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The Enchanting Beauty of Lofthellir Lava Cave

The Lofthellir Cave might not be what you expect. This spectacular natural wonder showcases what happens when the two extremes of the Land of Fire and Ice meet. For those ever planning to visit Iceland, this cave is a must for any trip itinerary.


If you’re just curious to learn more about this incredible place or want to start prepping for an upcoming trip to the island, read on. We tell you everything you need to know about Lofthellir and what you can expect during your visit.


Lofthellir Lava Cave

What Makes Lofthellir Lava Cave So Special?


Lofthellir is a 370-meter-long cave in Iceland that is not your average lava cave here in Iceland. You can also call it the Lofthellir Ice Cave since it almost seems like a cross-breed with all its interesting ice formations. Lofthellir is also not a cave where some cavern into the darkness opens up before you like a door. It looks more like a giant hole in the ground.


Exploring Lofthellir is an incredible experience that will probably leave you with your jaw on the floor. But note that your jaw might not fall too far since this outing will require some crawling, clambering, and squeezing. Due to this, this is also not an outing for the elderly, the disabled, children under the age of 8, or anyone struggling with tight spaces.


How was Lofthellir Formed?


Lofthellir is a lava cave, which means that it was formed by a river of lava flowing underneath the ground. After a while, the outer layer of the lava starts to cool down and then harden, forming a type of hardened shell similar to a pipe (hence why we call it a lava tube).


Eventually, the remaining lava will flow out of the tube, leaving only the tube behind. After many years (we’re talking hundreds or even thousands) it often happens that the “roof” of the cave caves in (pun intended), creating the entrance to the lava cave. In the case of Lofthellir, the initial lava that began this chain reaction was caused by an eruption approximately 3500 years ago.


Lava Cave in Iceland

Where is Lofthellir Lava Cave in Iceland?


Lofthellir can be found in the northeastern part of the country, near Lake Myvatn. The nearest city is Myvatn, which is about a 15-minute drive away. From the capital city of Reykjavik, it’s about a 2.5-hour drive, so even though both are possible departure points for a day trip during our summertime with plenty of daylight hours, Myvatn will be easiest, especially if you’re already on a road trip exploring the north.


How to Get to Lofthellir Lava Cave in Iceland


The first thing you must know is that you can only explore Lofthellir via a guided tour due to safety concerns. These tours depart from the cave, but you still have a few options when it comes to visiting Lofthellir:


You Can Book a Tour with our Local Tour Operators and Guides


You can always book a tour with one of our local tour operators or tour guides. Currently there is just one company that’s got permission to access Lofthellir since it’s on private land, so you will have to use one of the tours or guides who are Geo Travel Certified.


Depending on the guide or tour, arrangements can vary with departures being from various places such as the cave itself, the bigger cities and towns in Iceland, and you’ll even have pickup service options in certain cases. These tours can also range from day tours to multi-day holiday packages, and you can also arrange customized private tours.


You Can Drive Yourself


This, to us, will always be the best option when exploring the island since you can be the captain of your own “ship” so to speak. Driving to Lofthellir is pretty easy, especially if you’re already on a road trip coming from Myvatn’s side. From Myvatn, you will drive about 45 minutes to reach Mt. Hvannfell, from where you will do a 20-30 minute trek across the lava field to the opening of Lofthellir (many guided tours already start from the lava field).


The Best Time to Visit Lofthellir


While Lofthellir is technically open all year round, it might prove difficult to reach during our colder months since it’s located in the country’s northern region. The north gets the brunt of our harsh weather elements during these times, making outdoor adventures tricky. You can also be faced with sudden road closures, which can throw a spanner in the works of any trip itinerary. Your safest bet would be to go during the warmer months of the year (from around April to September).


How Much Does it Cost to Visit Lofthellir Lava Cave?


That will depend on the tour package you’ve opted for, but prices generally start from around 42 900 ISK (or $310) per person.


How Long is a Tour of Lofthellir?


Once again, this will depend on the type of tour you’ve booked, but they tend to be 4 to 5 hours long. Also, keep the 30-minute hike across the lava field beforehand in mind.


Lofthellir Tour

Other Things to See and Do Near Lofthellir Lava Cave


There are a few other interesting things to see and do near Lofthellir Lava Cave if you feel like adding to your trip itinerary in the area. They include:



Places to Stay Near Lofthellir Lava Cave


You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation in the area, and you are sure to find something that suits both your preferences and your pocket. For a stay with a luxurious touch, you can opt for Fosshotel Myvatn. For a comfortable stay that is a bit more affordable, Elda Guesthouse is a good option. And for the ultimate budget-friendly accommodation, one can book a campsite at Hild Camping.


Grjotagja Cave

Lofthellir: Visiting the Place Where Fire and Ice Clashes


Not only is Lofthellir an incredible natural wonder, but it’s also the perfect combination of a lava and ice cave with incredible formations (from lava to stalagmites and more). This is a must-visit spot for the adventurous at heart. Rent a car in Iceland, and hit the road up north for the experience (and thrill!) of a lifetime.


5 comments

5 Kommentare


jessica Cheryl
jessica Cheryl
10 hours ago

wow it's really beautiful, comparable to Phong Nha Ke Bang cave. slope

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Ryan Katelyn
Ryan Katelyn
08. Juli

If you're looking to extend your vacation to the region around Lofthellir Lava Cave, there are a few additional intriguing sights and activities to partake in. connections game

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Lamb Herman
Lamb Herman
05. Juli

There are a few other interesting things to see and do near Lofthellir Lava Cave if you feel like adding to your trip itinerary in the area. geometry dash lite

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salmawisoky85
05. Juli

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Jeeino JB
Jeeino JB
04. Juli

Absolutely stunning , There is no limit of natures wonders and its really sad how we humans are destroying it everyday, while companies are destroying environment for profits there is brands like Aosom who make recycled furniture and offers gardening tools at discount providing Aosom discount code so every one can contribute to make earth environment cleans and green. Again!

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