Stykkishólmur

Stykkishólmur got nominated “The European Destination of Excellency for 2011”. It’s located in Snæfellsnes, close to Snæfellsjökull Glacier, believed to be one of the planet’s source of power. It as well served as the inspiration for the settings of Journey to the end of the World by Jules Verne, the famous writer.

Population: In 2010 the population was 1092 people.

Museums and Galleries:

  • Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum - Helgafellssveit, Stykkishólmur.
  • Library of Water by Roni Horn - Bókhlöðustígur 17, Stykkishólmur.
  • The Volcano Museum - Aðalgata 8, 340 Stykkishólmur.
  • Local Museum - Norwegian House, Hafnargata 5, 340 Stykkishólmur.

Interesting Sites:

  • Flatey Island in Breiðafjörður Bay (take the ferry from Stykkishólmur).
  • Helgafell holy Mountain - 2 km south of Stykkishólmur.
  • Arnarstapi - on the southern-east end of Snæfellsnes peninsula, road 574
  • Bardarlaug Pool - near Arnarstapi and Hellnar, south-east end of the peninsula, road 574.
  • Djupalonssandur og Dritvik - south of Snæfellsnes Glacier, 10 km from the village Hellnar, road 574.

Restaurants:

  • Narfeyrarstofa - Aðalgata 3, 340 Stykkishólmur.
  • 5 fiskar seafood restaurant - Frúarstígur 1, 340 Stykkishólmur.

Accommodation:

  • Höfðagata Guesthouse - Höfðagata 11, 340 Stykkishólmur.
  • Hólmurinn Guesthouse - Skúlagata 4, 340 Stykkishólmur.
  • Bed & Breakfast, bænir og brauð - Laufásvegur 1, 340 Stykkishólmur.

 

History:
This town which got nominated the “European Destination of Excellency for 2011” has been a centre for trade and commerce from the 19th century on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The oldest documents mentioning commerce are from 1597. It differs from surrounding communities in the way that commerce and service were established prior to the period where the inhabitants, such as merchants, doctors and pharmacists made their mark on daily life. Cultural life flourished as well by thriving book publishing and plays which were put on stage.

Nature:
The Snæfellsnes peninsula is among the most beautiful place in Iceland and one can easily spend days on ends enjoying the richness and stunning beauty of its overwhelming nature and nearby islands in Breidafjordur.

One of them is Flatey (meaning “a flat island”). It’s the perfect spot for a day trip. One can board the ferry in Snæfellsnes which takes you to the island which continually becoming more and more popular vacation spot among Icelanders as well as a film location among native filmmakers.

Among other beautiful sports is Arnarstapi mesa. A place that takes your breath away, with columnar basalt surrounding the pier, as well as grottoes and raviens. Down by the coast you will find an old path which bears the reminiscent of the old fishermen landing places. A lot of bird species can be spotted in Arnarstapi such as the kittiwake and the Arctic tern.

For those wanting to enjoy the view over Snæfellsnes peninsula a walk on mount Helgafell gives you a terrific panorama view over Breiðafjörður which can be further enjoyed by viewing a dial at the top of the 73 meters high mountain.

For the more adventurous ones there is of course glacier Snæfellsjökull. An active volcano believed to be one of the planet sources of power and inspiration of the famous writer Jules Verne settings for his Journey to the end of the world. Guided tours are provided from Arnarstapi.

Culture:
By far the most famous museum in Snæfellsnes peninsula is the Library of Water, a long-term project by the world-famous artist Roni Horn. In this project an installation of 24 glass columns have been set up to collect water from glaciers around Iceland. The Water Library has the perfect location, standing on a promontory overlooking both the ocean and town. This building houses as well collections of words and weather reports, capturing the Roni’s long fascination with the country.

The heritage museum in Grundarfjörður takes you back on a fascinating journey to the first half of the 20th century. There you will find traces of everyday live as well an opportunity to witness the evolution in living standard and that are so strongly related to the area most important industry, fishery, which stand at the threshold of modern times. If you are looking for a nostalgic mise-en-scène this is the spot.

Seeing the Icelandic natural forces at work is a spectacular site. But they’re equally dangerous and as erupting volcanoes and avalanche bear witness to. In Snæfellsnes, the Volcano Museum has on display artefacts related to the volcanic eruptions and the impact of the community.

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