Fifty shades of green: Anarstapi. | Encaustichris

Fifty shades of green: Anarstapi.

Today I would like to take you to Anarstapi in the series “fifty shades of green”.

Anarstapi is a former coastal town on the Snaefellsness Peninsula.

You'll find Anarstapi when you drive down the 54 road, about 3 hours from Reykjavik.

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On the next card I underlined Anarstapi red.

The road to Anarstapi is almost completely paved, and therefore to drive with every car (in the summer), you don't have to rent a 4x4 car for this.

Anarstapi is indicated by means of a sign on the road, before you get there you probably already saw rock formations protruding above the moss.

The route to Anarstapi is very nice, you drive through several lava fields, which are completely covered with beautiful moss.

Moss that is very fragile and so you should not walk on!

It takes a very long time for the moss to recover from the damage you do.

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Above a lava field, on the road to Anarstapi, covered with moss.

The cold Icelandic climate gives the moss little chance to grow.

It therefore takes up to 100 years (!!!) for a field is so overgrown.

It looks soft, but make no mistake, the lava underneath has razor-sharp points!


The Anarstapi nature reserve is a former fishing village, which has now been fully adapted to tourism.

It is known for its beautiful views, basalt columns, seabirds colonies, and the Bárdur statue.

The statue has to do with an Icelandic Saga about two brothers who lived on Anarstapi.

The statue marks the entrance to the area:

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When you arrive at Anarstapi you will find a decent parking space and a path marked by ropes.

You will be guided by yourself along the statue, and deemed to stay on the path, so as not to damage the flora of the area.

What's more: you give the nesting birds a little bit of peace.

One of the many species you'll find on Anarstapi is the Nordic Tern.

A beautiful but tricky bird. that is, a bird that you don't just accept in its area, and does everything you can to drive you away.

That results in the bird not scared of flying very close over you, screaming.

When you are afraid of birds, it can be threatening, and even if you are not afraid, the message is clear: they were there first!

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The birds on Anarstapi showed themselves well, but were not really aggressive, there was even one who wanted to pose for me.

In other places we have experienced them more aggressively.


Other birds benefit from this: they feel safe with the Sterns as a guard.

On Anarstapi you will find many, many seagulls.

They populate the rock formations and caves, as can be heard everywhere.


Anarstapi is a beautiful hiking area, the elevation differences are minimal, and there are many hiking trails set out along the coast, where you can see several rock formations.

The most famous rock formation is probably Gatklettur: a rock formation with, you guessed it, a hole in it. This rock formation can be seen in the picture below:

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Of course I also made videos on Anarstapi to give you an impression of the surroundings.

The photos give a further impression of what's on display in this area:

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As always, the photos don't reflect reality well: it's so much nicer than I can show you in pictures.

The constant sound of the waves clambling against the rocks I really miss in the pictures.

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The rocks and caves are inhabited by many birds, including many seagulls.

A full seagulls nursery could be found in one cove (sound on)!):

I can listen for hours and watch the seagulls in this cove, but I also wanted to see more so I walked on.

The whole rock sees white of the birds and their excrement left behind.

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A look at the nursery:

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From Anarstapi, a walk of about 6 km to Helnar.

We didn't walk this one, so I can't tell you more than it runs through the lava fields.

Once you've seen enough on Anarstapi, you'll find a large modern restaurant at the car park.

There are toilets there, but only for restaurant customers.

That's why we decided to share a fish & chips, which was pretty good at the price, but very tasty!


Anarstapi is a beautiful area, but also a good example of how Iceland adapts to tourism.

A large restaurant was built, a campground, lots of signs have been placed, ropes, paths made, and actually that's a shame about the landscape.

On the other hand: in this way it will be possible for us to visit this beautiful area, otherwise it would not be possible!

I hope future visitors will be as economical in the area as we were: it will remain nice to visit!

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