Kverkfjöll Ice Caves, Iceland

Located slightly north east of the Vatnajökull glacier, Kverkfjöll is about a 3km (1.8 miles) journey on foot from the Sigurðarskáli hut at the end of the road. This is described as a place where fire and ice come together. The mountain range is 1,764 meters high and the mountains are still active volcanoes. There is a large and extremely hot magma chamber beneath the mountains that leads to the origin of the ice caves.

This is a place where visitors can witness an awesome natural phenomenon in the form of a hot river flowing beneath the cold glacial ice. These ice caves filled with hot springs are one of the most spectacular and largest geothermal areas in the world. However, because large chunks of ice occasionally fall from the roof, it is recommended that visitors make enquiries about the conditions before entering. And it is important to remember that, due to the risk of cave-ins, entering ice caves always carries some danger. The constant dripping of water means the roof and walls are sculpted and the ice has a marbled appearance because of the debris embedded in in.  While daylight does manage to get a few meters into the cave, visibility wanes quickly in the dense, damp fog that so often fills it. The area is also a nice place for hiking. To get to Hveradalur, where most of the hot springs are located, it is possible to walk across the glacier, but you will need to do so with great care. Guided walks are available during the summer.

The ice caves at Kverkfjöll are divided into two groups – the Upper Ice Caves at Hveradalur and the Lower Ice Caves at the Jökulsá á Fjöllum spring. The glacier caves here are possibly the most famous in the world, and it is the fact that they are formed by a volcanic hot water spring beneath the Vatnajökull glacier that makes them so interesting.