Seltjarnarnes

What makes the town of Seltjarnarnes exceptional is that it is almost surrounded by the ocean. The picturesque coastal walking paths encircling the Seltjarnarnes peninsula draw visitors and locals alike for inspiring walks with a panoramic view of the mountains and the sea, enriched by the outdoor artworks of Icelandic artists. From the paths, seals can often be seen lying out on the rocky beaches.

Grótta Island and Grótta Lighthouse are the most popular attraction in Seltjarnarnes and the surrounding area is claimed to be one of the best viewing points of the capital area both for the Northern Lights in the winter and the summer midnight sun. The island is only accessible during low tide and is closed to all traffic from 1 May to 15 July due to the nesting season. Close to Grótta is one of Iceland’s oldest concrete houses, Nesstofa, and an outdoor medicinal plant collection.

Seltjarnarnes is a haven for birdwatching with at least 110 visiting species recorded by Bakkatjörn pond. A shelter has recently been put up for photographers, providing them with a facility to wait for the best bird photo opportunities. The outdoor swimming pool Seltjarnarneslaug is a high-quality one and very family friendly. The water in the pool contains minerals and sea salt that have a healing effect on the skin –plus making it extra light to swim in because of the salt. Seltjarnarnes also boasts a nine-hole seaside golf course.

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Population: 4.500
Municipal size: 3 km2
Bus: 11 and 13
Places of interest: Grótta Island, Grótta Lighthouse, birdlife, nature, coastal walking and cycling paths, outdoor war remnants at Suðurnes and Valhúsahæð.
Thermal pools: 1
Webpage: seltjarnarnes.is
Best kept secret: The art installation Cupstone by Ólöf Nordal, where you can rest tired feet in some geothermal water while enjoying the breathtaking view from the shore.