For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by volcanos. Maybe it was growing up in the ‘Ring of Fire‘ (although there were no volcanos in Lake Arrowhead, CA) or that Dante’s Peak really made impression on me. Whatever it was, I have been hooked. So going to the Land of Fire and Ice, I knew that I would have to go see something, somewhere. As discussed in my previous post, Icelandair made things very simple. There were several different options and I selected the Lava Tunnel Tour. Trust me, if I could have gone inside the volcano (even though it is quite expensive) I would have said ‘take all my money,’ but it is not open in the winter. There is an extreme version of The Lava Tunnel but I just did the beginners, one hour excursion.
I had been looking forward to this since before I booked it and was horrified to discover that I had inadvertently booked the trip for January 2 at 9 am. The issue was my flight landed at 6 am. Everything would have to align (this is not to say they will not work with you, but as I discovered my error on New Years Eve, everyone was out of office). Fortunately, everything fell into place. Due to my upgrade, I was first off the plane, my bag was the third bag out, and I got one of the final seats on the Flybus, which takes you to the bus terminal to connect to the hotel. When I got to the bus terminal, the coach to my hotel was not there yet. Due to my time crunch, I just took a cab. It was worth the $10 I spent. I made it to the hotel with 10 minutes to spare. I dropped of my suitcase and off to the tunnel I went.
Let me just say, it was a wonderful entry to Iceland. The Lava Tunnel is quite famous and used in various productions, most notably the film Noah and the video game series Halo. It was such a marvelous experience to walk in a tunnel created millions of years ago! You could see the layers of lava as it hardened, flowed, hardened, etc. The shades of red, green, purple, and white were awe inspiring. The little girl inside of me could not believe I was actually there!
The tour guides were very knowledgeable about the site and shared all sorts of information regarding its creation. Don’t worry if you feel this may be too physically advanced, there were a wide range of people in my group and I had literally just gotten off a red-eye and did not fall over once! Iceland had recently had a lot of rain, so the water dripped into the tunnel. It provided an otherworldly experience.
Towards the end of the tour, the guides shut off all the lights and shared folktales of the trolls that live there. You are plunged into darkness. It is very cool. I had experienced it before in an old mine on a field trip as a kid and it really is creepy. You can feel your eyes searching for any kind of light. Apparently if you stay for just a few months, you’ll lose your vision all together. But don’t worry, it is just a few minutes but listening to the water dropping…well there’s nothing like it.
I highly recommend this excursion. It was awesome! There is an extreme version where you go deeper into the tunnels. I would like to say on my next visit I would go horseback riding in the lava fields, but I would be lying. Send me down that dormant volcano!