What Is The Difference Between Ice Caves and Glacier Caves?

ice cave day tours in Iceland

Iceland has an abundance of volcanoes and glaciers making for an interesting combination of caves that are true caves and caves formed by glaciers. It can be confusing for tourists who plan on visiting true caves, only to be taken to glacier caves that are loosely termed as ice caves. There is a difference between the two as explained below.

Iceland Tours

Glaciers are huge masses of ice on land and in Iceland; some of them lie above volcanoes. One of the prime examples is Vatnajokull that sits atop Grimsvotn and Baroarbunga volcanoes. Travel north and west takes tourists to Tungnafellsjokull, Hotsjokull, Langjokull and Eiriksjokull with Snaefellsjokul at the westernmost tip. Up North, there is the Drangajokull and in the South, there are Torfajokullm Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull glaciers that are home to some beautiful ice caves made entirely of ice. This is what a glacier cave is: it is made up of ice.  Ice caves, on the other hand, are natural cave formations that have a large amount of ice inside. One can enjoy ice cave day tours in Iceland with the best ones being to the stunning Vatnajokull and Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. This is the essential difference between ice caves and glacier caves and the two should not be confused together but most tour operators simply club the two together and take tourists to glacier caves while offering ice cave tours. This can disappoint those who are more interested in speleology.

ice cave day tours in Iceland

Some of the finest caves in Iceland are cave Vatnashellir in Snaefellsnes Peninsula from where one can have a fabulous view of the Northern Lights and the lava tube caves just a couple of hours away from Reykjavik. Those who love ice caves will truly enjoy ice cave day tours in Iceland to Raufarholshellir, the king of ice caves. Then there is the Vidgelmir Cave and the Grjotigja cave to visit with the second one associated with Jon Markusson, an outlaw who made it his home. However, one can find ice here in winter because the thermal spring keeps the waters warm but still, it is worth a visit.   The Giantess Cave in Bakkavegur, Keflavik, is also known as the Black Cave and home to the troll giantess who supposedly ate children. Prime examples of ice caves are Lofthellir with beautiful sculptures in ice and Viogelmir, a lava cave with ice sculptures that can melt and reform.

lava cave vidgelmir iceland

When one embarks on a tour to caves of Iceland, one should have a clear idea of whether they are being taken to glacier caves (which is what usually happens with most tour operators) or whether they are in for a tour to genuine ice caves. Discover.is ice cave tour clearly distinguishes between glacier caves and ice caves and arranges customized Iceland cave tours that prove to be truly enjoyable and informative because an informed guide is in attendance to give the background picture. It is simply not advisable to set off on your own because it is possible to lose one’s way while a guided Discover.is tour offers many other interesting attractions and conveniences.

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