N1 gas station, Vík
3 – 4 hours
All year round, based on condition
2 – 12 persons per guide
Stops at 2-3 ice caves, local guide, Super jeep transport and glacier safety equipment.
What to bring
Please bring warm clothing according to weather, hat and gloves. Hiking shoes or snow boots are essential.
Ice caves and black beach
Directions to Katlatrack meeting point
ABOUT THE TOUR
Did you know there is a green here in Iceland that exists nowhere else in the world? It’s true, and we would love to show you some of the most interestingly shaped vivid green mountains in the highlands. You’ll experience many other natural wonders on our ice cave tour, including an 800 year old ice cave that presents you with black, white and BLUE ice! Can you imagine seeing a blue ice cave with your very own eyes? It’s something that you will never forget. You’ll also cap off your day tour with a visit to a private black sand beach, followed by some iconic film set locations and plenty of other highlights along the way. This is no ordinary sightseeing tour. Our glacier adventures will take you well beyond the usual tourist trail and show you pure Iceland – a magnificent side of Iceland’s nature that very few visitors will ever experience.
Our day begins at the Katlatrack meeting point in Vik. From here, our small group will climb into the super jeep and head high up into the mountains for an exhilarating ride towards the glacier. Along the way, you’ll get to admire the distinctive green mountains and many other spectacular sights, tones and textures, as we make our way through the glaciers and ice formations.
Our first stop is at the front of Kötlujökull, the Katla outlet glacier. Kötlujökull is actually part of the famous Mýrdalsjökull glacier, the fourth largest glacier in Iceland. Your safety is paramount at all times on a Katlatrack tour, so we will pause here and your glacier guide will fit you up with some loan equipment (a helmet, head lamp and crampons) and provide you with a full safety briefing.
From here it’s a fun 10 to 15 minute glacier hike across the ice, then it’s time to explore your first ice cave! You’ll marvel at the magnificent colours and textures inside the ice cave, and the crazy shapes and crystal ice will leave you in awe. Your Katlatrack guide will share the history of the ice cave and explain how it was formed. You’ll learn how the volcanic eruptions of the Katla volcano caused the ash and sand to combine with the ice, to form the incredible shades of black and blue that appear almost like ‘dragon glass’. There will be plenty of photo opportunities, and plenty of time to ask questions and learn all you wish to know about these magnificent icy structures.
After we have spent some time in the main cave we’ll take another short glacier walk, as we hunt for secret waterfalls and hidden glacier canyons. We’ll also explore one or two other ice caves, depending upon the current conditions on the glacier.
You may have heard that visiting an ice cave is a “once in a lifetime experience”. This couldn’t be more true, and we love nothing more than sharing this very unique experience with our guests! Iceland’s ice caves are constantly shifting and changing with the seasons, so the caves that you will experience on your glacier tour will never exist in the same form again. We are always scouting the glacier ice for new and hidden caves, so we know exactly where to find the most spectacular (and the safest) ice caves to show you on our tours. Some of these caves are on private land that can only be accessed with a Katlatrack guide, so it is also possible that your tour will include a visit to a secret ice cave.
After our ice caving adventure, we’ll head back to the super jeep for our next destination, a private black sand beach. You will already be very familiar with Iceland’s most famous black sand beach, Reynisfjara, and we definitely recommend that you explore this beach in your own time. However, in true Katlatrack style, we prefer to take you off the beaten path on our tours. Therefore, we will visit a lesser known black sand beach that you can explore and enjoy in privacy, far away from the tourist crowds.
Our jeep then takes an exciting detour through the wild terrain, as we drive through the actual film set from Star Wars Rogue One. You’ll see exactly where the opening scenes were shot, as your guide shares all of the behind the scenes details. We then take in some more filming locations on our way home, as we visit the film sets of some other favourites, such as Transformers, Noah and Oblivion. Along the way, you will also enjoy some other memorable sights from the comfort of the jeep, including the historical promontory of Hjörleifshöfði (named after one of the first Viking settlers in Iceland), the distinctive Reynisdrangar sea stacks, and of course, the beautiful local area around Vik.
At Katlatrack, we pride ourselves on offering a truly offbeat experience that shows you the real Iceland, rather than the overrun tourist hot spots. South Iceland is home to some of the most magnificent scenery that Iceland can offer, and it is also our home. Katlatrack was the first company to offer South Coast tours, and today we are the only tour company to combine both a glacier hike and an ice cave tour into a single day trip. We are also the only tour operators who have a Snow Cat to ferry you to the ice cave when the glacier is packed with snow. Our local knowledge (and our Snow Cat!) makes us one of the only tour companies who can offer ice cave tours all year round.
As locals, we are fiercely proud of our home, and we love to share the story of our landscape, its history, its hidden gems and its fascinating tales. We also appreciate how unpredictable and potentially how dangerous this landscape can be. Each and every Katlatrack guide is both highly trained and highly experienced in all weather conditions – both on the road and inside the ice caves. As locals, we know this landscape inside out, and we can easily switch to a ‘Plan B’ location if the current conditions are unfavourable or unsafe in any way. We also reserve the right to cancel the tour if the conditions are simply too dangerous. Your safety comes first at all times.
This is not an adventure for those who are claustrophobic (or scared of the dark!!), but it is most certainly a once in a lifetime experience for those who have an endless curiosity, and the desire for exploration running through their veins! We can’t wait to show you Iceland our way, so pack your warmest winter layers, your camera and your snow boots or hiking shoes and book this tour today. We’ve saved a seat in the jeep for you!