The ice tunnel which is being made in Langjökull, Iceland’s second-largest glacier, will be completed in a few weeks and is set to open in June and tourists will be able to experience the icecap from within. At 400 meters (1,312 feet), the ice tunnel will be longest in Europe.
“We’re almost finished. I guess we have about ten days left of digging the tunnel itself, then there are some caves left and finishing touches … before we put up lighting and more,” Sigurður Skarphéðinsson, IceCave Iceland’s managing director, told Fréttablaðið.
The ice tunnel will be circular, reaching 200 meters into the glacier at a depth of 30 meters. “If you walk a full circle it’s 400 meters and more when all nooks and crannies are counted,” Sigurður explained.
While digging the tunnel, contractors ‘found’ a deep crevasse deep inside the glacier. Sigurður said this natural phenomenon will be the tunnel’s main attraction. “The crevasse is the big bonus. Where we enter it, it’s five meters wide and it is 200 to 300 meters long. … It will be a magnificent experience for our guests to look into it.”
Inside the ice caves that lead out of the tunnel, visitors can observe ice sculptures, which along with the glacial ice, will be illuminated with special lighting. There will even be a chapel inside the tunnel for those wanting to tie the knot in a unique location.
The tunnel is located above outlet glacier Geirdalsjökull at an altitude of 1,260 meters (4,133 feet). The project, which is backed by the Landsbanki-owned Icelandic Tourism Fund, Icelandair Group and several pension funds, will cost approximately ISK 300 million (USD 2.3 million, EUR 2.0 million).
The project has garnered attention abroad; Lonely Planet has already named it one of the most exciting destinations in 2015.