In the 2013 film "the secret life of Walter Mitty" , Stykkisholmur was one of the destinations which Ben Stiller was trying to reach. On this particular afternoon in late April, it was our destination.
And after a 3.5 hour drive from Keflavik airport in the pouring rain, we rolled into Stykkisholmur where the sun made an attempt of greeting us to this beautiful remote Icelandic town located on the North coast of Snaefellsnes peninsula.
And from the moment we drove into the town, we knew we would have a fabulous time in this beautiful harbour town.
The old wooden houses are just as they were 100 years ago, and the whole village centres itself around the harbour which is protected by Sugandisey Island. The town was the first community in Europe to receive the Earthcheck Environmental Certification, and it is obvious how clean the town is.
The village is a thriving community where you can watch the fish being unloaded at the harbour every evening or visit one of the three museums in the town.
In the village, you find the volcano museum where the private collection of Haraldur Sigurdsonn, a world renowned volcanologist is on display. Then there is the Library of water where you find 24 glass columns which are filled with melted ice from some of the glaciers around Iceland.
The third museum is the Norwegian House, a house built in 1832 using Norwegian timber, which has been lovingly restored.
The house now serves as the regional museum for the Snaefellsnes peninsula.
So on our first evening, we decided to walk around the town. The first thing you notice walking around the village is how clean all the streets are. The houses around the harbour are just beautiful, all of them having the year of their built displayed on the wall. Looking at these dates, most of them dated back to the early 1900's.
Stykkisholmur is a busy enough town mainly due to the harbour from where you can take the Ferry Baldur which daily crosses Breidafjörður Bay between Stykkishólmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula and Brjánslækur in the north of Iceland. This ferry also stops during the holiday season at Flatey Island, a beautiful small island in Breidafjörður Bay .
Stykkisholmur has really 2 parts to the town, the "old part" as we call it which centres around the harbour, and the "new part" which centres around the imposing modern church and open air swimming pool.
The latter one was a hug hit with the boys who wanted to go swimming in the pool most days, mainly due to the large outdoor pool and slides. And don't worry, even though the snow is still on the mountains in April, the geothermal heated pool is nice and warm.
And after the swim, they loved nothing more than getting a hotdog from Meistarinn, a great hotdog stand on the outskirts of town.
There is a great selection of accommodation and restaurants in Stykkisholmur, so staying overnight is not a problem. What could be a problem is the restaurants. There is only a handful of restaurants, and even in April they were busy, so booking a table is essential.
We really enjoyed walking around the town , especially watching the fishing boats deliver their catch of the day at the pier. And it was amazing to see how quickly the fresh fish was unloaded and transported away.
Another favorite was walking to the lighthouse on Sugandisey Island, once an island only reachable by boat, but nowadays reachable by road. From the carpark, a stairwell brings you onto the island and from here you can admire the beautiful sunsets.
Another favorite is to do a spot of birdwatching, many of them breeding at the island's rock formations. We will definitely return back to one of Iceland's most beautiful towns.
So if you are planning on visiting the Snaefellsnes peninsula, we would recommend staying in Stykkisholmur.