Exploring the Largest Man-Made Ice Tunnel in Iceland

If you’re looking for an unforgettable excursion in Iceland, you’ve found it! Exploring the largest man-made ice tunnel in Iceland was one of the top highlights of our trip!

In this post, I am going to give you an overview of our tour and hopefully convince you to visit this ice tunnel in Iceland as well!

If you would prefer to watch a video about the largest man-made ice tunnel in Iceland, skip to the end of this post.

Into the Glacier Iceland Ice Cave Tour

Multiple ice cave tours, some natural and some artificial, are offered in Iceland. The naturally formed ice caves found on the edges of the glaciers in Iceland can only be explored from approximately mid-November to mid-March.

Due to our trip being at the end of March, we opted to go with an artificial or man-made ice cave/tunnel that is formed in the glacier cap.

Through some online searching, I came across the Into The Glacier tour in Langjökull Glacier, and we decided to book it.

We didn’t fully know what to expect, but we ended up being so glad we chose this tour!

Not only is it the largest man-made ice tunnel in Iceland, but it’s also the largest in the whole world!

We were also able to go on a glacier hike near Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon on the south coast of Iceland. It included touring a natural ice cave, but the crystal ice was not nearly as impressive.

We chose the tour that meets and departs from Húsafell. Day tours are also available from Reykjavík if you do not have a rental car.

Be sure to allow yourself extra time if you’re driving; we had a very snowy drive.

Getting to the ice tunnel

Once we reached our meeting point at the Húsafell Center, we boarded a modified glacier vehicle that we called a “super truck.”

The drive up to the ice tunnel was roughly 8 miles and took almost 2 hours due to the active snowfall and road conditions. There was also a significant climb in elevation.

The drive up in the super truck was almost as cool as the ice tunnels were! We highly enjoyed the experience.

There was room for about 40 people in the passenger section, and our particular tour was full.

A good amount of the drive was on gravel roads, but there were multiple times we had to cross water or climb over ice shelves, which would have been impossible in a regular vehicle.

We followed a beautiful river for the first bit of the drive and even got to see a few waterfalls.

It was a very peaceful drive, even though we were jostled around quite a bit, haha!

Our tour guide told us about local history and gave us information about our anticipated ice tunnel experience during the 2-hour drive.

He was quite funny and had us laughing almost the whole time!

Klaki Basecamp

When we were almost to the top of the glacier, we stopped for a short break at Klaki Basecamp. This is where the tour meets during the summer months.

Getting out of the truck and seeing the base camp was incredible! There were nearly white-out conditions, so we couldn’t see very far.

The base camp reminded us of movies we’ve seen that were shot in the Arctic. It was almost like being in a movie ourselves; it felt surreal!

We took pictures at the base camp and stretched our legs after our long drive. There are signs marking where the ice line for Langjökull glacier has receded in recent years. We trekked out to the 1960 ice line and grabbed a picture.

After everyone had spent sufficient time at Klaki Basecamp, we loaded back into the super truck and finished our drive to the entrance of the ice tunnel.

Finding the entrance to the ice tunnel

We arrived at the ice tunnel after driving the remaining 20 minutes up the glacier. However, going in was not nearly as easy as I would have anticipated!

The entrance to the ice cave was marked with large poles stuck in the ground. However, it was completely buried in snow and was not visible at all!

Our tour guides got out of the truck with shovels and started digging to locate the exact tunnel entrance.

After 15 minutes or so, they found the entrance to the tunnel and started digging it out. It had snowed over 6 feet since they were there the day before!

Our guides shoveled the snow out and formed steps going down into the entrance of the tunnel for us to use.

This was probably the most unexpected part of our tour! Watching the whole process was fascinating, and it definitely added to our memories.

Exploring inside the ice tunnels

Once the tunnel entrance was open, we were able to descend into it.

A textured walkway for us to use took us to the first large room in the tunnel. It had benches lining the perimeter where we all sat for the beginning of our tour.

We were given crampons to put on our shoes, and then our tour guide gave us more information about the ice tunnels in Iceland.

We learned about the different colors – white, blue, and brown – in the walls and how the layers were formed.

The white layers are compacted snow called firn, the blue layers are ice, and the brown layers are sand and dust brought by the wind in the summer.

We were even able to see the line of ash from when Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010. Snow, time, and pressure combine to form the glacier that the ice tunnel sits inside.

After learning about how the glacier is formed and putting on our crampons, we set off to explore the tunnels!

Our guide was very informative and taught us a lot about the tunnel and the glacier during our tour. One of the neatest rooms on the tour was the chapel.

Fun fact: You can actually get married here! A wedding inside this ice tunnel in Iceland would definitely be an unforgettable experience!

FAQ about this incredible ice tunnel tour

Ok, now that we’ve covered what to expect on the tour to this ice tunnel in Iceland, let’s go over a few commonly asked questions.

How big is the ice tunnel?

The ice tunnels span a distance of 550 meters or over 1,800 feet, and we were 40 meters or over 130 feet underneath the glacier’s surface at the tunnel’s deepest point. It is located in the chapel room in the tunnel.

How much does the tour cost?

When we visited in March 2022, the cost for the tour from Húsafell was ISK 20,900 or about $150 per person. In our opinion, it is totally worth the cost! This is the most incredible glacier tunnel Iceland has to offer.

How accessible are the ice tunnels, and are they suitable for everyone?

The tunnels are fairly accessible, and most people can visit them. On our tour, there were multiple elderly tourists as well as a few small children.

To get into the super truck, you will have to climb up a step stool, and you will have to climb down slippery snow steps to get into the ice tunnel.

The staff is currently working to make the ice tunnel more accessible for everyone. The most current accessibility information can be obtained by emailing [email protected].

How cold is it in the ice tunnel?

The temperature in the tunnels stays a constant 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius year-round. It is located in the glacier cap of Langjökull Glacier, so it maintains the same temperature year-round. This is why you can explore in the summer.

How long is the tour?

From Húsafell, the day tour typically takes 3-4 hours. However, on the day that we visited, it took between 5 and 6 hours due to weather conditions and the size of our large tour.

Plan for this to take up the majority of your day, especially if you are driving up as we did.

What should you wear and bring on the tour?

As mentioned earlier, it is quite cold in the ice tunnels, and you will want to dress accordingly. We wore multiple layers, including waterproof coats, pants, and hiking boots.

Crampons are required for exploring the ice tunnels in Iceland, but they are provided as part of the tour, so there is no need to bring your own.

Make sure you bring a camera to capture your expedition! We also recommend bringing something to drink and snacks as the tour can sometimes be as long as ours was.

Are there any amenities at the tunnel?

Due to its remote location, the tunnel has very few amenities. Restrooms are available, as well as medical first aid should anyone happen to be injured on the tour.

There is no food or water in the tunnel, so you will need to bring those with you. There is a restaurant at the Húsafell Center, but it is only open in the summer months.

How far is the drive from Reykjavík?

The drive from Reykjavík to Húsafell is a little less than 2 hours. We recommend leaving yourself additional time when driving in the winter, especially if there is snow in the forecast, as we had.

Pro tip: If you are driving, be sure to stop at the Hraunfossar waterfall on the way back after your tour. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland!

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Our video exploring the ice tunnel in Iceland

Closing thoughts about our tour experience at the ice tunnel in Iceland

Overall, this tour was one of the most incredible experiences of our lives! If you are planning a trip to Iceland, we highly recommend planning an Iceland glacier tunnel tour during your visit!

Is this something you would enjoy? Let us know in the comments!

Much Love, Janae xoxo

Read next: 18 Things to do Near Vik Iceland

Photo of author
Janae, alongside her husband, Tucker, has turned the world into her playground. Having lived and traveled in an RV for over four years, she has trekked through 22 US national parks, ventured across 28 states, and explored the natural beauty of 12 countries. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been when she witnessed Iceland's shimmering Northern Lights, explored the rugged terrains of Southern Utah, and traveled across Ireland for almost two months. A lover of adventure and couple travel, Janae's writings have been featured in notable travel websites and magazines, and she has collected an online community of over 30,000 passionate fellow travelers.

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