If you want to visit Iceland Ice Caves in Summer

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If you want to visit Iceland Ice Caves in Summer

The ice caves in Iceland are simply breathtaking. Therefore I fully understand that they are, for many people, one of the main reasons to visit Iceland. So let’s start with the bad news right away; You are NOT able to visit natural ice caves in Iceland during summer! So in case you have booked your flight to Iceland in May, June, July, August, September or October, I recommend reading a bit further, since you will have to find an alternative for a similar experience. 🙂

First of all, I would like to give you a few more details about the ice caves, how they get formed and why visiting them during summer is not possible.

No ice caves during summer. Why?

The ice caves in Iceland are a natural phenomenon and they are constantly changing. In springtime (March, April, May), the ice caves break and melt. During summer, water enters the glacier through cracks and crevasses, which enlarge over time. Then, slowly but surely, new caves get formed. Our local ice cave partners spend autumn and early winter looking for new ice caves for the winter season. At this time of the year the ice caves are still unsafe to enter. It has to be cold enough in order to avoid any risk of ice collapses inside the cave. Normally from early / mid – November, the caves are stable enough and you are welcome to join a guided ice cave tour in Iceland.

Glacier Walk – alternative 1, if you want to visit Iceland ice caves in summer

glacier hike iceland If you are here in Iceland during summer, a guided glacier walk might be a good alternative. On such a tour, you can see and touch the bluish ice of the glacier. It is a very special moment, standing on top of a glacier, seeing all the ice around you. On the glacier itself, often smaller caves are formed during the summer. Unfortunately there is no guarantee but your glacier guide will definitely do his/her best to show you one of these interesting formations. Sometimes they are safe to enter, and if not, they can still be a nice photo motive in the background. If you are on a self-drive tour, I recommend having a look at this glacier tour close to Vik or this glacier walk in Skaftafell. You can also join a guided South coast tour from Reykjavik with a glacier walk included.

glacier hiking iceland

 

Visit a man made ice tunnel in West Iceland – alternative 2, if you want to visit Iceland ice caves in summer

ice tunnel icelandHow do you like the idea of visiting an ice tunnel in Iceland? The worlds largest man made ice tunnel is located in West Iceland. On this tour (available all year round), you will first explore the surface of Iceland´s second largest glacier, and then, go ‘Into the Glacier’. A modified monster truck takes you to the entrance of the ice tunnel and this drive alone is unforgettable. The tunnel itself reaches 500 meters (1,640 feet) deep into the ice.

If you are on a self drive tour in Iceland you can book this tour here. The tour starts from Hótel Húsafell, located close to the famous Hraunfossar waterfalls.

iceland ice tunnel ice tunnel iceland

Join a guided ice tunnel tour from Reykjavik

If you do not want to drive on your own, you can also join a guided day tour from Reykjavík. The tour, all in all, takes around 9 to 10 hours. On your way to the glacier, you will also stop at Hraunfossar waterfalls. During summer season (June 15th – September 15th) when driving back towards Reykjavík, you will take a scenic route through Kaldidalur highland track and visit the beautiful Þingvellir National Park. You can book this guided ice tunnel tour from Reykjavik directly here:

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Visit the glacier and ice cave exhibition in Reykjavik – alternative 3, if you want to visit Iceland ice caves in summer

glacier exhibition reykjavik perlanAnother exciting alternative during summer is the new glacier exhibition in Reykjavik. There, you can walk through a man-made ice cave and touch real ice! It is an accurate replicate of a standard ice cave and the temperature inside the cave is – 10 °C (14F).

Here you can also learn more about the glaciers and how climate change has dramatically reduced the size of them. The exhibition is located in the famous landmark building Perlan (The Pearl) in Reykjavik.

iceland ice cave in summer iceland ice caves in summer

While the glaciers and natural ice caves are a challenge for wheelchair users, this exhibition is fully accessible. We highly recommend this exhibition to all our guests. You should also not miss the viewing deck in Perlan, when visiting the ice cave exhibition.

 

I hope, with these three options, you do not feel that you are missing out on anything during your summer holidays in Iceland.

Christina Degener
Posted in July 2017