Did you know that there is an ice cave that is open all year round? I’ve written about my visits to a few seasonal ice caverns in Iceland that form in the winter. It is known as the Katla Ice Cave and is situated in South Iceland’s Kötlujökull Glacier, an icefall of Iceland’s fourth-largest glacier, Mrdalsjökull.
The subglacial Katla volcano, Iceland’s most feared volcano, is located right here in this area!
I recently had the chance to tour Katla Ice Cave with Katlatracke. I had been planning to visit this cave for a year, so when the chance presented itself, I seized it. We took a car from Reykjavik to the charming little village of Vk in the South Icelandic region of Mrdalur.
We were picked up by the Katlatrack glacier guides in their super jeeps at their meeting location in Vk (at the N1 petrol station), which is close to ring road 1. We have been waiting for the still active Katla volcano to erupt; it is a 45-minute drive north of Vk through black volcanic sand plains from earlier eruptions.
1918, the year of the last eruption in Katla, was a particularly terrible year for Icelanders since it brought us Frostaveturinn mikli, or the Winter of Extreme Frost, which saw 27 polar bears from Greenland arrive!
Iceland was invaded by the Spanish flu at the same period. When I walked through the ice cave and saw the old ash from the Katla eruptions, I as an Icelander was in awe and felt like I was walking through a tunnel of Iceland’s history.
We had a full hour beside the ice cave, which gave us time to photograph it from all sides. Additionally, the ice caves make for some breathtaking photographs. What can be captured in professional images is well above what I can capture with my amateur camera.
I would suggest wearing your yellow coat to the Katla Ice Cave if you have one. Although I was wearing my blue parka, I noticed that the best pictures of my fellow travelers were those who were dressed in yellow. It causes you to stand out in the picture.