A beautiful Crystal Ice Cave in Vatnajökull Glacier in South-Iceland

Visiting the crystal ice cave in Vatnajökull glacier is something I will never forget, it left me totally speechless! I was on a tour with the Guide to Iceland team in January 2016 with the purpose of visiting the ice caves in this area. We had already visited the beautiful aquamarine ice caves in Fláajökull glacier earlier that same day. 

So I was very excited about visiting another ice cave, as these rare natural ice caves are out of this world. This is nature so we never know though if these caves will be formed and accessible each year. Unfortunately, the ice cave in Fláajökull glacier didn't form in the year 2016-2017.  The ice cave guides go look for caves every winter and as I said sometimes they don't find caves. And if it is a warm winter then these caves get flooded, so it is impossible to enter them. 

A beautiful Crystal Ice Cave in Vatnajökull Glacier in South-Iceland

The Crystal Ice Cave was located in an outlet glacier of Iceland's largest ice cap, Vatnajökull glacier, called Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.

I had already seen some pretty amazing photographs from inside such ice caves, shot by the extremely talented photographer, Iurie Belegurschi, and was dying to see this ice cave with my own eyes. One of Iurie's beautiful photos is below.

A beautiful Crystal Ice Cave in Vatnajökull Glacier in South-Iceland

We met the Guide to Iceland tour guide at Jökulsárlón lagoon and were driven in a specially modified car on a very bumpy mountain road up to the glacier. The ride only took 15 minutes and there was a very short and easy 5-minute's-hike to the mouth of the ice cave.

On my photo below you can see the specially modified car from Guide to Iceland, which transported us to the ice cave. In the photo to the left is Ingólfur, the COO of Guide to Iceland, and Kolbeinn, our glacier guide.

A beautiful Crystal Ice Cave in Vatnajökull Glacier in South-Iceland

We were given a safety helmet and crampons for walking on the ice. These ice caves, although so extremely beautiful, can be dangerous and should never be entered without a glacier guide and proper safety gear.

When we entered the ice cave the beauty of it just took my breath away. I and the rest of the group turned into kids, playing in the snow and touching this blue ice which formed an ice dome above our heads.

A beautiful Crystal Ice Cave in Vatnajökull Glacier in South-Iceland

The ice cave is big and further inside the cave, away from the light, the ice turned into a sapphire blue wonderland! With ice sculptures and icicles hanging from the ceiling!

We were totally emerged in this beautiful blue colour and all of us were taking photos left and right. I had been worried about not having enough light inside the ice caves for my photos to turn out right and had been reading up on which camera settings would be the best for taking photos inside ice caves.

But once inside the caves I just left it up to the camera and shot the photos on the auto setting and used flash.

A beautiful Crystal Ice Cave in Vatnajökull Glacier in South-Iceland

I think the photos came out beautifully and justly showing all these extraordinary blue colours inside the ice cave. One of the photos looks like I shot a painted wall, but it is blue ice on one of the ice cave walls.

The photos above and below are of very old blue ice with black ash stripes from volcanic eruptions in Iceland! The blue ice you see inside the cave might be 900 years old! 

A beautiful Crystal Ice Cave in Vatnajökull Glacier in South-Iceland

Isn't this just breathtaking!! I had quite a few "WOW" moments inside this extraordinary beautiful ice cave. 

And I was praying for my photos to be able to capture this beauty and not come out all blurred or in the wrong colour.

We spent an hour inside the cave and when we left I felt elated - this is such a unique experience.

A beautiful Crystal Ice Cave in Vatnajökull Glacier in South-Iceland

This ice cave tour is by far the most popular ice cave tour and it is almost always sold out. If you want to book a tour to this ice cave then don't wait too long as it might be sold out!  I was helping a small group of Chinese people with their itinerary and suggested to them a visit to the ice caves. They, unfortunately, waited a couple of days before booking and by then this tour was sold out. I felt for them as they really wanted to see this ice cave.

There is only a limited number of people who are allowed into the ice cave per day, so it is unfortunately not possible to add an extra tour. And as I said earlier then the caves are inaccessible if there is no frost.

A beautiful Crystal Ice Cave in Vatnajökull Glacier in South-Iceland

These ice caves form in the summertime when water runs underneath the glacier and every autumn the guides look for new ice caves in Vatnajökull glacier

These natural ice caves are rare and we are very excited when a guide finds a new naturally formed ice cave. But nature is unpredictable and the glaciers are constantly moving. So one never knows if a new ice cave will form each year or where they will be located. Fortunately, this ice cave was located relatively close to ring road 1.

The ice caves can only be visited in winter time for 5 months from November-March. This tour lasts for 3 hours with approximately 1 hour inside the ice cave.

A beautiful Crystal Ice Cave in Vatnajökull Glacier in South-Iceland

If you want to drive to Jökulsárlón lagoon to meet up with the tour guide, then you can either rent a car in Reykjavík and join Iurie Belegurschi's photography tour to the ice cave, where you will be able to take professional photos of the cave. 

A good idea is also to join a package tour f.ex.:

Also, check out the many self-drive tours on offer:

Here you can check out the top ice cave tours and lava trips in Iceland! An added bonus to visiting Iceland in winter time is that beautiful Northern lights can frequently be spotted.

A beautiful Crystal Ice Cave in Vatnajökull Glacier in South-Iceland

Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon is located some 390 km east of Reykjavík in south-east Iceland or 375 km depending on from where you start your journey in Reykjavík city. Also, check out the Secret Ice Cave | Departure from Vik or if you are pressed for time or just want to drive to Vík then I found this tour Ice Caving In Iceland | Katla Fast Track Tour.

Have a lovely time visiting the ice caves :)

Contact Regína