The mountain Hjörleifshöfði (east of Vik) is named after the viking Hjörleifur Hróðmarsson who settled land there in 874. In "Landnáma" it says: "Hjörleifur settled land by the mountain Hjörleifshöfði, but there was a fjord in this time and the mountain was at the bottom of this fjord". Hjörleifur had two cottages made (18 and 19 fathoms) where he stayed that winter". This place was named Bæjarstaður and is marked nr. 1 on the map.

Hjörleifs' slaves killed him the following spring and he was later buried by his blood brother, Ingólfur Arnarson (who settled in Reykjavik) on the highest point of the mountain; marked nr. 4 on the map. The small farm which Hjörleifur built stood, up until the year 1721, but the Katla glacierburst washed it away in that year. The ruins were clearly visible until the year 1860 (the next Katla burst) but the last fracture of the cottage was washed away in the eruption 1918.

In 1750, Hjörleifshöfði was inhabited again. A lodge was built in 1750 by a man named Thorvarður Steinsson; marked nr. 3 on the map. The last man who lived there was the farmer and storyteller, Markús Loptsson who published the so-called "Eldrit" - history of volcanic eruptions in Iceland. Hallgrímur Bjarnason (Markús' ploughman), who later married Áslaug (Markús' widow), built a new house along with a set of outhouses in 1908-1909. This is marked nr. 2 on the map. In 1899 he also stacked the resting-place which Hallgrímur, Áslaug, Sigurður Loptsson and one baby are buried. Marked nr. 4 on the map.

Although Hjörleifshöfði is only 231 hectare in size, the whole territory which goes with it is one of the biggest properties in Iceland, about 115 square kilometres. From the ocean it reaches all the way up to the glacier, including the mountain Hafursey, a big mountain north of Hjörleifshöfði. There was also logging in Hafursey and cattle was kept there until 1850. There were a lot of perks that came with Hjörleifshöfði, whatever floated on shore and hunting of all birds on the land. In the fall of 1836, the last farmer moved away, and Hjörleifshöfði has been deserted ever since.

Long after Hjörleifur was killed "no one dared to settle land there because of supernatural beings". This rumor has always been a big part of Hjörleifshöfði's history. People have encountered a lot of inexplainable phenomena and many of them have been so strongly affected by the place, that they come back again and again.