West Iceland can be divided into the large chunk that is the Westfjords and Snæfellsness peninsula. On this trip we could only really do the peninsula, as driving around the remote fjords can take quite some time. Although we came to travel in Iceland for nearly 5 weeks, we always knew we wanted to take it easy and slowly slowly make our way around it, rather than see absolutely all there is to see.
So the peninsula it was. We kicked off with a drive on the southern side towards Eldborg, a small perfectly shaped volcano in the middle of the plains. Liam got a chance to do some horseback riding, which is a very popular activity in Iceland. I wasn’t aware that Iceland has its own breed of horses, slightly smaller than your usual horse, and that they are everywhere on the island, just roaming around freely in the summer months. There’s an old tradition that in September thousands of people help out in the rounding up of the horses, which is meant to be a sight to behold…maybe for a future trip!
We then did a 3 hour hike to the crater and back. It was mostly a flat walk through lava and shrubs, with the last section steeply up to the very rounded crater. Once again we were extremely lucky with sunshine and warm weather, and stunning vistas of the peninsula.
We crossed to the north side and spent the night in Stykkishólmur, which is a cute small fishing town where we went to a very good restaurant and were treated to a fiery sunset.. at 10pm!
Next day we drove to the westernmost tip of the peninsula, whose claim to fame is having western Europe’s tallest structure: a rather unimpressive, very tall radio antenna. We also did a whale watching trip, which unfortunately was a little underwhaling (ba-da-bum), as it got rather cold and we only saw the smaller Minke whales (kind of look like dolphins). We got to wear cool overalls though and they kept us nice and warm. Based on the weather forecast we then decided to skip exploring the standalone Snæfellsnessjökull glacier and make for our next destination: The north.