The 7 Best Iceland Ice Cave Tours [2024 Reviews]

Explore the spectacular ice caves with an experience guide, we examine the year's top tours

Iceland is notorious for its absolutely stunning landscapes, with an enormous variety of natural wonders. One of the biggest tourist attractions are the ice caves, which cover a very large part of the country’s surface.

It will definitely make you realize why Iceland is named as such! However, you need to go on a tour with experienced guides that you can trust, and who know exactly where to go to have the best experiences.

We’ve done the “hard” work for you, to bring you the top ice cave tours in Iceland available!

Best Ice Cave Tours in Iceland

Ice Cave and Glacier Exploration Tour of Vatnajökull from Jökulsárlón2 Day Ice Cave & South Coast: Glacier Hike, Jokulsarlon Lagoon & Northern LightsIce Cave tour in Vatnajökull
editors choice
Ice Cave Exploration Tour2 Day Ice Cave & South Coast: Glacier hike, Jokulsarlon lagoon & Northern LightsIce Cave tour in Vatnajökull
Departure:JökulsarlonPickup and drop-off offeredÞjóðvegur
Start:10:30 am8:00 amVariety Available
Duration:4 - 6 hours2 days3 hours
Includes:Ice axe, guided tour, crampons, helmets, safety harness, on-road and off-road transportation
Breakfast, driver/guide, overnight accommodation, all taxes, fees and handling charges, glacier equipmenet, ice cave tour, safety equipment, glacier hike
Transportation, crampons and helmets

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking


Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Iceland Ice Cave Tours For 2024

  1. Ice Cave and Glacier Exploration Tour of Vatnajökull from Jökulsárlón
  2. 2 Day Ice Cave & South Coast: Glacier Hike, Jokulsarlon Lagoon & Northern Lights
  3. Ice Cave tour in Vatnajökull
  4. Crystal Blue Ice Cave – Super Jeep From Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
  5. Ice Cave & Snowmobile Tour from Gullfoss
  6. Natural Crystal Blue Ice Cave Tour of Vatnajökull Glacier
  7. 2-Day Tour: Blue Ice Cave, Jokulsarlon, Black Beach, and Waterfalls

Iceland Ice Cave Tour Reviews

1. Ice Cave and Glacier Exploration Tour of Vatnajökull from Jökulsárlón

Ice Cave Exploration Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 4 – 6 hours
  • Departure: Variety Available
  • Departure Time: 10:30 am
  • Includes: Ice axe, guided tour, crampons, helmets, safety harness, on-road and off-road transportation

Let’s start off our guide with one of the most popular tours in Iceland: the Ice Cave Exploration Tour. Lasting for around 4 to 6 hours, depending on traffic, hotel location, and other factors, it’s perfect for really seeing ice caves without committing to an entire day.

If you want to instantly travel to what feels like another world, you have to check this one out! From the very beginning, you’ll notice how friendly and professional the guides are. They know a ton about the area, the ice caves, and their history.

Everything seemed seamless, and synchronized within the staff members and the guests on the tour. Your mode of transport will be the infamous Super Jeep, which is a massive Jeep with enormous tires made for traveling through thick snow and on ice/rough terrain!

The seats are very roomy and comfortable – so much so that you may not even want to get out once you arrive! However, the call of adventure awaits!

Once you arrive, you will be given a safety briefing as well as instructions on how to use your tools! They provide you with an ice axe and crampons for your feet, so you can stay upright and confident the entire time you’re out on the ice.

This is absolutely necessary as you’ll be hiking 6 to 10 kilometers on the glacier! However, you’ll make various stops at the cave and crevices to explore and learn about them.

Seriously, what an amazing place! These caves look like you’re in some kind of frozen Atlantis, with electric blue walls and friendly guides to teach you everything you could ever want to know about glacier caves!

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


2. 2 Day Ice Cave & South Coast: Glacier Hike, Jokulsarlon Lagoon & Northern Lights

2 Day Ice Cave & South Coast: Glacier hike, Jokulsarlon lagoon & Northern Lights

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 2 days
  • Departure: Pickup and drop-off included
  • Departure Time: 8:00 am
  • Includes: Breakfast, driver/guide, overnight accommodation, all taxes, fees and handling charges, glacier equipmenet, ice cave tour, safety equipment, glacier hike

Let’s say you’re really passionate about experiencing glaciers and Iceland in all its glory, and you don’t mind spending more time on venturing outdoors. If that sounds like you, then you have to sign up for the 2 Day Ice Cave & South Coast: Glacier Hike, Jokulsarlon Lagoon, & Northern Lights tour!

As the name would suggest, this is a 2-day excursion which explores Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, view the Northern Lights, and hike around glaciers!

This tour does come with an option for hotel pickup and drop-off, so you never have to worry about transportation at any point in time. Pickup does begin at 8am, so all you have to do is make sure you’re ready to go with warm clothes (layers are best!).

You’ll meet up with the guides, where you’ll see just how friendly and informative they are. They always place safety first, which is crucial when taking travelers of all experience levels to locations that could be risky if proper instruction isn’t taken.

Oh, and we really appreciated how thorough they were with letting us know what the itinerary for that day would be.

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You’ll explore the south coast of the country with a pro, experienced guide. They’ll take you through waterfalls, over black sand beaches (make sure to see the basalt stacks here!), and if the weather is right, the phenomenal Northern Lights.

This tour also comes with 1 night accommodation, with breakfast included. The guides always take your physical fitness level into consideration, ensuring that everyone is able to comfortably get from point A to point B.

Overall, if you’re really looking to learn more and experience these glaciers more in-depth, 2 days is the perfect amount of time to do so.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


Other Experiences You May Enjoy:


3. Ice Cave tour in Vatnajökull

Ice Cave tour in Vatnajökull

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: Þjóðvegur
  • Departure Time: Variety Available
  • Includes: Transportation, crampons and helmets

If you’re looking for a tour that’s even shorter than the other two, then take a good look at the Ice Cave Tour in Vatnajokull. This 3-hour tour is a great way to spend the morning, trekking through ice caves – something that most people have never even seen!

The guides are highly-experienced, and will take you to the best ice caves available at that time of your tour so it may not be the same one every time.

Not only that, but they’re all skilled in driving through the rough terrain around the caves which just makes the tour that much more pleasant. There’s no need to be nervous – rather, focus all of your attention on the incredible beauty you’re about to encounter!

The humongous 4×4 truck that you travel in is clearly designed for the terrain, too, and is quite comfy! Along the way, keep an eye out because you may see some critters like foxes!

While you drive, your guides will tell you all kinds of interesting facts and anecdotes about the country and the area.

This makes it a great tour for the entire family, from kids to adults. There will be safety equipment provided, and the guides will make sure everyone is wearing it correctly before heading into the caves.

You’ll have plenty of time to see the caves and take photos and videos, and the positive energy the guides have is simply contagious. This makes for a tour that you’ll want to do over and over again!

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


4. Crystal Blue Ice Cave – Super Jeep From Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Crystal Blue Ice Cave - Super Jeep From Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: Jökulsárlón, Iceland
  • Departure Time: Variety Available
  • Includes: All safety gear, including helmet & crampons, national park fees, driver/guide

If the tour we just covered sounds interesting to you, then you may be interested in this one, as well! The Crystal Blue Ice Cave – Super Jeep from Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon is another 3-hour tour that gives you just enough of a taste to see if this is something you enjoy.

Not only that, but it’s a great time for the entire family and perfect if you’ve never done this before. The ice cave that you’re going to explore on this tour is pretty much the most famous ice cave in all of Iceland.

Why? Well, it’s the perfect shape and size for travelers to trek through, but also because of its vibrant turquoise blue colors. From floor to ceiling, these luminous blue walls will encase you in its brilliance.

Choose from either a morning or afternoon departure time; whichever works best for your itinerary. Hotel pickups aren’t usually included, but there is round-trip transporation from the Jokulsarlon parking lot.

On your way there, you’ll ride in the humongous Super Jeep to the glacier, which is in itself a fun experience! Your guides are great at giving specific instructions and detailed safety briefings to make sure that everyone has a fantastic time.

Once everyone has put on their safety equipment properly, you’ll all head into the depths of the magnificent Vatnajokull – Europe’s largest glacier!

As your guide provides you with an educational commentary, you’ll get to walk around inside and take photos.

The cave essentially changes daily a little bit. For example, some people have gone when there was a river flowing through it! Other days, it’s perfectly “dry” and easier to walk through with the sun shining through the ice.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


5. Ice Cave & Snowmobile Tour from Gullfoss

Ice Cave & Snowmobile Tour from Gullfoss

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Departure: Gullfoss, Iceland
  • Departure Time: 12 pm
  • Includes: Pick up from Gullfoss, snowmobile ride, snowsuit overalls, helmets, gloves, Balaclavas and shoe covers, access to the ice cave, drop-off at Gullfoss

Let’s throw a bit more adrenaline into the mix with our next tour! The Ice Cave & Snowmobile Tour from Gullfoss not only means you get to explore beautiful ice caves, but also that you’re going to be zooming around in the snow on a snowmobile!

At 4 hours long, the tour is the perfect amount of time to get in some fun while still being able to do other things during the day.

Not only are snowmobiles an absolute blast to drive around on, they also let you travel on roads virtually impossible to pass through by larger vehicles. Snowmobiles offer a more intimate experience of Iceland, with you getting to see terrain that looks like it’s from a different planet.

The guides will meet up with you at Gullfoss, where you’ll first take the infamous Super Jeep up to their base. The Super Jeeps are a great time, with large, comfortable seats and a cool layout inside.

Once you arrive to the base, they will show you how to use the snowmobile and go over safety protocols so everyone can just focus on having a good time.

After everyone feels confident, they’ll answer any questions you may have and then head out for an hour of snowmobiling around at the top of the glacier!

The sights are absolutely phenomenal, and almost relaxing, in a way. After that, you will then go tour an ice cave. All gear provided will keep you warm and safe, so you don’t have to worry about being cold and uncomfortable!

You can expect the tour to take up to 4 hours at times if the road and weather conditions aren’t as favorable, however, usually the weather tends to cooperate.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


6. Natural Crystal Blue Ice Cave Tour of Vatnajökull Glacier

Natural Crystal Blue Ice Cave Tour of Vatnajökull Glacier

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: Þjóðvegur, Iceland
  • Departure Time: Variety Available
  • Includes: Driver and guide, live commentary on board, helmet and crampons, Super Jeep tour, natural ice cave in Vatnajökull, all taxes, fees and handling charges

Continuing with our trend of shorter ice cave tours, we have the Natural Crystal Blue Ice Cave Tour of Vatnajokull Glacier. The 3-hour tour may be compact, but they manage to fit a lot in! You’ll learn all about the glaciers, the surrounding area, and of course get to see it up close!

With round-trip transportation from Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon included, it’s pretty convenient to go on this tour.

You may have to get transport from your hotel to the lagoon, but it’s easy to do so. You’ll ride in a massive Jeep from Jokulsarlon to the Vatnajokull base, which is a bit bumpy but still quite comfortable.

The guides are very helpful and will show you all about how to don your safety equipment the right way, as well as show you how to use it. At this time, they’ll also answer any questions you may have.

Once you arrive, you’ll put on all of your equipment, which is some warm gear, crampons, and helmets.

Depending on the season and weather, you may even see some wild animals, like reindeer or sea lions! Not to worry though, the guides will make sure you’re all at a safe distance.

Next, you’ll all walk together on the glacier towards the cave entrance. Enter the depths of this gorgeous, other-worldly cave, where you’ll learn all about its history and how it changes throughout the seasons while keeping the same base.

The guides are very entertaining and often tell funny stories to keep the energy lighthearted. You get the choice of wandering around on your own, or with a guide (we highly recommend touring with the guide as they know all the best spots).

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


7. 2-Day Tour: Blue Ice Cave, Jokulsarlon, Black Beach, and Waterfalls

2-Day Tour: Blue Ice Cave, Jokulsarlon, Black Beach, and Waterfalls

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 2 days
  • Departure: Pickup and drop-off offered
  • Departure Time: 9:00 am
  • Includes: Breakfast, all activities, free Wi-Fi on bus, transport by air-conditioned minibus with USB chargers next to every seat, hotel pickup and drop-off (within Reykjavik), professional guide

We can’t forget the hardcore adventurers who are looking for longer tours! If the other 2-day tour caught your attention, we have another great one for you! The 2-Day Tour: Blue Ice Cave, Jokulsarlon, Black Beach, and Waterfalls tour is exactly that.

You’ll start off in Reykjavik, checking out iconic waterfalls, black sand beaches, blue ice caves, and more! This tour does include complimentary pickup and drop-off at your hotel in Reykjavik, which makes it so much more convenient.

Once you’re picked up, you’ll meet your guides and find that they’re very well-organized and professional. Your transportation does include free onboard wi-fi which means you’ll never be out of network.

This is perfect, as you’re sure to want to share your experiences with loved ones, uploading and sharing photos and videos along the way!

The first stop on your excursion is Hveragerdi, passing through charming little villages and the beautiful Icelandic countryside. This town is known for its plentiful greenhouses, and the “Hot River”, which sits in-between the 2 continental plates of Eurasia and America!

This valley has various hot springs and mud pools, too, but people love soaking in the hot river and is the perfect place to relax.

Check out Selfoss and Seljalandsfoss, which is a picturesque, 60-meter waterfall that plummets off the side of a volcano! You’ll also get to see various other waterfalls that are “hidden” from the public eye, including one that was even featured in Game of Thrones!

Explore some more Icelandic attractions, and then settle into the accommodations (with free breakfast!) that come included. The next day starts off with a brief stop in Vik Village, where you’ll get to see the famous Black Sand Beach and rolling hills that surround it.

The Eldhraun Lava Field is quite the sight to see, with moss-covered lava formations to give an alien appearance!

After seeing the 19th-century Hofskirkja Church, you’ll make your way to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon with your group. This location is one of the most popular spots in the world to see, and has even been featured in various Hollywood blockbusters.

This tour wouldn’t be complete without seeing the gorgeous Blue Ice Caves! Spend the rest of the afternoon hiking around here and taking photos of the fascinating blue walls and ceilings!

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


FAQs About Ice Cave Tours in Iceland

best ice cave tours in iceland

What are the ice caves?

Ice caves are formed in glaciers during the winter. When water runs through or under the glacier it carves out tunnels and chambers in the ice of different shapes and sizes. When the sunlight shines through the ice and reflects it creates colorful patterns that are unique to each cave and vary from year to year.

Where can I find ice caves?

The most popular glacier for natural ice cave tours is Vatnajokull. This one of the largest glaciers in Europe and is the southeast region of the country. You can also find ice caves in the glaciers of Langjokull, Myrdalsjokull, and Hofsjokull.

When is the best time to visit the ice caves?

The best time to visit the ice caves is from November to March. This when the weather is cold enough to keep the caves stable. The availability and accessibility of the ice caves depends on weather conditions, so there are no guarantees. Visiting the caves can be dangerous due to collapses in the roof. Make sure your tour guides take the proper safety precautions.

What are the different types of ice cave tours in Iceland?

There are two types of ice cave tours in Iceland: natural ice cave tours and man-made ice tunnel tours. With the natural ice cave tours you go to the freshly formed caves in the glaciers that are different every year. Here you will see a wide variety of colors and textures in the ice. Man-made ice tunnel tours take you to visit the permanent ice tunnel that was built in Langjokull glacier.

What should I wear and bring for an ice cave tour?

You should dress warmly and in layers, as the temperature inside the ice caves can be below freezing. You should also wear waterproof shoes or boots, gloves, hat, and scarf. The tour operator will provide you with a helmet, headlamp, crampons and ice axe. You should also bring a camera, water bottle and snacks.

How long does an ice cave tour last?

Generally, an ice cave tour lasts between 3 and 5 hours, including transportation time from Reykjavik or other nearby towns. You will spend about 1 to 2 hours inside the ice cave.

How difficult is an ice cave tour?

An ice cave tour is suitable for most people who are in good physical condition and have no mobility issues. You don’t need any previous experience or special skills to enjoy an ice cave tour. You will be walking on uneven and slippery terrain, climbing up and down stairs or ladders, and crawling through narrow passages. You should also follow the instructions of your guide at all times and respect the safety rules.

What can I expect to see inside an ice cave?

An ice cave is unique place where you can admire the beauty and diversity of nature. You can expect to see different colors, shapes, and textures of ice, from sparkling crystals to smooth walls to jagged formations. You can also see waterfalls, streams, icicles, and sometimes even fossils or volcanic rocks. Every ice cave is different and changes every year, so you never know what surprises await you.

What Will I See in each of the Ice Caves?

A: Every ice cave is different and changes every year, so you never know what surprises await you.

The Crystal Cave: This is the most popular ice cave in Iceland. The cave is under the Vatnajökull glacier and is a bright blue color. It is also BIG! Up to 100 people at a time can go into the cave. The cave has several chambers and passages that offer stunning views of the ice formations.

The Katla Ice Cave: This is a rare and special ice cave that is formed by the heat of the Katla volcano under the Mýrdalsjökull glacier in the south. It is one of the few ice caves that you can take a tour of year round. The cave has a dark and mysterious atmosphere, with black ash and red lava contrasting with the white ice.

The Sapphire Ice Cave: This is a new and exciting ice cave that was discovered in 2018 under the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier in the south-east. It is named after its deep blue color and crystal-like appearance, which create a magical effect. The cave is tall with a wide entrance that allows plenty of light to enter.

The Dragon Glass Ice Cave: This is an impressive and complex ice cave that is located under the Kötlujökull glacier in the west. It is named after its resemblance to the dragon glass from the Game of Thrones series, which was partly filmed in Iceland. The cave has multiple levels and rooms that feature different colors and shapes of ice, from green to yellow to red.

What is the best ice cave tour in Iceland?

If you have two days and don’t mind spending a little extra we recommend the 2 Day Ice Cave & South Coast: Glacier Hike, Jokulsarlon Lagoon & Northern Lights. Here you you will see what Iceland is know for: glaciers and the Northern Lights!

What is the cheapest Iceland ice cave tour?

If you are on a budget and looking to save some money but still see the wonders of an ice cave we recommend the Ice Cave tour in Vatnajökull. This is a fairly short tour, 3 hours including drive time.

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The Ice Cave Exploration Tour is our Editor's Choice for the best ice cave tour in Iceland

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Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.
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