Iceland is among the finest locations to go to for anybody who craves journey and loves the outside. From snorkeling between tectonic plates to distant hikes at 3 a.m. below the Midnight Solar, you’ll by no means run out of issues to do in Iceland.
One of many coolest issues I’ve ever completed was discover the Katla Ice Collapse Iceland. It’s one of the accessible adventures you may have within the Land of Hearth and Ice. You may go to this ice collapse Iceland even in the event you’re not tremendous outdoorsy and never a lot of a hiker (like myself).
When you’re planning a visit to Iceland and on the lookout for some concepts, I encourage you to take a tour of this awe-inspiring ice collapse Iceland. It’s one of the lovely locations in Iceland, and it’s such a singular exercise. In any case, it’s not day by day you get the chance to hike by means of an ice cave on prime of a glacier on prime of a volcano!
I had the chance to take a tour of the Katla Ice Cave, and I’ll do my finest to offer you a whole rundown of what you may count on on an ice cave tour. My tour was led by Arctic Adventures, and I’d suggest reserving your spot properly prematurely of your Iceland journey so that you don’t miss out.
What Is The Katla Ice Cave?
The Katla Ice Cave is a pure ice cave situated in south Iceland, close to the city of Vík. Particularly, it’s on the japanese facet of the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, which partially covers Katla, one among Iceland’s largest energetic volcanoes, the place the cave earned its identify.
There are different ice caves in Iceland, just like the glacier ice caves that run by means of Vatnajökull Nationwide Park, however the Katla Ice Cave is the preferred one to go to. You may simply take this ice cave tour as a day journey from Reykjavik.
Whereas Katla is certainly an energetic volcano, it hasn’t erupted since 1918. Consultants predict it’s due for an eruption in some unspecified time in the future, however nobody fairly is aware of when. The excellent news is that it’s not anticipated to erupt any time quickly, which is reassuring!
The good factor concerning the Katla Ice Cave is that it’s naturally shaped and modifications yearly. The pure ice cave is shaped by the glacier melting. Because it’s a totally pure course of, the cave will look totally different yearly.
The glacier ice melts in the summertime (round August/September), and new ice caves type within the glacier ice as winter approaches. Yearly, skilled guides head out to the ice caves and reroute the place crucial, planting new “bridges,” drilling new holes for security ropes, and so on., to verify the ice cave excursions are as protected as might be.
That is why it’s so vital to have knowledgeable information with you. Iceland’s ice caves might be harmful. Visiting ice caves by yourself may be very a lot frowned upon by locals.
See Associated: Silfra Rift and Fissure in Iceland
How To Get To The Katla Ice Cave
You’ve obtained a couple of choices right here. Excursions depart from each Reykjavik and Vík, so that you don’t have to lease a automotive to get to the cave. When you do lease a automotive in Iceland, then you may meet up together with your tour information in Vík and take off in a Tremendous Jeep from there.
As a result of I went to Iceland in February through a last-minute low-cost flight I discovered (thanks, Going.com!) I made a decision to base myself out of Reykjavik and never lease a automotive this time round.
This Louisiana resident has minimal winter driving expertise, so every time I’m touring within the Arctic, I are likely to get pleasure from being pushed round. It turned out to be the perfect determination. I obtained to take a seat again and benefit from the scenic drive alongside the south coast with out having to fret about driving in winter situations.
There are professionals and cons to staying in a single spot, however there are such a lot of day journeys from Reykjavik that you just’d be stunned at how a lot you may see whereas staying in Reykjavik. Plus, you don’t should reside out of a suitcase and continually change lodges, which is a large perk.
When you do take the Katla Ice Cave tour from Reykjavik, put together for an extended day. It’s a couple of 2.5-hour drive every means, however the drive is offensively lovely, and it goes by in a flash.
The benefit of taking the tour from Reykjavik is that you just’ll cease off at two well-known waterfalls on the way in which there. Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss are beautiful, and the detour was a pleasant little bonus.
These majestic waterfalls are among the tallest within the nation and are worthy of a day journey on their very own, so having them bundled up on this ice cave tour is a wonderful perk, despite the fact that it does make your day a bit longer.
Total, together with these pure wonders, you’re taking a look at about an 11-hour day in the event you depart from Reykjavik. When you meet up with the tour from Vík, it’s a couple of three-hour day tour.
Touring Katla Ice Cave From Vik
Vík is among the hottest cities in Iceland to go to, and it’s price your whereas to spend a couple of days right here exploring the encircling space, together with Diamond Seaside, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, and Reynisfjara Black Sand Seaside, simply to call a couple of. Or you might do one other ice cave tour and discover all of the ice caves within the Land of Hearth and Ice!
Every tour firm has its personal assembly level in Vík. The assembly level for my ice cave tour was a grocery retailer car parking zone with a beautiful view of the well-known black sand seashore.
From the assembly level, you’ll hop right into a Tremendous Jeep and take probably the most off-road journey you’ve ever skilled. This stuff have 50-inch tires and are capable of drive on among the wildest terrain, which is vital because the Tremendous Jeep drives onto the glacier, and it’s not precisely like they plow the realm for snow.
That is additionally why you want a tour information to go to the ice cave. Your rental automotive would not make it to the cave.
The Tremendous Jeep experience takes possibly 20 minutes, and it’s unbelievable to observe these skilled glacier guides deal with driving on this terrain. As soon as we reached the positioning, our tour operator gave us helmets and crampons, and we set off on the hike to the ice cave!
Climbing By The Katla Ice Cave
The glacier hike was very straightforward and took about 10 minutes. There are a couple of stream crossings the place you’ll stroll over some wood planks, however apart from that, it’s a comparatively flat space and a fairly straightforward stroll with beautiful views in all places you look.
As you strategy the Katla Ice Cave, you’ll be taught extra concerning the historical past of the cave and different pure ice caves in Iceland earlier than heading in. One factor you’ll discover within the cave is the layers of black ash embedded within the glacial ice.
These striations are volcanic ash from earlier years of the Katla volcano erupting. While you keep in mind that the volcano hasn’t erupted since 1918 and see what number of layers there are, you’ll acquire a brand new appreciation for the historical past you’re mountaineering by means of.
The hike by means of the cave was a lot simpler than I assumed it will be, so in the event you’re on the fence about it, make the leap. The crampons offer you traction on the ice, and there actually isn’t any climbing crucial.
It’s a fairly straightforward stroll by means of the ice cave with a couple of makeshift bridges to cross over the streams. My mountaineering sneakers had been greater than ready to deal with this panorama, and the crampons gave me an added sense of safety.
For my claustrophobic buddies, don’t fear. This ice cave is HUGE, a lot greater than I anticipated it to be. I’ve by no means been to another ice caves, however the Katla Ice Cave exceeded all of my expectations. The attractive blue ice, the black volcanic ash, the towering mountains within the distance, all the things was straight out of a film.
Even my tour information was fantastic! I went with Arctic Adventures and would suggest them to anybody. It was a small group, possibly 15 tops, and by the top, all of us felt like finest buddies.
As soon as we obtained by means of the cave, we spent a while on this little space, taking within the views and snapping selfies with the gorgeous blue ice earlier than heading again by means of the cave and again to the Tremendous Jeep.
Total, it took about three hours from the time I obtained into the Tremendous Jeep till we returned to the assembly level, the place the bus was ready to take us again to Reykjavik.
That is after I may actually see the benefit of spending an evening in Vík, someplace cool like Hótel Kría. Being lower than half-hour from my mattress as a substitute of two.5 hours would have been a a lot better expertise. In any case, it was an extended day of mountaineering, not simply the ice cave tour but additionally each of the waterfalls, too.
However I settled into my seat on the bus and watched out the window for any signal of the Northern Lights. Sadly, they didn’t make an look on the experience again, so hopefully, you’ve extra luck than I did in that division!
See Associated: Visiting Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland
Greatest Time Of 12 months To Go to The Katla Ice Cave
The Katla Ice Cave is open year-round, however I’m a fan of creating this a winter tour. There’s simply one thing so particular about seeing the glacier and surrounding surroundings blanketed in snow, and I’m actually glad I obtained to see one among Iceland’s hottest ice caves throughout winter.
That being stated, spring and summer season are additionally common occasions to go to the glacier ice cave, however clearly, you’ll be coping with much less snow and extra ice soften.
The additional into summer season you go, the extra the ice formations soften. Whereas it’s nonetheless an unbelievable expertise, you might really feel barely disillusioned. It’s lovely, however you gained’t have these dreamy Instagram-worthy photographs that you just’ve most likely been looking for on social media.
That is fully out of your management, however in the event you catch the climate gods on a transparent, sunny day, you’ll have some unbelievable views of the blue ice. It was overcast on the day I went to the Katla Ice Cave, and don’t get me flawed, the ice tunnels had been nonetheless a phenomenal shade of blue, however I can solely think about how dramatic it will be on a sunny day!
When you do go to the Katla Ice Cave within the winter and are taking the bus experience again to Reykjavik, you stand likelihood at recognizing the Northern Lights, which might be the right ending to an already magical day, don’t you suppose?
See Associated: Greatest Lodges in Iceland for Northern Lights
What To Put on To The Katla Ice Cave
Tour operators will give you all the things it is advisable to enter the ice cave, which incorporates crampons and a helmet. Anything you need to deliver is as much as you!
I wore my hiking boots and all my winter gear (it was February, so very chilly), and that included a hat, scarf, and gloves. Iceland’s climate can change on a dime, so that you’ll need to put on heat garments and be sure you’re outerwear is each windproof and waterproof.
Simply be sure you’ve obtained some sturdy mountaineering sneakers which might be additionally snug because you’ll positively be getting your steps in on this tour.
I left my backpack on the bus and simply introduced my digicam and telephone alongside for the journey, and it was wonderful. You’re solely on the glacier and mountaineering by means of the ice cave for about an hour, so I didn’t deliver any water/snacks with me; I simply left these on the bus as a reward for the experience again!
Can Anybody Go to The Katla Ice Cave?
Visiting the Katla Ice Cave is a bodily demanding expertise. Whereas it’s not rated as troublesome, you’ll need to have the ability to stroll as much as 5 miles over an un-level terrain together with water crossings. It’s not beneficial for youngsters below six years previous. The Perlan Museum in Reykjavik has a year-round exhibit with man-made ice tunnels that replicate what it’s prefer to stroll by means of these ice caves, which can be a greater choice for youths and/or individuals with mobility points.
Is There a Tour of Katla Ice Cave?
There are a couple of totally different Katla Ice Cave tour operators. Excursions are supplied as a pick-up from each Reykjavik and Vík, simply keep in mind that it’s a 2.5-hour drive from Reykjavik to Vík, so these departing from the capital are in for an 11 or 12-hour day spherical journey.
What Ought to I Put on or Deliver For a Journey to The Katla Ice Cave?
Your tour information will give you the entire security gear, like crampons and a helmet. I’d suggest pair of sturdy mountaineering sneakers, for positive. Waterproof outerwear can even be very useful.
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