This is a superb base from which to explore the natural wonders of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula – whether you’re searching for orcas and northern lights, touring the crinkle-cut coastline by car or planning a hike on the Atlantic clifftops or snow-capped Snaefellsjokull volcano. With rooms overlooking mountain and sea, Fosshotel Hellnar also has an excellent restaurant, while the visitor centre for the Snaefellsjokull National Park is right next door.
Located near the tip of West Iceland’s Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the peaceful property has 39 modern, simple but stylish ensuite rooms with TV, WiFi and either a mountain or ocean view. A mixture of twin, double and triple rooms is available.
Fosshotel Hellnar has strong eco-credentials. Its restaurant is renowned for delicious Icelandic cuisine, cooked with international flare using local, organic ingredients – whether you’re enjoying fresh fish or lamb for dinner, or grazing the breakfast buffet. There’s a wonderful view of the ocean from the restaurant balcony, while the complete absence of artificial light pollution bodes well for northern lights viewing if you are staying here during winter. It is also not uncommon for pods of orca to be sighted from the hotel.
One of our favourite short hikes in Iceland is literally right on the doorstep of Fosshotel Hellnar. The clifftop walk to Anarstarpi passes sea arches, caves, sea stacks and blowholes. During summer, the basalt cliffs are all-of-a-flutter with nesting kittiwakes, fulmars and other seabirds. There are also delightful cafes at both Hellnar and Anarstarpi.
Hellnar was once a busy fishing village, but it’s now better known as a gateway to the Snaefellsjokull National Park. With the visitor centre next door, guests at Fosshotel Hellnar can easily plan hikes and excursions into the national park. You can even hike to the top of the1,446m-tall dormant volcano that dominates the tip of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Views from the snow-capped summit stretch from Reykjavik to the West Fjords.
Other highlights in Hellnar include the picture-perfect church, dating from 1945. Nearby, the cave of Badstofa is renowned for its colourful interior, while the wave-lashed black-pebble beach of Djupalonssandur is one of Iceland’s most dramatic.
- 39 rooms
- Restaurant and bar
- Free WiFi
- Free parking
- Buffet breakfast
- Hiking paths