From Snaefellsnes to Hraunfossar

Date 07 August 2016

From Snaefellsnes to Hraunfossar

From Snaefellsnes to Hraunfossar

This morning the sky was clear and the temperature rather mild (12°) for once. This was great news since we had planned to do the short hike that led from Arnarstapi to Hellnar along the coast. It was no effort but still a 2.5 km walk from the port, or 2 km if you started from the stone statue of Baldur.

The path was very well indicated with pegs and took us through moss and stone fields. It took just under 45 minutes to reach Hellnar Cove. After a break spent near the creek to admire the waves crashing on the rocks, we headed in the opposite direction towards Arnastapi.

Today we hoped to reach the Husafell region but also take several breaks on the road. The first was very close to Arnarstapi, only a few kilometers away from the village, to admire the Rauðfeldar canyon. We had read very little about it but it was enough to make us want to see it with our own eyes.

We parked in a small car park located 500 meters from the canyon. It was a short but very steep climb and in roughly 10 minutes we reached the canyon cut by a small stream. The whole point of this attraction was to hop across the rounded boulders in the stream to enter the canyon  itself. Inside was where the real show started, a skylight drove sunlight right down from the top of the canyon into the water.

Ytri Tunga

Still in awe at that spectacle, we hit the road again for a few minutes' drive to reach the famous Ytri Tunga farm that the children did not want to miss. This farm is known to be near the favourite sunbathing spots of a few colonies of seals, a great place to observe. The place was now very well indicated, the car park located 600m from the beach where the seals lay basking.

In 10 minutes of walking we managed to get very close to the creatures and tried to do our best not to frighten them. The place was peaceful and quiet so we decided to have a picnic on-site while observing the seals who did not seem at all disturbed by our presence.

We got back on the road at  3PM and by then the sky was a bit cloudy as we headed for our hotel, Hotel A, located very close to the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls. After dropping off our luggage at the hotel, we took the car back to the falls, which were only a 5 km drive away.

The parking lot was less than 50m from the falls, which had the particularity of spreading over a few hundred meters along the Hvita. The color of the water, almost turquoise, was a sight to behold cascading down in the crisp light. A small trail allowed us to reach a bridge overlooking the falls for an even more impressive view. A few dozen meters away, another waterfall, Barnafoss, took its name from a local legend. This waterfall was technically much more powerful than its neighbour in terms of volume, but we personally found it less beautiful than the Hraunfossar.

Back at the hotel, we ate in the establishment. Their fish dish, a local specialty, was recommended to us and clearly it was one of the best meals we ate during our entire stay. The cod was particularly great, but so was everything else. The staff at this hotel was also very friendly, and the rooms were brand new, very comfortable, and tastefully furnished.