There is nothing like the Icelandic summer to explore this stunning country. You can’t get to see the Northern Lights, but pretty much everything else. We covered lava fields, beautiful waterfalls, black sand beaches, rainbow mountains, glaciers and more during our 12 days road trip in Iceland. In summer, what about an Ice Cave Tour in Iceland? It was my understanding that you can visit seasonal ice caves in winter, until I came upon Katla Ice Cave Tour in South Iceland. Kalta Ice Cave is in South Iceland and is open all year around.
We are talking about a setting as dramatic as it gets! This ice cave is within the region of the still active Volcano Katla, and located under Kotlujokull glacier.
Approach to the Kotlujokull glacier
We booked a tour via Arctic Adventures and showed up at the meeting point in Vik (behind the Icewear showroom). It was raining like crazy in Vik that afternoon. The tour is run by Southwest Adventures, but they didn’t cancel the tour due to the rainy conditions. I can’t recommend them enough and out tour guide Helki.
A Super Jeep is what takes you to the ice cave, a 45 minute drive from Vik. We drove through black sand desert, where ruggedly beautiful green mountains loomed in the distance.
Helki was a mine of information on lupines (the purple flowers that bloom all over Iceland), the shoot locations for Game of Thrones, the mighty Katla volcano that erupted last in 1918 and is due anytime! The drive over the black sand plains went off smoothly and we got off the super jeep. Helki then passed on orange helmets to all of us.
When we were fastening the helmets on our heads, he joked, “Icelandic people are a very optimistic lot. You get into an ice cave with a ton of ice over your head and this plastic helmet to protect you in case something happens!”
We then walked to the Kotlujokull glacier area, it was still raining. Would you have thought that in summer, on an ice cave tour in Iceland, the weather could be so uncooperative!
We then came upon a clearing with a large box containing crampons. Soon we were all ready to explore the ice cave! The rain had relented a bit and it was just beautiful.
Summer Ice Cave Tour in Iceland: Inside the Ice Cave
Hold the rope and walk carefully to get a feel of the ice crunching under your feet.
The tour companies put wooden planks to cross the many gaps in the ice cave. The planks are sturdy but you do need to be careful and walk slowly to cross them.
Summer Ice Cave Tour in Iceland: Exploring the area beyond the Cave
Once you crossed the ice cave, there was more of Kotlujokull, or the Kalta glacier to explore.
There was so much gravel all over the glacier. And little streams of water running beneath the ice. It was a surreal landscape.
Summer Ice Cave Tour in Iceland: Going back
Helki gave us some more information about the entire volcanic area and the Katla glacier. How devastating an eruption would be, should the active Kalta volcano erupt anytime in future? There were few people in the vicinity, with many companies having cancelled the tour because of the stormy weather earlier in the day. The rain had completely stopped and we were happy to explore the icy surroundings.
Have I convinced you to take the Katla ice cave tour on your visit to South Iceland? Iceland for its size definitely punches above its weight. Who would have thought a visit to a natural ice cave could be possible in summer time in Iceland.
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Have you visited an ice cave? Was it during winter season? Share your experience in the comments below.
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