Abandoned places – Iceland off the beaten path

Abandoned places in Iceland. Definitely, they will send shivers down your spine. Are you ready for some goosebumps? Explore abandoned farms!

Iceland is a land of thousand faces. Amidst breathtaking landscapes, you can find things which will cause your heartbeat rise – abandoned places. Definitely, they will send shivers down your spine. All you have to do do is to slow down and choose less travelled roads. Are you ready for some goosebumps?

Time for a break

Many tourists who visit Iceland plan often too strict and too ambitious itinerary. They have in mind a vision of short holidays, but a list of top sights to see doesn’t end at all. So they have to hurry so as not to spoil the beautiful plan. It looks like a marathon from point A to B, at a really frantic pace. As a result, the sightseeing soon becomes a wearing duty. It’s easy to lose the main reason for your travel in this pursuit because you don’t notice things from beyond the list anymore. Here is our advice, just take a deep breath of insanely clean, Icelandic air and stop for a moment. During one day of your trip or just for a few hours put all guidebooks aside and forget about any plan. Now it’s time for discovering some of the Icelandic secrets.

Abandoned places in Iceland. Definitely, they will send shivers down your spine. Are you ready for some goosebumps? Explore abandoned farms! | Abandoned farm, Snaefellsnes

Leave for a moment the main attractions trail. Take a road less travelled and begin to look around very carefully. Then you will have a chance to see Iceland off the beaten path, which we love so much. If apart from spectacular landscapes, you happen to be a fan of thrillers and scary movies, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a real Eldorado for all these who are passionate about abandoned places. If a thought of a visit to an old (who knows – maybe haunted) abandoned house situated in the middle of nowhere makes you shiver, then you’ll be delighted. Simply put away all the guides for more than just a few hours.

Abandoned places in Iceland. Definitely, they will send shivers down your spine. Are you ready for some goosebumps? Explore abandoned farms! | Abandoned farm, Reykjanes

Have a look at our original Icelandic fine art prints!

Phantom land

Nobody knows exactly how many abandoned buildings are located on the island. However, it is estimated, that there are more than 3000. It is a small country where not too many people live, so 3000 is really a lot. Most of them are abandoned farms. Frequently, you will notice picturesque remnants, but there are also real gems – whole farm complexes. And imagine that these deserted farms are often located in incredible, really evocative places. You can stumble upon an abandoned farm at the foot of a dangerous cliff or the end of a mysterious fjord. Another one sits firmly by a devilish black beach. And there’s one which the wind only remembers about. Just add typical Icelandic weather conditions, cloudy sky or a dense fog, and you have an ideal set for a scary movie.

Icelanders call all these abandoned buildings eyðibýli. They are inscribed in the Icelandic landscape and are something natural for island’s inhabitants. You may wonder why so many eyðibýli stand in Iceland. For hundreds of years in Iceland have not only people lived on the farms but also elves. Icelanders are well known in the world for their attitude towards them. Tales of their respect towards elves become even legendary, like the one about the road project. In short, a road close to Reykjavík was not built where planned, as it would have destroyed an area inhabited by elves. Trust us, it’s not an exception.

Abandoned places in Iceland. Definitely, they will send shivers down your spine. Are you ready for some goosebumps? Explore abandoned farms! | Abandoned farm, Myvatn

You have to know that for Icelanders elves are not playful fellows clad in shoes with pointed tips. They are ghosts, and many believe in them. Naturally, it is better to live with them in peace. When someone lives somewhere in the wilderness and is forced to leave his home, he usually leaves everything in its place. And if he wants to have a new house, he builds it very close, leaving an existing one intact, at the mercy of the Icelandic winds. That’s all so as not to disturb the elves. It can’t happen that they lose their shelter!

We simply love to visit abandoned places. During our last stay in Iceland, we even became addicted. Mysteries are dancing in the freezing air. The sky is getting darker and darker. This is the moment. We are jumping out of the car; it’s time to start our adventure. Another abandoned farmhouse is waiting to be explored. Caps, gloves, flashlights in hands – let’s go! Would you find the courage?

Abandoned places in Iceland. Definitely, they will send shivers down your spine. Are you ready for some goosebumps? Explore abandoned farms! | Abandoned farm, Westfjords

If you are looking for more non-touristy attractions, check out Iceland off the beaten path guide.

Comments (24)

Remember not to disturb elves too much! 😉

When my husband and I drove around Iceland in August of 2015 (after the Reykjavik Marathon…yea!), we saw abandoned buildings, and I wanted desperately to explore and feel the beauty. My husband, a firm believer in By The Book, thought it would be trespassing. So…sadly, we did not venture into any. Can you tell me, is it all right to explore abandoned farms, buildings, around Iceland if we treat them with reverence and respect? Do owners of these buildings hate to have them explored?
We will be revisiting Iceland, hopefully, soon, and I would like to give him the green light. Takk.

Hi Barbara! Well, to be honest visiting abandoned places is always some kind of trespassing and it’s not so safe. We wouldn’t recommend going inside as these buildings are usually in poor or very poor condition and it’s rather dangerous. But walking around and taking some pictures from the outside should be fine. If you see the owner of the land somewhere nearby, then ask him if you could have a look at the farm building – it would be the most appropriate thing. Enjoy your next trip to Iceland!


Great article, as all of your writings on Iceland.
However, it left me hungry for more: I would love to see the inside of those places –don’t tell me you didn’t go inside to say hi to the elves. 😉

Thanks Caterina! The buildings from the pictures were in a rather bad condition, so we didn’t go inside. But we could see through the windows that there was nothing interesting there – just some mess, of course apart from the elves 😉

The climate and landscape also creates a mystic feeling in the photos. Abandoned buildings where nature has taken over creates special sights for sure. I can just imagine how it is on Iceland in comparison with other countries, where there usually are more buildings close by. 🙂

This saddens me to see now! I wish I had have known about all this when I was there! Amazing photos though!

Its amazing to think that there are over 3000 abandoned places in Iceland! Such a great way to go explore off the beaten path. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for stopping by Mike! 🙂

The climate and landscape views are definitely worth going. The abandoned buildings look so beautiful. The place looks so peaceful and has a strange and wild beauty.

Those little abandoned houses remind me of horror movies! Though I would like to visit them during the day! Iceland is so high on our bucket list that we hope to get there next month!

I don’t know why I have a strange fascination for abandoned places. No wonder, I read this blog twice!

We know this feeling very well. We love creepy places 🙂

Wow it always amazes me to read about Iceland and it my 2017 trip plans. It comes handy to about offbeat places to see. Bookmarked it.

Those pictures are incredible, so eerie yet hauntingly beautiful. Looking at this, how could someone not believe that elves live in Iceland? If I were an elf, I’d go to Iceland in a heartbeat! 🙂

Totally got the goosebumps! Really enjoyed your writing and content – it made for a cool post! . Sounds very mysterious and an exciting place to visit. We are not one for scary or thriller type movies, but we would definitely be interested in visiting Phantom land and its abandoned buildings.

Iceland is definitely on the top of our list. We have been planning it for a while. Nice post 🙂

ooh man! This is my kind of place…a Ghost town with some lovely views. And stories of ghosts. Phantom land is definitely something I am going to look up on. I am glad you managed it and had fun there!

All these places have such views despite the gloomy weather! Must be deal for shooting noir thrillers and horror movies. And right about the packed itinaries, the best way is to have no fixed itinerary at all.

Such wonderfully atmospheric photos! I’m planning a summer trip to Iceland and I will keep an eye out for these places.

Whoa! I like such offbeat places but the spookiness of the abandoned places would scare me a bit. You are giving us a wonderful account of Iceland!

I imagine that when you say Iceland is a land of thousand faces, you mean there’s literally about 1,000 humans living there, right? 😀

Jokes aside, I agree that often travel is most rewarding when you forget about the famous attractions and go in search for the unknown. Me, I would just love to hike the hell out of Iceland!

Wow…I didn’t know that existed so many abandoned place in Iceland…but 3000 are really a huge number. Anyway, also In my Island (Sardinia) we have a couple of abandoned town. Anyway the atmposhere in your pictures is ghostly, but they are really amazing 😀 .

Brown Gal Trekker

Iceland is wonderful for mountain lovers. I trekked up the volcano there in October. On the same trip, I saw the northern lights. Both were amazing.

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