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Step inside the largest man-made ice cave in the world. At Into the Glacier, Iceland, you’ll explore the caverns and halls beneath Langjökull, the mighty ice cap. It’s an unforgettable experience. Discover the ice tunnel on one of our tours by exploring our options below.
heading towards 'Into the Glacier' ice cave with a backdrop of snow-covered mountains.
Best time to visit
All year-round
Coordinates
64.69942, -20.86853
Distance from Reykjavík
130km (80mi)

What to know before visiting Into the Glacier

What is Into the Glacier?

Into the Glacier is an experience of a lifetime. Imagine exploring a vast tunnel carved out of an icecap, with enormous rooms, halls, and chambers to explore. Here the walls themselves are frozen and blue. As the name suggests, you’re literally walking within a glacier!

Open to the public only since 2015, Into the Glacier is the largest man-made ice tunnel in the world. It’s built within Langjökull, Iceland’s second-largest glacier, and it’s completely made by hand. While it’s an incredible experience to walk within this tunnel, it’s also a breathtaking feat of engineering, unmatched anywhere else on the planet.

The tunnel is 500 metres long (1,640 feet), with lots of different areas for you to explore. Admire the imposing walls of ice, head deep into its icy caverns, and every so often stop to remember where you are. You’re walking in the heart of a glacier, with about 30 metres (nearly 100 feet) of ice above your head.

The Langjökull ice tunnel isn’t like most other ice caves you’ll find in Iceland. Natural glacier caves are much more common. These are formed when air gets trapped within the flow of ice as it moves. Glaciers are always melting, warping, and twisting as temperatures change. And as they move, these pockets of air can become visible at the edge of the glacier. At this point, if they’re safe, they can be ventured into.

Unlike those natural ice caves, the Langjökull ice cave is much more stable and open all year round. It’s very unlikely to move and is much less affected by changing temperatures. If you want a glacier experience when you visit Iceland, no matter the season, Into the Glacier is the best option for you.

How to visit Into the Glacier at Langjökull

Most Into the Glacier tours start close to the village of Húsafell on the northwest side of Langjökull. Here, at the Húsafell Activity Centre, you’ll find the Into the Glacier base. Typically, your visit will start here, or at the Langjökull Klaki base camp slightly out of the village.

From there, you’ll get into a monster truck that will take you to the entrance to the cave. Many people ask if they can drive directly to the entrance to the ice tunnel, but the answer is no—normal cars won’t be able to handle the terrain. It’s also not safe to visit the cave without a guide.

It’s really easy to reach Into the Glacier from Reykjavík. The journey takes just under two hours. It’s 130 kilometres (80 miles) from the city, and the road takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in Iceland.

Simply leave town on route 49, before joining route 1, Iceland’s iconic “Ring Road”. You’ll head north towards Borgarnes, and join route 50 towards the east. From there, keep following signs for Húsafell along route 518.

Alternatively, it may suit you better to start your Into the Glacier tour from Reykjavík itself. For example, with Icelandia, tours start from the BSÍ bus station in the capital, and we’ll show you some of the awesome sights along the way—including lava fields, waterfalls, and hot springs.

You can also add Into the Glacier to your other adventures in south-west Iceland. For example, it’s really easy to add a visit to Langjökull to a tour of the Golden Circle. This way, you can see some of Iceland’s most fascinating historical locations, incredible natural sights, and the inside of a glacier—all in one action-packed day.

Other ways to explore the glacier

It’s no doubt an exceptional experience to venture beneath the ice. But it’s not the only way to enjoy Iceland’s glacial landscapes. Over 11% of Iceland’s surface is covered in ice, and there are many diverse things for you to get up to.

For example, why not see Langjökull from a snowmobile? We’ll lend you a helmet and some waterproof overalls and guide you across some of the coolest spots on the ice. Snowmobiles are really easy to get the hang of and they’re an incredible adrenaline rush. All you need is a driving licence!

Alternatively, explore the glacier on the back of a monster truck. These powerful machines can take you across the icy desert, where you’ll learn about the fascinating landscape that’s spread out around you.

Langjökull is also a popular destination for glacier hikes. With a pair of crampons strapped to your feet and an icepick in hand, you can join one of the most thrilling treks of your life. It’s also a great opportunity to learn the basics of ice walking too.

However you want to experience a glacier, Langjökull is the perfect place to do it. It’s really close to Reykjavík and it’s surrounded by some of the most breathtaking sights in the country.

Frequently asked questions