Caving Tour to Lofthellir Cave from Akureyri
Climb down into a world of dazzling ice amid lava rock colored by mineral deposits on this day tour of Lofthellir lava cave and its peculiar world of darkness, icicles and buried wonders.
You’ll begin in Akureyri and be whisked away to explore a unique cave boasting some of the greatest natural ice sculptures known to exist in lava caves in Iceland. But that’s not all – first you’ll gain an appreciation for the way these caves and other features of the Icelandic landscape are created, in a furious dance between fire and water. When a volcano erupts, the lava pours over the landscape. When it reaches a river, the cooler temperatures of the water meeting the lava cause an explosion, which often tears apart the landscape by creating steam vents.
You'll drive to Lake Mývatn, where you'll visit nearby sites such as the unique Hverfell volcano. Hverfell is part of the Ludentarborgir crater row, which takes you to the foot of Mt. Hvannfell. The rock here is embedded with rich deposits of volcanic glass, created when the lava from an eruption cools so rapidly that it forms crystals.
After you have enjoyed all this, it’s time for magic. You'll get some exercise in a 20-minute walk across lava fields, surrounded by otherworldly scenery to reach the Lava Cave of Lofthellir. The cave is located in the vast desert plain of Ódáðahraun, created by the meeting of various lava flows, which flattened the land.
The contrast between the lonely landscape above and the ice cave below is startling! You spend at least an hour inside this cave to observe the spectacular natural phenomena. The cave is narrow in some places, so you may have to crawl on hands and knees to reach some of the most interesting parts.
Finally, you will make a stop at Reykjahlid village, an old-fashioned town located near Lake Mývatn, before returning back to Akureyri.
Seize your chance to see the surprising beauty hidden below the desert rocks! Check availability now by choosing a date.
- Available: May. - Oct.
- Duration: 7 hours
- Activities: Caving, Sightseeing
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Minimum age: 8 years.
- Languages: English
- Highlights: North Iceland,
North Iceland is very popular area in Iceland and contains some of the best attractions on the island. Akureyri is the capital of North Iceland and is the second largest "city" in Iceland. Around 20.000 people live in North Iceland.
The North coast has four major fjords (or bays) with mountain ridges between them and each of the fjords has corresponding agricultural districts.
More attractions in the amazing Thingeyjasysla are mentioned below. Note that the first three areas are geologically speaking ancient formations, while Thingeyjasysla is recent and full of volcanic activity, young lava fields and tuff mountains.
In Eyjafjörður is the capital of the North, Akureyri with 17.000 inhabitants. It is a very charming town and highly popular with travelers, so we advise you not to miss it. Many cruisers land in the port of the town.
The older part of Akureyri is particularly worth a stroll. If you like skiing or snowboarding, one of the best skiing sites in the country is located nearby.
We also recommend the botanical gardens there, fine restaurants and many interesting museums, such as Davidshus and Nonnahus, dedicated to the memory of poet David Stefansson and Jon Sveinson, author of the Nonnabaekur ('Nonni’s books').
Not far from Akureyri is the unique turf framhouse of Laufas, a museum and a prime example of the old architecture and farmlife. Also not far from Akureyri are the submarine geothermal silica cones of Strytur, a natural wonder and an excellent place for a dive.
One of Iceland's most beloved poets, Jonas Hallgrimsson was born in Eyjafjordur, at the farm Hraun in Oxnadalur valley and the knife-edged lava peaks there are particularly stunning. Also essential when traveling in the area is the beautiful and peaceful island Hrisey, often called 'The Pearl of Eyjafjordur'.
Siglufjordur has the distinction of not falling under the regular four part division, as it straddles the border of Eyjafjordur and Skagafjordur. Here we highly recommend the herring era museum and the folk music museum. Indeed, Siglufjordur hosts an annual folk music festival that is truly worth experiencing.
Among major attractions in Hunathing are the Regional Museum at Reykir in Hrutafjordur, the Seal Watching Center at Vatnsnes and the Arnarvatnsheidi heath, with a large numbers of ponds and lakes full of trout.
In Skagafjordur, the largest town of which is Saudarkrokur, we particularly recommend the historical bishop’s seat of Holar and the agricultural university there, the Glaumbaer museum, and Drangey island.
Near Myvatn is the chaotic lava field Dimmuborgir, a truly amazing sight (and paid homeage to by the Norwegian Black Metal band of the same name).
Husavik is the whale watching capital of the North so don’t miss that one either.
The Jokulsargljufur National Park is home to some of Iceland's most beloved natural attractions, Holmatungur, Hljodaklettar and the Asbyrgi canyon. In the river Jokulsa a Fjollum is Europe's most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss.
At the Melrakkasletta peninsula you can see fascinating birdlife and there is good trout fishing to be made there. Seals may be sighted as well as whales off the coast. The vegetation is rich and this is an ideal place to enjoy the midnight sun. Northern lights may also be spotted from late August to early April.
Far north, straddling the Arctic Circle is Grimsey island, the northernmost inhabited territory of Iceland, with a population of about 100 people. It is renowned for its fishermen, its rich vegetation and birdlife.Akureyri,
Akureyri, ‘The Capital of the North’ is a town in the fjord Eyjafjordur in North Iceland. It lies just 100 km away from the Arctic Circle. It is Iceland’s second-largest urban area with a population of about 17,800.
Akureyri is an important fishing centre and port, but in the last few years tourism, industry, higher education and services have become the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
An international airport is located about 3 km from the center. A large number of cruisers also stop at Akureyri. One of Iceland's best skiing sites is found by Akureyri, at Hlidarfjall.
Traditionally Akureyri has survived on fisheries and some of Iceland’s largest fishing companies, like for example Samherji, have their headquarters there. Other large companies include Brim, Nordurmjolk, and Vifilfell hf, the largest brewery in Iceland.
FSA/Akureyri Hospital is a major employer in the area and is one of two major hospitals in Iceland.
Akureyri has excellent facilities for travelers and is located a short drive from many of Iceland’s top natural, cultural and historical attractions.
Nature & Landscape
Akureyri is surrounded by mountains, the highest one being Kerling (1538 m). The area around it has rich agriculture and a beautiful mountain ring.
The innermost part of the fjord, Pollurinn ('The Pool') further lends the town a special character. The climate in Akureyri is generally very pleasant.
The islands Hrisey in the middle of Eyfjordur and Grimsey, straddling the Artic Circle, both belong to the municipality of Akureyri. Hrisey is often called 'The Pearl of Eyjafjordur' and Grimsey 'The Pearl of the Artic' and these beautiful and peaceful islands are highly popular with travelers.
History & Culture
During World War II the town was an important site for the Allies and the town grew considerably after the war, as people increasingly moved to urban areas.
Akureyri has a strong cultural scene, with several bars and renowned restaurants. Folk culture in general is more prevalent there than in Reykjavik. During the summer there are several notable festivals in Akureyri and its surroundings.
Sites of interest in Akureyri include the brand-new Hof concert hall and Akureyri’s many museums, The Nature Museum, Nonnahus, a.k.a. Jon Sveinsson Memorial Museum, for the writer, David's house or David Stefansson Memorial Museum, for the poet, Akureyri Art Museum.
Akureyri also has several churches, Akureyrarkirkja being the most notable, as well as beautiful botanical gardens. The old town is particularly charming, ideal for a nice walk.Mývatn,
Myvatn is a beautiful lake with many small islands in the north of Iceland, the fourth largest lake in the country. Along with its surrounding area, the lake is one of Iceland's most amazing natural attractions.
Some of the islands in Myvatn are pseudocraters, formed by steam explosions. The lake has rich birdlife and more species of ducks than anywhere else in the world. As for vegetation, it is one of the few places in the world that grows Marimo, also known as Cladophora ball, Lake ball, or Moss Balls in English, a species of filamentous green algae (Chlorophyta).
The Myvatn nature baths are also renowned throughout the world, a perfect place to relax, surrounded by breathtaking landscape.
Close to the lake is Dimmuborgir, a fascinating area of dramatic and chaotic lava. Norwegian symphonic metal band Dimmu Borgir takes its name from the the lava field, and it continues to inspire travellers from all over the world.
The Myvatn area is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Iceland. Don´t miss it!Hverfell,
Hverfell is an explosion crater on the east side of Lake Mývatn in northern Iceland and is one of the largest explosion craters in the world.
The diameter of the crater is 1000 metres and it is around 140 metres deep. It was formed in a volcanic explosion some 2800-2900 years ago.
Hverfell is also known as Hverfjall, both spellings are correct.Lúdentarborgir,
Ludentarborgir is a crater row east of Lake Myvatn, about 15 meters long.
These craters take their name from the explosion crater Ludent, to their north east. The astronauts of space shuttle Appolo 11 trained for their mission in the lunar landscape of Ludentarborgir. The two southernmost craters are known as Threngslaborgir, and that name is often used for the whole crater row, or at least the southern part.
A volcanic eruption in the crater area created the Stora Laxarhraun lava field some 2300 years ago. The lava field covers some 220 km2 and is home to such attractions as the famous Dimmuborgir and the Skutustadagigar pseudocraters.Hvannfell,
Hvannfell is a mountain in Sudur-Thingeyjarsysla county in North Iceland.
The mountain is located near the famous Lake Myvatn. The Burfellshraun lava field lies between Hvannfell and mountain Burfell, with colourful and mixed lava.Lofthellir,
Lofthellir is a lava cave in North Iceland, situated in the lava field of older Laxardalshraun.
The Lofthellir lava cave is renowned for having some of the largest, most varied and most beautiful ice sculptures of any lava cave in Iceland and spectacular lava formations as well.Reykjahlíð
Reykjahlid is a small village by the shores of Lake Myvatn, in North Iceland.
Reykjahlid has about 300 inhabitants and is close to many natural attractions, such as Krafla, Dimmuborgir, Viti, Hverfjall and the lake itself. Many tours are hence operated from Reykjahlid and the village offers excellent facilities for travelers.
Pickup time : 08:45
Fully guided tour
Cave exploration equipment (Helmet, headlights, rubber boots and gloves)
What to bring:
Warm and waterproof clothing
Good walking shoes
Good to know:
● This tour is not suitable for young children, people with claustrophobia or people that are not in reasonable physical condition.
● To reach the cave is a 30 minute hike across a relatively smooth lava field.
● The short entry (approx. 1,5m) into the cave is narrow and guests need to crawl on all fours to enter.
● There is ice and water on the floor of the cave and the temperature inside the cave is around 0°C.
● Due to weather and/or road conditions we might have longer journey time or cancellation of the tour