We just love Iceland so much that we had to visit it again in less than a year! We returned this winter to go on an incredible ice cave tour. Being inside a glacier is definitely a bucketlist item and doing an ice cave tour in Iceland is a must.
Why join an ice cave tour
It’s a good thing that we decided to book the tour because our 4×4 SUV wouldn’t survive the drive towards the ice cave. We also didn’t know which path to take. It was full of ups and downs and circling around because apparently, there are unstable spots in which you might fall.
Do not attempt to visit the ice caves by yourself unless you are driving a super jeep. The ice cave we visited at Vatnajokull Glacier was a long drive from the road. On our way back, we passed by a 4×4 SUV that got stuck on the snow. They didn’t get far from the road and their SUV was already deep in the snow. They had to call and wait for a tow truck to pull the vehicle out. Not only was it more expensive than joining an ice cave tour, it was also a huge inconvenience.
Booking an ice cave tour in Iceland
Most of the ice cave tours in Iceland are only offered during November to March/April. If the main purpose of your vacation is to see an ice cave, you must travel within these months. We booked our ice cave tour with Guide to Iceland but there are many options. It’s expensive but it was something we really wanted to experience at least once in our lives.
Ice cave tour with Guide to Iceland
The meetup at the Jokulsarlon cafe was right on schedule. Our group consisted of 12-15 people. All of us got excited when we saw the super jeep/monster-bus that will take us to the ice cave. The 30-min drive was fun and exciting! It was a rugged terrain packed with fresh snow. It was a thrilling experience alone and the view was breathtaking.
Before we made our way to the ice cave, our tour guide gave us crampons and helmets. It took us only a few minutes to walk towards the ice cave. Our tour guide gave us 45 mins. to explore.
I was surprised upon seeing the huge crowd of tourists inside the ice cave. There were 5-6 other tour groups when we arrived. It was almost impossible to take a photo without another person being included in the picture. Another disappointment is the actual size of the ice cave which was smaller than the marketed photos. Our tour guide explained that every ice cave is unique and its structure can vary depending on the flow of water.
What the ice cave lacked in size, it definitely made up for in its dazzling blue color. It was stunning and unlike anything we have ever seen! Everything was made of ice and most of it was vibrant blue. It was hard to fathom how we were able to be standing inside a glacier. Since the ice cave wasn’t high, we were able to touch the cold, smooth ice ceiling. There were also smaller ice cave tunnels which people could crawl into. We followed the path towards the end of the ice cave. It led us to a flooded pathway with walls covered in white crystallized ice.
Our tour guide did an excellent job. He was very friendly, helpful, entertaining, and informative. Our ride was filled with his trivias about the surrounding area and ice caves. On our way back, he stopped at the frozen lake so that we could take photos of the beautiful scenery.
Overall, the ice cave tour is a must when you’re traveling to Iceland in winter. It is one of the most expensive tours in Iceland but this kind of experience is once in a lifetime.
Tips for doing an ice cave tour in Iceland:
1. Arrange a transportation in advance and stay at an accommodation near the Jokulsarlon cafe. Most ice cave tours meet at the Jokulsarlon cafe or around that area which is a 4 to 5-hour drive from Reykjavik.
For nearby accommodations, you can check here
2. Try not to set your expectations too high. Sadly, it is difficult to get the same experience and photos as advertised in the tour companies because of the crowd and the changing size/structure of the ice caves.
3. Book the earliest slot to avoid the crowd.
4. Wear waterproof clothes.
For more tips in visiting Iceland, check “20 Untold Tips for Tourists Visiting Iceland”
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Ice cave tour in Iceland | Ice cave tour in Iceland | Ice cave tour in Iceland