Winter is a beautiful season for visiting Iceland. Waking up to the city and mountains covered with a fresh blanket of snow is an amazing start of the day. Also, some of Iceland’s natural wonders are only visible in winter, like the northern lights and ice caves. In this article, we will tell you about the best glacier hiking and ice cave tours in Iceland.
Into the Glacier
Langjökull is Iceland’s second largest glacier. Since 2015, people can walk straight into the glacier, through a man-made tunnel going 30m down into the ice and stretching over half a kilometre. The Into the Glacier tour starts with a spectacular ride in an eight-wheel drive glacial truck to the entrance of the tunnel. The tunnel is easily accessible and offers an amazing opportunity to explore the glacier from within. Even though it’s man-made, nature takes over quickly. The tunnel is slowly but constantly changing. New crevasses form and ice sculptures shape without human intervention. A unique chance to see how glaciers change in time!
Book your Into the Glacier tour here.
Secret Ice Cave from Reykjavík
This day tour starts at Reykjavík with a pick up from a bus stop close to your accommodation. Then you will be taken down to the south coast of Iceland to the small village Vík, the southernmost point of mainland Iceland. In Vík, there is a short break and you can buy some snacks before you continue on a gravel road to the Secret Ice Cave. The drive from Vík to the ice cave takes 45-60 minutes depending on road and weather conditions. At the cave, you have 1-1.5 hours to explore the area and take beautiful photos. On the way back, there’s a short stop at Vík again, and there will also be a break at the wonderful Skógafoss waterfall.
Book the Secret Ice Cave from Reykjavík tour here.
Glacier Hike Day Tour from Reykjavík
Sólheimajökull is a glacial tongue of Mýrdalsjökull glacier. It’s very popular for glacier hiking and ice climbing. Sólheimajökull glacier is easy to reach from Reykjavík, as it’s only 165km from the city. On the way to the glacier, you cross along the beautiful south coast of Iceland and Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. After this, you put on your crampons and start your glacier hike. Enjoy the wonderful views from the glacier, and the different colours of ice, and explore its crevasses and swell holes. During the hike, glacier guides will tell you all there is to know about glaciers. You can combine a glacier hike with ice climbing if you’re up to the challenge. It’s also possible to combine glacier hiking with a northern lights tour to experience two of Iceland’s wonders on the same day.
Book your Glacier Hike Day Tour from Reykjavík here.
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Blue Ice Caves by Jeep
For some of Iceland’s wonders, you have to travel a bit farther. This two-day tour will bring you to Southeast Iceland to visit Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Vatnajökull glacier, the biggest glacier of Europe. On the first day of the tour, you will be picked up in Reykjavík and explore the south coast. You will visit Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, the basalt columns at Reynisfjara beach and the small town of Vík. After a short stop there, you continue your way to the beautiful Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon. Then, you will go to Skaftafell where you will spend the night in a three-star hotel, which is an excellent location for northern lights hunting.
The next morning, the first stop is Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, a beautiful lake filled with icebergs. Vatnajökull glacier towers in the background. From there, you will be taken to an amazing natural ice cave, hidden in Vatnajökull glacier. A visit to the ice cave is only possible from November to March, and in this period it might be cancelled if weather conditions are bad. After the ice cave, you will drive back to Reykjavík.
Book the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Blue Ice Caves tour here.
Go with a certified tour operator
Ice caves and glaciers change constantly under influence of the weather and movements of the ice. Outside adventure tours are heavily weather-dependent and might be cancelled based on weather conditions. Caves are sometimes narrow, and cave floors might be slippery. Tour operators will make sure you have the right clothes and equipment. Always be careful, and only go into an ice cave or hike on a glacier with a certified guide. Also, remember to dress warmly and wear good boots.