We tried one of the newest ways to discover a natural ice cave in Iceland – with Sleipnir Tours’ giant glacier truck! Natural ice caves are a unique phenomenon and usually only accessible in winter when the ice is stable enough. In summer, the ice caves are formed by the meltwater flowing under the glaciers.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about this unique tour and why you should try it!
The ice cave that we visited is located in Langjökull glacier, which is actually Iceland’s second-biggest glacier. It is conveniently located in South West Iceland, and can be easily reached on a day tour from Reykjavík. Langjökull is the source of the river Hvítá and also feeds the massive hot spring Deildartunguhver in West Iceland.
Langjökull also has a man-made ice tunnel, which is accessible from Húsafell, a summer house area in the West of Iceland. If you want to visit a natural ice cave, however, the Gullfoss waterfall is the place to be.
The meeting point for the tour is at the upper parking lot, where the cafeteria is located, too. You can really not miss the huge truck of Sleipnir Tours, which will greet you at the beginning of the lot.
Once we drove on the glacier, the real adventure began. The massive Sleipnir glacier truck showed its real power by swooshing over the ice like it was asphalt. We drove along the foot of the glacier to our destination, close to the entrance of the glacier cave.
The group was then split up, so there would not be too many people in the ice cave at the same time. Our group started with a visit to the ice cave, whereas the other group began to explore a frozen glacier lagoon close by.
After stripping on crampons, to step safely on the icy surface, we approached the entrance of the cave, which was just some steps from our truck.
The ice cave was somewhat sunken into the glacier, so we had to descend a kind of natural staircase. Then a large cave opened up before our eyes, which continued to bore into the glacier in a small tunnel. This part was not accessible because it was very narrow and unstable, but the large cave vestibule was impressive.
The ice, seen from above, was dark, beautifully shaped, and shimmered in the light. Then, as we descended, we saw other colors in the meter-thick ice, different shades of blue and even green.
We had some time in the ice cave and were able to take all the pictures we wanted! I personally enjoy the geometrical shapes of the ice the most – paired with the fascinating translucent colors, this makes for amazing photos.
After visiting the cave, we made way for the other group. Together with a glacier guide who joined us on site, we then headed to a natural ice lagoon just a few meters away.
The afternoon sun provided fantastic light and although it was freezing cold, the sight was beautiful.
At the end of this icy adventure, we got back into the glacier truck to be taken back to Gullfoss waterfall. The ride back was comfortable and a good opportunity to warm up, relax and look at the pictures.
Overall, the tour took about 2-3 hours. I would recommend it if you are traveling in this area of Iceland, for example during our popular 7-Day Roadtrip, and want to explore a natural ice cave. It’s also cool to take a ride on this huge monster truck, and you can take great photos with the wheels as a souvenir!
The name of the vehicle and the company is in fact derived from Odin’s horse: Sleipnir. It was supposed to be eight-legged and able to move on land as well as on water and in the air – we are sure that it could also move on glaciers!