- Best time to visit
- All year-round
- 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
Langjökull glacier is not typically included in the Golden Circle.
The Golden Circle is probably Iceland’s most famous travel itinerary. It includes three sights which showcase Iceland’s fascinating history and breathtaking landscape at its best: Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir, and the Þingvellir National Park.
While Langjökull is not part of the classic route, you can easily add a stop to your itinerary. Check out our tours to find the option that suits you.
Langjökull is Iceland’s second-biggest glacier. It covers an area roughly 935 square kilometres (361 square miles). However, the area covered by ice is slowly decreasing, due to rising temperatures. At its thickest point, the ice is 580 metres (around 1,902 feet) thick.
It takes just under two hours from Reykjavík to reach the main base camp of the Langjökull glacier. You’ll find it outside the village of Húsafell on the northwest side of the ice cap.
The journey is about 130 kilometres (80 miles) by road from the capital city to Húsafell.
As there are so many glaciers in Iceland, there are many ice caves too. Beneath most of the glaciers, there are tunnels and cavities in the ice.
There are two main types of ice caves in Iceland. Firstly, there are those that are formed naturally by the movement of the glaciers themselves. Air gets trapped within the ice as the glaciers shrink, warp, and move—and you can explore the little pockets that air creates.
Then there are the man-made ones. For example, the largest ice cave in the world has been built beneath the Langjökull glacier. Experience it for yourself at Into the Glacier Iceland.
You cannot drive directly to the Langjökull ice cave yourself. There are no paved roads leading to the start of the glacier.
Instead, you’ll need to drive to the village of Húsafell or Langjökull’s Klaki base camp. There, you can get a lift on a monster truck to the entrance of the ice tunnel.
The drive to Húsafell from Reykjavík takes just under two hours.
Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see the northern lights. A northern latitude combines with a scarcely populated landscape, making for the perfect conditions to see the aurora borealis.
The Langjökull glacier is as good a place as any to see the northern lights in Iceland, but it’s unlikely that you’ll be up on the glacier while it’s dark. You can see the natural light show from the nearby village of Húsafell though.
Most of the ice caves in Iceland are completely natural. As glaciers melt and move throughout the year, pockets of air form within them, which become natural ice caves.
That said, Iceland is home to the largest man-made ice cave in the world, at the Langjökull glacier. It was completed in 2015 and since then visitors can enter the tunnel with an Into the Glacier tour. There have even been concerts down there!
The largest man-made ice cave in the world is beneath the Langjökull glacier. The tunnel itself is 500 metres long (1,640 feet), with a number of different halls and rooms. Wherever you are in the tunnel, there’s about 30 metres (98 feet) of ice above your head.
In Iceland, you have many opportunities to go inside a glacier. Across the country there are ice caves and tunnels carved out of many of the ice caps.
One of the easiest ice caves to reach is the Langjökull ice tunnel. It’s the largest ice tunnel in the world that is completely man-made. As you walk between these great, blue walls of ice, you’ll be amazed by the extraordinary feat of engineering.
It’s less than two hours from Reykjavík. Head northwest from the city and you’ll find the Into the Glacier experience in the village of Húsafell.
The important thing to remember before visiting the Langjökull ice cave is that it’s going to be really quite cold. The temperature remains fairly stable at 0°C (32°F).
So, bring everything you need to stay warm, including lots of layers, a hat, gloves, and some warm socks. You won’t enjoy it to the full if you’re too cold.
Don’t forget some sturdy walking shoes either. You’ll be walking on ice too.
There are many ways to get from Reykjavík to the Langjökull glacier.
The easiest is to take a tour from the city. We can pick you up from the city centre and take you to the glacier—and then return you to the city—so that you don’t have to worry about navigating yourself.
Alternatively, you can get behind the wheel. Rent a car and take a drive up to the glacier at Húsafell. It will take you just under two hours.
The Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull is a fantastic experience all year round. It’s open in any season and you’ll be shielded from the elements no matter what the weather is doing outside. In fact, the Langjökull ice tunnel keeps a stable temperature throughout the year.
So, whatever season you’re visiting, make time for an Into the Glacier tour.
The Langjökull ice cave is the largest man-made ice cave in the world. It’s an enormous, atmospheric space deep below one of Iceland’s biggest glaciers.
How often can you say you’ve walked through blue tubes of ice? It’s definitely worth it, in an area that’s filled with breathtaking sights.
You do not need to bring anything in particular when you visit the ice cave. Just dress in clothes that will keep you warm and wear sturdy reliable shoes that have good grip on ice.