Loftsalahellir cave is a unique attraction on the South Coast that offers the most stunning panoramic view of Dyrholaey peninsula and Reynisfjara beach.
Travelers touring around Iceland’s South Coast can easily visit this cave because of its terrific location. In particular, these Customizable 10-Hour Super Jeep Tour and Private South Coast Day Tour can take you there. You may also drive there yourself on this 5-Day Budget Summer Self-Drive Tour.
The cave offers a scenic overview of Dyrholaey, otherwise known as the arch with a hole, and the famous black sand beach of Reynisfjara. This area is an excellent pit stop and a spectacular attraction in its own right.
What to See and Do in Loftsalahellir Cave
The Loftsalahellir cave is a beautiful attraction in the southern region of the land of fire and ice. Travelers to the area will enjoy its many features and activities.
Features of Loftsalahellir Cave
Iceland has many caves because it is one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. There are ice caves, lava caves, and sea caves throughout the island.
Loftsalahellir cave is unique and special because it is made of tuff rocks covered by moss. Tuff rocks are also of volcanic origin, but they are mainly composed of volcanic ash, making them softer and more porous.
Compared to other caves in Iceland, like Raufarholshellir, Loftsalahellir is relatively small. Its size might not be grand, but it served a much larger purpose to the inhabitants near the village of Vik i Myrdal. Loftsalahellir was generally used as an assembly area for farmers back in the day.
Meanwhile, the best appeal of the cave lies in its unusual shape, which is decorated with grasses and mosses. The plants are lush for being on a mountain, while its interior holds impressive basalt formations. These sweeping views of greenery and rock structures are hard to find elsewhere.
What To Do at Loftsalahellir Cave
There is not much to explore inside the Loftsalahellir because of its small size. The good thing is that it provides the best vantage point to see two breathtaking attractions on the South Coast, the Dyrholaey peninsula and Reynisfjara black sand beach.
The cave’s elevation on the southwest side of the Geitafell mountain makes it an excellent viewing deck. On top of that, travelers find the cave’s mouth a useful natural frame when taking photos. In short, Loftsalahellir cave provides the most picturesque sight of the coast and is also advantageous for photographers.
Moreover, the cave’s proximity to the coastline makes it an ideal resting and breeding ground for different bird species. You might see these nesting birds on the slopes of the cave on your visit to the area.
Considering tourists don’t visit this location too often, you may have the cave all to yourself. Be sure to take photos of the view and have a quick rest or a bite to eat.
Best Time To Visit the Icelandic Cave
Like most of the attractions in Iceland, summer is the best time to visit the cave. The days are longer during summer in the Nordic country. Travelers can spend all day and night sightseeing the diverse landscapes on the South Coast.
In winter, Loftsalahellir cave might be a challenge to visit. The advantage is that you have a better chance to see the northern lights over Dyrholaey during this time. The cave’s mouth is the perfect spot to capture the great natural event.
Tourists who will visit the Icelandic geological wonder can also expect to go over a short hiking distance. The hike from the parking lot is short but steep and can get muddy during rainy weather.
Wearing proper footwear and using trekking poles are recommended to have a safer and more comfortable hiking experience.
Getting to Loftsalahellir Cave
With Loftsalahellir cave’s proximity to most of the popular attractions in Southern Iceland, getting there is convenient and easy. Its location is 109 miles (176 kilometers) from Reykjavik and just 10 miles (15 kilometers) from the seaside village of Vik.
To reach Loftsalahellir cave, you can either travel via a car or join a tour of the South Coast. Self-drive tours have a more flexible itinerary where you can add the scenic cave as an extra stop.
From the Ring Road on the South Coast, you may take the secondary road to the Dyrholaey peninsula. On online maps, this road is marked as Road 218. You will see the parking lot to the cave on the left side of the road when you’re already near the coastline.
Surrounding Sites Near Loftsalahellir on the South Coast
There are many beautiful sites around the Loftsalahellir cave, ranging from the black sand beaches and beautiful mountain ranges to breathtaking waterfalls. If you plan to visit the South Coast, don’t miss the chance to see these diverse tourist spots.
Even though Loftsalahellir cave offers the best panoramic views of Dyrholaey and Reynisfjara beach, being up close to these attractions gives a better experience.
Dyrholaey is a small peninsula at an elevation of 390 feet (120 meters) with a prominent coastal landform or promontory. Its most prized features are its beautiful lighthouse and rock arch of the same name. You can even hike through the enormous arch made of lava if the weather permits.
On the other hand, Reynisfjara beach is the most popular black sand beach in the land of fire and ice. The long stretch of black volcanic sands is an otherworldly view, matched by the basalt column formations near the shoreline.
In both these areas, colonies of birds are familiar sights, with puffins common at Dyrholaey in summer. Birdwatching is fun here, especially if you join guided tours like this 10-Hour guided small-group tour of the South Coast.
A trip to the south wouldn’t be complete without a back-to-back exploration of two of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls are both just under an hour of drive from the cave. While Skogafoss is famous for its massive flow and rainbows, Seljalandsfoss is known for the path that goes behind the cascade.
Finally, if you want a more adventurous Icelandic experience, you may add trips to the nearby Myrdalsjokull and Skaftafell glaciers. Glacier hiking is a thrilling experience you can only do in a few places worldwide.
Going further east of the Skaftafell glacier, you can also see the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Whether you take a boat tour or enjoy the sights on your own, this gorgeous lake, peppered with icebergs, is a must-see.
Why Take a Trip to Loftsalahellir Cave?
If you’re considering traveling to Iceland, you can’t miss Loftsalahellir for the fantastic view of the black beaches and great solid photography potential.
Taking a tour here will allow you to get the most out of your trip and witness the immense beauty of the South Coast.