Guide to Into the Glacier Ice cave

What is Into the Glacier

Into the Glacier is a man-made ice tunnel in Iceland that sits on the western part of Langjökull Glacier, on the glacial ice cap. Tours are operated year-round, bringing travelers from around the world to the impressive attraction. 

Its history began in 2010 when entrepreneurs Baldvin Einarsson and Hallgrimur Örn Arngrímsson dreamed of taking travelers not just on and around Langjökull Glacier but inside the extraordinary, massive ice cap. The men consulted with engineers and geophysicists to learn, plan, and prepare for the mighty structure. 

Several years and about $2.5 million later, Iceland’s first man-made ice cave opened to visitors in 2017. Located 1,260 meters above sea level, the ice cave stretches deep underground, giving visitors a chance to see ice that’s been forming over centuries.

What you can expect from an Into the Glacier tour

With meeting in the West Iceland village of Húsafell, you will board a 20-ton customized monster truck designed to traverse the glacier’s soft, sloping snow and rocky ice. 

On clear days, the climb on the vast, icy desert to the ice cave is magnificent. During the five-kilometer climb from the base camp, a guide explains the impact of climate change on Iceland’s glaciers and the region’s geology. The truck climbs the glacier until you reach the tunnel opening. Visitors strap crampons onto their shoes to navigate the slippery and slushy floor.

Once you reach the tunnel, which is accessible by tour year-round, guests are treated to incredible views and the opportunity to run their fingers along smooth ice walls. The illuminated walls are lined with LED lighting, and information about glaciers is posted throughout the tunnel. Tours to Into the Glacier are often paired with snowmobiling rides making it a great way to connect with some of the actual ice in Iceland.

Information about Langjökull Glacier

Into the Glacier’s tunnel is located in Langjökull, the second-largest glacier in Iceland. Situated in the highlands, Langjökull has both natural ice caves as well as Into the Glacier. Langjökull covers an area of about 950 km², most of which rises between 1200 and 1300 m above sea level. It rests on hyaloclastite mountains. 

The southwestern part of the ice cap, called Geitlandsjökull, rises to 1400 meters. To the south of Geitlandsjökull and separated from the main ice cap, is the smaller (1350 m) Þórisjökull, which sits atop an irregular table mountain. According to legend, it was named after the troll Þórir, who lived in a green valley in the pass between the two glaciers.

Whait’s‘s like inside the ice cave

The ice cave, which consists of tunnels and caves stretching 500 meters into solid glacial ice, is an awe-inspiring feat that must be maintained. Once inside an ice cave, you can see the different colors of the ice and run your fingers along the shapes and crevices. The light from outside can expose deep blue crystal hues, and it’s incredible! This will truly become one of your favorite memories of Iceland!

What to bring & wear

Dressing for the conditions is important as it can be frigid on the glacierit’s‘s always better to be able to take layers off if you get warm. It is recommended that you bring the following:

  • Warm layers
  • Weatherproof top layer
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Scarf
  • Sturdy hiking shoes

Safety precautions to keep in mind

Visiting ice caves on guided tours is a safe activity. The only way to see these caves is through a guided tour, as searching for them on your own is extremely dangerous. On tour, you are equipped with the right gear and given a safety briefing before heading out with your trained guide.

Remember to:

  • Dress for the weather with warm layers
  • Wear waterproof, sturdy boots
  • Listen to your guide ‘‘instructions
  • Never walk on a glacier without an expert glacier guide

Into The Glacier FAQ

What is the best time of the year to visit Into the Glacier in Iceland?

Tours to Into the Glacier are available year-round. Please note that Into the Glacier tours are popular activities and are best booked in advance. Also, prepare to be flexible, as tours sometimes get canceled due to the weather and road conditions. 

Are the ice caves in Iceland safe to visit?

Yes, glacier guides are trained and know the surroundings well. They will lead the group and provide instructions and equipment like crampons. They are trained to keep you safe. 

What should I wear and bring when visiting the ice caves in Iceland?

It’s important to dress for the weather as it can be pretty cold on the glacierIt’s’s recommended to wear thermal layers, a waterproof outer layer, sturdy waterproof boots, and bring a hat, scarf, and gloves. 

Can I take a guided tour ‘‘Into the Glacier

Yes, a guided tour is the only way to visit Into the Glacier. You can choose to be picked in Reykjavík, or you can meet the guide in the village of Húsafell.