Iceland is a totally beautiful country to explore! There are heaps of the best places to see all across the country; from these active volcanic sites, the best Icelandic hikes, to incredible towns and even an ice cave tour in Iceland that is deep within the glaciers. The natural beauty of Iceland is just spectacular.
We’ve visited Iceland many times over the last ten years, and we’ve always found new natural sights to see and things to do when we visit. It’s just spectacular.
So, to make your trip to Iceland nice and easy, we want to share some essential tips, tricks and packing advice to visit Iceland’s most iconic ice caves.
After all, venturing into the ice caves in Iceland is something that needs proper preparation, safety precautions and expertise to do as safely as possible.
Take a look below and choose the safest and best ice cave tour in Iceland. Have an amazing trip!
1.) Book the right ice cave tour in Iceland
As we all know, Iceland’s natural beauty is incredible to explore, experience and enjoy whilst visiting the country. That being said, the natural environment can be unpredictable and even dangerous if you don’t treat it with the respect it deserves.
Now, one of the best ways to book an ice cave tour in Iceland is to go with a reputable guide. We booked this ice cave tour in Iceland that handles all the nitty gritty details like liability insurance, qualified guides and safe equipment and expertise to get you into, and of course, out of the ice caves as safely as possible.
Our guide was so informative and attentive to our safety during our ice cave tour. Our guide was very particular about the safest walking routes and ensuring we used all the safety equipment correctly.
Not only that, the team were so friendly – which makes all the difference for a fun tour, doesn’t it?
2.) Preparing for your Ice Cave Tour
For your Iceland trip, generally, make sure to use a backpack that can be used to travel to Iceland, but also work really well for the expeditions and tours you do too.
For us, we always take a backpack so we can pack all our gear and layers for our Iceland trips. Plus, it’s got a handy stowaway harness and hip belt – which, in real terms and without any fancy jargon, means it’s totally versatile to wear as a backpack but also tuck in the straps to pop on the plane with Hand Luggage Only… See what I did there? Ha!
For years, we’ve used Osprey backpacks on our trips and the Osprey Sojourn Porter travel packs have been really useful for our Iceland adventures.
For us, the bigger the better for our backpacks and we now have the 65-litre Sojourn Porter travel pack. It’s always so helpful in carrying equipment with us for hand luggage on the flight over and it’s made from 100% recycled materials. That being said, you can easily go for the smaller (but no less mighty) 30 or 46-litre backpack, too.
These are great if you’re packing light. or using them for everyday hikes, expeditions or day-to-day use.
Now, the key thing that makes the Osprey Sojourn Porter travel packs epic for us is the AirScape back panel – let me explain. It’s so cool… literally. I absolutely hate heading out on a trip and ending up with a sweaty back from carrying my backpack around the airport or between destinations.
The nifty AirScape tech on the Osprey Sojourn Porter travel packs makes sure you’re cool and dry with vented back panels and ridged foam. It’s a godsend when on longer trips.
Oh, and let’s not forget the floating, exterior-access boot bin within the backpack itself. Now, stay with me, it might sound dull to some but this makes a massive difference when travelling.
You see, I love changing into ‘comfy’ shoes after an excursion and the boot bin keeps my muddy hiking boots totally separate from the rest of my gear. Plus, it’s got StraightJacket compression straps to reduce the size for storage after your trip.
It’s a win-win!
Oh, and don’t forget that Icelandic weather can be totally unpredictable. Pack layers and always have waterproof clothing available in case the rain falls.
3.) Ice cave safety precautions
As with every ice cave tour in Iceland, you want to make sure you follow every safety measure before you join the tour.
Always have a good pair of hiking boots to wear on your ice cave tour.
We always go for a good waterproof pair, especially in icy conditions when meltwater can be an issue. As with the tour we booked (and other tour companies do the same), they will provide you with crampons (little spikes to dig into the ground or ice).
This means you won’t need to buy a pair of these.
As with the crampons, you’ll be provided with helmets with your tour operator but just make sure to take a snood or scarf with you. The wind chill factor can be intense, even on sunny days in Iceland.
Finally, gloves are key. Even in the summer months. Remember, you’re going to be hiking through the glaciers and it can be chilly.
4.) When to join an ice cave tour in Iceland
Nearly all ice cave tours in Iceland run exclusively in the summer months when the weather is milder. That being said, all ice cave tours in Iceland have the chance of cancellations at a moment’s notice.
I know it can be disappointing if your tour gets cancelled, but take this as a good sign that you’re with a reputable operator who’s looking out for your safety.
Always have a backup plan and try to avoid booking the ice cave tour on your last day in Iceland. This way, you can rearrange if it does get cancelled.
5.) Locations of the ice cave tour in Iceland
Typically, ice cave tours in Iceland happen wherever there is a glacier that has formed over thousands of years. As the glacier fringes melt, they open vast caverns and caves that can be explored with a qualified guide.
We joined a tour that took us to the Katla Ice Cave from the town of Vik. Though, you can easily join tours that take in the Vatnajökull Glacier (near Jökulsárlón), Skaftafell National Park or Langjökull Glacier.
6.) Going it alone?
This really shouldn’t be an option. Only head to the ice cave tours in Iceland if you’re going with a qualified guide. Glaciers are inherently dangerous places, especially at the fringes where they are beginning to melt.
Always book a tour, never go it alone. After all, no one likes a reckless explorer.