The Into The Glacier experience
August 29, 2016
Iceland has many glaciers of all sizes and shapes. But one of them stands out for what it has to offer. It offers travelers and all guests to take a tour INSIDE the glacier, to learn and see with bare eyes what it‘s like inside this majestic natural wonder.
Langjökull glacier is the glacier we are talking about. It is the second largest glacier in Iceland and can be translated as The Long Glacier (lang = long and jökull = glacier). It draws its name from its long-like shape, stretching over an area of 950 km2 and up to 1300 meters above sea level. Underneath some massive mountains and volcanoes hide under thick layers of ice, some of which have erupted the lava around the glacier ages ago.
How to get there?
Langjökull glacier tunnels are man-made and nowhere else in the world can one have the glacier experience like this from the inside. The digging of the ice cave tunnel took 14 months when 7,000 tons of ice was removed and moved to surface of the glacier! So, we are going INTO Langjökull glacier, into the tunnels. That truly is something else and a once of a lifetime experience. To get to the tunnels you have several options. Into The Glacier offers day tours of many kinds, whether you like to drive yourself up to Húsafell and take a special glacier vehicle up to Langjökull glacier‘s ice tunnels, ride in the bus to Húsafell, take a Super Jeep tour from Reykjavík all the way up to the tunnels or ride a snowmobile yourself – with a guide of course. Not to mention if you like to explore it all from above and take the heli-tour, landing just beside the ice tunnels mouth.
Going INTO the glacier
An experienced guide takes you on a tour for about an hour into and through the glacier tunnels. The horseshoe shaped tunnels are about 500 meters long and wide enough not to feel claustrophobic at any time. The entrance is the narrowest and there is sitting space to gather and put on the mandatory crampons provided by the guide, for your own convenience. The walk as fairly easy one though, on even ground, but better to have your hiking boots on since is it a glacier! After, the guide walks you through the tunnels with stops here and there on the way, telling you about the history of the glacier and explaining the different kinds of ice. There are five man-made chambers in the tunnels lit up with LED lights and the ice shows it’s many different blue colors. Ideal for photo shoots! Besides the chambers there is also one chapel. Yes, you can actually get married in there – why not?
The icing on the cake (or the ice!) is without a doubt a giant natural crevasse decorated by Mother Nature itself with icicles like you’ve never seen before. The crevasse appeared while the tunnels were in the making and what a lottery that was! This tremendous piece of art really is something to remember and while standing on the wooden bridge over, or rather in the crevasse, you might feel a bit small… Natural forces are bigger than us for sure but how lucky are we to get a chance to be part of it like here! Indescribable indeed but take your cameras out since this is something to remember and no one is going to believe you when you get home!
After the tour we recommend some time to process it all outside with the scenic view in the white snowy quietness. Feeling thankful. Feeling amazing. Remembering that it’s sad to think about that in about 10 years the tunnels are no more and in about 100 years the glacier will likely have disappeared.