Famous film locations in Iceland

1) Star Wars at Hjörleifshöfði

A 3,4-kilometre looping trail in South Iceland leads to Hjörleifur’s burial mound, surrounded by wildflowers and epic views of the Mýrdalssandur black sand coastline. The 221-metre (725-foot)-high inselberg Hjörleifshöfði is named after the brother of the island’s first settler, Ingólfur Arnarsson. The area was used as a shooting location for the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, posing as planet Lah’ mu in the film’s opening scenes. Coincidentally, a nearby attraction, Gýgagjá, has been nicknamed ‘Yoda Cave’ because seaside erosion has carved out the cavern’s entrance into this strange alien’s shape, ears and all.

the beautiful burial mound of Hjörleifshöfði

Hugi Ólafsson

Mýrdalssandur 871, Vík í Mýrdal

+354 487 1480


2) James Bond and Lara Croft at Jökulsárlón Lagoon

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon provides much nostalgia for those with a keen memory of action cinema, not mentioning 90s kids in general. For not only was Pierce Brosnan’s suave take on 007 pursued across this glittering ice lake in 2002’s Die Another Day, but Jökulsárlón also backdropped for Siberia in the opening three minutes of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). It’s easy to see why Hollywood sought to immortalise Jökulsárlón in celluloid when standing on the banks of this aquamarine lagoon.

a man in a boat on the Jökulsárlón Lagoon

Ívar Eyþórsson

Jökulsárlón 781, Höfní Hornafirði

+354 483 4601


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3) Walter Mitty at Stykkishólmur

Fans of Ben Stiller films will recognise Stykkishólmur town from the fantasy-drama, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013). The town stood in for Greenland, and features in a famous scene where co-star Kristen Wiig sings a cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Her rendition of this timeless classic motivates Walter into boarding a helicopter piloted by a drunken sailor – played by the Icelandic icon, Ólafur Darri – with the two of them flying over the islands of Breiðafjörður. Other locations in Iceland were used to stand in for Afghanistan and the Himalayas, thus proving the versatility of Iceland’s landscape.

Iceland - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty at Stykkishólmur

Domenico Convertini

4) Prometheus at Dettifoss

Ridley Scott returned to his successful Alien franchise with Prometheus (2012), an epic science-fiction movie about a group of explorers who discover a clue as to mankind’s origins, only to reveal themselves to terrifying interstellar entities. In the film’s iconic opening scene, a humanoid alien drinks a mysterious liquid before dissolving into a nearby waterfall. This scene was shot at Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall and Northeast Iceland’s most beloved natural feature. The attraction is part of the Diamond Circle sightseeing route, alongside Húsavík town and the horseshoe-shaped Ásbyrgi canyon.

stunning waterfalls of Dettifoss in Iceland

Gordon Cheung

By Route 864 heading east and route 862 heading west, 661 Mývatn

+354 462 3300


5) Game of Thrones at Mývatn

HBO’s vision of George R.R Martin’s Game of Thrones used Iceland as a shooting location throughout its eight-season run, with the country substituting for the northernmost region in Westeros, ‘Beyond The Wall’. This is a dangerous place, with Wildlings, White Walkers and vicious storms all vying to keep an adventurer down, be they Lannister, Stark or Targaryen. Visitors to Mývatn will recognise the rock formations Dimmuborgir as Mance Rayder’s Wildling camp from Season 3. Also found in the area is Grjótagjá cave, where Jon Snow’s intimate encounter with Ygritte took place.

the cave out of Games of Thrones in Iceland

Dimmuborgir lava fields and Grjótagjá cave, 660 Mývatn

+354 867 8723


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