This amazing tour will take us to the subterranean world of the Raufarhólshellir Lava Tube Cave, one of the longest and most famous in all of Iceland. It will take us into a geological paradise that was created by a volcanic eruption that occurred more than 5000 years ago. It is a hidden, secret and slightly alien world with vibrantly colored rocks, strange shapes, and smooth lava rock. Our friendly guide will tell us everything we need to know about this incredible place, ensuring an educational experience in a place of intense natural beauty.
Duration: 1 hour
Available: All year
Age limit: 0
- Explore Iceland's 3rd largest lava tube cave
- Amazing Lava formations
- Guided caving tour
- Flashlight, gloves and a helmet.
Not included: Meals (we recommend bringing packed lunch).
Bring with you: Warm clothes, gloves, headwear (wool hat, etc.), sturdy shoes. Waterproof outer layers.
Duration: The tour is on the hour every hour and each tour takes approximately 55 - 60 minutes. We recommend you pre-book a tour to guarantee your place on the hour of your preferred time of day.
Meet us there: The tunnel is located less than 30 minutes drive (approximately 30 km) from Reykjavík, Iceland and accessible by all vehicles. Driving from Reykjavík east on Route 1 and drive for about 18 km. Turn right onto Route 39 (Þorlákshöfn) and drive for another 12 km. The parking area will be on your left-hand side. Click here for a Google Map. The GPS coordinates are: N.63º 56.407 / W. 021º 23.742
Difficulty: This tour is suitable for most people, although we do not recommend it to those that have difficulties with balance, walking on uneven surface (such as snow) or have difficulties walking up or down steep stairs.
Youth (3200): 12-15
Children (0-11): 0
The tour begins when we meet our friendly guide at the entrance to the cave, so we can be kitted out with any equipment that we need and listen to a quick safety briefing. Then, once everyone is ready, we will begin our descent into the dark heart of this subterranean wonder. The walk is a mixed bag, with a few footbridges and paths having been built to make the hike slightly easier and other parts being less developed. This means that the tour is accessible for people of all ages, although you will have to be comfortable walking on uneven surfaces to enjoy the tour.
By then we will start to see some of the gorgeous rock formations that have come to characterize the cave, with the multi-colored walls being especially spectacular. These parts of the cave are illuminated, ensuring that you can see the vividly colored rocks in all of their splendor. We will also start to get a feel for the geothermal activity that helped to create the strange tubular structure of the cave.
Raufarhólshellir is renowned for the stunning minerals that decorate its walls, whilst on a winter visit, you will also find glistening ice sculptures that hang from the tube’s ceiling and form jagged shards on the ground. The ceiling can reach as high as 10 meters, meaning that you won’t have to crawl along the floor. The Raufarhólshellir Cave is a truly magnificent place that will inspire awe and wonder in equal measure, making for a fascinating underground experience that will allow you to see the land of fire and ice from a different perspective.
Raufarhólshellir spans a length of 1360 meters, with the main tunnel taking up 900 meters of that area. It is renowned for the stunning ceiling that shines three spectacular beams of light within it. The endpoint of the main tunnel splits off into three small tunnels, where petrified lava falls stand frozen in time and there are a plethora of gorgeous rock formations.
Raufarhólshellir is a lava tube cave, which was formed by the Leitahraun eruption and is one of the longest caves in the entire of Iceland. Lava tube caves are formed by the flash cooling of lava flows deep beneath the Earth’s surface, meaning that we will be walking through the ancient arteries of long-lost volcanoes. When it was discovered in the previous century it was filled with stalactites, although they have largely disappeared thanks to the many people who have visited since 1950. It is a memorable experience and one of the best that Iceland has to offer.
Map - (click to enlarge)
Disclaimer: All our tours are undertaken on the responsibility of its participants. Extreme Iceland does not assume any responsibility for accidents that are caused by its customers or can be traced to their own actions.