Iceland Part III: Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Iceland Part III: Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Snæfellsnes Peninsula

We had read that Iceland’s weather is unpredictable. We were told to stay off the roads in the winter if we weren’t use to this climate.  Despite the warnings, we threw caution to the wind and rented a car on our third day.

With a sturdy 4wheel drive, and no particular destination in mind, we decided to set the GPS to Hellnar, a fishing village at the very tip of the snæfellsnes peninsula.

Unfortunately, our weather on day three was not as nice as we had hoped, and we hit some inclement weather. We battled hurricane-like winds and rain as we drove along the coast. Out one window was a steep drop into the crashing and unforgiving waves below.  Out the other a towering volcano peppered with large volcanic rocks.

While there is a lack of urban surroundings in this area, the incredible landscape of sea, volcanic fields, farmland, waterfalls, and open road more than make up for it.  Driving the coast, even in the harshest of conditions, is a sight to behold.  We have to come back to this area in the summer so we can enjoy more activities near the water.

Also, if you’re like me and have your heart set on petting some of the Icelandic horses, this is your place!


After stopping every quarter mile for pictures of the Icelandic horses, we finally arrived in Hellnar for lunch. What is now a quiet fishing village, for centuries it was one of the largest in West Iceland. The village boasts a small handful of black houses that over look Snæfellsjökull glacier/volcano. We had lunch here, stopping at Fjoruhusid. It’s tucked away into the cliff. This was as close as we got to the water, sadly, because of the weather, but there are so many rock formations, caves and hiking trails in this area, I’m sad we were unable to experience them. If you go, here’s to hoping you have better luck!



Snæfellsjökull National Park

As we were making our way back to Reykjavik we thought it would be fun to drive through Snæfellsjökull National Park.  This meant crossing the Snæfellsjökull glacier.  As we crept along the gravel road, our GPS suddenly beeped and displayed, “Make certain your car can handle this road condition.”  Gus, being a total macho man, ensured me we were fine and continued up the road.  We then came to a sign that read in very plain English, “The glacier is a very dangerous area to cross.”  Still we kept going…

According to, “The Snæfellsjökull glacier is said to be one of the seven great energy centres of the earth, and has been attributed various mysterious powers.”  The reason I quote that, is because about half way up the glacier our car was no longer forging ahead, but instead was sliding down the glacier out of our control.

Thankfully, our car came to a halt inches from a volcanic rock.   While I can laugh at this now, I was terrified during the event.  In that moment, we learned our “take caution when driving in Iceland” lesson.  We slowly turned around and headed back the way we came, and by chance stumbled across another iconic sight, Budír Church.

Volcanic rock


Budír Church

Budír Church is one of three black churches in Iceland. The black color is pitch, which protects the church from the Icelandic elements (which as we can see is clearly not a joke).  We noticed a church from the road and took the winding patch up the cliff to take a peak.  Other than a four star hotel, it’s just this church overlooking the ocean below.


With gorgeous coastlines, rugged lava fields, majestic icelandic horses, colorful homes, and waterfalls speckled throughout the cliff side, there is no shortage of beautiful scenes in Iceland. Southern and Western Iceland are areas you could travel to time and again and still not see enough.


Don’t underestimate the dramatic landscapes that make up the land of fire and ice. Iceland, you can count on a return from us.  See more of my photos in my gallery!



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Haley Milan

Consumed by wanderlust, fueled by coffee, determined to live a minimalist lifestyle and collect moments, not things. Join me on my travels and an every day life of simplicity!

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  • Catching the morning flight to NYC! It won’t be cobblestone streets in old European cities, but it’ll be a concrete jungle so we’re good. Cheers to an adventure-filled weekend, friends!
  • Fell in love with Canada all over again this fall. And now it’s been named destination of the year!  I’m already planning my next trip! Oh Canada, you are a gem.
  • “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience” —Eleanor Roosevelt
Just a couple months ago I went on my first solo trip to Europe.  Traveling has quite literally breathed new life into me, and I absolutely love seeing this world with my husband by my side. But what did I learn when I had to go it alone for the first time?
I learned that my gut IS always right. I learned the best way to step out of your comfort zone is when there is no safety net. I learned that there is tremendously more “good” in people than “bad.” And, I learned that my own company...well, it actually is pretty darn great!
My solo trip was the most life-changing, liberating experience I’ve had to date.  Im telling you, you have to do it once in your life. Because what is life without adventure? I hope I never find out.
  • Some days go so fast you forget to take a breath. Other days go by slowly and you take it all in. I could use a slow-paced day with beautiful views. Is it Friday yet?
  • Hello, Sunday.✨
  • Celebrating the opening of doors tonight. And that my super hunky husband is home.
  • “the way he talked of their dreams made her want to grab his hand and run into tomorrow” - Atticus
Today is the day he comes home for good. 📸: @annamarie_akins
  • “Autumn...the year’s last loveliest smile”
  • It was a cold and rainy day here in DC, so I’m channeling summer and sunshine through IG.
  • Staring into this coffee hoping it gives me life on this Monday. May your coffee be strong & Monday short!
Side note: If you’re a coffee lover like myself, you must take a trip to Montreal! I’m convinced they have the coziest/cutest coffee shops to spend your day in!
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