Gabija is passionate about traveling and writing. In her free time, she likes to read, try out different cuisines, or embark on outdoor adventures.
Iceland has numerous ice caves, from the Crystal Ice cave in Vatnajokull to the Into the Glacier on Falljökull, and new ice caves form every year. So, which ones are the most worth visiting? Here, we will discuss some of the best ice caves in Iceland one by one and the tours to go to them.
Ice caves are found all over Iceland but are constantly changing. As we have stated before, the glacier ice in Iceland is greatly affected by geothermal activity, which also adds to the incredible uniqueness of Icelandic ice caves. One would probably not think that ice caves would form in a country known for volcanic eruptions and its geothermal activeness, but in Iceland, you have it all.
There is a great reason why Iceland is called the “Land of fire and ice!”
1. Man-Made Ice Tunnel
Man-made ice tunnel in Iceland
Location: Langjökull Glacier
In 2010 two men called Baldvin Einarsson, and Hallgrímur Örn Arngrímsson took a bold decision to make their dream of bringing people not only around but also inside the glacier.
They brought in Ari Trausti Guðmundsson, a renowned geophysicist, and he started studying, planning, modeling, and carefully preparing for construction. When the ice cave at Langjökull was opened, it became the world's biggest man-made Glacier Ice Cave.
The Crystal Ice cave is the one you have probably seen photos of. It has been visited since 2011-2012, and high hopes are that we can continue to do so. It’s is carved out by a large glacial river every summer and is located in the beautiful Breiðamerkurjökull, which also provides water and ice to the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
The inside of the cave is somewhat like a crystal dome, and this is where the name comes from. The light shines through the thick ice, making the color a vivid blue. This ice cave is worth visiting for any adventure seeker or photography lover.
Katla Ice cave tour will take you into a unique ice cave that lies under the volcano. This ice cave is located on the Mýrdalsjökull glacier in Kötlujökull, which is named after the Katla volcano. It sounds a bit complicated, I know. But all you need to know is that you'll be on a glacier, hiking up to a volcano-mountain to see one of the most beautiful natural ice caves.
Breathtaking Katla Ice cave, Iceland
Another awesome thing about the Katla Ice Cave is that it can be visited all year round, thanks to its geology. Contrasting blue and black ice walls distinguish this ice cave from the others.
The Vatnajökull Ice Cave Tour with Glacier Hike takes place on Falljökull glacier and requires about 30-45 minutes of glacier hiking to reach the cave. Falljökull is a glacial sculpture garden, so the hike up is absolutely beautiful.
Guide climbing up the Vatnajokull glacier, Iceland
The great thing about this tour is that because the cave is so high up on the glacier, it’s operated sooner in the season than the Crystal Ice cave. The higher you go on the glacier, the colder, so the cave is more stable and less affected by the warmth of the summer or other natural causes.
It's entirely up to you to decide! First of all, they're all different and with their unique features. Visit the man-made ice tunnel if you want to admire what a human desire can do, and if you're looking for great photos, Crystal Ice Cave is right for you. Katla Ice Cave is unique for its geology and can be visited all year round, and Falljokull ice cave can be combined together with an unforgettable glacier hike!
Since the glaciers are constantly moving and unpredictable, it is impossible to visit glaciers and natural glacial ice caves without a certified glacier guide. Book a glacier or an ice cave tour to see these nature's marvels.
Man-Made Ice Cave and Katla Ice Cave are relatively close to Reykjavik (approximately 132 and 152 km), while Crystal Ice Cave and Falljokull Ice Cave are located in the South East region. Although most of these tours have a pick-up from Reykjavik option, for example, this "Into the glacier" experience or Katla Ice Cave Tour.