The South

On the farm of Hellar in Landsveit, this 50m long human-made cave was built up to 11m below the soil at its deepest point. Inside a barn, visitors walk through a secret doorway leading to a dark passage illuminated by lights. Dating back 700 to 1100 years, five ancient chimneys and various carvings remain intact, supposedly made by monks.

The Hellar family believes there are around 170 caves in this area made from sandstone and mud. Their purposes are unknown, but many of them were used at various times to store food. Find Hellnahellir on a dirt road off Rte 26 (where it's signposted). Call ahead to book and get full directions.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The South attractions

1. Þjórsárstofa


The informative Þjórsárstofa, in a large white building, has an excellent display about the nearby attractions (crashing waterfalls and an atmospheric…

2. Hekla Center

4.44 MILES

The Hekla Center is part of the Leirubakki compound (camping, hotel and restaurant). It details the explosive history of Hekla in a deliberately dark…

3. Hjálparfoss

11.77 MILES

Twenty-six kilometres northeast of Árnes along Rte 32, take a short (1km) detour along a signposted track to this delightful waterfall. The azure falls…

4. Þjóðveldisbærinn

12.79 MILES

Þjóðveldisbærinn is a reconstruction of Stöng, exactly reproducing its turf-covered layout and its neighbouring church. Staff here wear period dress and…

5. Slakki Petting Zoo

12.94 MILES

For more than 20 years, this petting zoo in small-town Iceland has been a popular hang-out for families passing through the village of Laugarás. Orphaned…

6. Keldur

13.04 MILES

About 5km west of Hvolsvöllur, unsurfaced Rte 264 winds about 8km north along the Rangárvellir valley to the medieval turf-roofed farm at Keldur. This…

7. Skálholt Church

13.86 MILES

This modern church was built to replace the Skálholt cathedral, which was demolished by an earthquake in the 1700s. The museum in the basement tells the…

8. Skálholt

13.87 MILES

For centuries (between 1056 to 1785) Skálholt was a political and cultural hub in Iceland, and one of only two areas overseen by bishops. In the wealthy…