Vantshellir Cave is an 8,000-year-old natural wonder, which is one of the most incredible lava caves in Iceland, if not the world. It was created by a volcanic eruption in the nearby Purkholar crater. As the surface lava from the eruption came into contact with the cooler air, it turned to rock, while the lava underneath continued to flow away, leaving a magnificent lava tube cave behind. Join us on a tour of the Underworld, replete with stunning geology, fascinating rock formations, and colorful volcanic rock. The ideal tour for anyone who loves nature or simply wants to experience something truly unique.
Duration: 45 minutes
Available: All year
Age limit: 5 years
- Vatnshellir Lava Cave
- 8,000 years old lava tube
- Snaefellsjokull National Park
- Journey to the Center of the Earth
- Caving tour
Vatnshellir is located on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, around 10 minutes drive from Arnarstapi and 2.5 hour drive from Reykjavik (approx. 195 km). Please check in at least 10 minutes before the tour starts. See the map to Vatnshellir below.
A guided tour of the lava cave for 45 minutes. A helmet and flashlight/torch will be provided.
What to bring:
Warm clothing, good shoes for uneven ground and we recommend that you bring gloves. Please keep in mind that the temperature is just above freezing throughout the year so dress warmly. Hiking shoes/boots are recommended but sneakers are acceptable. High heels, flip-flops or other flat-bottom shoes are not permitted.
Youth (12-17): 1 500
Children (5-11): Free
Vatnshellir Cave is situated in the heart of the spectacular Snæfellsjökull National Park around a 10-minute drive from the rustic village of Hellnar. We will meet at our base near to the cave, where your friendly guide will provide you with all the equipment that you need, including a helmet and headlamp (we strongly recommend that you wear comfortable and sturdy footwear, as the volcanic rock can be quite difficult to traverse). Then your friendly guide will give you a brief safety talk before we descend the spiral staircase into this subterranean wonderland.
The tour meanders through the path of the lava flow around 200 meters into a large cave that lies around 35 meters beneath the surface of the earth, where we will be greeted by some rainbow-colored volcanic rocks and incredible petrified lava formations. The cave is a fairly easy walk, although it will involve a degree of climbing, meaning that the people who go on it need to be in reasonable physical health.
At the bottom of the cave, the tour will pause, so everyone can turn off their lights and experience a moment of true darkness. The modern world is defined by its illuminations, so to see absolute pitch blackness is a profound and slightly unsettling experience that you are bound to remember. This will be followed by more exploration of a few secret chambers that are hidden within the cave before you head back up to the world of light after an incredible underground experience.
Our friendly and knowledgeable tour guide will tell you everything that you need to know about this magnificent natural wonder and the volcanic forces that helped to craft it. This combined with the many great myths and legends that are connected with the area makes it an informative and interesting experience that you are bound to enjoy.
Map - (click to enlarge)
Disclaimer: This tour is operated by a trusted partner.