Iceland is packed with caves of all sizes and shapes due to its geographical location so picking our top five was quite hard. However, we have combined the most colorful and outstanding lava tubes which offer easy access and extraordinarily beautiful ice caves that can be found around Iceland, onto our top five list. Hopefully, you will get the chance to visit them once you embark upon your adventure to the land of fire and ice.
1. The Lava Tunnel (Raufarhólshellir)
Located just 30 minutes from Reykjavík and easily accessed year-round, The Lava Tunnel is a must see when in Iceland. A journey into The Lava Tunnel is a unique experience and a great opportunity to witness the inner workings of a volcanic eruption. The cave is 1.4km in length, 10 m in height and was formed about 5200 years ago.
The cave has been renovated and made accessible year-round, improving the experience of visiting it, and it has received multiple awards for the lighting that brings out the true character and amazing colors of the lava.
Guided tours depart into the cave from 09:00 until 17:00 every hour on the hour. There are two types of tours offered, the standard 1-hour tour and an extreme 4-hour tour where the guides take you all the way to the end of the tunnel where magnificent lava falls and other natural monuments await.
The Lava Tunnel is definitely one of the places to visit if you want to capture some stunning photos to show back home. You can see some examples of the possibilities on The Lava Tunnel’s Instagram page.
2. Crystal Cave
The Ice Crystal Cave is guaranteed to take your breath away, with its bright blue colors in an array of different hues. No wonder that visiting ice caves has become one of the more popular activities among tourist in the winter time in Iceland. Since the cave forms every year, it is never the same but always truly an unforgettable experience.
The Cave can only be accessed during the winter months since it forms inside of a glacier, and during the spring or summer months, there is a danger of the cave collapsing due to the glacier melting. The Crystal Cave appears year after year in Vatnajökull glacier and for safety reasons can only be entered with a guide.
The team at Extreme Iceland can help you explore this cave while it is in season, see their tour here.
Vatnshellir is a lava tube located in Snæfellsnes peninsula in the west of Iceland, near the Snæfellsjökull glacier. A 200-meter spiral staircase has been installed in the cave to allow you to descend into the underworld and explore the 8,000-year-old lava cave.
The Purkhólahraun lava field, where Vatnshellir is located is about 2h and 30m away from Reykjavík and the cave is open all year round with 3 tours per day in the winter and 9 tours per day on the hour in the summertime from 10:00-18:00.
See their tour here.
4. The Ice Cave Tunnel
Not all caves in Iceland are made by nature. In Langjökull, Iceland’s second largest glacier you can find the largest man-made ice tunnel in the world. There you have the opportunity to journey inside the glacier and reveal the mystery of what lies beneath the surface of a glacier. There is even a chapel in there.
The team at Into the Glacier operate the tours that will lead you to the untouched beauty and raw nature of Langjokull. Click here to check the dates and availability.
5. Lofthellir cave
If you plan on visiting the North of Iceland, you should visit Lofthellir which is a 3500-year-old lava cave near Lake Myvatn. The cave is about 370 meters long and the underground scenery won’t disappoint with its amazingly peculiar ice sculptures.
Similar to the other popular caves in Iceland, you can only access the Lofhellir cave accompanied by a guide. The tour can be quite demanding so make sure to read up on it before committing. The tour company Extreme Iceland has tours from Mývatn to the cave. More information can be found here.