Borganes to Hellnar

Day 2 of Svava and Jona’s Snaefellsnes Roadtrip

Another glorious day, we set off heading west along the ring road of the 100 km long Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Our first stop is somewhere that so many people miss as it's off the main road, but seemingly from out of nowhere, there it stands. Gerðuberg, a beautiful wall of basalt columns and one of the longest examples in Iceland. The hexagonal columns are so regular in shape, with some towering 10-14 meters high. Despite the broken off chunks that lay scattered everywhere, like most things in Iceland, there is nothing to stop you getting right up close, which of course we do!

Wall of basalt columns at Gerðuberg

Wall of basalt columns at Gerðuberg

A little further and we take another gravel track off the main highway. “You did bring your swimming things” Mum asks. Where is she taking me now, I wonder? Steam now appears to be rising straight out of a crack in the ground. This is the source of the geo-thermal mineral water pool Lýsuhólslaug, where luckily they also lend out swimming costumes! No chemicals are added to the water and the naturally warm water has healing properties. Iceland is dotted with geo-thermal pools, and unlike the crowds in the Blue Lagoon, Mum and I had the pool to ourselves and a hot tub each. 

Mineral pool at Lýsuhólslaug

Mineral pool at Lýsuhólslaug

All this floating around in soothing water is making us hungry, so with a picnic lunch, we make our next stop Buđir.  Picnic on a beach in Iceland, who would have thought?

Budir, one hotel, one church and then the sea.

Budir, one hotel, one church and then the sea.

Buđir is a hotel, an old church and graveyard and a vast, beautiful protected lava field Búðahraun of pitch-black lava stretching down to the ocean. Most of the beaches in Iceland are black but this is one of the few places in Iceland with golden sandy beaches. We bask in the sun on the beach, ever hopeful of spotting an orca whale at sea, with the backdrop of mountains behind us.

Lava rocks at Budir beach

Lava rocks at Budir beach

A guide’s work is never done, so onwards we go to Arnarstapi harbour. More amazing basalt rock formations off the coast here with plenty of nesting birds. There is a terrific coastal walk to Hellnar Hotel, our final stop for the day, which is right at the tip of the peninsula and at the very foot of the magical glacier Snaefellsjokull. Staying at Hellnar is always one of my favourite spots; so remote, peaceful and right on the coast. The hotel restaurant food is amazing, as are the views out to sea. At 10pm, Mum goes off to bed and I decide, with the sun still shining, it’s the perfect time to walk up the cliff path, sit back, take in the views and soak up the atmosphere.

10pm overlooking Hellnar Bay

10pm overlooking Hellnar Bay