Raufarholshellir: go explore

Once lava floated through here and formed a lava tube. Today it is an exciting little outing for those who like big dark holes in the ground.


October 2016
Iceland offers a wide range of adventures. This is one of them. When we enter the cave, there are not too many places like this left where you can walk freely by yourself, without a guide. An almost 1.4 km. deep lava cave awaits us, and we are taking the first steps into the darkness. We have headlamps, water and extra batteries. In the beginning, we have daylight too, as the roof has collapsed a couple of places. Then, the darkness embraces us.

We step from rock to rock. Large blocks of stone form the surface we are walking on. Full focus is needed on each step. Sometimes we stop, studying the ground and where to walk next. Touching the old lava in many colours, it looks almost like dried paint here and there.

We didn´t want to bring heavy camera equipment. Mobilephone pics would have to do.

We stand still for a moment, just breathing in the stagnant air. Feeling the darkness that surrounds us

An hour later we arrive at the cave’s end, we can’t go any further. We stand still for a moment, just breathing in the stagnant air. Feeling the darkness that surrounds us. The weight of all the rocks above us. Here we also take notice of something sad. Someone has brought a bottle of a beer all the way in here, drunk it and left the bottle beneath some stones. We pick up the trash, taking a last glance and head back to the entrance. Walking a little faster now. On the way out we encounter a sound engineer who’s on his way to do some recording further into the cave. He is waiting for the person who will help and is sitting on one of the large rocks.

At the entrance, we notice that there are preparations being made to make this cave more tourist friendly. Stone steps take us to the end and we have read that there are plans to restrict access to the cave. As we step back out into the daylight again, we breathe in the fresh air and look forward to a hot cup of tea.

Six months after our visit, the restrictions are in place. The cave is closed. For ISK19.900, – (approx.  150GBP), you can take a tour with a guide, all the way to the end of the cave. Transport, helmet, gloves and a flashlight included.

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