Located just 30 minutes from Reykjavík, Raufarholshellir is one of the longest and best-known lava tubes in Iceland. The total length of the tunnel is an impressive 1,360 m (4,500 ft). The main tunnel is 900 m (3,000 ft) long, and at its end, the tunnel branches into three smaller tunnels. Here magnificent lava falls and formations are clearly visible.
Those who journey here are in for a truly unique experience. This tour is the perfect addition to any exploration of the Golden Circle or the South Coast. This tour is a great opportunity to witness the inner workings of a volcanic eruption. As you explore the cave, you will walk along the same path where lava flowed 5,200 years ago during the Leitahraun eruption.
Yes, the Raufarhólshellir Lava Tunnel Tour is available all year. In winter, spectacular ice sculptures form inside the entrance of the cave making the experience of visiting the lava tunnel even more breathtaking.
No, all necessary equipment such as helmets and lights are provided on location. However, you should be sure to wear good hiking shoes and dress warmly. The temperature inside the cave is 0-4 degrees Celsius, or 32-38 degrees Fahrenheit. Water sometimes drips from the ceiling of the cave so wearing a waterproof jacket is recommended.
This tour is easy for most people, although we do not recommend it to those who have difficulty walking on uneven surface or walking up or down steep stairs. It should also be noted that those who experience claustrophobia may not be able to fully enjoy this tour.
Yes, this tour is a great choice for families with children aged 3 years and older. Children from 3 – 11 years of age go on the tour for free when travelling with adults.
No, this is the meet-on-location version of this tour. If you are interested in going on the tour but don’t have a rental car, please check out Raufarhólshellir Lava Tunnel Tour with a pickup option.
The Lava Tunnel is located less than 30 minutes outside of Reykjavík and is easily accessible year round. From Reykjavík, drive east on road number 01 for 18 km. Then turn right onto road number 39 (Þorlákshöfn) and drive for another 12 km. The parking lot is right by the road.
The GPS coordinates are N63° 56.407 / W21° 23.742
Lava tubes are a natural conduit, formed when an active low-viscosity lava flow develops a continuous and hard crust, which thickens and forms a roof above the still-flowing lava stream.
The total length of the tunnel is an impressive 1,360 m (4,500 ft), the main tunnel being 900 m (3,000 ft) long. The tunnel is up to 30 m wide with headroom up to 10 m high, making it one of the most expansive lava runnels in Iceland. Near the entrance of the tunnel, the ceiling has caved in creating three beautiful columns of light inside the tunnel. At the end of Raufarholshellir, the tunnel branches into three smaller tunnels where magnificent lava falls and formations are clearly visible.
No, there is no flowing lava in the cave. However, you will clearly see the path that the lava flowed during the Leitahraun eruption some 5,200 years ago.