Apr 21 2017

Iceland has hundreds of rivers and probably thousands of creeks brooks and streams.  It is a country of water and has more water recourses than most other countries, both cold and hot water.

Two rivers side by side in Jökulsárgljúfur - glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum and the smaller spring-fed Brandslækur creek

In March one year ago when traveling in the northern part of Iceland, we came across a major setup for a filming crew by Lake Myvatn.  In addition to the full accommodation and gear buildings, we saw a lot of weird looking vehicles.  We learned that it was a filming crew of Fast And The Furious 8 located here in the middle of winter at the south end of the Lake.  No photos were allowed, and we didn’t even try to find a way to sneak a shot of the setup as it is important to honor such request.  We did, on the other hand, manage to take this photo of the exact ice that was used for filming tow or three days later and the conditions at Myvatn at the time.

Where is Lake Myvatn?

For those who are wondering where this place is and how it looks, we can inform you that this is actually one of the most beautiful places in Iceland.  Lake Myvatn is a major attraction renowned for its beauty and landscape.   It is also part of the Ring Road that many visitors choose to travel while visiting Iceland. The landscape around the lake is not only beautiful, but there are also many impressive natural wonders in the area like Dimmuborgir Lava Park, Námaskarð hot springs, and Goðafoss waterfall.

The exact location of the filming

The exact location of the setup was at Skútustaðir, a tiny hamlet at the south end of the lake.  The area looks quite different during summer, and even this winter as the frost by the lake is much less than it was at the time of filming.  Fortunately, it was freezing by the lake last winter so the ice managed to hold all the vehicles speeding on the ice.  So the crew got the prime weather for this part of the film.

The fast and the furious 8 Iceland filming location

Spring has arrived early in Iceland.  April is not always part of spring but more often part of winter, but the weather can change all that. At least in the minds and heads of Icelanders.  We at Hit Iceland are always touring around the country and took a day trip to Þórsmörk yesterday on Good Friday.

Early spring in Þórsmörk

The mountain Lómagnúpur is among the most photographed mountains and natural wonders in Icelandic Landscape. The 690 meters high cliff at the southern end of the mountain stands tall. Something visitors driving the Ring Road approaching the mountain can not but admire as it lifts from the endless sand Skeiðarársandur south of Vatnajökull and Skaftafell.  The mountain is like a magnet for the eye, and with its small ponds, rocks and vegetation surrounding the cliffs is just a perfect item in the landscape to photograph.  On a beautiful calm day it is almost too easy to take beautiful photos of this magnificent mountain.

A cliff that has been around for a long time in Icelandic history

Stories related to Lómagnúpur have been around for a long time.  One of the oldest one is from the famous Saga, Njála.  One of the main characters, Flosi who originally came up with the idea to burn Njáls farm, lived at Svínafell farm near the Svínafell glacier. In one of his dream, he saw a giant walk out from the mountains as it opened and named 25 men out loud, that ended up putting the flames to Njal's farm. After that, he walked back into the mountain.  Possibly the story has its roots in the fact that the cliffs are so steep and high that people feel dwarfed in the presence of the mountain and gave it a supernatural force. 

An unstable mountain with history of landslides

One could argue that Lómagnúpur is one of few mountains in Iceland that have unexpected landslides, even loaded with large bergs and rocks.  One quite significant was documented around the middle of the 17th century on the west side. The landslide is still visible from the farm Núpstaðir.  Another smaller landslide, also visible today both as a scar in the mountain and also at the root of the mountain, occurred on the east side in 1988. It is an unstable creature and possibly as it is the home of large giants.

The mountain Lómagnúpur is among the most photographed mountains and natural wonders in Icelandic Landscape.