The tour begins when we meet our friendly guide at the entrance to the cave, so we can be kitted out with any equipment that we need and listen to a quick safety briefing. Then, once everyone is ready, we will begin our descent into the dark heart of this subterranean wonder. The walk is a mixed bag, with a few footbridges and paths having been built to make the hike slightly easier and other parts being less developed. This means that the tour is accessible for people of all ages, although you will have to be comfortable walking on uneven surfaces to enjoy the tour.
By then we will start to see some of the gorgeous rock formations that have come to characterize the cave, with the multi-colored walls being especially spectacular. These parts of the cave are illuminated, ensuring that you can see the vividly colored rocks in all of their splendor. We will also start to get a feel for the geothermal activity that helped to create the strange tubular structure of the cave.
Raufarhólshellir is renowned for the stunning minerals that decorate its walls, whilst on a winter visit, you will also find glistening ice sculptures that hang from the tube’s ceiling and form jagged shards on the ground. The ceiling can reach as high as 10 meters, meaning that you won’t have to crawl along the floor. The Raufarhólshellir Cave is a truly magnificent place that will inspire awe and wonder in equal measure, making for a fascinating underground experience that will allow you to see the land of fire and ice from a different perspective.
Raufarhólshellir spans a length of 1360 meters, with the main tunnel taking up 900 meters of that area. It is renowned for the stunning ceiling that shines three spectacular beams of light within it. The endpoint of the main tunnel splits off into three small tunnels, where petrified lava falls stand frozen in time and there are a plethora of gorgeous rock formations.
Raufarhólshellir is a lava tube cave, which was formed by the Leitahraun eruption and is one of the longest caves in the entire of Iceland. Lava tube caves are formed by the flash cooling of lava flows deep beneath the Earth’s surface, meaning that we will be walking through the ancient arteries of long-lost volcanoes. When it was discovered in the previous century it was filled with stalactites, although they have largely disappeared thanks to the many people who have visited since 1950. It is a memorable experience and one of the best that Iceland has to offer.