11 Famous TV and Movie Locations in Iceland
Did you know that Iceland is a hot spot for the film industry? The country's out-of-this-world appearance makes a breathtaking backdrop for both movies and television shows. It especially attracts SciFi and science films due to its unique landscapes.
With black sand beaches, snowy mountain peaks, and vibrant green meadows, it is no wonder why Iceland is a top pick. Fans of specific movies and television shows can curate their own road trip by visiting the filming locations. We will break down some of the top TV and movie locations and how to get to them.
The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
Ben Stiller plays the awkward and loving character of Walter Mitty. Walter is an employee at the famous Life Magazine, where he eventually needs to track down a print for the magazine. His crazy adventure brings him to many locations, including Iceland. There were thirteen filming locations that Walter went to in Iceland! That means your chances of spotting the same places that were featured in the movie are pretty good.
Some of the locations include the port at Grundarfjörður, Iceland, where Ben Stiller gets off a ship. This is in addition to Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland, which was supposed to be the Himalayas and Afghanistan in the movie. The most sought-after location in The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty is Seyðisfjarðarvegur, Seydisfjordur. This is the spot where Walters's longboarding scene was filmed. An iconic part of the movie. Watching The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty gets your imagination running to beautiful and scenic places. The fact that Iceland is the place Walter goes to in the movie and not just a fantasy, makes the movie even more special.
Taking place in 2077, earth enters a war with extraterrestrials. Which as a result, causes a relocation to a new earth. The main character of Oblivion, Jack Harper, is played by Tom Cruise. Who flew to Iceland to film most of the movie. Iceland played a perfect backdrop as a post-war futuristic world.
Some popular spots used in Oblivion are Dettifoss, Vatnajökull National Park, Jarlhettur, and Hrossaborg, Iceland. The team filmed in Iceland for 10 days, making it a jam-packed trip with time to shoot at all of these locations. One of the most well-known spots was The Crater of Hrossaborg. The landmark was used as the football stadium remains in the movie. Fans of the movie can visit the Crater and even hike to the top of the surrounding areas. Take in the same futuristic views that Tom Cruise did when visiting The Crater of Hrossaborg. You can reach Hrossaborg by taking the six-hour drive from Reykjavik to North East Iceland. It can be an exciting road trip itinerary that brings you to the more remote areas of the country.
A famous sci-fi and adventure film filmed in Iceland is Interstellar. It takes place in Earth’s future as the planet is slowly becoming uninhabitable. In order to save the population, a professor plans to transport the population to a new home. This sends the NASA pilot, played by Matthew McConaughey and his team, on a hunt through a wormhole to find the perfect planet. So it is no surprise that the country of Iceland landed on that list.
One location used was Máfabót, a lowland area that sits between the open sea and a river on the South Coast of Iceland. Another location was Svinafellsjokull, which is most famous for its photographs used for the movie poster and advertising. It did also have a few scenes in the movie too. The coolest part about this is that the two locations were used as different planets. It just shows how much diversity Iceland has throughout its land. Svinafellsjokull is located in southwestern Iceland and is a four-hour drive from Reykjavik. Stop by this spot to replicate the Interstellar movie poster yourself!
Based on the video game from 1966, is the infamous Tomb Raider. Leading lady Lara Croft is played by Angelina Jolie in this film, which was released in 2001. Lara Croft is a legendary heroine who attempts to save the world in this interactive video game. The movie, however, left the digital world and landed in various countries for filming. Including South Africa, England, and of course, Iceland.
The Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon was used in the film to represent Siberia, which is the land Lara Croft ventures into. Bordering Vatnajökull National Park, Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland. Today, you can see the area for yourself, by taking the quick five-hour drive from Reykjavik! You can even take a boat tour with a guide to point out the locations at Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon & Boat Tour. If you grew up playing Tomb Raider or just simply love the movie, you have to visit the area. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of the Tomb Raider fans out there.
Fast & Furious 8
Chances are you heard of the popular Fast & Furious movie series! With stars such as Charlie Theron, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, and the late Paul Walker. It is no wonder it has gained so much popularity over the years. The series follows APD officer Brian O'Conner, who goes undercover to catch illegal street racers. He does this to figure out who's behind a string of truck hijackings. From there the movie follows the characters throughout the years with new and exciting plots.
The gang headed to Iceland to film their eighth movie, The Fate of the Furious. Some of the scenes were shot in the fishing town Akranes, which is an hour north of Reykjavik. The most well-known spot is Lake Myvatn in Northern Iceland, about six hours from Reykjavik. They filmed in the middle of winter which as result, had the lake completely frozen over. This let the vehicles drive on the lake, creating the dramatic-looking backdrop of the snowy drifts behind it. The stop is right along Ring Road, making it a great addition to your Iceland road trip.
Game of Thrones
One of the most famous franchises of all time is HBO’s Game of Thrones. The show quickly became a household name that fans would look forward to every week. The show produced eight seasons of jam-packed plot twists and turns. People from all over the world have dreams to travel to this series of filming locations. Game of Thrones spiked tourism in Iceland once word got out that scenes were filmed there.
Iceland has plenty of spots that you will recognize from the show. Some favored ones are Laxnes Horse Farm, which provided some adorable extras for the show, the Westerosi horses!
The Commonwealth farm is another place you can stop by, it was where the village was attacked by Wildlings under Tormund. Thingvellir National Park is a hot spot where you can visit the trail that the savage Wildlings took across the north to the Wall. With so many different places to explore, you can turn your Game of Thrones location tour into your very own road trip!
Thor: The Dark World
Chris Hemsworth plays the leading character of Thor in the adored film series. This Marvel movie has gained fans over the years with its eight films and spin-offs. In 2013, Thor: The Dark World was released, which was filmed in both the UK & Iceland. Now fans of the movie want to see it for themselves in person.
An already famous Iceland waterfall, Skógafoss was used on set as the mythical home of the gods. You can also walk the Thorsmork Valley which is commonly known as the Valley Of Thor.
Its vibrant green and lush landscape will take your breath away. The valley is located in the South Highlands of Iceland. Which is between the Tindfjallajökull and the Eyjafjallajökull, about two hours from Reykjavik. Finally, there were a few scenes around Reykjavik as well! Transport yourself into the world of Thor by visiting these key locations.
If you want to find more amazing waterfalls be sure to check out our article "Top 10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Iceland".
When the earth becomes too sinful, it is chosen by God to be wiped from existence. Noah, played by Russel Crowe, is tasked to build an ark large enough to hold his loved ones and animals. His goal is to complete it before the devastating flood hits, which is set to destroy the world. This 2014 film made Iceland its home for three weeks during filming, which took place on the south coast of Iceland.
The Reykjanes Peninsula near Reykjavik, was where most of the film was set during this time. Russel Crowe admitted he endured harsh conditions when filming some of the scenes. He had to go in and out of the sea when the water was at a high of 39 degrees Fahrenheit. You can visit the same South Coast area that he swam in! It is a quick forty-minute drive from Reykjavik, which makes it a great stop on your Iceland Journey.
Captain America took the world by storm when the film was first released in 2011. The Marvel phenomenon was a box office hit and went on to produce three more films. With a fourth one that is currently in the works. Chris Evans plays the fan-favorite super-soldier. He ends up indulging in an experimental super-soldier serum after he was denied joining the military due to his size. From there the film takes you on a wild ride, watching the character join the army and doing good for the world.
Marvel Studios filmed the third film, Captain America: Civil War, in Iceland. Chris Evans and the crew headed to the stunning country to get the perfect shots. The movie starts out with some shots of the film's adaptation of Siberia. Which was filmed near the village of Vik. Vik is a gorgeous place to explore in general, with its infamous black sand beaches. Take the day trip from Reykjavik, which is only a two-hour and thirty-minute drive away.
Journey To The Center Of The Earth
This film is all about Iceland! The original film was produced all the way back in 1959 and was based on a book. It was then redone in 2008 with a famous cast including Brendan Fraser and Josh Hutcherson. They even hired an Icelandic Actress, Aníta Briem, who stars in the film. The movie follows a professor and his gang who are on an expedition to Iceland. They then get trapped in a cavern, which brings them to a route below the Earth's surface. The route brings them through incredible places in hopes of escaping. All while the Icelandic volcanic activity around them increases.
So where can you go to feel like you are a part of the Journey To The Center Of The Earth? Well since the film’s plot takes place in Iceland, it is not hard to find. The Snæfellsjökull glacier and volcano is where the book and film were set. So it made complete sense that they chose to film there. Snæfellsjökull is a 700,000-year-old glacier-capped stratovolcano that is located in western Iceland. It is about a 2-hour and 57-minute road trip from Reykjavik.
The list would not be complete without one of the most famous trilogies of all time, The Star Wars Saga. with a total of twelve films, there are plenty of locations where the movies have been filmed. Iceland has had the pleasure of hosting George Lucas’ masterpieces. Both The Force Awakens and Rogue One featured Iceland in their filming.
One of the spots seen in these two films is Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland. This was used as the frigid planet of Hoth. Fans can even hike the glacier walls of Skaftafell, which was featured in The Last Jedi. In addition, Rogue One was shot near Vik as Planet Eadu. The use of the black sand beach of Mýrdalssandur complimented the out-of-this-world movies. Visiting the Star Wars locations is a perfect trip in itself. Located all over Iceland, it makes the perfect fan-fueled road trip throughout the country.
Are you still searching for breath breathtaking locations in Iceland? Check out this article, it could be the one you are looking for: 6 Locations in Iceland That Look Like Another Planet
The article was written by: Leah Bilquist.