Fun Facts about the Katla Ice Cave: The black cave of iceland

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Are you dying to travel to the land of ice and fire?, if you’re thinking of visiting Iceland your itinerary should include a visit to the Katla Ice Cave, famous in the country for its black color and for a series of facts that we will show you through this post.

interior of the katla ice cave

Put on some warm clothes and good boots, we are going to enter the most unique cave in the country.

Where does the name come from?

You don’t need to know all the Icelandic vocabulary to know the origin of the name of this cave. The ice cave owes its name to the sorceress Katla.

According to Icelandic mythology this sorceress was the bearer of the keys to the glacier monastery. It is said that she ran faster than the wind and that she had a magical garment that made her “invisible” to human eyes.

Why is it black?

This explanation is easier than it seems. The cave is black because of its location. It is located just below the volcano with which it shares its name. The Katla volcano is one of Iceland’s most famous volcanoes and is popular for its huge ash clouds.

The ash from the Katla volcano is responsible for the blackish color of the cave, which is why this cave is so popular in the country. However black is not the only color that makes the cave unique… 😱

The “other colors” of the cave

Although Katla cave is characteristic for its black color, during the day it shows a new combination of colors. Thanks to the effect that provokes sunlight in the cave, three new colors can be distinguished: blue, violet, and white. The white is visible through the snow that has not yet been compacted. However, blue and violet are seen when the light passes through the ice.

interior of the katla cave

The most interesting thing about this visual phenomenon is that the black ash sticks to the ice. You’ll be amazed at the natural shapes that form, it’s as if the ice was turning into marble!

Game of Thrones location

“Winter is coming”… can you imagine a better place to film than Iceland?. The showrunners chose the Katla ice cave for one of the Game of Thrones episodes. According to an interview, Iceland was a good place to shoot thanks to its amazing scenery and the accessibility of the areas.

scene from game of thrones

The cave appears in the third of season 7 of the series. In the series, they refer to the cave as Dragonglass Cave, and through this location, Jon Snow and Daenerys discover new access to reach the beaches of Vik without being discovered.

The “one and only” cave of the summer

If you are thinking about traveling to Iceland during the summer the Katla ice cave is the best choice. It is the only one that can be visited during the summer season. Generally the rest of the country’s caves only tend to “open” from November to March.

During the Icelandic summer the caves go through some changes in shape. Due to melting and retreating glaciers, it is not usually safe to visit the ice caves during this time. However (and due to its prime location) the Katla Ice Cave tour is safe all year round. Now you have no excuse! 😉

Iceland: the land of ice and fire

One of the fun facts of Iceland is without a doubt its motto. This country is known as “the land of ice and fire”, we explain you the reason why.
Iceland has around 130 volcanoes
and 400 or so glaciers. This contrast gives rise to the motto “the land of ice and fire”.

A clear example is seen through Katla cave. The mixture of ash and snow makes this place a must-see for your trip. What do you think about this amazing contrast? 🔥

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