Katla Volcano Iceland: The Wild Dance of Ice & Fire

Unveil the Secrets of Katla Volcano Tour of Three Days

Amidst a realm where fire and ice converge, Katla Volcano Iceland, stands as a titan whose restless spirit shapes the very essence of this land.

Visitors often ask me, “How do you Icelanders live with all this adventure around you?” Especially with a volcano like Katla nearby! Let’s say we’ve learned to live alongside nature’s power.

​​ ​In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the unforgettable three-day tour experience when visiting Iceland. Keep reading to learn more!

Iceland Adventure: Day 1 – Katla Volcano Ice Cave Tour to a Hidden Valley  

Our Icelandic adventure kicks off with a scenic drive along the south coast!   

We will witness iconic waterfalls like Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss before we veer off-road toward a dramatic landscape of glaciers and towering mountains.  

Buckle up for an exciting ride on the Super Jeep as we conquer the rugged terrain.   

Our first stop is near the mighty Kötlujökull glacier for the Ice Cave tour  

Exploring the Wonders of the Katla Ice Cave  

Our journey begins with the colossal Kötlujökull glacier, where a fascinating sight awaits. Layers of volcanic ash, remnants of past eruptions, paint the ice a striking black.   

​​Click here to enter text.​Embedded within the glacial ice are distinct layers of black ash, offering a tangible record of the volcano’s fiery history.  

As we go deeper, the beauty of the ice itself unfolds. A mesmerizing blue takes center stage. It is punctuated by captivating air bubbles trapped within. These air bubbles serve as tiny time capsules, offering a glimpse into the glacier’s formation.   

The black ash layers, meanwhile, create a captivating striped effect, transforming the ice into a visually stunning natural wonder.   

These formations are aptly nicknamed “dragon glass.” They bear a remarkable resemblance to obsidian, a volcanic rock renowned for its deep black hue.  

Katla Ice Cave: Reality or Fantasy?  

When I undertake the tour with fellow visitors, we usually park near the base of the giant Kötlujökull glacier, where the landscape looks like something out of a sci-fi movie.   

​​​After suiting up with crampons and helmets, we take a short walk to the opening of the Katla ice cave.  

There might be a few steps on a ladder to get inside, but don’t worry! Rest assured, it’s not a tough climb, and anyone in decent shape can handle it.   

The cool thing is, since the ice cave is always changing, every adventure is a little different!  

Katla Ice Cave: Expert Tips for First Timers  

​​A​re you heading to the Ice Cave by the Katla volcano for an adventure? Here are some insider tips from a travel expert to make your trip smooth:  

The Ride 

The jeep ride from the pickup point is a breeze! It takes about 30-45 minutes and isn’t too bumpy.  

Gearing Up 

After the ride, you’ll have a short 10–20-minute walk to the cave entrance. Here, you’ll grab your crampons for some extra grip on the ice.  

The path to the cave has some interesting features. You might encounter small “bridges” or planks with ropes – these help you cross streams formed by meltwater from the volcano.  

Inside the Ice Cave  

The Ice Cave by the Katla volcano itself is a sight to behold!   

However, the experience can vary depending on the weather and light conditions. If it’s gloomy outside, the cave might appear darker in your photos.  

Time Capsule  

Take your time exploring the cave (within reason, of course!).

Capture the Moment  

The open space at the Katla Ice Cave exit is a great spot for capturing memories.  

Katla Ice Cave Tour: Quick Facts  

  • Natural Wonder: Unlike man-made tunnels, Katla boasts a naturally formed ice cave.  
  • Volcanic Touch: The beautiful Katla Ice Cave, adorned with 800-year-old volcanic ash, is a sight to behold
  • Folklore Fun: Legend says a mischievous witch turned the mountain into a volcano!  
  • Nature’s Fury: The 1918 eruption showcased Katla’s power and reshaped the landscape. 

Heading to Þakgil Valley  

After exploring the cave, I take my fellow travellers on a trek through the Þakgil Valley.   

Imagine walking across a glacier strip with breathtaking southern views. Additionally, it is followed by a descent through dramatic gorges carved by rivers and glaciers over time.   

Sounds epic, right?   

Be sure to pack wading shoes, as we’ll need to cross two refreshing rivers along the way.  

Finally, we reach our cozy campsite nestled within the unique Þakgil Valley. Here, under a sky filled with twinkling stars, we’ll rest up for the next day’s adventures.  

Day 2 – Glaciers, Lakes & Green Valleys  

On the second day of our volcano tour, we’ll tackle a river crossing and head towards Sandhöfúd, the starting point for our descent through Heiðargil.  

As we make our way down, look out for incredible views! We’ll be treated to a panorama of Mýrdalsjökull, Iceland’s fourth-largest glacier, along with Reynisfjörður and the vast Mýrdalinn region.  

Feeling adventurous?   

During our descent to Vatnsdal, you’ll encounter a refreshing lake. Don’t be shy, you can take a dip if you dare!   

Afterward, we’ll continue our trek towards the lush green valleys of Presthelli. This is where travel enthusiasts set up camp for the night.   

Imagine cozying up under the stars after a day of epic exploration! Trust me! It’s surreal.  

Day 3: Scenic Landscapes & Relaxing Finish  

On our final third-day tour of the volcano tour, we will witness breathtaking landscapes! We’ll trek through Stóra Dal and Gæsavatni near Vatnsdal, followed by a descent through Lambhagann.   

Prepare for a mini challenge as we navigate a river.  

After conquering that, we’ll make our way to Steinbogan and continue down Stórhöfðann. Be ready to capture incredible views and even a glimpse of the sea as we reach Litlihöfði.  

Finally, we reach our well-deserved rest stop – a cozy farmhouse accommodation in Skeiðflót. Sit back, relax, and enjoy Icelandic hospitality after an unforgettable adventure!  

Bonus: On our way back to Reykjavík, we’ll treat you to a stop at a stunning South Coast black beach. Don’t forget your camera!  

Wrapping Up Your 3 Day Katla Volcano Tour  

Three days of incredible Icelandic landscapes, icy exploration, and unforgettable memories – that’s what awaits you on this adventure!  

As the earth whispers its ancient tales, the fiery heart of Katla Volcano, Iceland, continues to inspire awe and reverence.  

Standing here, one feels a profound sense of awe and appreciation for the raw beauty of nature.  

Want to experience it yourself? Join Local Adventures on a safe adventure where you can witness Iceland’s raw power firsthand!  

Katla Volcano Iceland: The Wild Dance of Ice & Fire – Quiz  

Ready to test your knowledge about the volcano tour?   

Take this short quiz and see how much you learned!  

Question 1: What is special about the Katla Ice Cave?  

A) It’s the biggest ice cave in Iceland.  

B) It has layers of volcanic ash from past eruptions.   

(Answer B)  

Question 2: How difficult is the climb to enter the ice cave?  

A) It’s a challenging climb that requires special equipment.   

B) It’s a short walk with a few steps on a ladder, manageable for most people.   

(Answer B)   

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