Vatnshellir Cave

Embark on one of the best examples of lava caves in Iceland, known as Vatnshellir, located in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula National Park.

The area around the Snæfellsjökull volcano contains hundreds of lava caves. Vatnshellir itself is an 8,000-year-old lava tube formed during a volcanic eruption from the nearby Purkhólar crater family. As the lava rushed down the slope, it began to cool rapidly on the surface, creating a crust over the lava river.

When the eruption ceased, the cooled crust of the lava hardened, forming an insulating layer. Meanwhile, the lava beneath the cooled crust continued to flow outward. In the end, this process left behind an empty “tube” with a solidified roof gradually cooling above.

Experience a guided 45-minute tour of Vatnshellir Cave, descending into the depths of a 200-meter-long cave, reaching a depth of 35 meters below the surface. This cave is one of the most accessible in Iceland, although it is advisable to be reasonably fit to participate. It’s challenging to precisely define the required fitness level, but if you can climb 2-3 flights of stairs without stopping and have no problem walking on uneven surfaces, you should be fine.

How to Prepare for the Tour? Dress warmly for the cave tour. The cave’s ceiling is highly insulating, and the temperature inside is slightly above freezing throughout the year. Wear good walking shoes, preferably hiking or sports shoes. Footwear with heels or flat shoes, including flip-flops, is not allowed for this activity. Gloves are recommended for safety and comfort.

When and How? This tour is available year-round, with opening hours varying according to the season. To check availability, use the calendar on this page to see which hours are available on your selected date. Please arrive at the cave at least 10 minutes before the tour to check-in. We provide helmets and flashlights; headlamps are not allowed inside the cave. There are no restroom facilities in the cave; the nearest facilities are at the Malarrif Visitor Center. Minimum age: 5 years old. Location of the Cave: The cave is situated between Djúpalónssandur Beach and the village of Hellnar.

Cancellation Policy: Full refund up to 24 hours before the start of the tour.