In the last few years, Iceland’s entertainment industry has received widespread international acclaim. Its creative artists have shown that they can follow in Björk’s footsteps and make it on the world stage. As such, Icelandic music, artwork, films and television shows are now enjoyed far beyond The Land of Fire and Ice.
One of the best examples of this success is the series Trapped, which has acquired millions of viewers worldwide. Trapped, the most expensive Icelandic television series ever made, recently released its third season. Known as Ófærð in Icelandic, the show was filmed in the country in which the story is set and you can visit the filming locations yourself.
Here we’ve created an itinerary of the locations used for Trapped throughout Iceland. To visit them all, you’ll need a rental car. But first, let’s see what this Trapped series is all about.
What is the Trapped Series About?
Trapped, is set in a small village in East Iceland. The story kicks off when a man’s body is discovered in the harbor, and a ferry pulls in to dock. When a storm hits, the road to access the village becomes impassable, trapping the murderer among the tourists and residents. Chief of Police, Andri Ólafsson (played by Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) attempts to solve the murder.
Series one and two featured ten episodes, and the third season, which aired at the end of 2021, featured eight. Trapped was created and directed by Baltasar Kormákur, a highly-successful actor, producer and director from Iceland.
On 20 September 2015, the show premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was then released on the BBC in the UK and has since been featured on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Arguably the most successful Icelandic show in history, it continues to entertain global audiences even after its season finale.
To understand what all the fuss about, you can watch the trailer for season one here. Since the show was filmed in numerous spots around the country, there is much to explore. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and uncover the Icelandic Trapped filming locations.
Where is Trapped Filmed in Iceland?
The Trapped TV series makes the most of Iceland’s wild natural landscape to showcase the remoteness of the setting. Several features in the capital city were also used.
Regarding the best times to visit these places, that depends on what you’d like to do upon arrival. Some of them are very remote, so there is a real chance you could become temporarily “trapped” in the winter. Be prepared with a 4x4 vehicle, because the snow falls heavy in the north of Iceland.
Most of the scenes for the series were filmed here, as this tiny fishing village in north Iceland is the perfect location for the story’s setting.
Because Siglufjörður has a population of just over a thousand people, the overall look and feel of the series was made much more realistic here. In fact, the cast and crew were even stuck in the village several times due to bad weather during season one- talk about really embracing the “trapped” theme! In this way, their experience mirrored that of the characters in the story.
Siglufjörður lies almost at the tip of the fjord it is named after. It is 80 km (50 miles) north of the town of Akureyri, the second-largest urban area in Iceland.
Apart from trying to spot familiar scenes from the show, you can also visit the village’s herring museum. There’s a popular ski resort near the village, so head there in winter if you’re a skier or boarder. Every August, the locals host the Herring Festival (Síldarævintýrið) in celebration of the area’s herring fishing history.
If you do visit in summer, along with the Herring Festival, there are also some great hiking trails. Not only that, but you’ll have an incredible view of the Greenland Sea.
The Capital Region was the location used for some of the show’s scenes, including a pool party in season one. Like most countries, Iceland’s capital is the hub of most activity, and this is especially true here. The Capital Region contains two-thirds of Iceland’s entire population, making it the main port of call whenever something happens.
In the first episode, the Chief of Police mentions the pending arrival of Forensic Police from Reykjavík. This implies that his small, isolated force lacks the tools to deal with such a gruesome murder. The capital is linked into the story in this way, as the place that will provide the help that they are patiently waiting for.
The Capital Region is comprised of Reykjavík and seven municipalities. You’ll undoubtedly spend some time here, possibly at the beginning and/or end of your trip.
You’ll land in the country’s international airport, Keflavík, which is around 45 minutes from the capital. From there, most people head straight to Reykjavík and check in at their accommodation. Your arrival day is a good time to explore the city, getting used to the climate and time zone.
What to do in Reykjavík?
Well, aside from souvenir shopping, there are plenty of sights to see and activities to do.
Be sure to check out Hallgrímskirkja, the largest church in Iceland. It has essentially become the symbol of the capital and a great representation of Nordic architectural style.
Perlan museum, the large dome on the hill, is Iceland’s natural history museum. You can learn about glaciers, volcanoes and Iceland’s wildlife, as well as get a great view from the observation deck.
Whale watching tours leave daily from Reykjavík harbor, and there’s a good chance of seeing whales most of the year.
This small town in east Iceland was used for some of the wider outdoor scenes. Located at the beginning of a fjord and tucked between mountains, it was the ideal place to capture the story’s isolated setting. Ferries also stop at Seyðisfjörður, lining up with the story’s plot. The village essentially seems to be the inspiration behind the unnamed location in Trapped.
Seyðisfjörður contains less than a thousand people and relies on fishing and tourism for its income. Many regard the area as the most beautiful fjord in the country, so that’s saying something. It can be reached by a short detour of 27 kilometers (17 miles) off Route 1. All you have to do is turn onto Route 93 when you reach the town of Egilsstaðir.
Puffin colonies are abundant near here in the summer, and there are several beautiful waterfalls. Follow the hiking trail that begins in the village for a real on-foot adventure. East of Seyðisfjörður you’ll find Skálanes Nature and Heritage Reserve, which is open to visitors. On the way, you’ll see reindeer, arctic foxes and many bird species frolicking in their natural habitat.
If you visit in winter, head to Stafdalur ski resort, located between Egilsstaðir and Seyðisfjörður.
What’s Next for Trapped?
The story grows as each season progresses, and many of the characters appear in all three. We won’t give away any spoilers, so you’ll have to watch the show to see how the characters develop. Needless to say, Trapped maintains its intensity throughout. Keep an eye out for the third season, coming soon to Netflix.
As of February 2022, there don’t seem to be any rumours about a fourth season, but perhaps the show’s creators are waiting to see how the third season is received. If you’ve seen all of Trapped and are eager for more Icelandic shows, check out the suggestions below.
Trapped Iceland & Other Shows Filmed/Set in Iceland
Katla. A volcano has been erupting non-stop for a year in South Iceland, but many residents don’t wish to leave. Strange things start to happen that are directly linked to the people who remain behind and refuse to evacuate. The shows stars Guðrún Ýr Eyfjörð Jóhannesdóttir in the lead role.
Katla was mostly filmed in Vík, the small village with black sand beaches on the south coast where the story is set. The ash which covers every surface is frighteningly realistic, as volcanic eruptions are a regular occurrence for Icelanders. The show was created by Baltasar Kormákur, the same mind behind the Trapped series.
The Valhalla Murders. Known as Brot in Iceland, the eight-part series follows police detective Kata as she investigates unusual murders. It is loosely based on a real-life incident that occurred in the 1940s, in a state-operated boy’s institution.
The series was filmed in various locations around Iceland, as well as in a studio in Reykjavík. This was the second Icelandic series to appear on Netflix, Trapped being the first. Although Iceland’s crime rate is famously low, this show is further proof that Icelanders are great at making crime dramas.
Case. Named Réttur (“Right” in Icelandic), the series follows an attorney, Logi, who joins a small law firm. He and his business partners solve troubling cases as Logi tackles his own demons. The show ran for three seasons, ending in 2015.
Iceland’s cinematic talent continues to grow in popularity, as the locals expertly utilize their unique perspective and take advantage of the country’s landscape for realistic backdrops.
One thing’s for certain-The Land of Fire and Ice is well and truly on the map. Tourism is booming and the country’s creative output appears to be at an all-time high. Come and see for yourself what makes the Icelanders so inspired. Book your rental today and get excited to explore all the locations of many famous films and television shows.