On the Snæfellsnes peninsula is a lot to see and do, including the famous Kirkjufell. This spot is known as one of the most photographed spots in Iceland. It is likely to be immensely crowded with tourists and it can never be as beautiful as in those beautiful pictures taken by professional photographers. Right? Along the way, for the first time during our road trip, it begins to become threateningly cloudy. And a few drops even fall. But miraculously, the weather turns dry and even a little sunny as soon as we catch the first glimpse of this so popular mountain. Once we reach the waterfall after a short walk, I suddenly understand why this place is so popular with photographers….
Kirkjufell: one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland
Kirkjufell is a 463-meter-high mountain and is also called the “church mountain” because of its unusual shape. Such a beautiful sight, not to be missed during your road trip Iceland.
Danish sailors who used to come to this area called it “the sugar summit”. Kirkjufell’s formation is a special one. The lower part of the mountain consists of sediments containing fossils, which were formed more than a million years ago during the Ice Age (Ice Age). The sediments contain fossils of organisms that lived during both the warm and cold periods of the ice age.
The upper part of the mountain was formed during the last million years. The lava sections formed during the warm part of the Ice Age, while the hyaloclastite top (a combination of tuff and volcanic glass) was formed under a glacier during the cold period of the Ice Age. Experienced hikers with no fear of heights can climb the mountain with a guide.
Personally, I didn’t find the view of the mountain from the road super spectacular, but as soon as you walk up to the waterfall somehow the picture changes and the view of the waterfall and the mountain together really gives a magical feeling.
Kirkjufellsfoss: a marvel on the Snæfellsnes peninsula
Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall is located in the Kirkjufellsa River opposite Kirkjufell Mountain, near the village of Grundarfjörður. The five-meter-high waterfall consists of several levels and three different spouts.
From the parking lot, it is about a 300-meter walk to the top of the waterfall. The beautiful clear water and special location, with the help of the sun and, in winter, the Northern Lights, would give spectacular lighting effects. We missed this one, but it was fantastic nonetheless. Obviously a lot more touristy than, say Vatnsnes, but it wasn’t too bad in the end.
Mount Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss: a magical combination
And then: the view I had been so looking forward to. Will I get both nicely on it? What is everyone talking about anyway? We stayed at this special spot for quite a while, also because I was trying to put myself in all sorts of twists and turns to get both the waterfall and the mountain on it together. But just looking at this natural wonder is also delightful. Definitely a highlight of a visit to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. A natural phenomenon not often encountered anywhere. Exactly what makes Iceland so special. Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss: a wonderful combination!