Arnarstapi (or Stapi) is a small fishing village at the foot of Mt. Stapafell on the southern Snaefellsnes peninsula. Arnarstapi was an important trading post in the past and had a much bigger population than it has now. However, Arnarstapi still is quite active during the summer, with private fishing and recreational vessels filling the docks.

Furthermore, Arnarstapi is a thriving center for local activities and a variety of natural attractions. We especially recommend the hiking trail past Nedstavatn lake. This bridle path turned hiking trail leads across the lava and along the beach between Arnarstapi and Hellnar villages. The scenic and easy walk takes about one hour.

Arnarstapi’s unique nature

In 1979 Arnarstapi’s the cliffs were designated a Natural Reserve. A large arctic tern colony lies near the village itself. You might enjoy taking a walk along the coastline to watch the birds and enjoy the magnificent lava formations.

What is the mountain that stands so prominently near Arnarstapi?

Majestic Mt. Stapafell towers over the town and adds to the dramatic landscape.

What is the sculpture on the beach?

The sculpture depicts a magical being, Bardur Snaefellsas. Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson designed the sculpture.  Bardur was the settler of Snaefellsnes. Half troll and half human and fully magical, Bardar named the peninsula “Snaefellsnes” and the glacier-volcano “Snaefellsjokull.” According to folklore, he lives on Snaefellsjokull, where he protects Snaefellsnes and its people. Many place names in the area are inspired by his story.

What can you see in the area?

Near Arnarstapi, you can visit other interesting natural wonders.  Longdrangar are two huge basalt pillars on a cliff. They were once part of a volcano crater that the ocean has mostly washed away.  Raudfeldsgja is a beautiful gorge in Botnsfjall mountain. During the summertime, you can walk up to the gorge and into it. Dritvik cove is a black sand beach where fishermen used to work between the 17th and 20th centuries. You can still see the remains of their huts.  Bjarnarfoss is an impressive waterfall dropping from a basalt structure.

GPS: 64.7691° N, 23.6259° W