Caves for claustrophobe?


Hey there,

I am in Iceland, and my group wants to go caving but I am afraid of small spaces. I don’t mind the idea of being underground, I just need to be stood up straight for the majority of the time. Is there anywhere we can go that suits me? I don’t want to miss out or make anyone else change their plans




You could go to the Thrihnjúkagigur volcano cave. It’s really big; you can fit the Statue of Liberty in there! here’s a link for it. :slight_smile:

Also, there’s a cave about an hour away from Reykjavík called Víðgelmir which is pretty nice. No crawling, just open spaces.

It’s always bets to take a tour of caves, because you need safety equipment and such, and it’s always better to have some in case of mishaps :slight_smile:


Víðgelmir cave is great - and much more affordable than Þríhnjúkagígur. It also has a walking path so it suits everyone - there’s only one space where you have to bend slightly to go through a gate. And just take a deep breath before everyone turns off their lights!

I haven’t been to Vatnshellir cave in Snæfellsnes, but I think in that one you can also stand up straight the whole time.


Definitely don´t go to Leiðarendi cave, it´s very small and you will have to crawl. If you go on a tour people will most likely be behind you and in front of you, so you won´t be able to escape if you freak out.


Hey guys, thanks for all the advice,

I’m pleased you mentioned about Leiðarendi cave, as that was one I thought was more open. I’ve now seen pictures of people sliding in down what looks like a snow-slide to get in during winter, so will avoid that one at all costs! It is a shame, because the pictures inside of it look stunning.

I think, considering my budget, a trip into Viðgelmir will be best, although I have been informed by the guides there that it will not open until June. Even so, the fact it is ten metres tall throughout most of it, and requires no crawling, means I think it will be worth the wait. I intend on taking the standard tour, and if that is comfortable, then maybe taking the extended one after.

Of course, the Into the Volcano tour inside Þríhnjúkagígur has enormous appeal to me, and I don’t think that, in a space that large, I should have any trouble with feeling crammed in! It is now a solid part of my summer plans, I can’t wait, just need to save a little to fit it in.

Thanks for getting back to me on this - I am fascinated with the volcanism and geology of Iceland, so didn’t want to miss out on a unique and special experiences just because of a slight phobia. Its good to know that every option is not closed off to me :slight_smile:



My mistake, Viðgelmir is open! I was thinking of Raufarhólshellir, I will have to check Viðgelmir out.


Myself is a bit claustrophobic as well, tried the Thrihnjúkagigur volcano tour and absolutely fine with it. The space down there was huge and well lit. The colourful magma chamber was really impressive and worth trying.

And for those who are visiting in winter time, the crystal ice cave is a pretty good option to try out.

Although it narrows in the very end, the wide opening and generous space in the middle will highly unlikely trigger your claustrophobia. Thanks to the magnificent transparent ish blue ice, light can go in and make the cave fairly bright and “crystal”.