Established in 2001, Snæfellsjökull National Park—the first ever national park created in Iceland—covers an impressive 65 square miles around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which itself extends some 44 miles into the sea from Iceland’s west coast. The park is dominated by the Snæfellsjökull volcano, whose 4,741-foot-high ice cap—made famous by Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Center of the Earth—is sometimes visible from Reykjavík. The volcano remains one of the main draws of the park, thanks to its opportunities for climbing, sledding, and skiing, but the rugged coastline of the peninsula is also dotted with picturesque fishing villages and full of native birdlife and lava fields such as Búðahraun, a designated nature reserve, ripe for exploration.

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