Ice Cave Exploration | Travel Underneath Europe's Largest Glacier

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

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon car park

Please be at the tour start location in good time before departure. If you need assistance finding it, seek guidance in your Hotel's reception or contact your tour provider directly.

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



Verified reviews

Average4.654 reviews
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The ice cave tour was probably our favorite highlight of our South Iceland road trip. The super jeep ride (took us probably 45 min or so) was fun and bouncy. If you sit in the back like my husband and I did, get ready for your stomach to drop! We wore our helmets during the ride because we definitely were bounced around and hit the top of our heads against the roof of the car. The caves themselves were magnificent. Our guide, I believe his name was Ragnar (I am so sorry if I got this wrong), was phenomenal. He was warm, friendly, hilarious, and very knowledgable about Vatnajokull and the surrounding area. He also showed us tricks on our smartphones to get the most spectacular pictures of the blue ice. My husband and I feel silly for not knowing our phones' settings, and now we have upped our photo taking game. I would recommend getting there early to try to find your particular tour company because the Jokulsarlon parking lot is very icy and crowded with other companies and tourists checking out the glacier lagoon. Definitely a must do for a winter trip to Iceland. Thank you!
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This was a most spectacular trip. We were driving in a converted minibus with HUGE wheels with computer-controlled tyre (tire) pressure (how cool), and drove onto the glacier. A brand new experience for me! We got to see two formations: an open series of channels where the water was flowing and the ice was melting around it, and a cave. The first one was stunning, with lots of blue ice, and we spent as much time there as we wanted (probably about 20 minutes; I wasn't paying attention to my watch). The guide helped us to walk around, and told us what it had looked like beforehand and what would probably happen to it over the following few days and weeks. The second was fascinating - the ice cave ("anaconda") is the only one that's been found in the area this season; the cave is quite grey as there is little light inside and lots of volcanic ash trapped in layers in the ice. We met another group at each of the places, but there was plenty of space for everyone. I got some wonderful photos and some great memories! The only warning is that this is not wise for someone who suffers from serious motion sickness - the journey up to and back from the glacier is extremely bumpy in places. I'd be so happy to do another trip with this company - perhaps even a hike over the glacier - if I got a chance.
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We had a great time on this tour! Despite having a large group and sometimes touring at the same time as other groups, our guide did a great job of navigating us out and about in a way where we could still enjoy ourselves and get some individual photos without overlapping with others. He explained things very well and let us take our time at various spots while on the tour. I would highly recommend that people do an ice cave tour while in Iceland if possible. Many are likely the same, but we definitely had a good time on this one.
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I went on this tour for my 50th birthday! Once we figured out how to find our guide, which was a bit confusing as there were quite a few! We had an amazing time! Our guide was Funner on Dec 10th and he was really great! He was knowledgable and fun! I loved the drive to the glacier and the ice cave was such an amazing wonder to see. Dress for a glacier and follow their advice to have the best experience. There was a girl there who did not and left on an earlier transport---I dressed appropriately and didn't want to leave at all! The lagoon and Diamond beach are also a unique and beautiful experience! Iceland had so many things to see that I couldn't take enough photos. We stopped so many times on our way! Thank you for a great time and a memory that will last !
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The tour on the Blue crystal cave was cancelled due to the weather but it got modified and we got another ice cave called Anaconda and also an ice crevasse where we could see the blue ice. It was nice though.
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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!
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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!
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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.
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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!
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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!
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