Lava Cave Tours

Lava Cave Tours

Hidden beneath Iceland's lava fields, incredible magma caves and tunnels exist. A tour of these fantastic volcanic formations is guaranteed to take your breath away.
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Caving in Iceland

Iceland has a truly unique and fascinating geological history which is very much still alive and evolving. This is perfectly exemplified by the fact that you can stand inside a dormant volcano. What better way to experience this raw dynamism than to delve that little deeper and explore the country's caves?

While travellers will want to prioritise seeing the sights on the South Coast and Golden Circle, including Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park. However, exploring a lava tube in Iceland has to be among one of the most unique experiences you will have in your lifetime.

Given Iceland’s volcanic natural landscape there are many lava caves and lava tubes you can explore all over the country. However, be prepared to get your knees dirty and be sure to wear the helmet you will be provided with. 

One of the most epic adventures you could hope to take while travelling in Iceland is the descent into Þríhnúkagígur magma chamber. Situated in the Blue Mountains, this impressive dormant volcanic dome is truly remarkable and large enough to fit Iceland’s iconic Hallgrímskirkja church. 

Caving tours are tailored to the novice and the experienced, so even if you have never stepped foot in a cave, you can join day tours and be expertly guided through some of the most dramatic and enigmatic natural phenomena hiding beneath one of Iceland’s many lava fields.

Under normal circumstances, when a volcano ceases to be active, the magma chamber cools and solidifies. In this case, however, the magma drained away leaving this magnificent and rare feature behind.

You will not be able to resist the feeling of awe as you stand inside a brilliant geological structure as it creaks with the strain of its ancient journey.


Frequently asked questions

Will there be any natural light inside the caves during my tour?

Most lava caves in Iceland will be pitch black as soon as you are away from the entrance, although some are fitted with light installations to help you navigate your way within the cave. Your tour operator will provide you with a light helmet that will increase visibility when it gets dark.

Are there walking paths towards the lava caves?

The caves Raufarholshellir and Vidgelmir both have walking paths, but most other lava caves in Iceland do not.

How do lava caves in Iceland form?

Icelandic lava caves form when a river of lava cools from the outside, forming a rock-crust surrounding still flowing lava. When this lava has flushed out, all that is left is the tube that cooled around it. Eventually, experts discover this tube in the field and once it is deemed safe, visitors are invited to explore.

Can I enter a cave in Iceland by myself?

It is highly discouraged as it is extremely risky. You need helmets and lights, and it is very easy to get lost in certain cave systems. In addition, not knowing the caves very well could lead you into more unstable conditions which could cause you harm.

How many people will be in one group for a caving tour in Iceland?

Most operators have a ratio of one guide to eight customers, though it may vary depending on the tour provider.

What equipment do I need to go caving in Iceland?

You will be provided with a helmet, a flashlight, and crampons in winter. Make sure to bring some warm clothing and sturdy hiking shoes with ankle support.

Can I wear sneakers for my caving tour in Iceland?

Good hiking shoes are much better as they provide better grip and ankle support.

Are lava cave tours operational during Christmas time?

Some lava caves close for the winter, but many, such as Leidarendi cave, are open throughout the year. Most operators provide services throughout the Christmas season.

How many caves are there in Iceland?

There are hundreds of known lava caves around Iceland, and possibly thousands that remain undiscovered.