Deep into the Glacier | Ice Tunnel Tour into Langjökull Glacier
Witness the magical world inside of a glacier on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. Recently opened tunnels, carved into the most stable part of Europe’s second largest glacier, Langjökull, make this unbelievable opportunity possible.
You will meet your group and guide at Húsafell, or a point closer to the glacier if you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle and are visiting in summer. Once gathered, you will get into an impressive, all-terrain, eight-wheel-drive monster truck, and head up the slopes of Langjökull glacier, over an ethereal world of ice and snow.
The vistas on this drive are magnificent, so keep your camera close at hand. The landscapes unfolding beneath you are stunning, and the endless surface of the glacier is so barren and beautiful that it is otherworldly.
You will reach the entrance to the ice tunnels, put your crampons on, and head into the blue and white world inside of the icecap. For an hour, you will follow your experienced guide as they tell you all about Iceland’s glaciers, how they are changing, and, of course, how these incredible tunnels were created.
Iceland is the only place in the world where such impressive passages into the ice have been built for the purpose of welcoming visitors. While natural ice caves do form on the lower parts of other glaciers during winter, they are notoriously unreliable due to flooding, and often too unstable to enter. Conversely, the ice tunnel in Langjökull is open year-round, and accessible in all but the most tumultuous of weather conditions.
The tunnel is well lit throughout, and the ground is relatively even, so this tour is more than doable for anyone comfortable on their feet for an hour or so. Whether young or old, fit or unfit, the Langjökull ice tunnel is sure to blow you away.
Once you have enjoyed the incredible beauty here, you will jump back in your vehicle for a return journey that is as stunning as it was on your way up.
Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Buckle up for a fascinating and magnificent ice-tunnel experience. Check availability by choosing a date.
- Available: All year
- Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- Activities: Glacier Hiking, Caving, Super Jeep, Sightseeing, Ice Caving
- Difficulty: Easy
- Languages: English
- Highlights: Húsafell,
Husafell is one of the most popular destination of travelers in the country, a unique natural attraction. It has much history and strong ties with legends and folklore. It is located in Borgarjordur in West Iceland.
Husafell has excellent facilities and services, offering many recreational activities, beautiful woodlands, Húsafellsskógur, located in a field of lava and nice warm pools. The old farmhouse there was built in 1904 and is run as a hotel.
Many birds can be found in Husafell. The mountain ring around the area is exeptionally beautiful. Husafell is also located near many other of Iceland's top natural attractions, such as the waterfalls Barnafossar and Hraunfossar, Langjokull glacier, Deildartunguhver hot spring, Surtshellir cave and Reykholt village.
Artist Pall Gudmundsson (a.k.a. Pall of Husafell) is from there, famous for his stone harps. He has worked with Icelandic band Sigur Ros.Langjökull
The mighty Langjokull (“The Long Glacier“), in the midwest highlands is the second-largest glacier in Iceland, at 935 km2. For jeep and snowmobile trips, Langjokull is the most popular glacier in Iceland and skiing and hiking is possible as well. We stress that under no circumstances should one travel alone on Langjokull, as there are many cracks in the glacier. Experience of the area, whether that of yourself or of those traveling with you is all important.
Two main highland tracks, connecting the north and the south, lie alongside the glacier, Kaldidalur road and Kjalvegur (a.k.a. Kjolur road). The Kaldidalur road stretches from Thingvellir northwards to Husafell (in Borgarfjordur district), between Langjokull and Ok shield volcano. Kjalvegur lies east of Langjokull and west of Hofsjokull glacier, starting near the famous Gullfoss waterfall to the south and the Svartakvisl stream by the Hveravellir geothermal area to the north.
The landscape of Langjokull
Langjokull is about 50 km long and 15-20 km wide. The volume of the glacier is 195 km3 and the ice is around 580 m thick. The glacier reaches its highest point at the northernmost part of the glacier, which is called Baldjokull, rising around 1450 m above sea level.
Counting west and southwards from there, outlets extending from the main glacier are Thristapajokull, Flosajokull, Geitalandsjokull, Flosajokull, Geitlandsjokull and West- and East Hagafellsjokull furthest south, separated by Mt. Hagafell. On the eastside from north to south are Leidarjokull, Kirkjujokull, Nordurjokull, and Sudurjokull.
The glacier lies over a massif of hyaloclastite mountains that rise highest in the south and the east. The tops of these mountains can be seen in certain places on the glaciers. To the northeast are Hyrningur (1320 m), Peturshorn (1358) m), Fjallkirkja (1248 m) and Thursaborg (1315 m), a mighty series of immense rock pillars rising high to the sky. In the southern part of Langjokull, between Lonsjokull and Vestri-Hagafellsjokulll is the 995 high Klakkur.
Into the glacier
Deep within Langjokull lies a man-made ice tunnel, a true spectacle for any visitor passing by the glacier. This daring vision began in 2010, in the minds of Baldvin Einarsson and Hallgrimur Orn Arngrímsson. Designed and constructed by geophysicist and presidential candidate, Ari Trausti Gudmundsson, dreams of an ice tunnel beneath the glacier soon became a reality. Guests traverse beneath Langjokull's thick ice sheet, experiencing the blue ice within, and gaining an insight into the glacier's beauty inside and out. The Ice Tunnel Tour is available inside the glacier all year round.
Notable nearby mountains
The main mountains that lie close to Langjokull to the north are Krakur and the Burfjoll mountain range, slightly eastwards. East of Baldjokull are Hafjall and the Thjofadalafjoll mountain range. Hrutfell with the Hrutfellsjokull glacier cap (1396 m) lies east of Fjallkirkja and is the most impressive mountain of the Kjolur area, along with Kjalfell (1008 m), further northeast.
On the south eastern side of Langjokull, between the outlets Nordurjokull and Sudurjokull lies Mt. Skridufell (1235 m) and south of Sudurjokull is the shield volcano Skalpanes. Further east, i.e. south of Hvitarvatn is the 1204 m high Blafell and south of Skalpanes is the impressive palagonitic mountain range Jarlhettur. Among the most prominent mountains south of the Langjokull glacier is Hlodufell at 1186 meters and the Skjaldbreidur shield volcano further east.
Among the most prominent mountains to the west of Langjokull are Hafrafell, south of Eiriksjokull, North- and South Hadegisfell, Ok volcano, Prestahnukur volcano, and Stora- and Litla Bjornsfell.
Glaciers located near to Langjokull are Eiriksjokull, to the west, the highest mountain of West Iceland, and Thorisjokull, further southwest. Hrutfellsjokull lies on the east side of Langjokull.
Between Thorisjokull and Geitlandsjokull is a valley called Thorisdalur. Along with stunning views it features prominently in Icelandic folk tales and the outlaw Grettir the strong of Grettis saga fame is further reported to have resided there for one winter.
Glacier-fed rivers & lakes
Two glacier rivers, both bearing the name of Hvita (‘White River’) trace their sources to Langjokull. The first is the mighty Hvita in Arnessysla county, home to Iceland‘s most famous waterfall, Gullfoss, the beautiful Bruarhlod canyon and one of Iceland‘s most popular rafting rivers. The source of this river is Hvitarvatn lake, east of Langjokull. The outlet Nordurjokull reaches the lake and lends it a distinctly glacial colour. Sudurjokull used to reach it as well but has retreated in recent times.
The other Hvita glacier river, in Borgarfjordur, also has its source in the area, by Eiriksjokull glacier. In this river are the beautiful waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. Indeed, many of the hot springs in Borgarfjordur receive ground water from Langjokull. Sub-surface water also flows south to Lake Thingvallavatn, reappearing in springs in and around the lake. A few rivers flowing north to Hunafloi bay also have their sources there.
To the south, Eystri-Hagafellsjokull feeds a lake called Hagavatn and several smaller river flow from there to lake Sandvatn. In turn, rivers flow from this lake to two major rivers i.e. Hvita in Arnessysla & Tungufljot. Tungufljot later joins up with Hvita and Hvita itself merges with Sogid river as Olfusa and this river then flows towards the sea.
There are at least two active volcanic systems under Langjokull glacier, whose calderas are visible from the air. The best known of these is the geothermal area of Hveravellir, east of Baldjokull. Also to the east lies the Kjalhraun lava field, which flowed about 7800 years ago.
To the northwest of the glacier is another system that produced the vast Hallmundarhraun lava field, through which Hvita in Borgarfjordur runs, with its stunning falls. Also in the area is Iceland‘s longest lava cave, the fascinating Surtshellir.
Southwest of Langjokull is the Presthnukur lava field, its fissures extending under Langjokull. South of the glacier is the Lambahraun lava field and further east, i.e. south of Thorisjokull, lies the Skjaldbreidarhraun lava field and the Skjaldbreidur shield volcano.
Compared to other regions in Iceland, the area is considered relatively calm, with only 32 eruptions in the last 10.000 years.
Langjokull is shrinking fast and concerns have been raised about the glacier due to the effect of global warming. Some researchers feared that if climate change continues at its current rate the glacier may be gone in about 150 years.
Pickup time : 09:20, 09:50, 10:20, 11:50, 12:00, 13:20, 14:20
Transportaton in a modified glacier vehicle up to the Into the Glacier cave
Audio guidance (optional)
Pick up from Reykjavík
What to bring:
Warm clothing and outerwear suited to rainy or chilly weather (waterproof recommended)
Sturdy shoes for walking/hiking
Good to know:
To Drive from Reykjavík to Húsafell:
1. Follow Route 1 out of Reykjavik to the north, ca. 73 km in the direction of Borgarnes.
2. Exit Route 1 and turn right to Route 50, just before entering the bridge over Borgarfjörður.
3. Follow Route 50 for ca. 33 km, and drive through the village of Kleppjárnsreykir.
4. Cross the river Reykjadalsá where the route number changes to 518, and continue for another 29 km. And you have arrived in Húsafell.
5. The GPS coordinates are N64 41.963 W20 52.143.
PLEASE NOTE that during the winter season, from 16th of October-15th of May, the duration of the tour can be anything from 3,5-4 hours since different routes have to be driven to reach the entrance of the tunnel.