Ice Caves

Ice Caves

The ice caves under Iceland’s glacier are the real deal. These are caves sculpted by melt water during the Summer months. The walls and ceiling are carved by glacier rivers. There is no human involvement. These are not machine built tunnels.

These blue ice palaces are generally found near glaciers and conveniently they are usually at the edges of glaciers which means that if you have a Jeep with big tyres it can be possible to drive close to them. They are notoriously dangerous and have claimed the lives of many people who have made the wrong decision to enter them. For this reason, our tours always use Highly experienced Glacier Guides who spend many hours accessing the safety of a cave before entering.

On the right you can see a glacier guide asking a group to wait while we finish our photography. These caves have become very popular and it is common to have over 30 people at a time.

Seasons & locations

It might be possible to access the Kverkfjöll Ice Caves on the North edge of Vatnjokull Glacier. These caves are formed by volcanic hot water springs. It is easier to access the area in the Summer. These caves have claimed some lives in recent years. Please ask staff at the Sigurðarskáli mountain hut if access is safe.

South Coast

The Katla ice cave can be access throughout the year and is great for a day tour from Reykjavik. There is an admission fee to access the cave. Superjeep offer a tour including this admission fee as well as a South Coast Superjeep tour (see below).

Vatnjökull South East

The caves we visit on our Photo workshops and Jökulsarlon Tours are on the Southern Edge of Vatnjökull Glacier in South East Iceland. The Vatnjökull Ice caves are forged by glacier rivers and sometimes the rivers can fill the entire cave if there is enough melt water in warmer weather. It is the movement of the river that carve the beautiful scalloped walls in the cave. In the Winter months the glacier river will recede allowing access. These are only safe in mid Winter and often have morning sunlight entering the caves.


Photo tips

Take a tripod because some images require long exposures in areas deep in the cave without much light. A wide angle lens is best because there is limited space inside but the ceiling can be massive. Think up-side-down in terms of composition and look for the foreground in the walls or ceiling. Polariser filters can have interesting results. Try to include a well placed human to show the scale. Read More…

Vatnjokull Glacier

This is where the majority of the Natural Ice Caves are because Vatnjokull is Iceland’s largest glacier. Many tour companies run 2 types of tour. There are tours that take you to easy access caves or crevasse. Although these tours are cheaper and have easy access, they can become very crowded. The more expensive tours are more adventurous than the regular cave tours. They normally take twice as long and involve long hikes over rough terrain and glaciers. These Ice Cave Adventure tours are recommended for photography because they run with smaller groups and so the caves they visit are less crowded. These tours can be physically demanding so please check details before booking.

Most listed Ice cave adventures need a minimum of 2 pax to run. If you are a solo traveller, please check back to see if others have booked your dates, or contact us for further assistance.

Meeting points

Getting to these ice caves is not easy, these tours include transport in superjeeps to get you close enough to hike. The tours usually leave from the car park at Jökulsarlon or from nearby hotels. The caves are around 400km from Reykjavik. They are best visited on a Multi-day photo tour or self drive including local hotels.

Blue Ice cave adventure

Under the glacier

You will experience a natural ice cave in the vast Vatnajökull glacier. The unique ice caves are part of Europe’s largest ice cap. This ice cave tour adds a bit extra to the standard tour with a proper glacier hike and some parts that the other tours don’t reach. The ice caves offer fantastic photo opportunities. The level of this tour is hard, but it is an unforgettable experience.

Cancellation policy

Bookings can be cancelled whenever without any fees.

You will experience a natural ice cave in the vast Vatnajökull glacier. The unique ice caves are part of Europe’s largest ice cap. This ice cave tour is great for those who want to witness an isolated ice cave that is difficult to get to. The ice caves offer fantastic photo opportunities. The level of this tour is hard, but it is an unforgettable experience. The ice cave tour is refundable if it is cancelled because of weather conditions or safety issues. The ice cave tour is between 5 – 7 hours. We meet at Hali Country Hotel, 13 km east of Jökulsárlón. The tour is guided by a trained glaciers and ice cave guide. The ice cave tour involves 25 – 30 minutes of driving and 45 – 90 minutes of hiking. We will be in the cave around 1 hour. Please note that the hiking on this tour is in the Icelandic nature and this involves gravel, uneven ground and sometimes on a glacier.
Blue Ice cave adventure

Under the glacier

  • Availability: 09:00
  • Meeting point: Hali Country Hotel reception
  • Area: South East Iceland
  • Level: Medium – Hard
  • Group max: 8 people
  • Duration: 5-7 hours

Tour includes a ride in a Super Jeep with a local glacier guide. The tour goes to one ice cave that is chosen each day according to conditions. These ice caves are challenging to access. We offer it as a personal tour for our guests with a max 8 persons in a group. How much hiking can you expect during the tour? The hike is around 3 km one way to the cave. So in total, it is around 6 km during the trip. Part of it, around 2 km (4 km in total) can be on glaciated terrain were crampons and other glacier equipment is necessary. The other part is on a rocky and sometimes uneven terrain.The terrain might be totally or partly covered with snow or slippery ice where the micro spikes we give you come in handy. Regarding drones It is not allowed to fly drones during the tour.

Ice cave tour includes

What we give you to carry. Some gear might be left behind dependent on conditions.

  • Helmet with headlamp (always)
  • Crampons for the glacier (sometimes)
  • Walking harness (sometimes)
  • Ice axe (sometimes)
  • Rubber boots (sometimes)
  • Microspikes (sometimes)
You need to bring?

  • Woolen socks
  • Waterproof hiking boots with ankle support (can be rented from us)
  • Base layer- wool or synthetic (no cotton!)
  • Hiking trousers softshell (no jeans!)
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Long sleeve layer wool or synthetic (no cotton!)
  • Fleece or similar
  • Warm fleece or warm jacket
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Gloves (two pairs)
  • Hat/beanie that works under a helmet (no pompom)
  • Balaclava or neck gaiter.
  • Sunglasses
  • Backpack -with space for your equipment, camera, food and drink for the day.
  • Food for 6 hours tour & non alcoholic drink

Ice cave excursion

Ice cave excursion

Join this great ice cave adventure in amazing glacier landscapes with incredible photo opportunities. With a bit of time and effort we will take you to the most interesting ice cave in the area. This ice cave adventure starts with a glacier hike on Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. This breathtaking scenic glacier hike to the ice cave offers magical views of the the Glacier Lagoon at Jökulsárlón. See how the glacier calves into the Glacier Lagoon. This tour offers a totally unique angle of this amazing natural phenomenon and explores Iceland’s unique ice caves. These ice cave excursions are run by experienced and certified glacier guides.

  • Duration:6 hours
  • Physical difficulty level: Challenging
  • Please note:Minimum age of passengers is: 16

Meet at Jokulsarlon Glacier lagoon

Book your ice cave tour directly from Local suppliers.

Crystal ice cave tours

These tours are to the popular Crystal Ice Cave. The Crystal ice cave is easy to access as the vehicles can drive very close to the entrance. There are many companies running tours to the crystal ice caves so this ice cave can become very crowded. Not recommended for photography!

Katla Ice Cave

Katla is an active volcano under the Mýrdalsjökull glacier on the South Coast of Iceland. The cave is a 800 ear old glacier feature under the Kötlujökull glacier outlet which is where glacier floods from the active Katla volcano burst forth. The ice is black and blue due to the regular volcanic eruptions. It is about 3 hours from Reykjavik which makes it suitable for a day tour combined with the black beaches and waterfalls of Iceland’s South Coast.

Katla ice cave

Katla Ice cave – all year tour!

This tour explore both the South Coast of Iceland & a natural ice cave in a day tour from Reykjavik. This adventure can only be experienced with a Katlatrack guide. Katlatrack are the only tour company to combine a South Coast tour with a visit to a natural ice cave in a single day.

Our day starts at 8:00am, when your Katlatrack driver collects you from central Reykjavik drives the South Coast to Vik. Then you experience wild local landscapes on the way to the cave. You will be loaned all safety equipment and be shown how to use it. After around 45 minutes exploring the cave, the tour returns to Reykjavik including Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls.

  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Difficulty : Moderate

What’s included?

Local Guide, Expert Ice Cave Guide, minibus ,
Super Jeep Transport, Loan equipment for exploring the Ice Cave (includes
helmet, head lamp and crampons),

Exclusions

Food & drinks
What do I need to bring?
Warm Clothing, Waterproof Rain Gear, Hat,
Gloves, Hiking Shoes or Snow Boots are essential.

Cancellation policy

We will charge a cancellation fee of 100% if booking is cancelled 2 days or less before event

Know before you go

Minimum age of passengers is: 12

Katla ice cave

Katla Ice cave – fast-track tour!

This tour explores a glacier cave in South Iceland. This adventure can only be experienced with a Katlatrack guide. The guide will meet you at the N1 Service Station in Vik. You will experience wild local landscapes on a 30-45 minute Superjeep ride to the cave. Your guide will provide you with helmets, crampons and any other required safety equipment. The guide will explain how the cave was created while you explore the ice cave area. You will have 40-60 minutes in the glacier area before returning to Vik to continue our adventure.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Difficulty : Very Easy

What’s included?

Local Guide, Expert Glacier Guide, minibus ,
Super Jeep Transport, Loan equipment for exploring the glacier (includes
helmet, head lamp and crampons),

Exclusions

Food & drinks
What do I need to bring?
Warm Clothing, Waterproof Rain Gear, Hat,
Gloves, Hiking Shoes or Snow Boots are essential.

Cancellation policy

We will charge a cancellation fee of 100% if booking is cancelled 2 days or less before event

Know before you go

Minimum age of passengers is: 8

South Coast & Katla ice cave

Leading Iceland bus tour company, Reykjavik Excursions are offering a combo tour which includes the main features on the South Coast and a trip to the Katla Ice Cave. The trip includes Pick-up from BSÍ Bus Terminal Vatnsmýrarvegur 10, Reykjavík 101. Visiting the Lava Centre, Skogafoss, Katla Ice Cave, Vik, Seljalandsfoss and a return to Reykjavik Bus Terminal (BSI).

A perfect way to experience an ice cave is on our South Coast and Natural Ice Cave Tour.

What do I need to bring?

  • Remember to dress according to weather
  • Warm clothes, waterproof jacket, and sturdy shoes are recommended
  • We recommend bringing thermal layers, a winter hat, scarf, gloves, and wearing warm socks for colder days 

Cancellation policy

  • We will charge a cancellation fee of 100% if booking is cancelled 1 day or less before event
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Tours & workshops (Nov-March)

6 day Diamonds & Dragons

This multi-day tour will take you around the best of South & West Iceland in six days. Touring from North West to South East with many top photo locations.
Prices from $7,536USD

South Iceland Photo Tours

Our guided, multi-day photo tours of South Iceland will give you incredible photo opportunities. The South coast is rich with, glacier ice, towering waterfalls and black sand beaches.
Book online from $2,291 USD

Seven day Full Circle

Iceland has a rich variety of landscapes and seascapes and this tour is designed to enhance that variety & capture Iceland’s full diversity in a week long tour around the country.
Prices from $8,847 USD

FlyTour – Jökulsarlon

Spend a day or 2 in the Vatnjökull area of Iceland. This Iceland photo tour puts you right in the heart of Iceland’s stunning Glacier landscapes with one of our photo guides. These totally flexible photo tours can be booked on the fly and we can sometimes run with flexible dates to avoid a bad weather trip.

Three day Jökulsarlon, Vestrahorn & South Coast

Feel the powerful silence of Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon and explore the South Coast & Vesturhorn – one of our best Iceland Photo Tour for Auroras.

Five day Beautiful South

This photo tour combines the Golden Circle, Snæfellsnes Peninsular , South coast & Jökulsarlon photo tours to give a complete South Iceland experience.

Custom Photo Tour

If you want something that is not listed or you want see Iceland at your own pace on a bespoke tour, our Custom Photo Tours go to all parts of Iceland.

Winter photo workshops with Tony Prower

5 full photography days
  • South Coast & Vatnjökull region
  • Ice and Aurora photography
  • Regular dates from Oct – March
  • SiXPaXMaX
  • Prices from: $1850 USD
  • Single room supplement: $240 USD
  • Ice cave tours

    Jökulsárlón & diamond beach

    Jökulsarlon is a large iceberg lake that connects with the North Atlantic and volcanic, black sand beaches. These beaches often get littered with glacier ice crystals and are known as the Diamond Beach.

    Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon

    The Fjallsarlon lagoon is fairly small and so you are close to the glacier shelf. The jagged glacier edge is a place where you might witness ice calving in the Summer months.

    Ice Caves

    The ice caves under the Vatnjökull glacier are the real deal. These are caves sculpted by melt water during the Summer months. The walls and ceiling are carved by glacier rivers.

    Vatnjökull Glacier

    Roughly translated, Vatnjökull is the “Lake Glacier” and it is not only the biggest glacier in Iceland, but it is Europe’s largest piece of ice that is more than 300 square miles.

    Journey to the ice beach

    Journey to the ice beach

    This Winter photo was taken on the ice beach at Jokulsarlon on a photo tour at Sunrise. The blue of the glacier ice works well against the black sand and glowing sky. Winter Sunrise occurs out to sea in South Iceland, so we are often greeted with a colourful back drop to the Glacier ice.

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