Day 11 of 12 Day Roadtrip Iceland Grundarfjordur Borgarnes
Published: 24/01/2021
Fjord Breiðafjörður
Today we drive a short route of only 210 kilometers to enjoy the wonders of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, we stop a bit more often to visit beautiful sites and take pictures as we follow the road around the headland. We go to all major locations, but before you leave Grundafjörður, you can still enjoy a Whale-Watch, because here is the best chance to spot orcas in Iceland. Laki tours in the harbor, within walking distance of the hotel, provide these Whale-Watch tours. Well worth it.

After departure, we soon arrive at Kirkjufell mountain and the nearby waterfall, RP2 and 3, if you have not visited it on day 10, you can still visit it today. These are the best places to stop for photos.

The rest of the day we visit incredible destinations on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. You have plenty of time to admire the Snæfellsjökull National Park, the Lóndrangar cliffs, Rauðfeldsgja gorge, Ytri Tunga beach, and the Eldborg Caldera

After the Kirkjufell we drive along the coast with a beautiful view of the Breiðafjörður fjord into the Snæfellsjökull National Park (RP4). The national park is located on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, between the Faxaflói bay in the south and the Breiðafjörður fjord in the north. It is the largest peninsula in Iceland.
The Snæfellsjökull volcano (1446m), which is at least a hundred kilometers from Reykjavík, can be seen clearly in clear weather. This volcano is completely covered by a small ice sheet. There is much to see and do in this park, a number of points have been included as a route point and / or POI.

RP5 Djúpalónssandur is a sandy beach and bay. It was once home to sixty fishing boats and one of the most productive fishing villages on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, but nowadays the bay is uninhabited. There are also remains of the fishing boat Grimsby Epine (GY7) that was destroyed there on March 13, 1948.

RP6 The Vatnshellir lava cave, during an impressive cavetour through the Vatnshellir lava cave on Snaefellsnes, you literally follow the lava flow 200 meters into the cave. At a depth of approximately 35 meters you will find fantastic color combinations and lava formations. The 8000 year old lava cave was created during a volcanic eruption. The cave consists of 2 levels, of which you can reach 1 per staircase. So deep underground, in total darkness you experience absolute silence.

RP7 Gestastofa Visitor Center This is a great visitor center in Snaefellsjokull National Park for all ages. It is not too big, does not last too long and is free. It deals with the natural ecology and history of Snaefellsjokull and has practical things to see, touch and even eat! Really worth exploring the park.

RP8 Londrangar cliffs are uniquely shaped remains of ancient basalt volcanic dikes that protrude from the sea. Londrangar and Svalthufa hill are the remains of a crater eroded by the sea in its current form.

RP9 Arnarstapi, is a small village where we stop for a drink and enjoy the sights, there are several vantage points along the coastline to admire the beautiful view. There is an old natural stone bridge and a few restaurants and bars for a drink.

RP10 Rauðfeldssgjá, which translates to Red-Cloak Rift, is a beautiful gorge in the Botnsfjall mountain on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. In the summer it is possible to walk there and climb into it. There is a parking space at Rauðfelsdsgjá, just a short walk from the narrow opening. You can follow a path to it and walk along a narrow path along a stream. A little scrambling will take you to a small waterfall. Anyone who wants to climb further must be reasonably fit, equipped with waterproof clothing and sturdy shoes, and be prepared to get pretty wet. This route should not be attempted if the ground is icy.

RP11 Búðir, you will find a small church (Búðakirkja) overlooking a glorious golden beach Búðir Beach, framed by basalt rocks and dunes and there is a crater and lava flow.

RP12 Bjarnarfoss waterfall is a fairly high waterfall visible from Highway 54. The falls are 80 meters in two different steps.

RP14 Ytri Tunga Beach, unlike many of the beaches in Iceland, Ytri Tunga has golden sand instead of black. Ytri Tunga is the most reliable place in Iceland to see seals. Just off the coast, on some rocks protruding from the water, at least a few of the local colony can be seen that migrate throughout the year. However, the best time to see them is in the summer months. The seals that come here are common seals, one of the two common species that occur in Iceland.

RP15 Gerðuberg Cliffs are barely visible from the road, although the cliff is about 500 meters long and quite close to the road. Half a kilometer of cliff from hundreds of basalt columns of piles stand side by side like an army of pillars. It is a perfect place to view basalt columns and see the amazing formation of this incredible natural geological structure. Just like the cliff, the columns are also fairly regular. They are usually twelve to fourteen meters high and have a diameter of approximately one and a half meters. Some even lean forward and give the cliff a spectacular view as you walk along the cliff. And by the way, it is more exciting to walk one of the paths before the cliff than to walk on top of it, there is actually nothing to be seen at the top.

RP16 and 17 The Eldborg Caldera (Crater), a beautifully shaped crater that protrudes 60 meters above the surrounding lava. The spatula cone is the largest crater along a short volcanic gap, 200 m in diameter and 50 m deep. The last eruption was around 5000-6000 years ago. According to the medieval chronica there was also about one around the time of the colonization of Iceland about 1000 years ago, but nowadays it is known that it came from one of the many craters of the Hnappadalur valley that are part of the volcanic system Ljosufjoll, the mountains of light. It is easiest to approach Eldborg from Snorrastadir on the south side (RP17), it is a 2.5 km walk through the bushy lava field. It is possible to walk all the way around the crater and up.

After all this beauty we drive to the end point in Borgarbyggð.

This route is worth 5 ***** stars, because in one day you can see everything that makes Iceland so special.

RP8 Londrangar
RP10 Rauðfeldssgjá Gorge
Useful links:
Route Day 10
Icelandic Meteorological Office
The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration
Whale-watching Grundafjörður
Route Day 12

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René Plücken (MRA-Senior)
The images and text displayed here originate from the Wikipedia article "Iceland", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
About this region
Iceland (Icelandic: Ísland; [ˈistlant] (listen)) is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean and the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík. Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country are home to over two-thirds of the population. Iceland is the only part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that rises above sea-level, and its central volcanic plateau is erupting almost constantly. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, and most of its islands have a polar climate. According to the ancient manuscript Landnámabók, the settlement of Iceland began in 874 AD when the Norwegian chieftain Ingólfr Arnarson became the first permanent settler on the island. In the following centuries, Norwegians, and to a lesser extent other Scandinavians, emigrated to Iceland, bringing with them thralls (i.e., slaves or serfs) of Gaelic origin. The island was governed as an independent commonwealth under the Althing, one of the world's oldest functioning legislative assemblies. Following a period of civil strife, Iceland acceded to Norwegian rule in the 13th century. The establishment of the Kalmar Union in 1397 united the kingdoms of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Iceland thus followed Norway's integration into that union, coming under Danish rule after Sweden's secession from the union in 1523. Although the Danish kingdom introduced Lutheranism forcefully in 1550, Iceland remained a distant semi-colonial territory in which Danish institutions and infrastructures were conspicuous by their absence.In the wake of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, Iceland's struggle for independence took form and culminated in independence in 1918 and the founding of a republic in 1944. Although its parliament (Althing) was suspended from 1799 to 1845, the island republic has been credited with sustaining the world's oldest and longest-running parliament. Until the 20th century, Iceland relied largely on subsistence fishing and agriculture. Industrialisation of the fisheries and Marshall Plan aid following World War II brought prosperity, and Iceland became one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the world. It became a part of the European Economic Area in 1994; this further diversified the economy into sectors such as finance, biotechnology, and manufacturing. Iceland has a market economy with relatively low taxes, compared to other OECD countries, as well as the highest trade union membership in the world. It maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. Iceland ranks high in economic, democratic, and social stability, as well as equality, ranking third in the world by median wealth per adult. In 2020, it was ranked as the fourth-most developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index, and it ranks first on the Global Peace Index. Iceland runs almost completely on renewable energy. Icelandic culture is founded upon the nation's Scandinavian heritage. Most Icelanders are descendants of Norse and Gaelic settlers. Icelandic, a North Germanic language, is descended from Old West Norse and is closely related to Faroese. The country's cultural heritage includes traditional Icelandic cuisine, Icelandic literature, and medieval sagas. Iceland has the smallest population of any NATO member and is the only one with no standing army, with a lightly armed coast guard.
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Route collections
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View route collection On an adventure in Iceland
About this route collection
12 Day Iceland Road Trip

Driving in Iceland is a great experience whether you travel by car or as described in this review by motorcycle.

This route collection is based on information about Iceland that you can find on the Internet, especially from the Guide to Iceland, where you can find a wealth of information to prepare you well for your trip.

You drive through landscapes that are varied and beautiful, you see glacier tongues, volcanic mountains, geothermal areas with active geysers, lava fields, craters, forests, waterfalls and incredibly rugged stretches of coast. You will also see many animals such as seals, killer whales, humpback whales, puffins, gulls, olives and petrels

The main roads are of good quality but you also drive a lot on gravel roads, so not suitable for road motorcycles. Some of these roads are sometimes closed due to the weather.

It is therefore important that you check the weather forecasts and the situation of the roads every day before you leave, this information can be found on the website of "Icelandic Meteorological Office" and for the roads on the website of "The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration" "

Due to the Icelandic climate this trip can only be made in the summer and is suitable for car and motorcycle. Renting cars (also 4x4) and motorbikes is possible in Reykjavik.
If you want your own car or motorcycle, you can make a ferry crossing from the Netherlands or Denmark via the Faroe Islands. Then take another week off for the crossings, or longer because you can also make beautiful rides on Faroe Islands.

This route collection consists of the following routes

Day 1 from Reykjavik to Vik (350km)
Day 2 from Vik to Kirkjubaejarklaustur (215km)
Day 3 from Kirkjubaejarklaustur to Hoefn (225km)
Day 4 from Hoefn to Seydisfjoerdur (295km)
Day 5 from Seydisfjoerdur to Husavik (300km)
Day 6 from Husavik to Siglufjordur (260km)
Day 7 from Siglufjordur to Blonduos (220km)
Day 8 from Blonduos to Reykholar (325km)
Day 9 from Reykholar to Patreksfjordur (455km)
Day 10 from Patreksfjordur to Grundarfjordur (280km)
Day 11 from Grundarfjordur to Borgarnes (210km)
Day 12 from Borgarnes to Reykjavik (270km)