Snaefell Mountain (Snæfell)

Snaefell Mountain (Snæfell)

At 1833m above sea level, Snaefell is Iceland's highest peak outside of the Vatnajokull icecap. A central volcano, Snaefell was formed during the Ice Age but has been dormant now for thousands of years. 

The impressive ice-covered peak rises from the central highland plateau and stands 1000m above the surrounding area. 

Access to the area is easiest using road 910 to the Karahnjukur Dam which is open in summer to all vehicles.

However to reach the foot of the mountain and the Snaefellskali hut you will need a high-clearance 4WD vehicle as the last 14km are on a gravel track with river crossings. 

Climbing Snaefell is a challenging eight-hour return hike, which should only be undertaken by experienced and equipped mountain walkers. 

It is recommended to ask for advice from the warden at the Snaefellsskali hut before setting out and only to attempt the hike in clear weather. 

You don't have to drive far on road 910 to get good views of the mountain and a feel for its wild surrounds.  If you are lucky you may find reindeer along the way.  

In summer large herds roam the sparse mountain pastures around Snaefell and you may also come across flocks of pink-footed geese and whooper swans. 

It is worth taking the short detour to Laugarfell, and Highland Hostel, where for a small fee you can bathe in the natural hot spring water pools in view of Mt Snaefell.

A three-hour circular hiking trail departs from here, winding past numerous spectacular waterfalls.  

Ask for a map at the Highland Hostel, which also serves refreshments.