With a year-round population of less than ten residents, it’s amazing to realize this sleepy coastal village was once one of Snaefellsnes Peninsula’s largest fishing towns. The remnants of the fishing sheds built by Hellnar’s 11th-century settlers indicate that this town hasn’t changed since then.  However, today it has a contemporary commitment to preserving the environment.

During summer, locals head to the seaside cliffs at Hellnar to enjoy a lunch stop at Fjoruhusid. Fjoruhusid is a tiny cafe located on the water. Their signature and life-affirming dish is a creamy seafood soup. It is brimming with fish and scallops drawn fresh from the ocean directly off the peninsula.

An arch in the sea

The cliffs between Hellnar and Arnarstapi village are a Nature Reserve. The 2.5 kilometer (1.5 mile) hiking trail linking the two settlements offers spectacular scenery including Gatklettur, a magnificent arch extending into the sea. The peculiar Badstofa caves are famous for their unique light refraction and colorful interior. The area also has several bizarre rock formations in the shapes of stacks. We also recommend visiting the cliffs, home to huge colonies of sea birds.

The Hellnar church

In Hellnar, you’ll also find a traditional wooden Icelandic church on top of a hill. With the mountainous landscapes or the Snaefellsjokull glacier as a backdrop, the Hellnar church gives travelers yet another opportunity to capture some wonderful photos of the charming Icelandic landscape.

Where is Hellnar?

Hellnar is in the far end of Snaefellsnes peninsula, around 190 kilometers (two and a half hour drive) from Reykjavik city. Driving there is easy, and the route is well marked.

GPS: 64.745796 N, -23.67584 W