Nature and biosphere


Snæfellsjökull National Park is home to a unique biosphere that is shaped by volcanic activity, glaciers, and the forces of the sea. The lifeforms are hardy but at the same time sensitive. Although the organisms are adjusted to the harsh elements, they do not tolerate trampling very well. To protect the biosphere of the National Park it is important to think well about each step and how we treat the environment.


With in the park many different habitats can be found with diverse flora. Sandy beaches and cliffs are common by the coastline. Fields of seaweed grow in areas that are better sheltered from waves. Salt tolerant plants inhabit the sandy beaches. Younger lava fields are covered by moss and the older ones are covered with grass and shrubs. The cracks in the lava fields offer shelter to more sensitive flora. The mixture of ferns and flowering plants often remind people of deciduous forests floor. Lyme grass and other hardy plants find home in areas where volcanic sand has collected.


Animals of all sizes can be found in and around Snæfellsjökull National Park. The Arctic fox is the only land mammal that made it to Iceland on its own. Foxes within the park are protected. They display a much more curious nature than foxes outside of the National Park. Field mice thrive in the area and the invasive Noth American mink is an aggressive bird hunter. Whales and seals are a common sight around the coast. Perhaps the most prominent animals within the park are the birds. The area is renowned for diverse coastal bird life. Passerine and Wader birds are a common sight further from the coastline. The most characteristic bird is probably the arctic tern. The arctic tern nests in large colonies around the National Park and is commonly sighted around the coastline hunting for food. By the shore you can find many different types of fish, crustaceans and molluscs. Butterfish inhabit tight pools alongside winkles, sea stars and amphipods. Rough periwinkle and barnacles hold tight to rocks by the shore. The sea around Snæfellsnes peninsula has long been known to be a bountiful fishing area. An occasional basking shark can also be spotted from shore.