Saxhóll is a beautiful volcanic crater that was formed between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago. It’s located in Snæfellsjökull National Park on the Snæfells Peninsula and rises 109 meters (358 feet) above sea level. There is a parking area off of Útnesvegur, the highway along the coast, where the crater stands prominently above the horizon. A walking path with steps to the summit was constructed to help preserve this precious natural formation. From the top there is excellent visibility of the Snæfellsjökull Glacier to the east and the tip of the peninsula in the North Atlantic to the west. The magma that once spewed from here covers the landscape as far as the eyes can see. The crater and surrounding area are very delicate, so please remain on the marked paths and do not make stone piles.
The region around Saxhóll has always been a remote and isolated place. Throughout the centuries, there were farms and fishing stations along the shore, and communication was difficult. The main purpose for establishing the park was to protect the unique plant and animal life as well as the landscape. A second crater sits below Saxhóll, but much of it was quarried for minerals. Nearby, the Eldborg Crater offers a longer hike and an even more impressive experience.
Snæfellsjökull became world famous following the publication of Jules Verne’s book, “A Journey to the Center of the Earth,” which identified the volcano as the starting point of the journey. Its peak reaches 1,446 meters (4,745 feet), and on a clear day it can be seen all the way from Reykjavik (about 200 kilometers away). It was first climbed in 1754 and, like many other volcanoes in Iceland, it is still active. Nearby, you can also enjoy Djúpalónssandur (a beach), Lóndrangar (two massive lava formations), Sönghellir (the singing cave), and Rauðfeldargjá (the hidden waterfall).