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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24 Replies to “Ice Cave Tour in Iceland – Exploring Vatnajokull Glacier”
The ice cave looks so beautiful and so so cold! It is definitely an experience I would like to have once in my life time. Great photographs 🙂
Absolutely beautiful and what an experience this must be. We are not far from Iceland and this would be worth the trip for sure!
Visiting Ice land is on my bucket list and now knowing about the ice caves makes it even better. Thanks for sharing. Great post
I really have to make it to Iceland sometime. I have seen all of these different amazing things via pictures. It just looks so beautiful.
Oh wow! So beautiful. I don’t think the cost is too bad for the service and experience actually and I often find it is best to book via a tour as you get so much out of the experience. Thanks so much for sharing your tips.
These are some really great tips! Iceland is literally top of my bucketlist and to see the northern lights. Those ice caves are absolutely breathtaking, I think i should just book flights and worry about the cost later, as Im having serious wanderlust right now!
Iceland is such a dream, isn’t it! We did a glacier tour and it was the highlight of the trip for me (aside from seeing the Northern Lights). I’m definitely going back and plan on doing this ice cave tour. The photos are amazing!
I wish I knew about this when I traveled to Iceland, as this looks like so much fun. It is so surreal and beautiful. I went 10 years ago but I have always wanted to go back and see what it is like now.
Not built for the cold, but always wanted to see Iceland! Great post!
This looks like an amazing tour to do and one I wish I had done in Iceland. I did the glacier hike when I was in Iceland which was a great fun. It would be amazing to see the caves and I understand that they will be different as we can’t control nature and glaciers are constantly moving.
I’ve been to iceland several times, I absolutely love the country. But I have never been on an ice cave tour actually. usually I spend most of my time in reykjavik. On my next trip I have to check out some of their amazing tours and nature activities. Love your post!
This looks like so much fun. I wish I could do this. Your pictures are beautiful and I love the tip of wearing water proof clothes . Most people will not think of that.
Woow, I had never heard of ice cave tours before! It looks absolutely magical. Almost supernatural. I’ll definitely check it out – once I get to visit Iceland 🙂
Wow! I enjoyed reading about Iceland and looking at your vivid and encompassing pictures. Traveling the world with your husband must be an adventurous life,
I’m going to Iceland soon and this post is just on time! I love your picture and your adventure. It looks so much fun! I’m saving it for future 🙂
What a wonderful experience! I have been to Iceland in Spring but didn’t do the ice cave tours then but have been meaning to go back ever since to experience it.
xx, Kusum | http://www.sveeteskapes.com
Wow. This looks absolutely incredible. I really wish we had gone on a tour like this when we were in Iceland. Just alobe for the photo opportunity
fantastic post….amazed to see the pictures of ice cave..seems like heaven on earth…interesting to read that in some tunnels people could crawl..i wish i could go there at least once in a year
Omg incredible photos!!! This must of been one awesome tour!!!!!
What a stunning place to visit, we can’t believe people try to do it independently, would definitely do the tour! #feetdotravel
Those colours are just stunning – Iceland continues to amaze with every photo I see. Love this tour and definitely would be something I would want to do in Iceland. Amazing pictures and a magical experience!
What an incredibly beautiful and exciting trip. Excellent tips too. Thanks for sharing.
Beyond gorgeous shots!
I learned about a new car today: Super Jeep. One look at your pictures and pondering the unforgiving terrain, I see why it is a “go super jeep or go home type of place.”
Not many non-tropical climes that pull me in. Iceland is one of them.
Thanks for sharing 🙂
That looks absolutely gorgeous and a must-do when we get to Iceland!