Vatnshellir Cave Tour – First steps to the Journey to the Center of the Earth!
The area all around the Snæfellsjökull glacier contains hundreds of lava tubes, which makes the area really special for those interested in caves. Vatnshellir cave is by now probably the most visited cave in Iceland. Vatnshellir was closed by the National Park few years ago for protection reasons and now it’s only open with guidance from approved guides by the National Park.
The Vatnshellir cave itself is an 8000 year old lava tube created by volcanic eruption from a nearby crater in the Purkhólar crater family. As the lava rushed down the hill in a lava river it began to cool on the surface, creating a crust on top of the lava river. As the eruption stopped, all the lava from underneath this crust continued to drain out. That eventually left behind empty tube with roof on top that gradually cooled down.
We offer 45 minute guided tours to Vatnshellir cave. It is one of the most easily accessible cave in Iceland, however you need to be reasonably fit to participate. Exactly how fit is difficult to say, but if you can walk up 2-3 story building without stopping and if you don’t have trouble walking on uneven surfaces you should be fine.
We set the age limit to 3-year old, mainly because participants need to be able to walk by themselves inside the cave.
You need to dress warmly for the cave tour, since the temperature is just above freezing throughout the year.
Hiking shoes/boots are recommended but sneakers are acceptable. We will not permit high heels or flat-bottom shoes including flip-flops for this activity. Gloves are recommended for your safety and comfort. If you fall down, gloves can save your hands from the knife-sharp lava rock!
When and How?
- We offer this tour all year around, opening hours depend on the season though.
- From May 15th to September 30th we’ve got tours every hour, on the hour from 10am to 6pm.
- From October 1st to May 14th we’ve got tours every hour, on the hour from 11am to 3pm.
- Please show up at the cave at least 10 minutes before the tour to check in.
- We supply helmets and flashlights/torches, headlamps are not allowed inside the cave.
- You can find our location right here, marked as Meeting Point C.