Grundarfjordur, Iceland cruise holidays

Visionary 19th century novelist Jules Verne was so inspired by the spectacularly volcanic terrain of the Snaefellsnes (Snow Mountain) peninsula, on which the Icelandic cruise port Grundafjordur is located, that he set his epic tale 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' at its heart - Snaefellsjokull.

This is the glacier on top of the 3,000-year-old dormant volcano which dominates the peninsula and over which locals and visitors now go hiking, skiing and snowmobiling. Across the peninsula are some remarkable rock formations which are described in local folklore as petrified trolls. It is also home to an array of wild birds including arctic terns, puffins and cormorants while rare plants grow among the lava fields.

Grundarfjordur is one of its collection of small fishing villages and dates back to 1786 when its superb natural harbour in a fjord between snow-capped mountains turned it into one of Iceland's major trading centres. According to legend, Eric the Red set off from Grundafjordur to find Greenland.

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