Surtshellir Lava Cave
Surtshellir Lava Cave
4.5

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles70 reviews
Excellent
42
Very good
19
Average
4
Poor
4
Terrible
1

856ulrikeh
New York City, NY15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
Our first real experience in Iceland and we all really enjoyed it. We went on a rainy day which was fine because it is in a cave. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and answered all the questions our kids had. We drove our rental car there - middle of nowhere and the tour was about 1.5 hours. We saw some cool rock formations, heard about the history of the island and my son's favorite was the complete darkness when we all turned off our headlamps. Dress warm - it is pretty cold in the cave.
Written September 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roskers
Cambridge, UK1,031 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Family
Fabulous experience taking a short scramble into this impressive lava cave on a guided tour. Helmets and lights provided. There aren't many areas in the world where you can do this - book via Flotstunga Travel Farm. Good for reasonably mobile families but a bit of a scramble in places. Wrap up warm at all times of the year.
Written August 25, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John S
Saint Clair, MI615 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Family
You can pay for a guided tour which would be a good idea...or you can go yourself.

We went ourselves. The trail along the ground is well marked and it takes you past a couple of openings into the tube. We simply walked up the trail to about the third opening and went in by ourselves. We took some flashlights and walked through the cave back to the second opening but that one was too high and steep to climb out so we returned back to our starting point and exited there. What a great time and adventure. I’m sure if you hire a guide, they’ll take you much deeper into the caves than we went, but it’s definitely do-able by yourself.

The road out to the trail head was easily covered by our rental car in early June.
Written July 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kasejason
Chicago, IL357 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Friends
My friends and I are avid cavers and we had read about the Surtshellir Cave on the internet. We had a lot of trouble finding information about this cave and could only seem to find information on guided cave tours here. We had brought our own equipment to Iceland and we wanted to use it, so we made the long drive out to find the cave. At the end of a dirt road not too far from Hraunfossar, we found a parking area and a posted map of the cave.

We hiked across the lava field to the cave opening and descended into the cave via a metal ladder that has been placed here. Once inside the cave, we found a good deal of ice on the floor and the cave began to tighten rapidly. We were stoked at what was shaping up to be an excellent experience until we came across a locked gate. This gate was at the point of the cave where the daylight can no longer be seen and the gate completely blocked any passage further into the cave.

We noticed a second way to go off to the left when facing into the cave and we were able to explore this for a short distance. When this second chute began to tighten, we noticed that it had been blocked off by rocks, thereby preventing further access into the cave. Because we could go no further, we had to call it a day and we left the cave. Needless to say, we were quite disappointed in the overall experience.

If you are an independent caver, do not plan to access this cave by yourself. It is not worth the drive to the cave just to get to the locked gate. If you have your heart set on seeing this lava tube, you might be able to call a company that runs cave tours and see if they will let you use one of their keys. Otherwise, you won't be able to see much of anything and your experience will be poor.
Written June 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LaraJPortsmouth
Portsmouth, NH46 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Couples
Once you find it, it's easy in and out. The nice thing about the remote location is that there aren't tons of people there like there are on the Golden Circle stops. As a matter of fact, my husband and I were the ONLY ones there. Which is why he thought it would be fun to turn off the torch light and scare the bejeezuz out of me. Jerk. Anyway, it was a really neat place to explore, just make sure you have your own flashlight in case your travel companion is feeling mischievous .
Written July 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sneakyright
Babylon, NY1,235 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2013 • Couples
This was a very interesting place to visit. You park a few hundred feet away from the cave and begin to walk towards what seems like nothing. Then you slowly start to see sunken areas in the rock that are sprouting with beautiful flowers and vegetation. A few moments later we come upon a monstrous opening in the ground where the lava tube opens up and there is this tiny ladder to use to climb into the cave and explore. Unfortunately we did not make plans to walk through the tube, which seemed like a very interesting thing to do, but it is necessary to have the proper gear to do this so that you are safe. Be sure to dress appropriately for the season so that you aren't surprised with the potential high winds and rain like we were.
Written September 29, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dennis Snabilie
Oegstgeest, The Netherlands60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Couples
We went there with our rental car and were lucky enough to receive our private tour. The cave tour was really nice and the end of the cave was a truly unique experience. Our guide was knowledgeable to explain us the geological elemente in this cave. Should you be in the area, be sure to go there.
Written December 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SmartMomfromSeattle
27 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
If you are physically able and looking for adventure, then you don't need to pay 6500 ISK to go to Vidgelmir where you are safely led on a constructed path with electric lights. Instead, you might choose to do Surtshellir! (I take no liability. You must know your own abilities.) Do bring a headlamp ( stop at a local hardware store to get one for about 2400 ISK) and gloves (garden gloves are fine) and sturdy hiking shoes or boots. The drive there is on a gravel road - just go slow. Once there, you'll see a surface trail which leads you across the lava fields and shows 3 of the openings (and numerous signs warning you about climbing on rocks). The 1st opening is most do-able. (Unless you brought some ropes and rappelling gear). Carefully climb down to the open area and turn right. (Left has a shear drop that is more challenging. ) Turn on your head lamp and please use your hands... you will be doing a rock scramble the entire way. It's beautiful and other worldly. Go with a buddy. Go slow. Use your hands like another set of feet. Enjoy this free adventure! I really loved it!
Written July 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BGarde
Georgetown, Canada399 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018
I see another review on here dated December 30th that says that people were able to access the cave. We drove out today (Jan 5, 2018) and the road was marked "Impassable". Respectfully, we did not continue on. Should we have? This is a common occurrence we are running into during our Iceland winter travels.
Written January 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aieeuo
Switzerland36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Couples
just the drive up to the caves is an experience! we were late for the actual cave tour. but strolling from Hellisop 1 to 4, or 5, is more than rewarding, despite the wind!
Written May 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Surtshellir Lava Cave - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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