Caves in Iceland
Iceland has a large number of caves, both glacier caves, lava caves and man-made caves.
Exploring these caves is a great activity you should not miss during your trip to Iceland and the great thing is that it can be done even in bad weather.
Ice Caves in Iceland
The most popular caves in Iceland are the glacier caves, often referred to as ice caves. These form within the ice of a glacier and because glaciers are constantly moving, the caves are not permanent and never the same.
The only season to visit these caves in Iceland is the winter, ice caves become dangerous during the warmer months, when the water melts and caves may collapse. You often see pictures of beautiful blue ice caves, these are the most famous glacier caves in Iceland and can be found in Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. If you want to visit these caves, make sure you join a tour as they can be very dangerous and hard to find, being inside the glacier.
If you don’t have the time to go so far (Vatnajökull is in the South East, about 5 hours drive from Reykjavik) you can take a tour Into the Glacier and visit the ice caves in Langjökull. These are not too far from the city, they are easily reached on a day tour, they are man-made and maybe not as spectacular as the natural glacier caves, but it is still a cool experience to walk inside a glacier.
Lava Caves in Iceland
The other caves you will find in Iceland are the lava caves. Lava caves are usually accessible all year round, most of them with tours where competent guides will help you understand the nature and history of the caves.
There are so many lava caves around Iceland it is hard to choose which ones to point out but my favorite ones, all only accessible with guided tours, are the Vatnshellir cave, the Thrihnjukagigur Cave and the Raufarhólshellir Lava Tunnel.
The Vatnshellir cave is located on Snæfellsnes peninsula, it is a very wide lava cave that changes a lot in the different seasons. If you are taking a private tour around Snæfellsnes, this is a great addition to it.
The crater Thrihnjukagigur takes caving to a different level. With the “Inside the Volcano” tour you can descend to the bottom of a dormant volcano magma chamber and see all the fascinating colors of the rocks. The chamber is huge and an experience like this will leave you speechless. It is not the cheapest thing you can do in Iceland but it is so spectacular that you will not regret spending your money on it.
If your budget does not let you take a tour inside the volcano, you can take one to see the Raufarhólshellir Lava Tunnel, one of the most spectacular lava caves in Iceland, which just recently reopened with guided tours.
The colors here and the rocks formations are spectacular and a guide will be with you all the time to take you through this natural wonder which is located only about 30 minutes drive from Reykjavik and can be added to a private South Coast Tour or to a Reykjanes Tour.
So if you are in Iceland and taking day tours, you might want to consider some visiting some caves, a great way to see beautiful things and learn about Iceland’s history and nature.