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.
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.
1 Hour / 3 Hours
Meet on location
Departs from Overwrite
- Tour highlights
- Explore a Magnificent Lava Tunnel
- The Guides Informative Overview of the Cave’s History
- Guided Tour with a Certified Caving Guide
- All Necessary Safety Equipment
- Helmet & Head Torch
- Crampons (in winter)
- Pickup From Reykjavik*
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.
The day begins when we meet our friendly and knowledgeable guide 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 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.
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.
Meet on location
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.
Pickup Service From Reykjavik
This tour is offered with pickup service from Reykjavik twice 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 09:00 AM departure starts at 08:30 AM
-Pickup for the 13:00 PM departure starts at 12:30 PM
Remember to bring warm outdoor clothing, waterproof jacket and pants, headwear and gloves. Good hiking shoes are highly recommended.
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.
There is a saying in Iceland, if you don’t like the weather just wait 5 minutes. This might sound like a joke but it is strangely true! Thanks to the beloved Gulf Stream, our country enjoys a cool, temperate maritime climate, this means refreshing summers and fairly mild winters. So basically, Iceland maintains a surprisingly moderate temperature all year around. For further information about the weather in Iceland and how to dress for it.
If your tour includes a glacier activity it’s very important to dress appropriately. Dress in 3 or 4 upper layers such as a light t-shirt (preferably wool) next to the skin, then a fleece or heavy wool garment, topped off with a waterproof windbreaker. Jeans are not recommended for our trips as they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when they get wet. Lightweight hiking pants, track pants or long cotton pants are best and then wind/waterproof pants over. We also recommend using sunglasses and sunscreen even if it is cloudy due to the high UV and sunlight reflection from the glacier.
You will need sturdy hiking boots that fit crampons for the glacier hiking tours.
The drive from KEF airport to Reykjavik takes around 45 minutes. If your flight is delayed, please call our customer service team to go over what options you may have.
These are the two most common ways to get from the airport to Reykjavik city:
The cheapest and most convenient way of getting to and from Keflavik International Airport. The shuttle drops you off at the BSI Bus Terminal downtown or takes you all the way to your hotel or the closest drop off location. If you’re arriving on the same day as your tour departures we highly recommend to pick BSI Bus terminal as your pick up location.
Book your airport transfer in Iceland.
The quickest way to get to Reykjavik city is by a taxi. The taxis can drop you off at any of our pick-up locations. Taking a taxi is always more expensive than the airport shuttle.
For further information about getting to and from Keflavík International Airport.
Driving in Iceland can be tricky for two different reasons. The first being the weather conditions, especially in the winter months. The second reason is that if you’re not experienced in driving in conditions such as ice and snow then it could become dangerous.
If you are choosing a self-drive tour or to meet on location then make sure you have checked the driving conditions to make sure it is safe. At road.is you can find all the latest updates about travelling around Iceland. You should still check in the summer months just to make sure there is no storms or other types of weather warnings.
Iceland is a very high-tech country and we actually have one of the highest rates of Internet usage in the world. Many restaurants and cafés, especially in Reykjavik, have free Wi-Fi access, so if you have a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone you can get Internet access almost anywhere. All of our vehicles also have free Wi-Fi.
Tipping is not a requirement in Iceland although it is permitted and is well received in most cases.
Here is the plus side to a cold country like Iceland. No dangerous insects survive here! Iceland has about three areas where some mosquitoes have now settled but nothing you will have to worry about on our tours. So, to sum it up, no you will not need any repellant!
There are a few different ways you can book our trips. First of all, you can book almost all our trips right here on our website. There is a booking window on each tour page and we do recommend that you book and pay for your trip there, preferably in good time as we keep our groups small and some tours tend to sell out.
If the trip you would like to book is not bookable online, you can call our office directly, the phone number is +354 562 7000. Another way is to send us an e-mail with an inquiry through our contact form. What we need to have is your name, how many people are in your party, where you are staying, a way of contacting you either an e-mail or a phone number and what tour you are trying to book.
- You can pay through the internet, through our website. This is by far the easiest, safest and fastest way to reserve and pay for your adventure. If you choose this way then you will receive a voucher as a confirmation via e-mail which you will need to bring with you for your trip.
- You can pay via phone, the phone number is +354 562 7000.Please Note: However you pay, you will always get a voucher: REMEMBER TO PRINT IT OUT AND BRING IT ALONG OR MAKE SURE THAT YOU CAN SHOW IT ON YOUR ELECTRONIC DEVICE!
A booking is confirmed when you receive a confirmation email. If you think you have made a booking and have not received an email confirmation, please send us an e-mail with an inquiry through our contact form, and we will figure this out together.
We process all payments in Icelandic króna (ISK). Prices in your currency might vary slightly depending on the conversion rate set by your card issuer.
Arctic Adventures is not responsible for currency changes between different currencies.
Most of our tours have no minimum but there is a minimum of 2 people for a few of our trips. If you are interested in a trip that has a minimum of 2 persons and are travelling solo we can take down your information and contact you if more people book the trip.
We, unfortunately, don’t have a waiting list for our tours but feel free to check the availability sheet on our website as all updates will automatically be made to the sheet listed in each tour‘s description. We also offer a lot of different adventure tours around Iceland so chances are that we will have a similar version of the tour that you were originally looking for.
If we cancel a tour you have booked with us you will receive a 100% refund. The refund process is different depending on the way you booked the tour.
If you booked the tour on our website we will start the refund as soon as we know you will not be rescheduling and you will receive a separate email with the confirmation once the refund has been processed. It can then take a few days for the amount to show back up on your bank account once the refund has been processed and we, therefore, ask you to be patient.
If you booked the tour through a booking agent you will need to contact them to receive the refund. We will confirm with them that the tour was cancelled and the refund process will start on their end. Arctic Adventures only receives a payment when the tour has finished, this means that your payment is still with the booking agent and therefore, the refund will be processed by them.
If you pay with you card via email or phone you will need to contact us the same way again to be refunded.
We can not accommodate a person that has not reached the age limit on the tour. We put great value towards the safety of our customers and the minimum age policy falls under this. The minimum age requirement is decided by our operational managers and is dependent on each activity and it‘s difficulty ratings and can, therefore, vary between tours. We ask you to try to understand that this is based on safety procedures and we can therefore unfortunately not make any exceptions to this rule.
Arctic Adventures is a part of VAKINN which is the official quality and environmental system within Icelandic tourism. VAKINN provides validation of insurance, safety and regulatory requirements which supports increased quality and safety within the tourism industry.
Our website shows the correct number of available seats left so we can unfortunately not accommodate you and your group if the number of your group extends the number of available seats left. It is not possible to squeeze additional participants onto the departure as we have really strict policy measures as to how many participants are assigned to each guide on our tour departures. This is of course done with our customers safety in mind, so we do hope that you understand.
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club for all countries.
In addition, we offer various local payment methods in many other countries such as UnionPay and JCB (Japan Credit Bureau).
As with any and all world travel, we strongly recommend having travel insurances that can provide cover if you need to cancel your travel reservation with short notice. We also recommend that you have personal health insurance coverage when participating in any adventure activities in Iceland.
Vehicles are equipped for both summer and winter driving conditions, and drivers are very experienced driving in difficult conditions.
Before starting any of the activities, participants will receive a safety briefing highlighting the safe and proper use of equipment, the role of guides during the trip, and the significant risks and hazards involved in their activity. The safety briefing will also cover potentially foreseeable scenarios that may arise and explain how participants should react in such circumstances. Our guides will also outline their expectations of participants during the trip where needed and address any specific questions or concerns that may arise during this time.
Any medical conditions or personal health concerns that may jeopardize your well-being or affect your ability to meet the physical demands of the trip must be clearly communicated to the trip leader before the tour start. Any medications you may require for minor medical conditions (asthma inhalers, etc.), should be kept close and you should bring it with you on the trip if possible. It is important that you notify your guide about such medications and their whereabouts before setting off.
The Ice Caves in Iceland are truly magical. If you want to learn more about them this information page on Ice Caves will be a great help.
All our tours are undertaken on the responsibility of its participants. Arctic Adventures does not assume any responsibility for accidents that are caused by its customers or can be traced to their own actions. Participants have to sign a waiver before undertaking all trips stating that they realize that all outdoor activities carry an inherent risk.
Price from: 6.400 ISK
- NO BOOKING FEES
- FAST & SECURE PAYMENT
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