the national park's limits are
highly interesting geological phenomena and historical sites.
According to geological findings, the volcanic drift belt crossed
the Snaefells Peninsula about 6 million years ago.
The volcanic activity at that time was similar to the one now
experienced in the present volcanic area.
Rivers, and later the ice age glaciation, carved the country and
removed 500-1000 metres off the lava plateau.
Intrusions of rhyolitic rock were created and sedimentation
covered the base rock. Volcanic
activity started again about 2 million years ago, mainly in the
Ljosufjoll, the Lysuskard and Snaefellsjokull areas.
This activity was unlike the earlier volcanism, because of the
lack of drift and the different composition of the tephra. The
Snaefellsjokull area extends from Mt. Maelifell in the east and the
headland Ondverdarnes in the west.
The most prominent lava fields
of the westernmost part of the peninsula are Budahraun,
Hnausahraun, Klifhraun, Hellnahraun, Haahraun, Neshraun, Saxholahraun,
Prestahraun and Vaejuhraun. All
of them are rugged AA-lavas except Neshraun, which is a Pa Hoj Hoj lava,
created by the caters Ondverdanesholar.
The lava fields Hnausahraun, Klifhraun, Hellnahraun and
Vaejuhraun are probably younger than 1750 years, but the Haahraun was
created by an eruption of the main crater of the Snaefellsjokull 1750
During the earlier
centuries there was much activity along the coastline.
Wherever natural conditions permitted there were fishing outfits,
where hundreds, if not thousands, of fishermen, who frequented the rich
fishing grounds near the coast, used open rowboats.
The most renowned among them is Dritvik, where the fisheries
probably started in the 16th century, and according to the
annals between 300 and 400 fishermen, using 60 boats, spent the time
during the fishing seasons. Ruins
of their abodes and a lava maze on the hill south of the cove are
monuments are scattered within the national park limits, some of which
are connected with legends and historic novels.
Two novels have put the Snaefells Peninsula permanently on the
map, Jules Verne’s novel “The Journey to the Centre of the Earth”,
and Halldor Kiljan Laxness’ novel “Christianity under the