How to not miss out on going to the ice cave and other Iceland adventures that you can prebook

How to not miss out on going to the crystal cave

Our Iceland trip was simply out of this world. We saw black sand beaches, glaciers, snow capped mountains, waterfalls, rainbows, and even the northern lights. But we don’t want to pretend that we are perfect and we didn’t make any mistakes in our planning.

Our plan was to have a flexible schedule, get a look at the lovely Icelandic weather and then figure out our adventure activities. Which is a good strategy for most attractions, but not all. If you want to see the ice cave or go on a glacier walk you need to book them in advance. These activities get booked real quick and for the entire season because they are not available all year round. We did miss exploring the ice cave, but we ended up going to the lava cave and it was pretty amazing as well! More about that later. And after all, isn’t missing out on something is another reason to revisit that destination? I would say so.

Nevertheless, this post is like a cheat sheet for the activities that you need to prebook, so that you guys don’t make the same mistakes as us and miss out. Check if the dates you want are available and plan away!

Ice Cave

Vatnajökull Glacier was formed thousands of years ago and is the biggest glacier in Iceland. This surreal experience is available only during winter months. There are quite a few options to choose from. These are three we have handpicked.

Prebooking Ice Cave
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jixxer/16982018375/

The Blue Ice Cave Tour is one for the adventurers. It is a harder and only takes 8 people. The ice cave is more isolated which translates to less touristy and quieter. If you have the fitness to take this challenge on, this is the one for you. This tour costs 29,900 ISK per person. The starting point is Hali Country Hotel in South East Iceland at 9 am. Duration can be 3-5 to 6 hours and is by the Glacier Adventure company.

The Ice Cave Night Tour provides an opportunity to experience the Ice Cave under the northern lights. (Bucket list experience? We think so!) This tour by Arctic Adventures costs 29,900 ISK per person. It starts from From Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon at 8 pm and can take 4 hours.

If budget or time constraints are stopping you from these two tours, try the Ice Queen Tour by Extreme Iceland. It starts at the Icelagoon Café at Jokulsarlon Lagoon. It costs 19,900 ISK per person. Total duration is 2-3 hours.

Glacier Hike

Prebooking ice cave
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/benhusmann/4620278410/

Glacier hikes are available mostly all year round. The reason we missed it was we did not think it would be fully booked. We went across the country in 15 days and were stopping at each spot only for a day or two. Since, the spots available for glacier hikes were three days away, we had to let go of our plan to hike across the glacier. Here are a few tours you can pre-book. We recommend booking 4 days to a week in advance to avoid disappointment.

Blue Ice Tour from Arctic Adventures is a moderate level glacier hike. It starts from 11:30 AM at Sólheimajökull Parking Lot.  Tour highlights include Sólheimajökull glacier and Skógafoss waterfall. It costs 19,990 ISK per person and takes approximately 4 hours.

Glacier Hike in Skaftafell by Extreme Iceland is a shorter and less expensive version. It takes 2-3 hours and costs  9,990 ISK per person. This tour departs from the gas station next to Hotel Skaftafell (Freysnes). The 10:00 o’clock departure is available all year. The 13:00 o’clock (01:00 pm) departure is available from April – October.

Not exhilarating enough for you? The Glacier Xtreme – Ice Climbing from Skaftafell from Glacier Guides is the one you need to check out. This trip can be as extreme as you would like. All your bravado just ran away after seeing the massive glacier? No problem. The tour is restricted to 5 people at maximum, so personal attention is guaranteed. No previous ice-climbing experience is required.  It costs 24,990 ISK per person and takes 7 hours. It is available from May 15th – October 31st. Since the climb is not very easy, the minimum age for this tour is 15.

Prebooking ice cavePhoto Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/benhusmann/4620274876/

Other Tours and Tips for pre-booking

If you want to go for a popular tour like the Golden circle, you can make do with not pre-booking. More often than not, they have empty seats. They start off in the morning, so you can either book online the day before. Northern light tours are at night, so you can book them on the day latest by afternoon. Do keep in mind that there is no guarantee that you will see them. Check the Aurora forecast here and the Icelandic weather here before planning a trip. Icelandic weather is very fickle and can change at a drop of a hat. Other activities include Whale Watching, Glacial Snowmobiling and Eruption flights which again are dependant on the weather.

Need a cheat sheet for the activities that you need to prebook in Iceland? Don't miss out! Click To Tweet

Photo Credit for featured image – Sergejf

Have you been to Iceland yet? What did you miss out on? What would you like to see again? Let us know in the comments below.

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24 Comment

  1. Garth says: Reply

    Ah we just love Iceland! We did the glacier hike last year with Extreme Iceland, a once in a lifetime experience. Those ice caves look awesome, maybe we’ll visit one on a future visit. Thanks for all the tips!

  2. Midori says: Reply

    AMEZING!!!! the pictures look stunning! Beautiful wonder of the nature! thanks for sharing

  3. Amazing!!! I am so ready to visit Iceland. Great tips & information on tours plus pre-booking. Sometimes one doesn’t realize it makes a difference to book ahead. I already pinned for later use. Thanks for sharing 🙂 #feetdotravel

  4. Oana says: Reply

    Amazing post. Unfortunately we haven’t done glacier hikes or ice caves but we want to return one day to Iceland. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Laura says: Reply

    Awesome tips for making the most of the trip by planning ahead of time! Bummer that you missed the glacier hike – it looks awesome – there’s always a next time though 🙂

    1. Siddharth Prabhu says: Reply

      Yes, first we would like to do a summer visit to Iceland to see the puffins but maybe the time after that! 😉

  6. We absolutely loved Iceland when we went for Christmas one year and have vowed to return during the summer months as there is still so much of it we want to do! This is good advice about pre-booking trips that you really want to do, it’s something that we do anyway as we don’t want to miss out but we didn’t realise that these tours do actually get booked up and you really will miss out if you leave it to late. When we return, we want to do the ice cave and glacier hike for sure! #feetdotravel

    1. Siddharth Prabhu says: Reply

      A summer visit to Iceland is part of our bucket list too. We’ve heard it’s like you’re visiting a completely different place.

  7. Jenn | By Land and Sea says: Reply

    This is so cool – literally! One day, we will make it to Iceland and will be sure to check this out! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Awwww Iceland – I love seeing pictures and reading about it. Haven’t made it yet and won’t be able to for a few years but will be top of my list when we are back in Europe. It is stunning!

  9. We have yet to visit Iceland but this post gives us more reasons why we must! Thanks for sharing! #feetdotravel

  10. Some great opportunities for adventure here! Iceland is so beautiful and it’s no surprise so many people want to visit, Thanks for highlighting some of the great tours that are available as well as the importance of booking! Definitely will keep in mind!

  11. Shona says: Reply

    Thank you! I have a list now and will definitely pre-book some of these when I eventually get to Iceland 🙂

    1. Siddharth Prabhu says: Reply

      Glad you found our post useful. 🙂

  12. Lisa says: Reply

    Very cool! Can’t wait to visit Iceland and explore these places. So many fun things to do there. Will definitely check out some of the tours when we go.

    1. Siddharth Prabhu says: Reply

      Thank you. We’d recommend doing at least some part of the trip on your own rather than with a tour. Iceland is one of those few places in the world where you can experience the wonderful feeling of being surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty with not a soul around you!

  13. The more I see pictures of Iceland, the more I know I’m missing out. I love everything the country has to offer and this has helped me see a few more places that perhaps I can explore!

    One question: About what is the conversion rate for ISK? I wonder how expensive it would be, in terms of American dollars.

    Glad you had a great time!

    1. Siddharth Prabhu says: Reply

      1 USD = approx. 113 ISK (by today’s exchange rate). We think Iceland is more expensive than Western European countries and on par with Scandinavian nations like Norway or Sweden. But if you plan well, you can get great deals (especially on places to stay). For example, our 15 day trip for two was done in a total budget of approx. USD 7,000 (all inclusive).

  14. These photos are seriously spectacular! The glacier hikes sound so fun; I’m going to have to do this someday.

    1. Siddharth Prabhu says: Reply

      We hope you do. Start planning! 🙂

  15. A glacier so beautiful is hard to believe. The Ice Cave night tour is spectacular and has just topped my travel bucket list. I am totally in love with Iceland. Glacier hike?? A whole new level!

    1. Siddharth Prabhu says: Reply

      Absolutely agree! We feel a bit bad that we missed out but hope that other travelers learn from our mistake and pre-book to experience this natural beauty.

  16. Sarah says: Reply

    Definitely missed the ice cave on my recent trip! Oh well, guess that just means I’ll have to go back 😉

  17. Tami says: Reply

    Amazing blues and turquoises in that ice cave! What a spectacular place to see and explore. I’ve seen a snow cave at Mt. Rainier, but it was nothing like this one. Another Iceland atraction I’m going to have to go see!
    Tami recently posted…Desert Wildflowers Day Trip — Borrego Springs, CAMy Profile

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