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Búri Lava Cave, also referred to as Búri lava tube, is an impressive system of tunnels and chambers created by a lava river. At almost 1km long, with chambers 10 meters high, the size of this cave alone is impressive. However, Búri has something even more unique lying in its network: an eerie, yet impressive 17-metre-deep vertical pit. Known as a lava fall, this tunnel was created by fierce lava that burnt its way down through the rock. 

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What is Búri Cave?

Apart from its size, Búri Cave is known for its incredibly decorated chambers and walls. Not only are the walls created with a mix of lava rock, but during the winter, the walls play host to stalactite and stalagmite icicle formations. This makes Búri a special and unique wonder.

The Discovery of Búri Cave

One of the most fascinating elements of Búri Cave is its discovery. Unlike other caves in Iceland, the entrance was only discovered in 1992, and even then, there were only a few meters in which you could explore. Fallen rocks blocked the path and concealed the tube and cave, so for many years, the beauty of Búri remained undiscovered. In 2005, a volcanologist, Björn Hróarsson, cleared part of the fallen rocks to reveal a small opening. He uncovered a path that led to the larger passage and the lava fall, which is what Búri is most famous for today.

Much of the cave is still being researched and discovered. Past the lava fall, the passage ends with collapsed rocks. The Icelandic Speleological Society has members determining whether it's possible to explore further and find their way through the collapsed areas.

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Visitors exploring Buri Cave with headlamps on before it closed

Where is Búri Cave?

The cave is located in the Leitahraun lava field, south of Reykjavik, on the Reykjanes Peninsula. This area is a geologist's dream: geothermal activity, tectonic movement and includes most earthquakes in Iceland. All this activity means that this peninsula is full of fascinating and unique features, including Búri Cave.

For tours of this active area, join a day tour of Reykjanes Peninsula.

The Búri Cave’s coordinates are 63.9139° N, 21.4844° W

How to get to Búri Lava Cave?

Currently, Búri Cave is shut to the public with no plans of reopening due to concerns about damage to the cave and for research. The area surrounding the cave is used as a water source, and there are fears about the area getting damaged by visitors. The owners and Icelandic Cave Research Association are working together to research more, as this is the largest lava cave found in Iceland in 800 years.

For an alternative, discover our lava caves and tours. The closest nearby option to Búri is Raufarhólshellir, the fourth largest lava cave in Iceland. 

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