One of our favorite memories in Iceland was driving around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. It was recommended to us by the staff at the hotel and it was certainly one of the highlights of our trip. The Golden Circle is certainly an absolute must, but you will be surrounded by crowds and tour buses while driving around the peninsula, at least in winter, will have you enjoying the natural beauty of the island on your own. Two of our favorite sights while driving around the peninsula was Lóndrangar, which is a pair of volcanic rocks that jut up along the coast and the Malariff Lighthouse located nearby. It is also a perfect place to see the “black beaches” of Iceland, which are beachs covered in black volcanic rocks.
Seeing the twin peaks of Lóndrangar is certainly an amazing sight and pictures don’t truly do it justice. Centuries of erosion have left these volcanic rocks looming over the edge of the coastline. The entire area is volcanic crater that has been enveloped by the ocean and now only lava rocks remain. We were fortunate to see Lóndrangar from two angles, first looking at them with the ocean sitting behind them and then later from the Malariff Lighthouse. Since we were there during the winter, the black lava rocks really stood out against the snowy landscape and glacial mountains off in the distance.
Next we drove to the Malariff Lighthouse, which is truly dramatic and well worth visiting. You are able to walk all around the lighthouse, which stands as a lonely sentry to protect ships from crashing into the rocky coast. As we arrived, the cloudy skies temporarily parted to provide an amazing backdrop to the white lighthouse. It is supposed to be a great location to see different water birds and even seals, but perhaps the weather was too cold for even them during our visit.
After walking around the lighthouse, we continued on to walk down to the shoreline and see the waves crashing against the lava lined coast. It certainly provides a sense of how powerful the ocean can be in this rugged land. It also provides evidence as to the clear need for the lighthouse when you see the waves splashing high above the rocks along the shore. Iceland is such a beautiful country and this little snippet of the coast will give you a true sense of the destructive forces that have created not only Iceland, but the world as a whole.