Photo: Caves of Hella

Dine on Local Icelandic Delicacies in These 9th-Century Viking Caves

by Matador Creators Dec 5, 2023

Iceland is known for its otherworldly caves, but the Caves of Hella are truly something else. A fascinating historical site located on the South Coast of Iceland, these man-made caves found in Ægissíða by Hella. Out of twelve discovered caves in the area, four have been opened to the public for guided tours.

The origins of these caves are shrouded in mystery. Situated at a farm called Ægissíða on the bank of the river Ytri-Rangá, they provide a picturesque setting for visitors. But these caves are more than simply a tourist attraction. Some sources indicate that they might have been created by Celts or Irish people before the Viking settlement in Iceland in the 9th century. They are considered to be among the oldest archaeological ruins in Iceland, and offer fascinating insights into Viking and Celtic history.

Guided tours offer an archaeological exploration of this historical site, allowing visitors to learn more about the caves’ history and get a closer look at the ancient man-made structures. Luxury tours not only allow you to explore four historic caves, but also to have an immersive experience including a whiskey tasting with whiskey from a nearby farm, and a meal with local delicacies like smoked and graved wild goose.

Explore Hella

There’s more to do in Hella than just explore its ancient caves, too. Adventurous travelers can venture towards Landmannalaugar, a geothermal area known for its stunning landscapes, or explore the Fjallabak Nature Reserve known for a its diverse flora and fauna. The Keldur Turf House, one of the oldest houses in Iceland, and Lake Frostastdavatn, are also worth visiting. Hella’s location makes it an ideal base for exploring the famous Golden Circle, a tourist route that includes popular sites like Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir geothermal area, and Thingvellir National Park.

Discover Matador