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Snæfellsnes peninsula - Hellissandur, Iceland

Saturday, June 10, 2023 - 9:15am by Lolo
22 miles and 0.5 hours from our last stop


Hellisandur Street ArtHellisandur Street ArtAlthough known mostly for its dramatic natural landscape, our first stop along the northern coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula was the tiny village of Hellissandur, which has gained a reputation as the street art capital of Iceland. Pretty impressive considering all the wonderful street art we have already seen along the way.

Once an important fishing village, tracing back to the 16th century, it has shifted its economy toward tourism, and the street art is drawing people into this tiny village of 544 people.

So how did this all come about?

Hellisandur Street ArtHellisandur Street ArtIn the summer of 2018, Kári Viðarsson, owner of the The Freezer hostel in the nearby town of Rifi, envisioned a massive, colorful transformation of the bleak, declining town of Hellissandur.

He summoned a team of international artists to Hellissandur to transform an abandoned fish factory into large works of art.

Hellisandur Street ArtHellisandur Street ArtThe event was dubbed a ‘Street Art Festival’ and the artists did come, completing over 30 major murals that first summer and in subsequent years.

The townspeople loved it and the fact that their depressing old abandoned fish factory is now a cultural attraction for visitors from around the world.

So now, instead of just passing by the village on their way to the Snæfellsjökull National Park, people have a reason to stop and spend some time (and money) in town.

While Reykjavik has much more street art - larger and more impressive - the tiny little town of Hellissandur bills itself as the "street art capital of Iceland."

Snæfellsnes peninsula - Hellissandur location map in "high definition"

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