Overview

Join us into a craggy, volcanically scarred world hidden beneath the earth’s surface – to one of the longest and most famous lava tube caves in Iceland.

Highlights

  • Explore a Magnificent Lava Tunnel
  • The Guides Informative Overview of the Cave’s History

Visit Raufarhólshellir – a stunning geological paradise that was formed after a volcanic eruption that happened around 5000 years ago. The cave is a magical place, famed for its vivid colors, fascinating rock sculptures and a host of other things that will inspire awe and wonder in equal measure.

We will be visiting Raufarholshellir – a stunning geological paradise that was formed after a volcanic eruption that happened around 5000 years ago. The cave is a magical place, famed for its vivid colors, fascinating rock sculptures and a host of other things that will inspire awe and wonder in equal measure. All in the company of a friendly and knowledgeable guide, who will tell us everything that we need to know about this subterranean paradise. If you want to go on an adventure of exploration through an ancient volcanic conduit, then this tour is perfect for you.

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Small group experience
  • Expert guides
Availability All Year
Duration 1 Hour / 3 Hours
Departs From Reykjavik
Level Easy Suitable for most people in fair condition.
Minimum age 6 years
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up Yes

From

49
Per Adult(16+)
Teenagers (12-18): 25 USD
  • Fast & secure payment
You have selected Meet On Location
You have selected From Reykjavik

What's included

Included

  • Guided Tour with a Certified Caving Guide
  • All Necessary Safety Equipment
  • Helmet & Head Torch
  • Crampons (in winter)
  • Pickup From Reykjavik*

What to bring

  • Warm outdoor clothing
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Headwear
  • Gloves
  • Good hiking shoes are highly recommended

Not Included

  • Meals

Contact us for more Information about this tour

Itinerary

Information

The day begins when we meet our lava cave expert at the entrance to Raufarholshellir, who will provide us with any equipment that we need and give us any relevant safety information. Then, once everyone is happy, we will begin walking down the narrow sloping path into the lava tube cave itself.

The walk is easy in terms of difficulty, with some parts having developments like footbridges and paths to make it easier and other parts being as nature intended. This means that the tour can be done by people of all ages and abilities, however, participants must be comfortable walking on uneven surfaces to be able to take part in the tour.

As we push deeper into the subterranean natural wonder, we will start to see the many majestic sights that have made it so popular, including spectacular rainbow-colored walls that have been dyed various shades of emerald, ruby, turquoise, and lilac by the mineral deposits in Raufarholshellir.

The most spectacular parts are illuminated, ensuring that we can appreciate all the magic that Raufarholshellir has to offer. Our friendly guide will tell us how the volcanic activity helped to craft the cave and its tubular structure will give you a great insight into how the lava flows helped to form it.  

Raufarholshellir is an ever-changing and ever-evolving environment and the time of year that you visit will impact the type of visit we have. During the winter glimmering shards of ice hang from the cave’s craggy ceiling, creating a stunning visual effect that all visitors are sure to appreciate.

While, the rest of the year is equally beautiful, thanks to the multi-colored minerals that decorate the cave’s walls and the stunning rock formations that the lava has created. That coupled with the Raufarholshellir’s cavernous ceilings that can reach as high as 10 meters, ensure that it is a truly incredible experience that all visitors are sure to appreciate. A subterranean wonder without compare – there is no better way to appreciate the magical underground world that lies hidden beneath our feet.

People inside Raufarhólshellir lava tunnel

Raufarholshellir is one of the longest lava tube caves in Iceland, spanning 1360 meters the majority of which is taken up by the 900-meter main tunnel. It is most famous for the spectacular high ceiling that is contained within the middle of the cave, where three slender beams of gleaming light penetrate its dark heart, illuminating a stunning geological world of majestic beauty. There are three smaller tunnels that snake off the main one, where cascading streams of petrified lava stand frozen in time – a fitting memorial to the convulsing geothermal energy that helped to form the cave.

Raufarholshellir is a lava tube cave, meaning it was formed, following the sudden flash-cooling of lava during a volcanic eruption. It owes its existence to the Leitahraun eruption, which occurred around 5200 years ago in a volcano that lies to the east of the famous Blafjoll mountains. The cave was discovered by geologists in 1950 and had a host of stalactites decorating its ceiling, however, unfortunately, they have largely disappeared over the past half-century thanks to the many people who have visited the cave. If you want to explore an ancient volcanic conduit that is mesmerizingly beautiful, then Raufarholshellir may just be the place for you.

The tunnel is located less than 30 minutes drive (approximately 30 km) from Reykjavík and accessible by all vehicles. Driving from Reykjavík east on Route 1 and drive for about 18 km. Turn right onto Route 39 (Þorlákshöfn) and drive for another 12 km. The parking area will be on your left-hand side.

This tour is offered with pickup service from Reykjavik once per day.  Please note that the tour will take approximately 3 hours in total with the pickup and drop off service. If you do need transportation from Reykjavik, please choose the “With Pickup” option in the booking widget on the right side.

-Pickup for the 08:00 AM departure starts at 08:30 AM, the tour starts at 9:30 AM

*If you meet us at the location you can bring a child that is younger than six years old. If you purchase the transfer from and to Reykjavík, the tour is available from six years older. Remember to bring warm outdoor clothing, waterproof jacket, and pants, headwear and gloves. Good hiking shoes are highly recommended.

FAQ

We provide you with a headlight and a helmet.

Like always in Iceland, it’s best to dress in layers. Warm layers closest to you preferably wool/thermal underwear, pants sweater and on top waterproof outdoor clothing. We also recommend that you wear good hiking boots and gloves. Jeans have proven to be a bad choice.

This is a great question. We ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pickup time indicated. This is because you may well be the first pick up of the day. Please be at your assigned location at the start time that you chose when booking the tour.

Here you should wait for your guide.

Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.

View our pick-up locations in Reykjavík.

Before and during activities on the multi-day tours consumption of alcohol is prohibited. If we suspect that a participant is intoxicated, we will prohibit them from joining the activity.

After the activities of the day are finished, you are welcome to have a drink and relax.

Yes, we do. Langjökull Ice Cave is a magical experience, the tour has no minimum age and is a wonderful option for the whole family. Whale Watching with our partner company Elding has been a favourite with families traveling with young children, these guys have a great success rate in seeing whales (upwards of 98% in the summertime).

Another option would be the Landmannalaugar Safari on this tour you get to explore parts of the Icelandic highlands and bathe in natural hot springs. Most of our super jeep tours are also suitable for children over the age of 6 years old. If you would like a nice and relaxing experience we would also recommend the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour.

Your safety is our number one priority! Keeping this in mind, Arctic Adventures reserves the right to adjust the itinerary and/or take different routes depending on conditions. Please read more information in our cancellation policy.

Yes, there is a specially trained and certified guide on each of our tours. The only exception to this is for our self-drive tours.

All of our tours are guided in English.

No, for all your questions and concerns you would need to contact our customer service.

The standard in Iceland is 230V and 50Hz and we use F-type power sockets and plugs, so you might have to bring an adaptor if you are visiting from UK, USA, Canada or other countries using a different voltage, Hz or plugs.

Our tours are split into four different categories that help participants to understand what to expect from the tour. The categories are Easy, Moderate, Challenging and Demanding. Each tour is rated making it easier to find tours that suit you.

For further information about the difficulty ratings and descriptions.

We’ve partnered with the Kolviður Fund in a new carbon offsetting program, which passengers can select to participate in at the time of booking.

The Kolviður Fund is the oldest, most respected carbon offsetting program in Iceland. With your support, one tree will be planted in special Kolviður forests in Iceland to carbon offset your tour with us.

Kolviður forests are strategically planted to absorb the maximum amount of CO2 and the forests are protected for a minimum of 60 years. During their lifetime the trees absorb carbon and store it in their root system, trunk, and branches. Trees also prevent soil erosion and maintain storage of carbon in the soil.

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