trip along Iceland’s Ring Road from Mývatn in the north to Grundarfjörður in the west, on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The beauty of this region is incredible!
When you read travel guide books about the ring road, you will quickly learn that the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is a little off the beaten path and that you should only add this destination to your itinerary if you have a few days to spare. Since we removed the Westman Islands and a lot of other excursions from our schedule due to ferry/Covid concern, we found that we were inspired by the pictures of this area enough to consider making time for this delightful region.
While beautiful, the most direct route from Mývatn has almost 6 hours of driving, so it isn’t short. We thought about doing different things along the way, but in the end decided to follow some basic travel tips, enjoy the drive, and have more time and energy to enjoy and explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
Our original plan was to make a stop at the Goðafoss waterfall, and to make a stop in Akureyri, but as it turns out, we ended up doing a day trip to Akureyri the day before and saw both of these places, so our only stop in Akureyri was to pick up a picnic lunch.
If you have extra time, consider veering off Highway 1, and taking the coastal route past Akureyri. It is supposedly scenic, but you may want to spend the night closer to Varmahlíð, rather than the Snæfellsnes Peninsula if you do this.
If you take the coastal route, or even just want to take a detour, you could also consider a puffin tour, a whale watching tour, a waterfall hike, or more! Just remember that the towns are small and while you have a lot of options, there isn’t a lot to do at any one place.
Or you could simply stop in Varmahlíð, which is along Highway 1, and do a horseback riding or river rafting excursion.
We didn’t do any of these things, but the drive way lovely. The green pasture land, the horses and sheep, the beautiful mountains, and the view of the water are sure to delight!
To our surprise, there were long stretches of dirt road after getting off Highway 1. Since we had an SUV, it wasn’t too bad, but if you have a sedan, you may want to think twice before taking the northern route into the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
By the time we reached our final destination, our apartment at Grundarfjörður Bed and Breakfast, which interestingly enough doesn’t have breakfast if you stay in one of their apartments, we were quite tired and were happy to rest for a bit.
It was a fun drive, if a bit long when traveling with kids. If you want to do any excursions or side trips, you probably want to break this into two days.