In recent years, the Loftsalahellir cave has become something of a tourist hotspot on the south coast of Iceland, attracting more and more visitors and photographers in particular.
Indeed, this unique layout offers a breathtaking view of the south coast and in particular of the Dyrholaey peninsula and Reynisfjara beach through the huge cave mouth.
The view through the mouth of Loftsalahellir
Iceland is a volcanic country where the stone moving has shaped an incredible number of caves, fissures, grottoes. There are many famous caves in Iceland, but Loftsalahellir is tiny and still very little known.
In the past, this small cave was used as a meeting place by farmers local to the region of Vík í Mýrdal. But in recent years, the place has become a spot for photographers who appreciate the unbelievable panoramic view it offers of Dyrhólaey arch on the horizon.
Loftsalahellir is located on the south-west side of Geitafjall Mountain, near to the “Rock of the Gallows”, namely Gálgaklettur, a place with a grim history as an execution ground. This cave is in the middle of lush vegetation with a rich bird life, especially the arctic terns and oyster magpies that come to breed nearby.
The cave interior and mouth is covered with moss and its shape is unique, triangular, which gives it a particular charm.
It dominates the meadows that surround it and from inside Loftsalahellir, you can enjoy a high-contrast and unobstructed view of the horizon.
There's not much to do on site, the cave is only a few dozen square meters in size, so the visit is short lived. The place allows a few visitors to take a picnic break sheltered from the wind while enjoying the panorama. Furthermore, it's not a deep cave, so you can't get distance to photograph the entire mouth of Loftsalahellir cave. But that doesn't take away from the experience of being there.
Loftsalahellir is located in the south of Iceland, near Vík and Dyrhólaey. When driving along road number 1 towards Vik, follow the sign that indicates Dyrhólaey, Road 218 to the sea.
About 2.5 km after the junction with Road 1 you will find a tiny car park on the left of Road 2018, as you can see very easy to find.
From the car park, a small, clearly visible path crosses the meadow before climbing uphill towards the cave mouth and will take you less than five minutes to get there. The trail is no challenge except that it sometimes muddy depending on the weather conditions.
Being located on the Dyrhólaey road, it would be a shame not to stop there when visiting the South.
Loftsalahellir seen from the car park
This place is still a bit of a secret, so you often will have it to yourself. The cave can be visited at any time of day, but the best time is undoubtedly at sunset, as the colors on the horizon are magnificent in winter as in summer.
The cave can be visited all year round, but in winter the short climb to the cave can get very slippery. But that doesn't stop the many photographers who trudge up there to capture the aurora borealis from inside the cave, looking for ever more original shots.
To admire the midnight sun, this is a great spot indeed, the long Icelandic evenings offer good chances of unforgettable photos when the sky is ablaze with sunset colours for hours.
Top article photo credit: MiroslavLiska@Dreamstime.com