Stykkishólmur has the largest population of any town on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Despite its size, the town has the feel of a genuine, old-fashioned Icelandic fishing village.
The small-town feeling Stykkishólmur gives is the reason this scenic settlement was much used in the Hollywood movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, starring Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, and the Icelandic Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.
Ambitious efforts have been made to restore the quaint old houses that define the town. No matter what time of year you choose to visit, the town is beautifully scenic and boasts a wealth of activities from which to choose.
Want to visit? Check out: Snæfellsnes Tours here
There are many excellent cafes and restaurants in Stykkishólmur, including Nesbrauð bakery and Sjávarpakkhúsið restaurant. The town also has many interesting museums and exhibits.
You can also visit the black and beautiful Norwegian house—so called because the materials for it were imported from Norway. At the time of the building’s construction, it was the biggest building used as a private residence in the whole country. It now houses a cultural heritage museum where you can see a recreation of a home from the late 18-hundreds, as well as other exhibitions.
The Volcano Museum is another option. It showcases volcanically inspired books and art, films and posters. Anything you can think of related to these fiery giants, the Volcano Museum has it. Go there to enjoy facts about volcanic activity in Iceland and around the world.
In the old library, you’ll find an art installation looking to “capture the spirit of Iceland through its waters, weather, and words”, as written on their website. Known as The Library of Water, this immersive piece of art is a fascinating exploration of the most important chemical compound on the planet.
See also: Strange Facts About Snæfellsnes
Like any self-respecting town in Iceland, Stykkishólmur has a pool of its very own. Their complex sports an inside and outside pool, two hot tubs filled with healing water and the second biggest slide in the country.
It’s a tradition for Icelanders to get ice-cream after a swim. We recommend you stroll through the pretty town and get a sweet treat at the ice-cream stand on the harbour.
If you feel like stretching your legs further, you could take a hike up Helgafell mountain. Legend has it that if you make it to the top without speaking or looking back, you are granted three wishes. Both the wishing and the view give this hike a truly magical ambience.
It is also possible to take this boat ride onto Breiðafjörður bay to explore its many islands and wildlife. Aside from learning about Iceland’s history and folklore, there is also a chance you might spot a few puffins, black tail fins of whales, or leaping porpoises. The boat ride ends with a feast of fresh scallops, straight out of the water.
For the more adventurous travellers, there is a kayak tour that runs from Stykkishólmur. You learn about wildlife, geology and the history of Snæfellsnes on a two-hour sea-kayak tour. This is, undoubtedly, one of the more invigorating ways to spend your time in Breiðafjörður.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Snæfellsnes
Where to next?
Once you’ve finished exploring Stykkishólmur, where to go next?
Well, you could see some of the many sights that the rest of Snæfellsnes has to offer. Go glacier hiking on Snæfellsjökull. Watch some theatre at The Freezer in Rif. See the extremely picturesque Kirkjufell mountain near Grundafjörður town. The choice is entirely yours.
Or alternatively, you could catch a ride with Baldur, the ferry that goes to Flatey island and over to the Westfjords. Both locations have breathtaking sights for you to absorb during your stay in Iceland.
Find Westfjord Tours here
Have you been to Stykkishólmur? Do you have a favourite activity or a restaurant there? What other towns on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula have you been to? Tell us in the comment box below.