Any traveler knows that one of the best parts of exploring a new place is getting off the beaten path. Iceland is full of must-see places that are known to few, and the Vatnsnes peninsula is one of them. Located on the northern coast of Iceland, the Vatnsnes peninsula is about 200 km north of Reykjavik and just off of Ring Road. The peninsula itself is only 90 km long, making it an easy detour.
The rural area offers more than meets the eye. Home to the Icelandic Seal Center, visitors can stop by the bustling gift shop on their way to Húnaflói Bay where seals can often be seen sunning themselves on the rocks. If you’re looking to get out of the car and stretch your legs for a bit, Ánastaðarstapi is a great spot for a quick hike. The large rock that rises from the beach is even more beautiful up close and is a great place for bird watching.
If the supernatural is something you can’t resist, stop by the church at Tjörn. At first glance it would appear to be like any other church; however, it is the site of some otherworldly haunting. The cemetery at the church plays a major role in the popular Icelandic ghost story of Agnes and Friðrik, which you can read more about here. And if you can stomach a meal after getting your ghostly fix, stop by Geitafell where you can enjoy fresh Icelandic seafood and an even better atmosphere.
The most difficult part of a trip to the Vatnsnes peninsula is keeping your eyes on the road. The breathtaking peaks on the the West Fjord are hard to take your eyes off of. Equally picturesque, the east side of the peninsula is home to Hvítserkur (pictured above), a 15m high basalt stack that makes the perfect backdrop for watching the Northern Lights!
Have you been to the Vatnsnes peninsula? Tell us your favorite part of this little known destination in the comments below or tweet us at @Icelandnaturally.