Located in Thorlákshöfn, Iceland, the incredible Buri Cave hike is not one for the faint hearted. However, if magma fields and lava caves pique your interest, then the 1.3 mile hike is an experience of a lifetime.
National Geographic describes the hike as “eerily beautiful” and notes that it is also the one of the latest caves to be discovered in Iceland. First explored in 2005, the hike takes you through the Leitahraun lava fields, which are shaped from the remnants of lava that came from the Leiti volcano. The lava fields have several lava caves, formed about 5,000 years ago when some magmas cooled faster than others, and formed cave walls while hot lava flowed through and formed long, smooth caves. When you reach the Buri cave, the first section is covered in ice with naturally formed ice sculptures dripping from the cave ceiling and walls. After the ice, you reach a 30-foot-high and 30-foot-wide tube of lava rock that feels like “an abandoned subway tunnel”, according to National Geographic. At the end of the cave you reach a 55-foot high lava pit.
“Emerging again into the sunlight feels like being reborn,” writes National Geographic. They also warn that the hike may not be ideal for those who are afraid of the dark or claustrophobic. That being said, the cave is not necessarily dangerous and there are guided tours that pick up those who wish to adventure into the cave directly from Reykjavik.
If you’re into thrilling hikes or interested in exploring the underworld, Buri Cave is one for the bucket list. The gorgeous lava formations and ice sculptures combined with the adrenaline rush of being underground in a lava cave make for a truly thrilling experience.