Hellissandur is a village and part of the Snæfellsbær municipality at the northwestern tip of Snæfellsnes peninsula in western Iceland.
Once an important fishing area, the village has recently experienced growth in tourism. The maritime museum has examples of the turf roof houses once common across Iceland, as well as marine engines and Iceland’s oldest rowing boat (1826). According to the 2011 census, Hellissandur and nearby Rif have 544 inhabitants.
One of the points of interest near Hellissandur is the Snæfellsjökull glacier, made famous by Jules Verne in his Journey to the Center of the Earth. Just outside of the village, there is the northern entrance to the Snæfellsjökull National Park, which surrounds the western and southern sides of the glacier. Nearby is the 412 metre tall Gufuskálar radio mast, the tallest structure in Western Europe, located 2 kilometres westward.
The Snæfellsnes (Icelandic pronunciation: [?stn?ai?f?ls?n??s]) is a peninsula situated to the west of Borgarfjörður, in western Iceland.
It has been named Iceland in Miniature, because many national sights can be found in the area, including the Snæfellsjökull volcano, regarded as one of the symbols of Iceland. With its height of 1446 m, it is the highest mountain on the peninsula and has a glacier at its peak (jökull means “glacier” in Icelandic). The volcano can be seen on clear days from Reykjavík, a distance of about 120 km. The mountain is also known as the setting of the novel Journey to the Center of the Earth by the French author Jules Verne. The area surrounding Snæfellsjökull has been designated one of the four National Parks by the government of Iceland.
The peninsula is one of the main settings in the Laxdœla saga and it was, according to this saga, the birthplace of the first West Norse member of the Varangian Guard, Bolli Bollasson. Other historical people who lived in the area according to the saga include Guðrún Ósvífursdóttir, Bolli Þorleiksson and Snorri the Goði.
Arnarstapi on Snæfellsnes
Local fishing villages and small towns on the northern shore of Snæfellsnes include Arnarstapi, Hellnar, Rif, Ólafsvík, Grundarfjörður, Stykkishólmur and Búðardalur.
Near Hellissandur is the tallest structure in western Europe, the Longwave Radio Mast at Hellissandur.
In June 2008, the people of Snaefellsnes reached certification status as an EarthCheck community,becoming the first EarthCheck-certified area in Iceland and in Europe, and only the fourth in the world. Snaefellsnes has been committed to the EarthCheck programme since 2003 and has been successfully benchmarked for the past five consecutive years.