Time has changed Hellnar
Time has changed Hellnar from a thriving fishing village to a small village with population of 10 permanent inhabitants. The oldest written source of it being described as a thriving fishing village dates back to 1560 and in 1703 there where recorded 38 houses in the area. With changes in the fishing and trading industry and bigger ships, Hellnar harbour became to small and difficult to use so Hellnar rapidly lost its population as people moved to villages like Ólafsvík and Grundarfjörður. It did not help Hellnar that the area and village of Arnarstapi was favoured by the Danish authorities ruling Iceland at that time.
The tranquil village of Hellnar in Snæfellsnes is a must see on your trip to Snæfellsnes peninsula to breath in the atmosphere as the 11th century settler did and enjoy the contemporary environment that is so well preserved by the locals.
Hellnar main attraction
Main attraction of Hellnar is the rocky shoreline, steep cliffs and the strong current bashing the coastline that with time has created the cove called Baðstofa. You find Baðstofa underneath the cliff Valasnös. In Baðstofa you find different shades of colour in the rocky shoreline that creates all kinds of forms and figures. The cove colours differ depending on time of the day and some say it is most beautiful in the morning.
From under tha lava fresh water is flowing into the ocean and there you can find two wells, Gvendarbrunnur sometimes called Maríulind. You will also find the well Ásgrímsbrunnur that the priest at Hellnar, Ásgrímur (1758 – 1829) carved into the cliff where there had be no water running before.
Even though Hellnar was for the most part Abandoned for a long time it is now a lively spot to visit and has some good options in accommodations and restaurants.The atmosphere is superb in Hellnar and draws it magic on good days from being so close to the Glacier volcano Snæfellsjökull where Bárður Snæfellsás, the guardian of Snæfellsnes lived. Breathing in the fresh sea air, watching the birds and the waves of the ocean corroding the shoreline should get the most stressed person relaxed after the visit.
The walking track from Hellnar to Arnarstapi
The cliffs between the Hellnar and Arnarstapi villages are a Natural Reserve and the two and a half kilometer (1.5 mi) hiking trail over the lava field along the cliffs and shoreline, linking the two settlements offers spectacular scenery. At Hellnar, you will find an excellent café, Fjöruhúsið, practically on the tempestuous beach, and a lovely eco-friendly hotel allso. The track is a great destination for photographers.
The Hellnar church
In Hellnar, you’ll also find a typically Icelandic church on top of a hill. With mountainous landscapes or the Snaefellsjokull glacier as a backdrop, the somewhat spooky Church of Hellnar gives travellers yet another opportunity to capture some wonderful photos of the charming Icelandic landscape and architecture. The Hellnar church was built in 1945 on a picturesque site where a church was first raised in 1833.