Ice Cave Tours

Ice Cave Tours

Browse the largest selection of ice cave tours in Iceland. The best day tours depart from Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, but you can also visit an ice cave from Reykjavik, Vik and Skaftafell. Join one of our guided northern lights and ice cave vacation packages for the ultimate winter adventure.

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Ice caves in Iceland

Iceland is often hailed as a land of stark contrasts, where you can explore the ethereal beauty of a glacier ice cave. 

Forged in fire and ice, Iceland is alive with primordial energy unlike anywhere else in the world. The geological and geothermal elements provide seductive sightseeing activities and visiting ice caves and ice tunnels is an activity which should not be overlooked while travelling in Iceland.

Iceland has many different caves, both well known and uncharted, but if you would like to visit a glacier ice cave, you are guaranteed an entirely one of a kind visit. Ice caves change from year to year, due to the movement of the glaciers and Iceland's ever-changing weather — and the unique character of each ice cave is an alluring call to adventure.

The incredible beauty to be admired inside the reaches of a glacier has a divine quality which, when combined with the geothermal power of Iceland, can make you feel like you are closer to earth’s beginnings.

11% of Iceland's landmass is covered with glaciers which means that an abundance of ice caves are found in the extremely thick glacial ice. These natural ice caves form when summer meltwater flows through the ice sheets, carving tunnels that can be explored during the colder months of winter. 

Most often, all light is absorbed in these icy vacuums, rendering the caves in brilliant blue ice colours that are unparalleled anywhere else. Some caves also have what looks like black ice, where volcanic ash has landed on the caves. This natural occurrence is truly magnificent to witness.Ice caves in the region of Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier, were previously referred to as the Crystal Caves. The sheer size of these caves liken them to an icy citadel, its heavenly blues and enchanting coolness evoking a real sense of awe. You will want to take a camera, but nothing can prepare you for the subject.

Most day tours which involve visiting a glacier cave in Iceland involve taking a super jeep up onto the glacier. There you will be fitted with crampons (studs which fit over your boots) and be invited to take a short glacier hike (less than 5 minutes) into the cave.

Ice cave tours in Iceland can be taken at several places throughout the island. The best ice cave tours in Iceland take place at Vatnajokull glacier in Skaftafell National Park. Closer to Reykjavik, and extremely close to Vik, the ice caves in Myradsjokull glacier are popular among travellers. The meeting point for this day tour is at Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, from where you embark on the super jeep journey.

There are also tours of man-made ice tunnels which have been created in the Langjokull glacier. Some tours are available year-round and those in this area are ideal for those traversing the golden circle. Nearby Gullfoss waterfall is a popular stop on guided tours.

No-one should ever attempt going into an ice cave or tunnel without a guide, no matter how experienced they are, and with no end to guided ice cave tours, you have no reason to try.

Frequently asked questions

What's the best ice cave tour in Iceland?

The best-selling ice cave tour in Iceland is a 5-day trip that visits the Blue Ice Cave in Vatnajokull National Park along with a trip through the South Coast, the famous Golden Circle, and the Blue Lagoon.

What are the best ice caves in Iceland?

The most popular ice caves in Iceland are the Crystal Ice Cave, the illusive Katla Ice Cave, the icy blue Langjokull Ice Cave, the spectacular Vatnajokull Ice Cave, and the remote Skaftafell Ice Cave.

What's the cheapest ice cave tour in Iceland?

The cheapest ice cave tour in Iceland starts from approximately 170 USD. This tour is a 3.5-hour small-group tour that starts at the Skaftafell Visitor Centre and takes you to the Vatnajokull glacier, where you will experience both ice caving and glacier hiking. If you are located in Reykjavik, it's about a 4-hour drive to Skaftafell Visitor Centre.

How do the ice caves form in Iceland?

Ice caves in Iceland form when summer meltwater enters a glacier through its cracks and crevasses and erodes its way out. The ice cave tours in Iceland are only available during the winter when the ice caves become more stable.

When can I visit ice caves in Iceland?

Because of the vulnerability of the ice caves during the summer months, most ice caves in Iceland are only open for visitors between November and March.

Are the ice caves in Iceland worth it?

Definitely. This is truly a unique experience to Iceland and transports you to an otherworldly place you won't soon forget. The photography opportunities are also amazing, and it's only available during the winter, making it even more exclusive.

Are ice caves in Iceland safe to enter?

All ice caves in Iceland are checked by experienced glacier guides and experts to ensure they are structurally sound. They can only be visited on an ice cave tour with a local guide.

Can you visit ice caves in Iceland on your own?

No. You should never visit an ice cave in Iceland without a professional guide as it can be dangerous.

Can I visit the ice caves in Iceland in late October?

There are some ice caves in Iceland open in October. Both the Myrdalsjokull Glacier and some caves under the Vatnajokull Glacier are typically structurally sound during this time of year.

Are ice cave tours in Iceland operational around Christmas?

Ice cave tours beneath the Vatnajokull glacier in Iceland run from October to March, including Christmas. Most operators provide tours around the Christmas season.

How much time will I spend inside the ice cave in Iceland?

Most Iceland ice cave tours spend around 40-50 minutes inside the cave.

Is a glacier hike included in the ice cave tours in Iceland?

A glacier hike is not included in a standard ice caving tour in Iceland. However, you can find them in several multi-day tours and vacation packages.

What is the best ice cave tour from Reykjavik?

The best ice cave tour starting from Reykjavik is this exhilarating 10-hour ice caving tour in Langjokull glacier. It includes transport to the glacier, a knowledgeable guide, and a monster truck ride on the glacier itself while getting to the ice cave. That makes for a day you won't soon forget!

How long is an ice cave tour in Iceland?

While your time inside the ice cave is around 45-60 minutes, depending on the tour, most Iceland ice cave tours are at least 4-5 hours since it takes time to put on proper equipment and hike towards the ice cave itself, which is located inside a glacier.

Do you offer a snowmobile and ice cave tour in Iceland?

Yes, we offer several snowmobile and ice cave tours in Iceland.

Do you offer a photography ice cave tour in Iceland?

Yes, we do offer a photography ice cave tour in Iceland.

Will there be any daylight if we visit the ice caves in Iceland early in the day in the middle of winter?

Yes, it might take 4-5 hours to travel to the ice caves in Iceland if you're arriving from Reykjavik. By the time you arrive and put on your safety gear, the sun will be up and you're ready to go ice caving.

How much do ice cave tours cost in Iceland?

Ice cave tours in Iceland start from 100 USD and can run into thousands of dollars for luxury or multi-day trips.

What should I wear for my ice cave tour in Iceland?

It is important to stay warm and dry while ice caving in Iceland. We recommend layers under a warm waterproof winter jacket (and pants if you have them), a hat, gloves, scarf, and hiking shoes or boots with ankle support.

Will there be any climbing tools necessary to explore the ice caves in Iceland?

Unless your tour description explicitly says so, no you won't need climbing tools to explore Iceland's ice caves. If your tour includes some ice climbing activities it will say so in the tour's description and the tour company will provide you with any tools you might need.

How cold are the ice caves in Iceland?

The temperature inside the ice caves in Iceland is around 32°F (0°C) and can get as cold as 14°F (-10°C) in some parts. Thus it is important to wear warm clothes, headwear and gloves when visiting an ice cave, even during the summer.