UNDER THE ICE & INSIDE A LAVA TUBE
Just when you thought Iceland’s scenery couldn’t get any more bizarre, it’s time for a trip to LANGJÖKULL. Even if you hiked across Svínafellsjökull at Skaftafell, this is a quite remarkable experience, a unique opportunity to actually venture inside a glacier. The journey from Húsafell up to Langjökull is an adventure in itself, an eight-wheeled monster truck carrying you along a dirt track that cuts through scree and boulders before making the careful climb up the glacier. You’ll be guided 500m into the ice cap, through various chambers dimly lit with LEDs and into the heart of a craggy crevasse, the ice increasingly turning blue the deeper you go. Tours are run by the aptly named Into the Glacier (19,500 ISK, under-15s 9750 ISK, under-12s free), who provide cosy jumpsuits and crampons; unlike normal glacier hikes, there are no age restrictions, and it’s an easy one-hour walk once inside the ice.
In the afternoon, head back underground, this time at VIÐGELMIR CAVE, 11km from Húsafell. By far the largest lava cave in Iceland, cold, dank Víðgelmir is a budding geologist’s dream – look out for lava stalactites, ripples in the rock that mark prolonged flows, and curtains of what appear to be calcified spaghetti dripping down the walls. Tours (6500 ISK, under-15s 3500 ISK, under-12s free) follow the lava’s route on a wooden walkway that runs deep into the cave, making them accessible for anyone over 4 years old (though there may be some restrictions for children under 6). When you can go no further, your guide will switch off your headlamps, pitching you into total darkness – it’s a long minute or so if you’ve been listening to all the yarns about elves and trolls and Hidden People that Icelanders take so much pleasure in telling.
THE LIJOMA LOWDOWN
Delve deeper with our tips on what to read and watch before you go, foods and drinks your kids must try, and some key cultural advice
From historic cottages to contemporary hotels on the edge of the Interior – our pick of the most memorable places for families to stay in Iceland
NEED TO KNOW
A handy overview of Iceland’s weather and climate throughout the year, with recommendations for the best time to visit
Pre-trip practicalities, including getting there, visas and passports, health and safety and how to get around
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