Raufarhólshellir Lava Tunnel

Just about 30 minutes from Reykjavík is Iceland's famed LavaTunnel, known as Raufarhólshellir. The tunnel is a result of the Leitahraun eruption, which occurred east of the Bláfjöll Mountains about 5,200 years ago. Although you won't walk through its entirety, the tube stretches 4500 ft (1360 m), with the main tunnel (it has three sections) covering about 3,000 feet (900 m).

A tour through the lava tunnel is a great way better to understand the inner workings of a volcanic eruption. Lava tunnels (or tubes) form after volcanic eruptions as the lava on the surface begins to sool, creating a hard crust that slowly thickens as more lava moves underneath. Once the lava is fully drained, the top and crust remain while the inside is hollow.

The tunnel is lit by impressive lighting, and you'll enjoy an easy walk over several footbridges built over the roughest terrain, making the tour accessible to most people. If you plan to visit Iceland in the winter, you can see unique and beautiful ice formations inside the tunnel.

Discover other unique volcanic activities in Iceland.

Itineraries with Raufarhólshellir Lava Tunnel

Iceland Highlights: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, & South Coast - 7 Days

In one week, enjoy three of Iceland’s most beautiful regions. Explore the black-sand beaches, cliffs, and fishing towns along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the geothermal geological highlights in the Golden Circle, and the stunning waterfalls and glaciers along the South Coast. The trip closes out with a visit to Reykjavik and a tour of the Reykjanes Peninsula highlights, including several opportunities to soak in natural hot springs and lagoons.

Iceland: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, South Coast, Westman Islands, & Thorsmork - 10 Days

In 10 days, discover the highlights of five areas in Iceland. Prepare for minimal driving, thanks to the close proximity of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a ferry trip to the beautiful islands, and on-foot exploration in Thorsmork. Embark on a number of great hikes—from breathtaking coasts and cliffs to lava fields, and through lush valleys and scenic glaciers. This trip is a great way to balance out visiting popular areas (including the Golden Circle) with lesser-known destinations (like the Westman Islands).

East Fjords, South Coast, & Reykjavik - 5 Days

With just a few days to explore Iceland, make the most of your time by driving one way from Egilsstaðir to Vik to Reykjavik—without retracing your steps. Relish the chance to see the dramatic landscapes of the Eastern Fjords and more time in new places (rather than doubling back). While you can embark on this route in either direction, taking a domestic flight to Egilsstaðir at the beginning of the trip is recommended, so you can leave the larger crowds behind and explore remote areas on your own terms.

Golden Circle, South Coast, & Thorsmork - 5 Days

This fast-paced Icelandic trip spans three regions—the Golden Circle, South Coast, and Thorsmork—and offers plenty to see over the course of five days. Explore Þingvellir National Park and snorkel in the Silfra Fissure in the Golden Circle. Then, view beautiful waterfalls, like Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, along with black-sand beaches in the South Coast. Next, take a bus to Thorsmork to embark on a day of hiking trails through the valley, and end in Reykjavik to discover the best of the capital city.

Volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula & South Coast Highlights - 5 Days

Explore the highlights of West and South Iceland on this quick, five-day tour. Head to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to visit basalt cliffs, black-sand beaches, lava fields and formations, craters, and cliffside paths in fishing towns. Then, head south toward Vik to visit a handful of impressive waterfalls, from Seljalandsfoss to Skogafoss. Stop at a hot springs river, an ancient pool, another waterfall, and a crater on the road back to Reykjavik, and spend time exploring the funky street art and historical culture in the capital city. Tour the Reykjanes Peninsula's highlights and soak in the Blue Lagoon to close out the jam-packed trip.