Glacier & Ice Cave: Review of The Ultimate West Iceland Adventure

Picture of Svanhildur Sif Halldórsdóttir

Svanhildur Sif Halldórsdóttir

I spent a Saturday travelling up Langjökull Glacier in a massive truck and exploring a natural ice cave found there. Read on about my experience on the immersive day tour.

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New Tour on Langjökull Glacier

Ice Cave & Glacier Truck Adventure on Langjökull Glacier

A few weeks ago, we went on an adventure with our friends at Sleipnir Tours! We highly recommend trying out their new tour; Ice Cave & Glacier Truck Adventure on Langjökull Glacier❄🛻❄

Posted by Traveo Iceland on Thursday, 17 November 2022

I first heard of Sleipnir Tour company through my coworker. He asked if I would like to spend a day exploring Langjökull Glacier with them. I asked, “Sleipnir? Like the Norse god Odin’s horse? Is this a horse riding company? Will I explore a glacier on a horse? Isn’t that too cold for the horse? And me?”.

He assured me that although Sleipnir was Odin’s horse, the company was not a horse-riding company. Therefore no horses would be freezing on top of a glacier. 

The company got its name from the giant glacier truck they use. The connection between the vehicle and the mythological horse is how they travel; Odin’s horse has eight legs, and the car has eight wheels. 

Intrigued by this, I agreed to go.

Meeting Point at Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss waterfall lookout in the golden circle of south of Iceland
Gullfoss Waterfall

On a Saturday morning in October, I headed towards Gullfoss Waterfall, the meeting point for my adventure. Gullfoss is one part of the Golden Circle route, and since I left Reykjavík early, I had time for a quick stop at Þingvellir National Park.

At Gullfoss, I quickly found the bus that would take me to the glacier. After meeting the friendly guide and the rest of the group, we made our way into the highlands, following a mountain road. 

Although the tour hadn’t officially started, I found the trip to the glacier fascinating and worth mentioning here. The view throughout the journey was of a desolate rock desert that could have come straight out of a post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie. The black rocks soon turned white with snow the higher up the mountain we got. 

Giant Glacier Truck

A red glacier truck on top of a glacier in Iceland with blue mountains in the background.
Photo: Ice Cave Tour & Glacier Truck Adventure on Langjokull Glacier

We stopped at the foot of Langjökull Glacier and got off the tour bus. In front of us stood two massive glacier trucks; Sleipnir 1 and Sleipnir 2.

Sleipnir 1 is the world’s largest glacier truck. Each of its eight tires is 78 inches, much taller than me or any other person on this tour, and the body is 15-metres long. The truck also has 800 horsepower and has been used as a rescue vehicle for other large glacier trucks. 

Sleipnir 2 is slightly smaller than its big brother but still impressively large. Its tires are “merely” 65 inches, and the body “only” 12 metres (or about the length of two giraffes lying down in a row).

A woman standing in front of two glacier trucks in Iceland.
Sleipnir 1 and 2. Photo: Lucy from Sleipnir Tours

After exploring the massive trucks from the outside, we went in and strapped into a comfortable leather seat. The start of the journey was a little bumpy; we were still on the mountain and were crossing gravel and larger rocks.

The guide told us to pay attention to the vibration inside the truck as we approached the glacier, as we were supposed to be able to feel when the vehicle entered the glacier. And they were right! Suddenly, the ride got much smoother.

Natural Ice Cave on Langjökull Glacier

A person standing inside a blue ice cave on Langjökull glacier in Iceland.
Inside the ice cave. Photo: Lucy from Sleipnir Tours

Looking out the window of the massive glacier truck was surreal. You saw nothing but white. White snow, white sky, white hills. Like the ride from Gullfoss, it was another unreal experience that seemed to come from the movies. 

We stopped on top of the glacier, and the guide handed us crampons to keep us steady on this ancient ice cap. Then, exiting the vehicle, I looked around and still saw nothing but white. It is so strange to think how massive I thought this truck was just a few moments ago. Because now it seemed so small compared to the immenseness of the glacier. 

A veiw from the top of Langjokull Glacier in Iceland, white snow with a glimpse of black mountain.
At the top of Langjökull Glacier

I also thought about how far away I was from everything; there were no signs of anything alive. No buildings, no roads, and no animals, not even birds. Nothing ventured this far onto the glacier…except us.

We played around on the glacier for a while, building snowmen, throwing snowballs…you know, the usual stuff you do when you stand on top of a 7,800-year-old glacier. But then, it was time to step into the glacier. 

A man stepping inside an ice cave in Iceland.
Stepping inside the ice cave. Photo: Lucy from Sleipnir Tours

Following the guide, I descended into a natural ice cave. The cave’s walls were tall and bright blue, but the cave was dark inside. The guide had a flashlight, and most of us used our phones to illuminate the way. At one point, the guide pointed out trapped air bubbles inside the cave’s walls and streaks of ash from a previous volcanic eruption.

After taking about a million photos in the ice cave and on top of the glacier, it was time to head back. We drove again through the whiteness of the glacier in the Sleipnir truck, followed by nothing but the black rock deserts of the Highlands until we reached Gullfoss. There, I bid farewell to the guides and headed back to Reykjavík, with a quick stop at Geysir to complete my Golden Circle route.

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