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Hellissandur & Rif

Hellissandur was once a major fishing centre but Rif was one of the main trading ports on Snaefellsnes peninsula. Most of the villages' fishing fleet is now based at Rif. These two villages are only 2 km apart.

The Maritime Museum at Hellisssandur has displays that include Iceland´s oldest rowboat, built in 1826.

The area between Hellissandur and Rif is a bird-lovers' paradise and one of the largest arctic tern nesting areas in Iceland.

Snaefellsjokull National Park is on the doorstep of Hellissandur.

From Reykjavik City Centre to Hellissandur:195 km.

Hotel, camping site, restaurant, cafés and museum.

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Hellissandur & Rif
GPS Points N64° 55' 5.569" W23° 51' 32.614"
Postal codes

355,356

Travel directory for Hellissandur & Rif

The official travel index of Iceland

Others

Dagbjört Dúna Rúnarsdóttir
Hiking Tours - Hiking
  • Böðvarsholt
  • 356 Snæfellsbær
  • 867-4451
Sögufylgja
Hiking Tours - Hiking
  • Álftavatn
  • 356 Snæfellsbær
  • 848-2339
Brimhestar
Cottages
  • Brimilsvellir
  • 356 Snæfellsbær
  • 436-1533, 864-8833
Þórunn Hilma Svavarsdóttir
Hiking Tours - Hiking
  • Neðri-Hóll
  • 356 Snæfellsbær
  • 893-5240

Others

Nátthagi
Cottages
  • Lýsudalur
  • 356 Snæfellsbær
  • 895-8987, 898-7086
Gíslabær Hellnum
Guesthouses
  • Gíslabær, Hellnum
  • 356 Snæfellsbær
  • 898-8885, 867-7903
Skálholt 6 Home Accommodation
Guesthouses
  • Skálholt 6
  • 355 Ólafsvík
  • 867 9407
Ennisbraut 1
Guesthouses
  • Ennisbraut 1
  • 355 Ólafsvík
  • 821-9217
Bikers Paradise
Guesthouses
  • Sandholt 45
  • 355 Ólafsvík
  • 436-1070, 896-2845
Við Hafið Guesthouse
Guesthouses
  • Ólafsbraut 55
  • 355 Ólafsvík
  • 436-1166
Guesthouse Hof
Guesthouses
  • Hofgarðar
  • 356 Snæfellsbær
  • 8463897
Journey to the center of the earth
Cottages
  • Hellnar, Kjarvalströð 3-5
  • 356 Snæfellsbær
  • 663-5790, 898-8212
Brimhestar
Cottages
  • Brimilsvellir
  • 356 Snæfellsbær
  • 436-1533, 864-8833
Guesthouse & Gallery
Guesthouses
  • Brautarholt 7
  • 355 Ólafsvík
  • 8311411

Others

Söluskáli ÓK
Shopping
  • Ólafsbraut 27
  • 355 Ólafsvík
  • 436-1012
Nature
Gatklettur - Arch Rock

Gatklettur - Arch Rock - is a cliff with a circular arch. Rock Arch shows how distinctive wave action has eroded the rocks into arches and beautiful swirled patterns.

There is great birdlife around the cliffs and pretty flora surrounding the area.

Nature
Ondverdarnes

Ondverdarnes is the westernmost point of Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Nature
Arnarstapi

Arnarstapi was an important trading post in the past and had a much bigger population than it has now.

Columnar basalt, ravines and grottoes surround the Arnarstapi pier. There is good anchorage for small boats.

There is quite a large arctic tern colony in the village itself. A walk along the coastline is recommended to watch the birds and the magnificent lava formations. The seaside and the cliffs between Arnastapi and Hellnar have been made a Natural Reserve in 1979.

A very interesting old path follows the coastline where you can see old lending places of fishermen, lots of birds like the kittiwake, the Arctic tern and the fulmar and pass through a lavafield. If you take a guided tour, you will also hear a ghost story.

A sculpture of Bardur Snaefellsas by Ragnar Kjartansson stands by the beach at Arnarstapi.

Nature
Hólahólar Crater

Hólahólar are an ancient crater cluster. One of the craters is open on the side and formed like a huge amphitheater. The deserted farm Hólahólar was formerly the capital of a settlement in Dritvík and Djúpalónssandur but was deserted in 1880 and since then invisible elves (Huldufólk) have been ruling there ever since.

Nature
Nature
Svodufoss

Svöðufoss is a beautiful waterfall in the Hólmkelsá river. The waterfall is 10 meters high and falls off a beautiful basalt column cliff. a parking lot has been built near the waterfall so today it is fairly easy to visit and enjoy. The walk from the parking lot to the waterfall is only about half an hour.

Wild Life
Nature
Svalthufa

Svalthufa is a high cliff teemed with birdlife and there is a great view to Lóndrangar Cliffs. Lóndrangar are uniquely-formed remnants of ancient basalt volcanic dikes sticking out from the sea. The higher pillar is 75 m high and the lower one is 61 m. On these cliffs, fulmars have their nests. At Malarrif is the Visitor Center for Snaefellsjokull National Park and it´s fun to walk around the area and explore the nature.

Nature
Budir

Budir is a popular destination. The landscape consists of golden sand beaches, rugged lava field and great vegetation and bird life. Budahraun lava is a nature reserve. The little black church, Budakirkja, is located at Budir. People come from all around the world to seal their love at the church. Visitors also have an impressive view of the breathtaking Snaefellsjokull glacier from Budir.

History and Culture
Budakirkja Church

The little black church, Budakirkja Church is located at Budir on Snaefellsnes Peninsula. People come from around the world to seal their love at the church.

History and Culture
Stadarstadur

Ari-the-Wise served as a priest at Stadastadur from 1067-1148. He is well-known for his Book of Icelanders, the first work of history written in Iceland.

The place is also the setting of a very known novel by the Nobel price winning Icelandic author Halldor Kiljan Laxness: "Under the glacier".

Nature
Hellnar

For centuries, Hellnar was among the largest fishing villages beneath the Snaefellsjokull ice cap.

Valasnos, a freestanding rock, extends east of the bay. One of Iceland's most peculiar caves, Badstofa, is there. It is known for its special light exposure and colourful interior.

A cold water spring is to be found at the lava's edge. It is dedicated to the Holy Virgin because it is said she appeared there once.

The Hellnar church was built in 1945 on a picturesque site where a church was first raised in 1833.

Located at Hellnar is a Hotel and a charming little café.

Nature
Bjarnarfoss Waterfall

Bjarnarfoss is a majestic waterfall that falls down a basalt cliff which was formed by the now extinct volcano Maelifell. The waterfall, along with the columnar rocks around it, is on the Nature Conservation Register. A car park is near the waterfall and a good walking path. In 2018, the tourist attraction at Bjarnarfoss received the Icelandic Tourist Board´s environmental awards.

Nature
Malarrif

At Malarrif is the Visitor Center for Snaefellsjokull National Park. It´s fun to walk around the area and explore the nature, the beach and the lighthouse.

History and Culture
Songhellir, cave

Songhellir is a famous cave. The name means the cave of songs. It is well known because of its echo.

Nature
Ólafsvíkurenni

The mountain Enni is 418 meters high Tuya mountain. There is a hiking trail up the mountain but along you can also walk to look at Ólafsvíkurfoss waterfall. An information sign is laid out at the western entrance to Ólafsvík, from where there is a "path or old path that can be followed all the way up to the waterfall edge.

Nature
Skardsvik

In stark contrast to the majority of black sand beaches in Iceland, Skarðsvík resembles a Mediterranean shoreline with turquoise water and the surrounding dark, volcanic landscape. Be warned, the waves at Skarðsvík are renown for being aggressive. It is recommended to visit the beach at low-tide in order to ensure safety.

Nature
Írskra brunnur - Gufuskalavor

A short and easy walk that suits most people. A short stretch of road is off the road just south of the Steam Cabin. There is good parking, right by the Irish well and from there walk to Gufuskálavör and back.

West Iceland

Towns & Villages

The population centres in West Iceland are as varied as they are many. Ten places have over 50 residents and Akranes is the most densely populated with 6,500 inhabitants. 

All of the larger communities put ever-increasing emphasis on dynamic tourism where a wide selection of recreation and services are offered.   

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Map Hellissandur, Rif Grundarfjörður Stykkishólmur Búðardalur Dalir Arnarstapi Hellnar Snæfellsnes Bifröst Húsafell Reykholt Borgarfjörður Hvanneyri Borgarnes Hvalfjörður Akranes Ólafsvík Bjarteyjarsandur