Ice Cave Express – The Most Intense Tour In Iceland
Our Ice Cave Express Tour is an intense winter adventure chasing both ice and arctic light to get to our destination of the day Vatnajokull Glacier and Ice Cave.
On the way, we will see Icebergs and Glaciers. Waterfalls and Black Beaches. Roaring Sea and Quiet Scenery. If the Pagan Gods allow us we’ might even spot some beautiful Northern Lights on the way back. As we cover such a long stretch the chances are very high!
Choose this tour if you only have a short time in Iceland and want to cover as much as possible in one day. You will be rewarded with amazing photos from some of the most famous Icelandic sights!
All you have to do is sit back and enjoy it all whilst we take care of the driving the icy roads.
We were pioneers in ice caving in Iceland and have been doing ice cave tours since 2013. So when you go with us, you can trust that our Ice Cave Guides are professional and experienced for your safety.
“Massive Day, so worth it!”
5 of 5 stars
We could not so this was the best option – we saw everything!
Topped off with ice caving at the end under the ice glacier – just amazing. Yes, it is a rush and you are chasing the daylight the whole way, but our guide Anna was phenomenal, keeping us on track and entertained with brilliant local folklore tales and more.
Departures 2018/19: From 1st of November 2018 to 1st of April 2019
Departure Days: All days
Pick up: We depart from the Goecco Main office in Bankastræti 10 at 07:00 in the morning.
Duration: 16 – 18 hrs. Est. arrival time in Reykjavik is 23:00. Depending on road and weather conditions on the day.
Price: Adult (18 Yrs. and older) – 385,- USD. Youth (13-17 Yrs.) – 285,- USD
Note: For this tour to be confirmed, the minimum number of passengers has to be met. If the tour is not confirmed you will get a full refund.
Group size: Min 6 / Max 26
Minimum age: 13 years
Included: Transport, off-road transport to the ice cave in a 4×4 vehicle, tour guide, driver, ice cave guides, ice caving. All glacier safety equipment: helmet, crampons, ice spikes.
Not included: Any meals, bring food and snacks for the day, We stop for dinner after darkness.
Highlights of the Tour: Ice caving, Jökulsarlon/Glacier Lagoon, Crystal Beach, Reinisfjara Black Beach, Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Northern Lights IF the conditions are right. Please note that we don’t take any detours or extend the tour to search for Northern Lights.
Hiking-level: Easy to moderate, often on the icy or uneven ground.
Stops (depending on the moody winter weather.)
- Skogafoss Waterfall
- Reynisfjara Black Beach and basalt columns
- Glacier Lagoon
- Crystal Beach
- Ice Caving
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (at night, floodlit)
What to wear:
We are in the Arctic and the weather can be windy and brutal in the winter. Therefore it is very important to dress well. Bring good hiking boots/winter boots and warm socks, windproof and rainproof outer layer, light and warm inner layer, such as wool, fleece or thermal. Also remember a scarf and gloves. NO trainers, NO city boots.
Is this a tour for you?
This tour is for those who want to make the most of their time in Iceland. So when we say express, we mean express. It is a very long day tour ideal for those who want to relax and let a pro do the driving through wind and snow on the tricky Icelandic roads. If you have more time join our 2 or 3-day ice tours, which include more stops and more time to explore.
Friendly note: We expect you to be an active part of the tour. Join the conversation. Speak up. Ask questions. Share your thoughts. Make new friends. And most of all remember to enjoy the moment.
You are not alone: As Iceland has become a major hotspot destination you must expect other tourists around you. On every tour, we will aim to get away from the masses, but there will be busy stops too. Instead of being annoyed about it we try to see the beauty in people coming to admire our pure nature…rather than just another resort with a shopping mall and a theme park.
Special Note: Beware of busy periods!
As ice caving has become the no. 1 popular thing to do in Iceland, you must expect other people in the ice caves, especially around national and international holidays like Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year, President’s Day.
Special Note: Ice caves change from season to season.
All images you see on our website are shot on our tours the past seasons. However, ice caves change every season and are reborn with the meltwater from the Summer season, so the ice caves will NOT be exactly like the images you see here.
The images can only be used as a guide. We just have to wait and see what Mother Nature makes for us each season. Iceland Ice Cave and Glacier Lagoon one day Winter EXPRESS TOUR from Reykjavik
To make the most of the limited daylight, we leave Reykjavik early to hit the wintery roads before the crowds. Ahead we have a day packed with both adventure and meditative time to take in the grand scenery of Iceland.
First stop is one of the most magical waterfalls in Iceland Skogafoss. It is known for its beautiful rainbows when the mist and sunlight meet. In the winter we often see stunning ice formations created from the mist.
Next stop is the most stunning and powerful black sand and pebble beach in Iceland: Reynisfjara Beach with its basalt formations and columns. Beware that the waves at Reynisfjara are strong and unpredictable and have caused death several times, so it is vital to listen to the guide’s instructions about keeping a distance to the sea and not climb on the rocks.
After the town of Vík, we cross the impressive Laki Lava Field which is the biggest one on the planet. Followed by the black desert of Skeidarasandur. You’ll see what it’s like to live in a country with 200 earthquakes a day, 150 active volcanoes and clear signs of climate change.
We are now getting closer to the mysterious and stunning Vatnajökull Glacier! Europe’s largest glacier – with its gigantic blocks of ice, layers of volcanic dust capsule within the ice and its breathtaking blue ice caves of Skaftafell National Park.
We stop at the famous Jökulsarlon – also known as the Glacier Lagoon and a famous film location for Hollywood movies fx James Bond (Die Another Day and A View to Kill). Here you see the ever-changing icebergs in white and blue in the ice cold lagoon – on most days we see seals and birds playing in the water. We will also go to the Glacier Beach aka Crystal Beach, which we think is actually cooler than the lagoon. Here you can touch the ancient icebergs and shoot amazing up-close photographs. And if you bring whiskey we have ice!
From Glacier Lagoon our 4×4 truck will work hard through the lunar landscape and chew its way through rocks, ice, and snow to get us there. This is where it will make sense to you why we don’t recommend self-driving in Iceland!
Depending on the conditions on the day and how far we can drive we will do a 5 – 45 minutes hike up to the ice cave. All our guides are specially trained so listen carefully to their safety instructions and always wear your safety gear as instructed.
Once you enter the ice cave you’ll see that it’s simply a once in a lifetime experience in one of the wonders of the world. It’s like standing under a frozen blue ocean or in a frozen Cathedral with tones of white, black, and blue.
The ice caves are natural structures come and go with the seasons. They are being born in the Summer from the massive pressure of glacial melt-water and can only be accessed in the winter when they empty. That is why the caves are never the same. The first famous cave we found, also known as The Crystal Ice Cave in Skaftafell National Park collapsed years ago. Our ice cave guides find new ice caves in Vatnajökull Glacier and other glaciers each season. So what you see in images here on our website is not what the next season will bring. But we can assure you that all ice cave photos you see here are shot by us over the last 5 years. So use the photos as a guide.
And we have one more waterfall for you: Seljalandsfoss Waterfall – one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. It is floodlit at night and best of all there will be almost no other tourists…
This is not a Northern Lights tour!!! But the possibility of seeing the Aurora on this tour is very high as we cover 400 km of the South Shore on the way back in total darkness. Of course, it depends on the cloud cover and Aurora activity – although heavily advertised the lights are not “on” every night. We will, of course, stop and take pictures if we spot them, but we will not do any detours or extend the tour to search for them.
Make sure you know your camera and the settings in advance. Check out our Northern Lights Photo Guide under photo tips!
Ice Caves Can Be Busy
As ice caving has become the no. 1 popular thing to do in Iceland, you must expect other people in the ice caves, especially around national holidays. If you are a photographer then this is not a tour for you. Contact us to book a private tour to a less travelled ice cave – expect to book a full day tour just fo rthe ice cave part. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Ice Cave Photos
All images you see on our website are shot on our tours the past seasons. However, ice caves change every season and are reborn with the meltwater from the Summer season, so the ice caves will NOT be exactly like the images you see here. The images can only be used as guidance. We just have to wait and see what Mother Nature makes for us each season.
Pickup Point: We meet at the Goecco office in Reykjavik, on Bankastræti 10. The entrance is on the left side of the building, across the street from Prikið. Meeting time is at 6:45 am, and departure is at 7:00 am.
Don’t take our word for it, here are few Tripadvisor comments.
“Massive Day, So Worth it!”
5 of 5 stars
“We did the Lagoon and Ice Cave Express tour (18hrs)- it’s a massive day in the bus, covering over 600km in one day, but Is worth every cent if you cannot do an overnight tour in South Iceland. We could not so this was the best option – we saw everything! Topped off with ice caving at the end under the ice glacier – just amazing. Yes, it is a rush and you are chasing the daylight the whole way, but our guide Anna was phenomenal, keeping us on track and entertained with brilliant local folklore tales and more. Thoroughly recommend.”
“We took the all day Ice Cave Express tour and it was amazing! It ended up being 18 hours!
From start to finish it was a complete adventure. The highlights were the Black Sand Beach, the Ice Cave and to top it all off, the driver spotted the northern lights on our way back to Reykjavik and pulled out and we all got off the bus for about an hour and looked at the show and took pictures.
The guide and driver didn’t have to do that, we were running late, but it made for the best ending to an amazing day! Both drivers (two shifts because it’s such a long day) were skilled in the treacherous winter driving and our guide Biggi was great! All in all, it was a highlight of our whole trip!”
“What a memorable excursion! I have never been on an excursion like this and would do it again in a heartbeat! Be ready for a LONG day, 17 hours for us! But even though the tour was long the experience more than made up for this.
We got so many once in a lifetime photos and experiences. Our guide was so friendly and energetic she kept us going even towards the end of the day. Don’t hesitate and book this tour, you won’t regret it!”
“Ice Cave Express Tour – Fabulous!”
5 of 5 stars
“Our group of 7 had the best day on the express Ice Cave tour. We covered a lot of ground in one day and saw some incredible sights. If you are up for a 16-18 hour day, this is the tour for you. Iceland Ice Cave and Glacier Lagoon one day Winter EXPRESS TOUR from Reykjavik
We saw incredible waterfalls, an amazing glacier, ice cave and many more stunning sights along the way (some of which weren’t on the schedule!) Our guide, Biggi, was super knowledgeable and funny. He added a lot to our experience. Cant say enough about this tour!”
“One Day Ice Cave Express with Anna Frida!!!”
5 of 5 stars
“Our 18 hour tour with Anna Frida was a spectacular experience! As expected it was a very long day in hours but given the intimate size of the group (6) we were able to move very efficiently from site to site and break up the travel into reasonable time spans.
Anna Frida was an excellent leader with a great sense of excitement, enthusiasm and humor that made all our time together very enjoyable. Her knowledge of the country and first hand experiences were very insightful.
The tour was capped off with a fantastic viewing of the Northern Lights. I must also say that our driver was very careful and safe all the time. One of the best days of all of our travels!!!!”
“2 Thumbs up for the Ice Cave Express Tour!”
5 of 5 stars
“Could not recommend this tour more, especially for those with limited time in Reykjavik!
My friend and I were really overwhelmed when trying to figure out what to see and which tour company to see it with. Going into our trip, we assumed that the tour company didn’t really matter when Iceland had so many amazing things to see.
We were wrong.
We toured with another company the day before this and while what we saw was awesome, the person taking us… not so much. But our Go Ecco guide was FANTASTIC. She was full of energy and a TON of really interesting information throughout our 16-hour day.
I see other reviewers saying that you could do this tour yourself and spend less money… and I guess that’s true if you don’t have the best guide. Iceland Ice Cave and Glacier Lagoon one day Winter EXPRESS TOUR from Reykjavik
But my friend and I literally said that our guide was the reason we could NOT do this tour on our own, because she taught us so much as we drove through every town, passed every different type of landscape, went into the ice cave, walked on the black sand beach, etc.
She really made the day for us and we were really pleased with the amount we were able to see in just one day (because one day was all we had!) I’m all about efficiency and this tour was as efficient as it comes. To be able to see all those sites on a one-day tour when EVERY OTHER COMPANY does it in 2-3? Pretty awesome stuff.
Also, the off-roading adventure to the glacier? Rough? Yes. But I haven’t had that much fun or laughed that hard in a long time. And mad props to our amazing driver who navigated that terrain like a CHAMP.
This tour was not cheap, but nothing in Iceland is. And it may not include food or refreshments, but you cover a LOT of ground in one day and you there are a lot of GoEcco people involved in making that happen.
So the price didn’t seem that bad to me. Even more, GoEcco is all about sustainable tourism, so if I have to spend a little extra money to make sure they’re treating the environment well and off-setting emissions with planting trees (which is a new initiative we heard they are taking on)… I’m OK with it.
Especially to see all the amazingly BEAUTIFUL things Iceland had to offer in that 16-hour day.”