Stokksnes Peninsula is in Southeast Iceland, down a gravel road off Route 1, and it is well worth the trip. We found that the further East we got in Iceland, the less tourists we ran into, and this place was no exception. There were only a handful of people at each spot on the peninsula, so you really feel like you are alone on another planet.
The first thing you will see is Vestrahorn Mountain. The mountain peaks reach up to 1490 feet, with steep cliffs rising from the sides of a stunning lagoon with black sand beaches all around. I was dying to see one of the country’s most breathtaking mountains, but the low hanging clouds kept us from seeing half of it.
The black sand beach beside Vestrahorn is definitely another must-do while on the peninsula. The beach is completely tranquil and isolated. This was one of the only beaches were we actually found shells. There is also an area near the beach that fills with about an inch of water, so you can walk out hundreds of feet without getting soaked. The sky reflects in the shallow water, so needless to say it’s a photographer’s dream.
The last, and most interesting part of the Stokksnes Peninsula, is the Viking Village. It was a village built in 2010 for a film that was never shot, so now it is open to visitors. It requires a bit of walking to get there but it is well worth the 15 minute hike. After entering the village walls, you are permitted to roam around the site at will. This offers the unique opportunity to observe the immaculate detail that goes into the creation of a film set. The movie the village was created for was never actually filmed due to funding issues. Ever since, the location has waited in limbo for a production company to come along and use it. You can even ban your travel buddy to the dungeon under the large artificial boulder.
Please note that Stokksnes is private and requires a small entrance fee, which can be paid at the café. This fee allows the landowner to keep up with the maintenance of the road.