Hellirinn Víðgelmir

Förnurettur - Nordingahellir - Lava Cave Vidgelmir


Useful Information

Location: In the volcanic area Hallmundarhraun. 2km southeast of the farm Fljótstunga, Hvitarsida County.
From Reykjavík take road No. 1, 20km, after Borgarnes turn right to No. 50, then take No. 580. After you passed the Hraunfossar waterfalls (near Húsafell) and road F35 (Kaldidalur) turn right again at the farm Kalmanstunga. Follow small road up to the lava field Hallmundahraun to the farm Fljótstunga.
Open: Short tours: All year daily 10, 12, 15, 17.
Long tours: All year daily 10.
Wether the 10 o'clock tour is a long tour depends on the visitors, if it is a long tour the 12 o'clock tour is cancelled.
[2011]
Fee: Short tour: Per Person ISK 2,000, Children (0-7) not allowed.
Long tour: Per Person ISK 5,000, Children (0-12) not allowed.
[2011]
Classification:  Lava tube,  primary cave,  ice cave.
Light: none, helmets and lamps provided.
Dimension: L=1,585m, VR=39m.
Guided tours: Short tours: D=75min, 4 to 15 persons, min. 8 years.
Long tours: L=3-4h, 3 to 8 persons, min. 13 years.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: Michael Laumanns (1987): Die Höhlen Islands, Mitt. Verb. dt. Höhlen- u. Karstforscher, 33 (1), pp 4-15.
Shepton Mallet Caving Club Journal Series 10 (10) pp 411-412.
Address: Halldór og Lilián, Fljótstunga, Hvitarsidu, 320 Reykholt, Tel: +354-435-1198, Mobile: +354-898-7512, Fax: +354-435-1498. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2014/07/21 08:11:18 $

History

 
1993cave closed by an iron gate.

Description

Víðgelmir is a lava tube in the Hallmundarhraun area where several lava tubes are known. The other famous caves in this area are the Surtshellir and the Stefanshellir. The cave has rather impressive dimensions, there is one place where the tube is 16m wide and 15m high. As a result most visitors sense this cave as huge. However, the mad superlatives which are found on many websites are untrue. This cave is neither the "longest cave of Iceland" nor is it the "largest lava tube cave in the world". The longest lava tube of Iceland is at the moment [2011] Laufbalavatn with more than 5km, even nearby Surtshellir is a few hundred meters longer. We actually do not know what kind of yardstick one needs to measure the largeness of a cave. They often give the volume of 150.000m³, but there are lava tubes with hundreds of kilometers length, even if they were only crawls they would have a bigger volume.

Vidgelmir contains numerous lava stalagmites and stalactites. The main reason for gating the cave was the protection of those rare speleothems. They are located in the rear part of the tube and can be seen only on the long tour.

Although the cave is a show cave, which means it has a gated door and regular cave tours, the cave is not developed. There is no trail and no electric light. The cave's entrance sometimes contains ice, and the guide has to provide ladders to allow visitors to get into the cave. Sometimes the cave is not accessible because of the ice, it was once even closed for several years because of the ice. Right after this obstacle, there is a second one: the entrance of the cave is rather narrow. But then the cave gets much wider and fairly level.

Access to the cave is controlled by the farmhouse at Tungasfljot. Visitors are provided with a helmet and a light but are expected to wear waterproof clothes and good walking boots.

The caves was known to the people of the Viking Age. Several remains from the year 1100, found by archaeologists inside the cave, prove this. They are exhibited it the National Museum in Icelands capital Reykjavik.


See also


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