Songhellir is a famous cave known for its echoes. The cave is on the northern side of mount Stapafell which overlooks the small fishing village Arnarstapi on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. The name means the cave of songs and is derived from the acoustic resonance inside the cave.
The walls of the cave are covered in names people have carved into the stone. If you look closely you might spot some well-known Icelanders among them. For example you‘ll see the names of Eggert Olafsson and Bjarni Palsson who traveled their country at the end of the 18th century to fight against superstition and for Enlightenment. You may also find runes and signs of sorcery in the cave.
How to get there?
To find the cave follow road no. 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. The entrance is marked with a small sign making it easier to find.
Did people live in Songhellir cave?
The cave is believed to have been a shelter for Bardur Snaefellsas who, according to Icelandic legends, was the son of a king and a half troll and half human. He named the peninsula and the glacier and according to some, is still its protective spirit. Though the cave has sometime been used as a shelter, it is not believed that anyone has ever lived there.
Check out our complete guide to Snaefellsnes peninsula.