Plan your dream adventure into the wonder!
Over a decade I have been in Iceland with my elopement, wedding and adventure clients offering them a unique adventure who are seeking something beyond the ordinary: the exploration of its stunning ice caves. These photographs that I take in those caves can be a source of inspiration, reflection, can represent resilience, adaptability, and the constant evolution inherent in both nature and human experiences. In this blog post, I will guide you through everything you need to know about reaching these icy wonders with me.
Ice Cave Locations:
The ice caves, primarily found in Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier, and Mýrdalsjökull, are accessible from various points in Iceland. Covering an area of around 8,100 square kilometers (about 3,100 square miles), it represents approximately 8% of the country's landmass. Each cave I find presents its own unique beauty, shaped by the relentless forces of nature. Always moving and new every time I visit them. Icelandic glaciers are dynamic and fast-changing, primarily due to volcanic activity underneath and the effects of climate change. The ice in some parts of these glaciers can be hundreds, if not thousands, of years old.
Visiting Ice caves are part of my two, three and five day plans but if the cave is available in the Katla ice cave, located beneath Kötlujökull glacier (a part of Mýrdalsjökull glacier), it is possible to do it also in one day. The most popular plan has been three days and ice caves are often part of it. Feel free to check my other blogs about different adventures. Some examples:
Best Time to Visit:
The ideal period to explore the ice caves is during the winter months, from November to March. This is when the temperatures are low enough to ensure the stability and safety of the caves. But, I have been there also in the summer time and in the past few years they have been available during the summer.
Accessing these caves often involves a journey through Iceland's rugged terrain. Depending on the cave, we might need to embark on a glacier hike, a jeep tour, or even a helicopter ride. The journey itself is an integral part of the adventure, offering breathtaking views of Iceland's landscapes. Really unique opportunity to take some images for a lifetime.
What You'll Need:
Safety is paramount. It's essential to have the right gear, including crampons, helmets, and appropriate cold-weather clothing. Most importantly, exploring with a knowledgeable guide is non-negotiable. The caves can be dangerous, and a guide ensures not only your safety but also a richer understanding of the caves' geological significance.
While I do offer luxurious 4x4 transportation and it is part of your collection, very often we need a separate monster truck to reach the caves.
Elopement or a Wedding in the Ice Cave? Things to Consider
Going to the ice cave in Iceland presents a blend of romance and adventure, but it's not without its challenges. The idea of exchanging vows in such a surreal, ethereal environment is undoubtedly captivating, but there are several factors to consider ensuring that your special day is memorable for all the right reasons.
While I will be your driver the whole trip in Iceland a separate monster truck with a special guide is needed to reach the caves. Access might also involve hiking, glacier trekking and is highly dependent on weather conditions. This can be challenging for you and our guests, especially if they're not accustomed to such environments.
The weather in Iceland can be unpredictable and harsh, particularly in winter, which is the best time to visit ice caves. Sudden changes in weather can lead to cancellations or rescheduling, impacting our elopement plans. Ensuring a flexible itinerary is crucial and I will plan everything ahead to maximize your stay in Iceland.
Limited Time Inside the Cave:
Time inside an ice cave is generally limited due to other tourists visiting the cave and the physical conditions inside the cave, such as cold and humidity. This means your ceremony might need to be shorter and more concise than a traditional wedding. Most of the time we will start our day in the dark to be the first in the cave without anybody else. Some caves that are more remote are without any tourists and we can enjoy the time completely alone.
Limited Guest Capacity:
Due to space and safety constraints, ice caves can only accommodate a small number of people. This might limit the size of your wedding party, making it a very intimate affair.
Depending on your nationality, there might be legal requirements to fulfill before getting married in Iceland. Ensuring that your marriage is legally recognized both in Iceland and your home country, please get in touch.
Eloping in an ice cave means you're far from the typical amenities of a traditional wedding venue. There are no facilities like restrooms, seating, or shelter from the elements. Couples must be prepared for a minimalist ceremony, embracing the natural surroundings in their rawest form.
You'll want to balance the elegance appropriate for a wedding with the practical need for warmth and mobility. High heels are a NO-GO and hicking boots are a MUST-GO. Everybody must be prepared for cold temperatures, which might mean wearing thermal layers under formal attire.
Adventure of a lifetime in the Ice Caves
Timing and Light:
The natural lighting within ice caves can vary significantly throughout the day and the season. Ice Caves are super tricky locations to take some images and it needs a proper photography gear and most importantly - experience and skills. Having over 10 years of experience with these conditions I will make sure that we get the best out of the time spent in the cave and the best possible images.
Given the unpredictability of weather and ice conditions, having a backup plan is essential. This might mean selecting an alternative date or even a different location for your ceremony. It happened few times that we had to change the plan the same morning or even changed the date.
You must be emotionally prepared for the challenges that come with such a unique setting. Especially willing to deal with the cold. I always love to say there's no bad weather, only the bad clothing. I have been photographing in the most harsh and crazy weather conditions with my clients and we all love it in the end - those images coming out of it will be phenomenal!
The physical demands of reaching and moving within an ice cave should not be underestimated. It will be a challenge! Depending on the specific location, you may be required to hike, climb, or trek across uneven and icy terrain.
Limited Infrastructure for Guests:
If you plan to have guests, consider their comfort and safety. Maybe you want to elope instead of having more guests? The lack of infrastructure means there are no traditional seating arrangements, shelter, or amenities. Guests need to be briefed about what to expect and how to prepare.
Travel and Accommodation:
Organizing travel and accommodation for yourselves and your guests can be complex but easily done with my knowledge. I'll need to consider transport logistics, potentially hazardous driving conditions in winter, and the availability of nearby accommodation. It can be all arranged for everybody.
An elopement in an ice cave involves some extra costs. The costs include not just the usual photography expenses but also the added costs of specialized guides, equipment rental and transportation in rugged terrain.
Ice Caves are part of my adventures in Iceland. Unique, once in a lifetime memories, customized, fully guided and planned.
One, two, three and five days collections are available
No hour restrictions at your day
Private luxury 4x4 transportation (pickup and drop-off)
Drone and northern lights shoots (if possible)
Being your guide planning your day(s)
Finding unique locations to explore
Exploring untouched locations not on the map
High-res digital negatives
Unlimited images and so much more
GET IN TOUCH TO START PLANNING!
Bonus: The Northern Lights
If we stay overnight, we might see another wonders - the northern lights! Last couple of years has been really active. I will keep an eye on the solar activity and who knows, we might wake up during the night at 3am to catch some. Part of my multi-day collections, I do not have any hour restrictions and I am committed to get the best images out of Iceland for you!