Small Group Lava Caving Tour
On this easy and enjoyable half day tour available directly from Reykjavik, you will see the fascinating underground lava formations of a typical Icelandic lava tube cave.
The cave has a diverse and colourful scenery, including stalagmites, stalactites and various other lava formations. Here you will get a good sense of geological history as well as enjoying incredible sights. This tour offers a truly memorable underworld adventure. Don't miss it!
- Available: All year
- Duration: 3 hours
- Activities: Caving
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Minimum age: 10 years old
- Languages: English
South Iceland is the most popular part of the country and contains some of the most beautiful natural attractions in Iceland, among them the Golden Circle, some of Iceland's most famous active volcanoes as well as the beautiful Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.
South Iceland is usually divided into the fertile South Icelandic lowlands between Hellisheidi and Eyjafjallajokull volcano on the one hand - and on the other hand the eastern part with the big volcanic glaciers Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull (home of Katla) and flattened sands stretching towards the sea.
The South Icelandic lowlands
The South Icelandic Lowlands stretch nearly 100 km from Hellisheidi in the west towards Eyjafjallajokull in the east as a very flat and fertile farming land. From the shore the lowland stretches about km towards the inland. This is the best agriculture area in Iceland. The whole area is geologically very young, mainly of tuff type, formed during the Ice Age by the lava flows of the numerous volcanoes of the area. The area is indeed surrounded by volcanically active mountains on all sides. The glacier rivers of the area have helped filling the lavas with sand and clay, leaving it more and less smooth and fertile. Very strong earthquakes are found in this area as well.
The most active volcanoes of the area are Hekla and Eyjafjallajokull. No less active and not far off, but on the east side, is Katla, which we’ll adress in the eastern part-section. South of the mainland are the volcanic Westman Islands, famous for the 1973 eruption as well as the eruption in 1963, when Surtsey island was formed. Closely linked to the volcanic activity in the south is the geothermal heat found in many places, the best known being the Geysir area, which forms a part of the famed Golden Circle, which also consists of Gullfoss waterfall , Iceland's most famous waterfall as well as one of its most beautiful, located in the popular rafting river Hvita and Thingvellir National Park, comprising three of Iceland's most beloved natural attractions.
The earthquakes of the area bear witness to the fact that Iceland is still in shape. This is further evidenced by the endless number of fissures in the lavas, fractures in the mountains and certain pieces of lands sinking. The area of Thingvellir is the best known example of this, showcasing the continental drift. Thingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the location of the old parliament, Althingi, (now situated in Reykjavik) and one of Iceland's most important sites.
Another of Iceland's most popular attractions is the beautiful Thorsmork valley, situated between Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull.
Natural harbour-sites are hardly any on the South shore, due to sand produced by the glacier rivers. A few towns are found in the area, Selfoss being the biggest one, Hveragerdi is another, then there are Hella and Hvolsvollur, all conveniently located by the ring road. By the shore are three fishing villages; Thorlakshofn, Eyrarbakki and Stokkseyri. Thorlakshofn the only one of those that can accommodate modern ships and ferrys. The ferry to the Westman Islands sails from there. A new harbour has been built on the sandy coast opposite the Westman Islands. The whole south shoreline offers some of the most gigantic braker waves that you are likely to see.
Culturewise, in addition to Thingvellir, we reccomend the ancient bishop seat of Skalholt (weekends at Skalholt further offer rich music life). Also, Iceland's most famous saga, Njal's saga takes place in the South lowlands. We further recommend the large reconstructed turfhouse near Stong and the ancient excavated ruins.
For sports, horse riding is popular in the area as well as catching salmon or trout, hiking, and river rafting in Hvita.
The east part of South Iceland.
This is the area south and east of Myrdalsjokull. The volcanic glaciers Eyjafjallajokull (near the border of the eastern and western part) and Myrdalsjokull, dominate the view. The landscape has been shaped by volcanic eruptions and vast sands stretch to the sea. Some agriculture is found here, however, with the farms in a row alongside the mountains. A few large glacial rivers fall down in this area which also has striking waterfalls, such as Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss.
Eyjafjallajokull is already well known for its 2010 eruption, disturbing air communication all over Europe for many days. Much more serious,however, would be an eruption from Katla, a volcano in the eastern part og Myrdalsjokull.
Katla’s last eruption was in the year 1918, when an enormous flood of water exploded from the glacier in a matter of minutes, threatening the local farmers of the area. Large amounts of ash and muddy material were brought to sea to form a new land of sand, Kotlutangi, later washed away by the sea. No people were killed in this eruption. Eruptions in Katla throughout the ages have further created the vast sand area Myrdalssandur. Sixteen eruptions have been recorded for Katla since 930 at intervals of 13-95 years and the volcano is being closely monitored, as time may draw near to its next eruption.
In the same volcanic system as Katla (geologically speaking), are the Lakagigar craters, northeast of Myrdalsjokull. Those erupted in the years 1783-84; producing the largest amount of lava known in historic times. The ashes hindered the sunlight from reaching down to the surface of Earth, resulting in cold climate over northern Europe.
In this area – what we call the eastern part of South Iceland -, there are many places worth visiting: Solheimajokull is a beautiful glacier in a walking distance (an outlet of Myrdalsjokull); Skogar has a very interesting museum of older time traditions and Skogafoss is only a few km away from there. One of Iceland’s most famous hiking routes, Fimmvorduhals, starts from Skogar. Southwest of the village Vik is one of Iceland’s most spectacular beaches, Reynisfjara. Together with the promontory Dyrholaey, which is the southernmost tip of the mainland of Iceland, it offers a breathtaking view with amazing rock formations, a black pebble beach, an abundance of birds and the powerful waves of the North Atlantic Ocean crashing on the beach.
Further east stretches the world's most vast sand plain, Skeidararsandur. North of the sand is the fascinating Skaftafell preservation area. At its east end, south of Hvannadalshnukur, Iceland's highest peak, is Ingolfshofdi cape, with its rich birdlife, old fishermen's shacks and its lighthouse. Following the shore further east is the incredibly beautiful and ice-filled Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Not far off is the region of Sudursveit, featuring the culture center and heritage museum Thorbergssetur, erected in the memory of Icelandic author Thorbergur Thordarson.
Leidarendi is a lava tube located in the Tvibollahraun lava field, close to the Blue Mountains in Southwest Iceland, about a 25 minutes drive from Reykjavik.
Go here to find the Leiðarendi cave tour.
Leidarendi is notable for its incredibly diverse and colourful scenery, and is considered a prime example of an Icelandic lava tube.
A distinctive feature of Leidarendi is various lava flakes that have fallen from its walls and roof, due to frost and erosion. These flakes indicate the many different lava streams that have flowed there subsequently throughout the ages. In the cave you will further see cave walls polished by lava streams along with stalagmites, stalactites and other fascinating formations. In winter you are likely to see glistening natural ice sculptures in the cave, adding further beauty to the already otherworldly scene.
As the cave is sensitive ask you to show uttermost care, so you and others may continue to enjoy the marvelous sights of Leidarendi and learn firsthand about Iceland's geological history, to which the cave bears proud witness.
Gjabakkahellir (a.k.a. Helguhellir or Stelpuhellir ('Girl cave')) is a lava tube, located in the area of Thingvellir National Park.
Gjabakkahellir formed around 9000 years ago. With its many beautiful lava formations and ice sculptures, it is considered a prime example of an Icelandic lava tube, offering breathtaking sights.
Starting time : 09:00 13:00,
A small group lava caving experience
Reykjavik pick up & return service
All necessary caving gear such as a helmet and head torch
Food & drinks
What to bring:
Warm outdoor clothing
Waterproof jacket and pants
Head-wear and gloves
Good hiking shoes are highly recommended
Good to know:
Good hiking shoes are highly recommended, you can rent shoes from the operator if you let them know in an advance.
Warning: Jeans and other cotton fabricated clothing are not accepted. When cotton gets wet it looses its insulation capabilities, gets cold and dries slowly.
Great experience in the lava tube with professional guide. The tour is short - only 3 hours, which was great for our plans on the last day in Iceland. Highly recommend. If you are claustrophobic, keep in mind that you will be in a dark and relatively closed space for one hour.
The caving trip was really great! I learnt a lot about how lava caves are created and how they change over time, and also that sometimes sheep go in them...but can't get out! It was a great to have our guide show us some extra cave areas as well, very fun, and informative as well. I absolutely recommend the tour!
exceeded my expectations, all went smooth and i enjoyed this adventure and a professional guide
Amazing!! Special shoutout to our tour guide, viktor!! He was so great, very knowledgeable and fun. Never made us feel like we were on a "tour". The caves are absolutely amazing, definitely a must see! When asked to keep going or go back the same way you came, keep going! That's where the real adventure is :)
Pálmi was hands down one of the most amazing tour guides! We were having trouble getting the parking meters to work in Reykjavik and Pálmi not only waited for us to figure it out, he helped us get it to work! As far as the tour goes, he was knowledgeable and entertaining and overall fun to talk to and learn from. The lava tube was amazing and although you did have to bend over to fit in some places, it was still a pretty easy tour. And I think that should mean a lot coming from me as I'm a 200 pound young woman. At the end of the cave, Pálmi gave everyone the option to head back to the car or to venture down the more difficult part of the cave so as to exit from the hole opposite where we entered. I was nervous about if I could make it through, but I was too excited not to try!! It was a little difficult and I definitely got a little winded, but it was absolutely worth every moment! This was an excellent tour, especially for the price, and Pálmi made it one hundred times better!! - Alexis & Kyle
it was a amazing trip. the tour is so cool, nice and knowledgable!!! I was very surprise that I could that much in this tour!! takk :))