Songhellir is a cave famous for its echoes. The cave is on the northern side of Mount Stapafell, which overlooks the small fishing village Arnarstapi on the Snaefellsnes peninsula.
Thanks to the acoustic resonance inside the cave, Songhellir’s name means “the cave of songs.”
The walls of the cave display names people have carved into the stone. If you look closely, you might spot some well-known Icelanders’ names. For example, you‘ll see the names of Eggert Olafsson and Bjarni Palsson. They traveled around Iceland at the end of the 18th century to fight against superstition and to educate people. Along with people’s names, you may also see runes and signs of sorcery in the cave.
Did people live in Songhellir cave?
Some people believe the cave was a shelter for Bardur Snaefellsas, a legendary half human/half troll who was a king’s son. According to folklore, Bardur named the peninsula and the glacier and still watches over Snaefellsjokull as its protective spirit. In actuality, historians believe no one has actually lived in the cave, though people have used it for shelter.
How to get there?
To find the cave, follow Road number 570 from Arnarstapi leading up the Snaefellsjokull glacier. It’s a narrow, winding gravel road. A few kilometers of slow driving will take you to a small parking spot. From there, it’s a short walk up to the cave. Look for a small sign marking the entrance.