Village of Arnarstapi with Mt. Stapafell in background

The village of Arnarstapi in Snæfellsnes peninsula

Arnarstapi is a fishing hamlet at the foot of the low Mt. Stapafell on the southern side of the Snaefellsnes peninsula.

Arnarstapi in Snæfellsnes is conveniently located only about 2 hours away from the capital city Reykjavík. It was an important trading post in the past and had a much bigger population than it has now. The cliffs along the coastline are occupied by myriads of birds, kittiwakes, fulmars and razorbills and many others nest in the area. 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. Three blowholes, connected with the sea, open up on the way. When the wind is blowing hard from southerly directions they create fountains of ocean water, and then its not advisable to stand too near.

Today the small village of Arnarstapi can become quite busy in the summertime with tourists visiting to experience an authentic small fishing village vibe. Those interested in fresh food show up for the fish caught just outside the beach and photographers for incredible bird and landscape photo opportunities.


A very interesting old path follows the coastline where you can see old landing places of fishermen, lots of birds like the kittiwake, the Arctic tern and the fulmar and pass through a lava field.

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

According to the Bardar-Saga, this mythological person, Bardur Snæfellsas, a half a man and half an ogre, lived in a cave in the northern slopes of Snæfellsjokull glacier.
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