Glacier & Ice cave tours
Ice cave tour in Vatnajökull
from 19.900 ISK
Approx 3-4 hours
10:15 and 14:30 Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (next to Diamond Beach)
Daily, 1. Oct – 31. March (longer if conditions allow)
Ice cave tour in Vatnajökull
In autumn each year we start looking for the ice caves for the winter. Normally we find caves in several different locations on the south side of Vatnajökull, sometimes they are special immediately and sometimes not so initially but become very special in the right light and conditions.
Some caves we find are very stable and we can go in there in any weather, but others are less safe and we might not even go there at all, even if they are very beautiful. Some caves are only accessible in below zero conditions for example if there is water in the floor that needs to be frozen to walk into the cave.
The cave we choose from day to day depends on time of winter, time of day, weather and other conditions at the time. We always go to the most interesting cave available at each time. We normally go into one cave per trip.
We do not only look at the size of the ice cave but the beauty and colors, the ice caves are normally from 30-100 meters long.
*The duration of the tour depends on several things, how far we need to drive, how far we have to walk and how complicated the ice cave is (sometimes there is only few meters walk from the car to the cave, other times it can be up to 1 km).
Local Guide was the first ice cave tour operator in Iceland, we started visiting the ice caves for the first time around 20 years ago.
In that time we have gathered a lot of knowledge how to get our clients to the best available cave of each day as the conditions of the caves change daily.
If you are looking for a photography tour to the ice caves next winter we do offer private tours, send us an email at email@example.com for information!
Due to popularity of the ice caves you can expect groups from other companies inside the cave at the same time on our public ice cave tours.
Good to know
What to bring
Warm outdoor clothing
Warm layers - not cotton
Waterproof jacket and pants
Appropriate hiking boots/shoes are required
It is not possible to fit ice crampons onto any other footwear.
The ground is often very muddy in or on the way to the ice cave.
You can rent boots from us if it looks like your shoes are not suitable. The rental fee is 1.000 ISK.
- Experience travelling to and exploring an ice cave
- Local ice cave guide
- 4×4 ride
- We always go to the nicest ice cave that is possible at the time
Min age: 10 years old
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (next to Diamond Beach)
370km east of Reykjavík, located by the main highway road number 1. When driving the ring road you will see a big lagoon with floating icebergs, we are there at the main parking lot next to the cafeteria, look for a black truck marked Local Guide: Meeting point.
Note: Price is without pick up and/or drop off.
We always try to fit our trips to our guests needs and wishes
Our meeting point
***Please note! Your trip may have a meeting point in a different place. See your meeting point under "Departure" on the specified trip***
Our meeting point is in Gljúfrabúi Base in Hamragarðar next to Seljalandsfoss on road 249.
You can find us on Google Maps under Southcoast Adventure (Hella). You will see our cars immediately in front of the building.
Frequently Asked Questions
Booking and payment of tours
You can pay and book through the internet, through our website. This is by far the easiest, safest and fastest way to reserve and pay for your adventure.
You can also contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can book and pay via phone, the phone number is +354 867 3535
Sometimes you can pay when you arrive, but this is only possible in special circumstances.
All our tours are available as Private Tours
You can make the most of your valuable time in Iceland by choosing the option of a customized private tour.
If you are travelling independently, with your family, a group of friends or colleagues, private tours are designed to cater to your specific interests and time constraints.
The price for all private tours is an additional 60.000 ISK with a minimum of 3 persons.
If otherwise not stated, for most of our tours the max guide to client ratio is 1:14
Minimum number of passengers
There is a minimum of 2 people for most of our trips. We usually run the trips on the guaranteed departure dates. If you are interested in some trips and are travelling solo we can put you on a waiting list and contact you if more people book the trip.
Few of our tours have a minimum of 3 persons. The reason for this is the nature and logistics of the tour. We can put you on a waiting list and contact you if more people book the trip.
All prices are in ISK (Icelandic Krona) and all invoices are in ISK.
If requests are in any other billing currency, Southcoast Adventure reserves the right to add an exchange surcharge to the package price before the final payment has been made in case of any currency fluctuations. After the final payment has been made, no surcharges will be applicable.
All adventure trips are weather and condition depended and we reserve the right to change your itinerary or cancel your trip last minute with your safety in mind.
Cancellations & refunds
Cancellations with more than 48hrs notice before departure of the trip will be refunded fully.
Cancellations with less than 48hrs notice before departure of the trip will not be refunded.
Cancellations with more than 42 days before departure leaves you with an 80% refund of multi-day tours. 20% is non-refundable, due to the fact that arrangements have already been made for you on the trip.
Cancellations less than 42 days before departure leave you with a 50% refund. 50% are non-refundable, due to the fact that arrangements have already been made for you on the trip.
Cancellations with less than 72 hrs notice are non-refundable.
In case of a no-show on any of our trips, refunds will not be made.
All cancellation fees held by Southcoast Adventure are only intended to cover our direct cost of canceling your tour.
All complaints must reach Southcoast Adventure within 5 days from completion of your tour. Otherwise, possible compensation is not valid.
In Iceland, all itineraries are designed to be flexible taking weather conditions into account. All adventure trips and outdoor activities are weather and condition dependent and we reserve the right to change your itinerary or cancel your trip with your safety in mind. At Southcoast Adventure your safety is our priority.
Please keep in mind that the weather changes fast on our northern island and with it, conditions change. Our guides are specially trained to deal with changing conditions and their number one priority is to make decisions with your safety in mind.
Please be aware of this and respect your guide’s authority to do so. This is especially valid for winter travel in Iceland.
All adventures and glacier tours are undertaken on the responsibility of its participants. Southcoast Adventure does not assume any responsibility for accidents that are caused by its customers or can be traced to their own actions. All customers are to realize that all outdoor activities carry an inherent risk.
Appropriate footwear and suitable outdoor clothing must be worn.
We reserve the right to refuse participation to clients we believe are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, in such circumstances no refunds shall be given.
Our guides reserve the right to refuse participation to any customer whose conduct or manner is likely to cause offense, upset, or put other passengers in danger.
All adventure trips are undertaken on the responsibility of its participants. Southcoast Adventure does not assume any responsibility for accidents that are caused by its customers or can be traced to their own actions.
Passengers are responsible for the safety of their own belongings. We accept no responsibility for loss or damage to personal belongings or baggage.
A few words about travel insurance
As with any and all world travel, we strongly recommend that you buy a travel insurance policy in your home country that covers your cost should you have to cancel on short notice. This kind of travel insurance is not expensive and frequently covers other risks. In general, travel insurances are a good idea to have when you are on the move in the world.
What is the age limit to go snowmobiling?
To drive the snowmobile, you need a valid international car driver’s license. For sitting at the back of the snowmobile, the age limit is 6 years old.
Pickup and Drop-off
Pick up and Drop off
Our main Pickup/Drop-Off departure point is from Gljúfrabúi base, road 249.
Most of our tours start at 10:00.
No extra charge to tour price, for most of our tours.
Please note that it can take 30 minutes for us to arrive.
We offer Pickup and Drop-off from these places:
Hvolsvöllur and Hella
Postcodes 850, 851, 860, and 861
Price (apart from postcodes 850, 851, 860, and 861):
Pickup: 2.500 ISK per person
Drop-off: 2.500 ISK per person
Pickups start at 09:30, for 10:00 departure.
Selfoss and Vík
Postcodes 800, 801, 870, and 871:
Pickup: 5.000 ISK per person
Drop-Off: 5.000 ISK per person
Selfoss and Vík Hotel pickups start at ca. 09:00, for 10:00 departure.
Pickup: 10.000 ISK per person
Drop-Off: 10.000 ISK per person
Reykjavík Hotel pickups start at 08:00, for 10:00 departure.
Please contact us for customized pickups and departures.
Easy, moderate, challenging …
What does this really mean? Below you can read the definitions we use for our ratings. We hope this will help you get an idea of the trip difficulty to make sure you choose a trip that suits you best.
Suitable for most people in fair condition. You have to be able to walk on uneven surfaces and hike for at least 2 – 3 hours at a slow pace, with breaks. Trails are generally of good quality and glaciers travel at a relatively low angle.
Suitable for those in good condition who are able to walk for about 4 hours at a low or moderate pace. Trails are generally of good quality and glaciers travel at a relatively low angle.
For someone in good hiking condition and with experience of hiking. Trails are generally in fair conditions but some parts of the tour might be off track. Glacier/snow travel can be on uneven ground with challenging sections. Increased distance. We recommend guests have the ability to cover 12 km a day on rugged trails and snow.
Only a few of our trips are defined as Demanding. Hence most of our tours are rated Easy, moderate, or challenging.
Demanding tours are for someone in very good hiking and physical condition. Trails are generally in fair conditions but large sections of the tour might be off track. Glacier/snow travel on uneven ground with some challenging sections. Increased distance. We recommend guests have the ability to cover 20 km a day on uneven trails and snow. A significant increase in elevation and some technical difficulty should be expected.
Equipment needed can vary greatly from season to season as well as the length of your tour. The following list can be used as a guideline for our trekking, hiking, and longer Snowmobile tours in Iceland.
Try to pack as lightly as possible and take only essentials. Excess baggage can be a burden to you and to our support crew. Keep in mind that there are limits on how much your duffel bag can weigh because the weight restrictions on international and domestic flights are usually around 20 kg.
Luggage for Multiday tours and longer journeys with assistance vehicle
An extra bag clearly marked with your name can be kept at your Reykjavik accommodation.
Large duffel bag (60/80 liters) sturdy and water-resistant, not exceeding 15 kg
Daypack (30 to 50 liters)
You will need to bring comfortable and adequate clothing to protect you from the cold and wet weather. Wool, synthetics, and wool/synthetic blends are good. We discourage the use of cotton, as this does not insulate against cold or wet conditions. When camping, tents are provided. You will be responsible for bringing your mattress and sleeping bag.
When layering, the innermost layer should be long underwear. The middle layer can be a synthetic turtleneck or wool shirt, and pants. The outermost layer should be a synthetic jacket, and/or a good quality Gore-Tex wind/rain parka and over-pants.
For quantities for each item listed, use your own judgment, based on the expected weather conditions and overall packing/weight restrictions for your luggage.
- Regular underwear. Synthetics are easier to wash and dry
- Synthetic or wool thermal underwear
- Long-sleeved, synthetic, or wool shirt
- Short-sleeved synthetic or cotton/synthetic T-shirts
- Medium-weight synthetic fleece sweater or jacket
- Full-length pants, quick-drying synthetic fabric
- Down jacket from mid-August to September (optional)
- Hiking shorts, quick-drying synthetic fabric
- Pile/fleece pants, ideal for around the camp
- Sun & rain hat
- Woolen hat
- Gloves (wool or pile)
- Waterproofed shell gloves
- Medium-weight synthetic socks
- Gore-Tex rain/wind parka
- Gore-Tex rain/wind pants
- Hiking boots, medium-weight, all leather, with padded ankle, good arch support, and a lug sole traction. – —Your hiking boots should be waterproof, well broken in, and suitable for rocky terrain or possibly snow.
- Comfortable shoes to wear when not hiking.
- Teva-type sandals and/or neoprene socks/shoes for river crossing. Absolutely recommended!
- Gaiters. Highly recommended!
- Comfortable sleeping bag +10°C to –10°C
- Sleeping mattress (recommended)
- Pillow if you can’t sleep without it (optional)
- 1-to-2 liters capacity unbreakable water bottle or thermos
- Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries (daylight getting shorter around August)
- Toiletry kit—soap, toothbrush, etc.
- Spare pair of prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses, or contact lenses (but not only lenses)
- Sunscreen and lip protection (The sun in Iceland is much more intense than you probably imagine)
- Personal first aid kit
Optional Travel Accessories
- Hiking poles. Highly recommended
- Repair kit with needle, thread, and safety pins
- Your favorite snack food such as raisins or chocolate
- Protein supplements for vegetarian
1 or 2 good bottles of wine or a bottle of something stronger
Additional gear for backpacking tours
- 1 set of eating utensils with a bowl
- Pocketknife – multi-tool
- Thermo bottle 0.75L – 1L
Starting May 1st, Icelandic border control will switch to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control color-coding system. Passengers arriving from red (high-risk countries) must continue to adhere to current testing regulations will those arriving from orange or green areas will have more lenient testing measures.COVID-19 testing at the Icelandic border upon arrival remains free. As of December 10, those who can show a document proving they have already had a COVID-19 infection are exempt from all testing and quarantine requirements. Those who can show proof of vaccination will also be exempt starting May 1st.
This should also make it possible to ease restrictions for people travelling from areas where the pandemic is under control.
We are doing everything we can to minimize the risk of infection on our tours, following the guidelines of our health authorities.
Below is what we are doing, to maintain your and our guide's safety:
- No handshakes!
- Maintain a 2-meter distance between you and others.
- Where you cannot maintain 2 metres distance you will need to wear a mask.
- Please bring a mask, if you don’t have a mask, we can provide masks.
- We have reduced group sizes to try and space guests out over the cars. We kindly ask clients to enter and exit the vehicle in a controlled manner in order to avoid passing others too often and sitting spread out over the bus. At times on the bus, it may be necessary to wear a mask where you cannot maintain 2 metres distance. Please use the same seats all day. Families and people who live in close proximity (couples for example) are fine to sit together within 2 metres and without a mask.
- We have placed sanitising stations by the entrance of the vehicle.
- Helmets, glacier crampons, ice axes and other safety equipment is cleaned after each use according to the manufacturer’s technical notes
- All shared contact surfaces in the vehicle are cleaned with disinfectant after each tour as well as at various times during the day.
- When going on a glacier hike or other activities that require you to wear a helmet, wear a buff or a beanie underneath. We do clean them well, but an extra layer helps minimise contact.
- Wearing gloves minimises your risk of infection when touching common surfaces throughout the day.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, and use a disinfectant frequently. A disinfectant sanitiser is available in each vehicle at the entrance.
- If you need to sneeze or cough, try to do it into your elbow or in a napkin.
- Follow common guidelines for sanitation and measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19
DON’T CANCEL — TRAVEL SAFELY OR POSTPONE
Before you cancel your trip in these difficult times, take a second to consider your alternatives. If you come from areas with no or limited travel restrictions to Iceland, we will do everything in our power to make your adventure as safe as possible. Some of you, however, find it uncomfortable to travel or cannot do so because of travel restrictions. Please consider not cancelling your trip altogether and postpone instead. You will have a dream vacation to look forward to and will contribute to helping Iceland’s tourism industry stay afloat. Stay safe, hopefully, we’ll see you soon!
"My family spent a few short days in Iceland and we were lucky enough to have Tony as our guide for the full day tour including the glacier hike. From start to finish the entire trip ran seamlessly and we had a wonderful time. Of the three tours my family took during our time in Iceland this was unanimously our favorite one. Our guide was very patient with helping everyone in our family get comfortable with using the equipment while hiking the glacier. We also stopped to drink from a stream on the glacier, clean crystal clear water, definitely a highlight! If you’re looking for a trip that is a perfect combination of driving to see many amazing parts of the south coast and getting to explore at your own pace, this is the trip for you!"
Great guided experience
"By far the best guided experience we had on our Iceland trip. Tony was extremely knowledgeable about Iceland’s geology and history. He went out of his way to make sure that we enjoyed our experience."
"We had an amazing tour with Tony! The tour was a small group and very personalized and our tour guide was by far the most knowledgeable guide we had during our stay in Iceland. The glacier hike was a once in a lifetime experience and Tony made sure we were all safe. I couldn’t recommend this tour group more! All around an amazing experience and a MUST do."