Glacier & Ice cave tours
Ice cave tour in Vatnajökull
from 22.900 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
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.
The age limit for all our tours is 6 years old. If you have children under the age of 6 years old, please contact us and we can discuss which tours could be suitable for your child.
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
If you need pickup and dropoff, please see the prices below:
Hvolsvöllur and Hella
(all postcodes apart from 850, 851, 860, and 861):
Pickup: 2.500 ISK per person
Drop-off: 2.500 ISK per person
Pickups start 30 minutes before tour departure time.
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 09:00, for 10:00 departure.
Reykjavík and surroundings
Pickup: 10.000 ISK per person
Drop-Off: 10.000 ISK per person
Reykjavík Hotel pickups start at 08:00, for 10:00 departure.
Brú base and other meeting points
***Please note! Your trip may have a different meeting point. See your meeting point under "Departure" on the specified trip***.
Our main meeting point is:
Road 249 ( 3 km past Seljalandsfoss )
Tel: +354 867 3535
Special meeting points:
Private glacier hike & Private Ice climbing:
Sólheimajökull, road 221
Katla Ice Cave:
Vík (outside of the building at the corner of Ice Cave Bisto Cafe)
Bus Stop Hella
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
All adventures and glacier tours are undertaken on the responsibility of the 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.
Southcoast Adventure cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to personal property that participants choose to bring with them while participating in activities.
"We had an amazing experience on this tour. Our driver (Elias) was knowledgeable and had the perfect balance of sharing information but also giving us time to reflect and enjoy the breathtaking landscape of Iceland. Highly recommend this company, tour, and driver!"
Review of: Landmannalaugar Super Jeep tour
Written in Aug 2022
"Perfect day in Thorsmork, thanks to Petra our guide for the great experience! Impressive river crossing, impressive views and wonderful lunch after hiking!."
Review of: Þórsmörk Super Jeep tour
Written in July 2022
Glacier hike with Alberto Marini
"We had a private guided glacier walk for 3 active senior friends with Alberto Marini who is an Italian-born mountain/rock climber. Though cautious by nature, I felt completely comfortable with Alberto who apparently trained many of the other guides we encountered. He was knowledgeable about glaciers and the natural history of Iceland-verified by my geologist husband. Definitely worth doing especially if with Alberto."
Review of: Private Ice climbin tour
Written in July 2022
Snowmobiling gone wild on a glacier
"We had a private tour with 2 couples to do snowmobiling on a glacier.
Magnus was a very skilled ATV driver taking us on an adventurous 1hour drive to get to the glacier to meet snowmobiles. We enjoyed the vantage point even on a cloudy windy day to ride around to see the surrounding volcanoes. Quite a fun 3 hour tour."
Review of: Snowmobiling on Eyjafjallajökull
Written in July 2022
Private Tour to Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach
"We took a private tour from Hotel Ranga out to Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach. We rented a car but decided it was too far to drive on our own there and back in one day so we booked a tour with Southcoast.
Our driver, Stefan, was fantastic! It was a 10-hour journey (including a stop for lunch) so it was nice to have a guide that was a great conversationalist and very knowledgeable about Iceland. He answered all of our questions about Iceland and stopped at a few places we never would have found on our own.
We had a gorgeous day and the pictures we got on Diamond Beach were out of this world. Would highly recommend this company and this guide, especially if you're interested in a private tour."
Review of:Jökulsárlón Glacier lagoon private tour
Written in February 2022
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