Ice Cave Exploration | Travel Underneath Europe's Largest Glacier

Icicles and other strange ice formations can be found in winter beneath Vatnajökull glacier in south-east Iceland.
You can feel the diverse textures in Vatnajökull's ice caves in the south of Iceland, but only in winter.
The blue ice caves in South Iceland only open under Vatnajökull glacier in the depths of winter.
Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe, has hidden gems throughout winter in the form of ice caves.
The texture of the ceiling of an ice cave in Vatnajökull glacier, in South Iceland, is like the frozen surface of a gentle ocean.
The ice caves in South Iceland under Vatnajökull glacier are amazing places for winter photography.
4.6
Based on 42 traveller reviews

Witness the greatest winter wonder this country has to offer and explore the crystal blue ice caves beneath Vatnajökull glacier. This tour should not be missed by anyone who can make their way to south-east Iceland; it is a once-in-a-lifetime trip that should appeal to all who are steady on their feet on unstable terrain.

This tour begins when you meet your guides and group at the carpark of the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. You will want to arrive here a few hours earlier, or set aside a few hours after, as this is truly one of Iceland’s most beautiful gems. 

Here, you can watch icebergs break from a glacier tongue and cruise across the country’s deepest lake, the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, and admire them where they wash up on the shore at the adjacent Diamond Beach.

Once your group is gathered, you will board a Super Jeep capable of easily reaching the glacier cave, and drive across the beautiful landscape of Vatnajökull National Park. Vatnajökull is Europe’s largest glacier, and the opportunity to travel underneath it is only possible for a few months in midwinter.

As soon as you reach the mouth of your ice cave, your guide will gear you up in a helmet and crampons. The former should not be necessary, as the cave stability is checked daily, but the latter will greatly aid you on the slippery ground.

As soon as you enter, you will be mesmerised. It seems impossible that nature could create blues so intense, textures so smooth, and ice formations so unusual. You will have up to an hour to wander around the halls and chambers, taking photographs and marvelling at such a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Your guide will tell you all about how the caves form, the history and the future of the glaciers, and answer any questions you might have.

After a thorough exploration of the ice cave, you will emerge back into the open air, and be taken back to Jökulsárlón.

Do not miss your chance to see Iceland’s most rare and unique feature. Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: March
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Activities: Ice Caving
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 10 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: South Iceland, East Iceland, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Breiðamerkurjökull, Diamond Beach
Pickup information:
  • Departure time : 10:00 13:30,

You meet us at the departure location.
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon car park
Included:
  • Guided tour

  • Local guide

  • All taxes, fees and handling charges

  • Crampons and helmets

  • Food/Snacks

  • Shoes

  • Clothes


What to bring:
  • Warm, waterproof clothing

  • Proper walking boots/shoes

  • Camera

  • Bottle of water and some light snacks



Reviews

We had a warm ride in a van with wheels up to my chest to an ice cave. At first, people wouldn't stop jumping into my pictures but since we were able to stay an hour, I was given a good 10 minute window to have the cave practically all to myself. Grateful for that!

The ice cave tour was the highlight of our entire trip to Iceland. We followed recommendations to arrive early, and it was very worth it, you can easily spend 1-2 hours admiring the Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach before the tour starts. Our group had 14 persons, which is the max number of seats on the super jeep. We drove off the road and onto the glacier, the ride off road was bumpy, but felt safe and super exciting. We spend about 40 minutes in the cave, and then our guide Rakmar (sorry it is probably not how it is written) took us to a less crowded area on the glacier and gave a lot of information on glacier formation. Everything you need was provided, helmet, spiky crampons. Our guide was friendly, humorous, helpful. Both myself and my mother enjoyed this tour very much. Thank you!

Our ice cave tour was everything we expected and more! Our tour guide was very informative and funny and made the trip very enjoyable. He also showed us a different cave that was less crowded so we could take more pictures. Our tour guide also took the time to take photos of each person's group and new exactly how to edit the photos on an iphone to make the best colors pop out. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who is traveling to Iceland in the winter months. It is an unforgettable experience.

Our guide was amazing and made the trip very enjoyable. It was a nice touch to allow us to go farther into the crystal ice cave to explain how it was made, and then take us on a short glacier walk. I really enjoyed the walk, more so than the crowded ice cave. Our guide was super funny and knowledgeable. I also appreciated him helping out my elderly parents walk up hills and incline areas without even ring asked. It's too bad I don't remember his name but he was awesome!

Amazing tour but not quite understand the English speak by tour guide, felt secure during the trip.

My husband and I had a wonderful time on this tour! We had heard that these ice cave tours are sometimes disappointing but this was definitely not the case with our tour! Our guides were very friendly and laid back. They had the perfect balance of giving us space to explore the ice cave and other formations on our own, but also staying close by to give us more information about things or in case we had questions. The ice cave itself was unbelievable. We even got some time alone with our small group of 13 (including the tour guides) once the bigger group left! The smaller ice tunnel and other formations higher up the Glacier were amazing as well and the walk was refreshing and beautiful. And the super jeep ride was a blast! We would highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to experience going to the crystal ice cave!

Amazing and personal tour! We went in the ice cave when there were not many people and we were the only tour who did a hike up the glacier to go see other ice sculptures! And now we know why the ice looks blue. Recommended!

It was overall a very nice tour and we would recommend especially if you like photographing. If was easy to book in Guide to Iceland. We took the tour with another 20 people in the group. The large ice cave people normally go was closed since it was still flooded. We were offered an alternative tour to three smaller ice caves, which is actually part of Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe as we were told. It was an hour drive from the Glacier Lagoon and about 15 minutes walk to get there. The wind was so strong in the mountains that my face and hands are near frozen. But it was all worth it. We spent one hour at the caves. The caves are very blue and pictures come out good. The guide are professional and informative. Due to global warming, the largest glacier in Europe is getting thinner every year. Being in nature really strikes me how much we have to care and act to protect it, so people in the generations to come can enjoy this as we do.

2017 has been unseasonably warm in Iceland, which means that ice and snow have become melted water and rain that run down the glaciers and flood the ice caverns. After a night of pouring rain (in February), we drove to Jökulsarlon (the Glacier Lagoon) with very low expectations. While many guides were cancelling any sort of ice cave visit (and offering alternative activities), Glacier Trips provided a backup option to a smaller, more remote ice cave using a super jeep track that wound up over stunning terrain. After a short walk along a gorgeous blue glacier, our friendly and sure-footed guide took us to a small but nevertheless fascinating ice cave which allowed us to get a sense of the experience. Giving 4/5 because of the relative value -- it was a pleasant alternative experience, but it would have been kind to adjust the cost accordingly.

Great tour! It was easy to find our tour guide at the lagoon, and we were a very small group (5 of us) which was ideal. As everyone has mentioned, it was nice that we were there for awhile as this allowed us to get good alone time in the cave in between the waves of other tours!

Our tour was great. Good guide, easy to locate at the Glacier Lagoon after asking at the front desk, and small enough vehicle (~10 people) that it didn't feel overwhelming. The cave we saw was beautiful, but one of the few available this winter so there were 100+ other travelers inside. We did get about an hour to explore and take pictures, and needed every second to get a photo without other people in it. Worth it, just be aware that you will not be alone in a cave. If we had more time we would have traveled further west and tried to find something more secluded.

As a professional photographer, visiting the world's most amazing locations isn't just fun - it's crucial. And this location didn't disappoint. The blue was shining through the ceiling even though there was a thick, fresh snowfall, and the guides we had allowed ample time to take photographs inside. That said, there were a few dozen other tourists walking through and it was very difficult to get those "wide open" shots you see from private tours. The guides are incredible friendly, laid back, informative, and safe. It's worth every penny. I was able to get some great photographs of the texture and light on the cave walls. My wife and I felt safe and not rushed. It was a great experience.

The ice caves are magical. If you visit Iceland you should definitely go and do this tour. This was the most recommended tour when we booked it and we can say that the reviews are true. Our guide (Ragnar) was very knowledgeable and told great stories. The Blue ice cave is an incredible sight. You might want to bring a tripod for the photo's since some parts of the cave can be a little crowded so you can shoot multiple pictures and edit the random tourists out.

The tour was fantastic! If it had been the one we wanted it would have been perfect. However, due to rain, the ice cave tour that we booked had to be switched to the glacier tour. Our guides were fun and knowledgeable and really made the three hours very enjoyable.

We had a wonderful time! Unfortunately due to recent warmer weather, the blue ice cave trip was cancelled (there was literally a river running out of it), but the company was more than happy to offer us a backup option of a super jeep tour taking us to tour the black ice cave as well as climbing/walking on the glacier with the guide. We were happy that they were so professional and had a backup option available instead of just cancelling us. They were in touch every step of the way, emailing us the day before warning that the tour may be cancelled and that they would let us know in the morning. We received the second email first thing and were able to decide whether we wanted to take the alternate tour or just cancel altogether and get a refund. We still enjoyed the alternate excursion and the guide was very informative and friendly (I think his name was Sindri, he had a blondish red beard). I definitely recommend having wind/rain proof pants and shoes as well as coats. Since it was a rainy day, we ended up being soaked, but I can imagine you probably get wet on the normal tour as well from any waterfalls in the caves. They provide crampons (spikes for your shoes). I would definitely go with this company again, hopefully next time I'll get to see the blue cave!!

Our tour guide was Sindri and he was very friendly and helpful. We booked the ice cave tour but we also got a chance to go into the Black Cave. The black cave experience was something different. Experiencing both the caves were truly remarkable and amazing! I've never seen such a beautiful place in my life and this is definitely something I would remember forever. The ice cave was beautiful more than words can describe. We feel EXTREMELY grateful and lucky to be able to visit this place. Highly recommended but make sure you check the weather first as the caves can be closed or flooded when weather is not permitting. Thanks all the crews for making this happen for us.

Very professional tour company. Guide was very friendly (even helped with camera settings to take optimal photos in the ice cave!). Made for a fantastic experience. Highly recommended.

The guides were funny, knowledgeable, and helpful. Walking on a glacier was an unforgettable experience! And this tour made the trip! Highly recommend

Great guide and tour, very informative. Ice cave was beautiful, had ample time to explore and take pictures.

Great Guide , great trip, great time, great price - highly recommend. They worked with us to add a friend and be the first in the cave for the season. I can't thank them enough.

Amazing, I recommand ! the guide was cool and interesting. The hike was easy and you can take your time inside.

Great memories!! I really recommend this excursion!!

this was the only guided tour we did during our stay in Iceland and Im so happy we did it..best value and our guide was very informative..My boyfriend wasnt feeling too well the day we went and was worried it would be an exhausting hike but it was only about a 5min walkafter a 30min drive where we sat as passengers in their 4x4. great value if you got a budget car rental that cant drive on "F"routes..would definitely book again!

My boyfriend and I had the most amazing and interesting tour into the icecave with you guys! Our tourguide was very kind, knowlegde and responsible! We loved that we have been a small group and the first at the cave! Thank you very much for this special day, we won't forget this experience!! Cheers, the German couple!!

amazing experience! the guide was so cool and interesting. The hike was great and not so hard because you can take your time and the guide help you for the difficult parts. It's your time , you can take photos when you want, you don't have to run after the guide and it was a small pleasant group (5 persons) . thanks to everybody !

Great tour! Of the two that I've been on, this was definitely my favourite as we were the only group in the cave, and the hike through the deep snow up to the glacier to get there only makes you appreciate it (and the surrounding nature) even more. The two guides were great, knowledgable and friendly, and once in the cave they gave us plenty of space to take photos and explore. The cave itself is very beautiful, with some great ice formations (that presumably only survive because of the smaller number of visitors), and there's a few different sections to explore, with different features - one brighter area with a stunning rippling ice roof, one deeper cave with some amazing icicles, and one snow-covered cavern with a fun slide down into it! Definitely wrap up warm as you will be moving around less (and getting cold) when you're inside the caves and good boots are essential as the snow was quite deep on the walk there.

This was a spectacular ice cave tour! The hike towards the cave makes the experience even better, and the caves at the end of the (moderately challenging) hike were a great reward! The group was very small and there was nobody else in the area and we were lucky enough to have a clear blue sky and no wind. This tour is operated from a small farm, that owns the surrounding land, so there's no chance of any other tour operators being in the area. Our fantastic, professional, local, fun and knowledgeable guide gave us plenty of time to explore the cave - and even lent me his tripod so I could get better pictures from within the cave. He also made sure to make frequent stops on the hike so the ones that were walking slower could catch up. He even had a helping guide (2 guides for a group of 7 people!) that walked at the back of the group to make sure no-one would fall far behind. During those breaks the guides would explain something about the landscape or history of the area. One man on the group had claustrophobia and didn't want to enter the cave, but the guides made sure that he could still see into the cave from the outside and took turns in spending time with the people inside and the guy that watched from the outside. Pro tip: Bring some snacks or food, because after the hike back and forth you will be hungry! 5 stars for this tour, I can't fault it in any way! :)

Unfortunately the day we set out from Reykjavik to Jökulsárlón to visit the Crystal Ice Caves it rained cats and dogs and the cave was flooded with 2 or 3 meters of water and unable to be visited. We were offered the possibility of visiting 2 black ice caves nearby and as we got there in an awsome super jeep ride, the bigger black ice cave was already flooded too, leaving us only the possibility of checking out the smaller one, along with all the other visitors from all the companies :s The visit was short and crowded, although the cave itself was a beauty. We still got a chance to walk on the glacier and sneak a peak into the Crystal Ice cave entrance, while it rained during all the visit. The guide, Ragnar, was awsome and very fun and very helpful with information concerning the visit and the glaciers and made a huge effort to make the trip worthwhile.

160e par personne pour voir une cave de glace de 10m de large et 50 de long avec 100 touristes dedans dans laquelle nous pouvons a peine bouger ? Le tarif est tres excessif pour ce que c'est. Nous avons fait 30min de route avec a la queue leuleu les voitures d'excursions. Vraiment histoire de prendre sa photo au milieu de tout le monde et repartir. Si vous voulez être plus reculé des touristes n'y allez pas et prenez une excursion avec plus de marche. Car la, vraiment rien d'exceptionnel.

Our crystal cave tour was also cancelled due to warm weather melt. I see that some people on this forum were contacted ahead of time, but we were not. It would seem that no one on our tour was contacted ahead of time to be informed that the crystal cave was closed even though I believe they could have known a week in advance since it had been flooded for at least that long. We were offered an alternative for a glacier walk and other caves which I would have refused if I hadn’t already driven all the way out there for the Crystal cave. I would have preferred the refund if Id know in advance. I cannot blame our guide. He was wonderful and gave us a lovely tour with what was available, but I am not impressed with the company for not telling us in advance that the tour had been changed. I also feel the cost should have been reduced.

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Ice Cave Exploration | Travel Underneath Europe's Largest Glacier

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