You might think that caves are actually dark hollow tunnel with little water source inside. But, have you thought about exploring the ice caves in Iceland? They are one of the most beautiful natural caves in the world. Yes, the ice caves located in the glaciers of Iceland is considered one of the greatest creations of nature. They are also called the crystal caves. There are more than 10 ice caves located in this country and each one of them has its unique location and beauty. Each one of them has the capacity to attract tourists from all over the world. Before you get to know about the top popular crystal caves in Iceland, you should first know what are these caves and where they are located.
Ice Caves- How They Are Formed
The largest among all the ice caves are located in the Vatnajokull glacier which is present in the south-east part of the country. There is no particular direction where the caves are actually located as each year there is the formation of a new cave. The most exciting thing about these caves is that they are only being seen during the winter months when the Ice Rivers retract and the water freezes. Inside each of the cave, you can see the thick wall of ice and can experience the exact glacial beauty which you cannot see anywhere else in the world. Kindly visit the place during the winter times, as you will miss exploring these caves if you come in summers.
How Can You Reach The Ice Caves?
There are two different ways by which you can reach these caves. Either you self-drive or rent cars to drive till the Vatnajokull glacier, which is approximately 4 hours and then, you can find out these caves. Or else, you can choose the guided tours to these caves. It is important to have a professional guide to enter the caves as entering alone can be quite dangerous. There are various agencies that offer the ice cave tours to the tourists. If you want to visit during the best time of the year, it is better to book the tour at least 6-8 months earlier as most of these agencies get booked early. As the tours have guides, they will easily take you inside these caves so that you can easily explore these places in a hassle-free manner.
Safety Considerations to Take While Going To Ice Caves-
While you are visiting the ice caves, you should maintain certain considerations to keep you protected. Some of the safety measures include-
- Ice caves are not permanent in nature. They are actually created by the parent glacier. As the main glacier shifts, the caves also change their position, making them collapse at the time of the spring thaw. Thus, these caves are volatile in nature and you should be very careful while you are entering these caves.
- Never enter the caves without the help or guidance from the professional guide. They should tell you about the equipment and the instructions you should follow when entering the caves. The guide will give the helmets, ropes and the crampons when you enter.
- You should wear warm clothes and also the hiking boots when you are going to explore the ice caves.
- As you know that the ice caves are only accessible during the winter months, the weather remains too harsh during this time. So, if you are planning to come to these caves by driving, you should keep time in your hand as the climate might affect the driving.
- You should check the weather condition before you start the journey. You should adept the driving style as per the weather requirements. The winter journeys take a much longer time than the summer journeys.
These are some of the safety measures you should take while you are carrying out the ice caves tours in Iceland. If you have made up your mind to explore these caves, you should visit them once as the structures might change as the temperature changes. Now, you should know about the various ice caves present in Iceland, let’s have a look at them-
VATNAJOKULL ICE CAVES-
It is the largest ice cap in Europe as well. It covers an area of 8100 sq kilometres. The Vatnajokull glacier is the home to various wonderful caves. The ice of this glacier is 1000 meters in some of the areas. You can visit this place by driving along the south coast road where you can also reach the Vatnajokull National Park.
LOFTHELLIR ICE CAVES-
It is said that these caves are technically 3500 years old lava caves. It has some of the greatest and stunning cave structures of the world. These caves are located on the edge of the Myvatn Lake in the northeast part of Iceland.
LANGJOKULL ICE CAVE-
If you want to visit a unique ice cave that is different from the others, you can visit this cave. It is actually a man-made tunnel. You can travel 30 meters down in this glacier where there are various chambers for resting. This place is about 3 hours from Reykjavik and you can reach by car.
These are some popular ice caves in Iceland. If you are planning to visit this nation in winter, do not miss to explore the glacier caves. You can book ice cave tours for you so that you enjoy without any problem.