Hjörleifshöfði mountain and cave
Hjörleifshöfði mountain hides a cave that is well-known as Yoda cave
Hjörleifshöfði Cave or as it’s known by tourists Yoda Cave is a naturally formed cave in Hjörleifshöfði mountain in the south of Iceland. The mountain itself has a very interesting history and geology.
Hjörleifshöfði cape was formed during an ice age when a volcanic eruption happened under the glacier. That explains the fact that the cape is made from natural tuff. The scientists did not manage to find out in which ice age happened the volcanic eruption. But it is known that after the last ice age the cap was surrounded by the ocean and then the beach was slowly dried up. Another important geological event happened when the Katla volcano erupted in the 14th century and all the meltwater from the glacier that covered the volcano washed away the volcanic sand and covered the cape on its way to the ocean.
The cave formed inside the mountain is a 221-meter giant with intense echo and a very unique form. The cave becomes famous once there was filmed the movie Star Wars: Rogue One. The out of the world landscape of Mýrdalssandur beach with Hjörleifshöfði mountain in the background was the perfect spot to film the scenes for a sci-fi movie. And the shape of the cave was exactly in the theme.
The area of Hjörleifshöfði mountain and the mountain itself has a very interesting and important history for the Icelanders. The name of the mountain came from one of the first and most famous settlers of Iceland, Hjörleifur settled in Iceland with his foster-brother Ingólfur Arnarson. They both drifted apart on the way to Norway and ended up settling one at Ingólfshöfði-Ingólfur and Hjörleifur landed at Hjörleifshöfði. Hjörleifur was killed later by his slaves who turned against him. After they killed Hjörleifur, they took his wife and moved to the Westman Islands. His brother took revenge and as soon as he finds out about the murder, he killed the slaves. The body of his brother was buried on top of the Hjörleifshöfði mountain.
There are some options to hike the Hjörleifshöfði mountain. If you like challenges you can do the harder hike, but be careful because the path is steep. Although, if you prefer an easy hike you can hike the mountain from its west side. The hike is about 7 km and will take about 2-3 hours but the views at the top will be breathtaking. From the top of the Hjörleifshöfði mountain, you will see Katla Volcano, Mýrdalsjökull glacier, and the black volcanic sand beach, Mýrdalssandur.
To get to Hjörleifshöfði mountain and cave you have to drive about 202 km from Reykjavik and almost 15 km from Vik. It is easily accessible from Road 1 and it’s on the right side coming from Reykjavik.
You can also visit Yoda Cave on a self-drive tour in South Iceland.