If you want to walk on a glacier and into a natural bright blue ice cave, then you are going to want to pay attention to this video, because I have the details about the best tour in the land.
My bucket list!
This is a true story. When I moved to Iceland in 2015 I wrote a blog post on my website and I said my Icelandic bucket list is, and I listed five items. Number one and two items on that bucket list were to hike on a glacier and walk through an ice cave. I’m not kidding you. That is a real story. I am happy to report that I can tick those items off because recently Troll Expeditions made my literal dreams come true! I’m excited even thinking about the memory of it right now.
If you didn’t already know, 10% of Iceland is covered in glaciers. That is a lot ice going on out there and I’m sure that a lot of you are interested in taking this tour. Let me tell you, not all glaciers are designed the same. As we’re going to talk about today, safety is the number one priority when it comes to glaciers. It’s super, super important to go with a company that you trust because you want to make sure that you’re safe when you’re taking tours like this.
What to expect
Today I’m so excited to talk to you about our tour so that you know what to expect, the experience, and all of the things. So let’s get into it.
Troll Expeditions is a tour operator that has been leading adventures in Iceland for years. They employ people from all around the world and offer a wide range of tour products. Today the tour that I’ll be specifically talking about is the Skaftafell Blue Ice Cave Tour and Glacier Hike.
First things first, you’ll meet at the location. When you arrive and get all checked in, you’re going to get suited up with all of the proper gear that you’re going to need to keep you safe on that glacier. This includes the helmet, the harness, that ax, the crampons, and everything that you need. All of that stuff is already included and provided by Troll.
Next you head out walking towards the glacier! Obviously this walk is in Skaftafell National Park, so already you’re surrounded by so much natural beauty around you as you’re making your way to the glacier.
You’ll be walking on what’s called Skaftafellsjökull. This is basically one of the glacier tongues that comes down off of the main Vatnajökull Glacier, which is the biggest glacier in Europe.
Now, as you’re arriving to the start of the ice, this is when you’ll put on your crampons. Obviously, this is a really, really important part because this is going to allow you to feel really, really safe and sturdy as you’re walking onto the glacier.
Also, during this time, they’re going to go through a debrief of safety information, so anything that you’re going to want to know about the hike, or any concerns that you have, this is the perfect time to go through that. Now, the fun begins. Literally the best part, is walking up towards the glacier and getting one of those first breathtaking views.
So much natural beauty!
As you’re walking along this magnificent glacier field, you’re learning more and more about the glaciers. This is literally thousands year old ice. It’s crazy to just learn about this stuff and how it’s transforming the landscape, and all of the ins and outs at the same time that you’re just trying to take all of the beautiful scenery in.
You’ll find different textures and patterns and even holes that the glaciers make. It’s so, so interesting to see how this system works. Not only at the surface, but looking down into the glacier as well.
You’re walking along, you’re going in and out of these crevices along the glacier planes, and it’s all good. And then you get to go into the ice cave. You guys this… I don’t have words because it was so awesome. It’s so crazy how beautiful and magical it is to walk into a natural made ice cave. It’s unbelievable.
The thing is, is that the glaciers melt underneath, so they’ll carve out these big ice caves. A) every ice cave, year to year, is going to be different in size, shape, color, and all of that stuff. But this blue inside that you see in photos is exactly what it looks like. It’s unbelievable. It’s so good, you guys! I’m serious. This was such a highlight for me.
Relish the moment!
I would suggest taking a minute, obviously you’re going to be taking photos and things like that, but literally take a few minutes, put your technology away, and give yourself time to take it all in, because you’re not going to be in there for an hour and pretty soon that experience is going to be finished and then right, it’s done. So make yourself really present, take it all in and enjoy that experience in its fullest, because it’s incredible.
It’s a bit hard to explain how amazing it is. I hope that I’m not hyping it up too much, because I really think that this is one of the most phenomenal thing. Mother nature is amazing and being able to witness these things ourselves is just so powerful.
Keep in mind by this time, several hours have passed. So after all of those things that just happened, you’re going to start making your way back towards the parking lot. All in all, this whole experience is taking about four hours to complete with the prep time, the walking out, and the actual glacier hike and all of that.
In planning your trip, you do have to be quite aware that this tour is going to take up a pretty good chunk of your day. So make sure to plan accordingly that way.
Now onto my tips for having the best experience. The glacier hikes themselves happen year round so you can head on the glacier and hike anytime. The natural ice caves are a lot more dependent on the weather, so it needs to be cold in order for the glaciers to be safe to go into the caves.
The general timeframe for the ice caves to be available is between October and April. Those dates could change every year, obviously subject to availability, so make sure to check the website for the most updated times and dates for them.
In terms of walking around, I would say this is a moderately difficult activity. You are walking for several hours. However, I would say that the hike is safe for everyone to do as long as you’re comfortable with walking during that time and you’re in pretty good physical condition. Also, keep in mind that there is an age minimum with Troll. It’s eight years and older, so just keep that in mind if you have children.
It’s really important to dress appropriately when you’re going on the glaciers. Sturdy hiking boots are an absolute must. These crampons that you’re stepping into are really strong and rigid and so you want to make sure to have a good boot so it can cinch around and keep your foot in there really safely.
Also, dressing warm, obviously, lots and lots of layers. I would recommend a wool sweater, but also you want to have good outerwear because they run tours. Even if it’s raining, and if it’s raining and you’re getting cold and wet, it’s not so good, so having completely waterproof outerwear is really important.
Lastly, bring your camera, obviously. You do not want to miss this opportunity for some beautiful photo ops of this landscape, inside the cave, on the glacier, selfie city. All of the things! So bring all of the camera gear.
So much gratitude!
All right, guys, I hope you love this video about the glacier hike and the ice caves. I hope you learned a bit about what to expect on the tour, and I 1000% can recommend this as a tour that you should take when you’re in Iceland. It will create the most unique memories from your trip. Who can say that they walked into an ice cave?
Also, thank you so much to Troll Explanations for literally making my dreams come true. My husband and I had the best time on our tour and now we have so many beautiful photos in our home to remember our experience.
If you guys are ready to book your own tour, I really hope you go and you’re able to experience this and enjoy it as much as we did.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me today, friends. I’ll see you next week for another Iceland video. Until then, happy planning!