Things To Do In Iceland In Winter
“A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, walking in the winter wonderland…” Just in case you didn’t know, Iceland is the perfect definition of a winter wonderland. During the winter season, visiting Iceland is always a perfect idea because of all the amazing adventures that’ll be waiting for you. During winter in Iceland, everywhere looks so magical and white! Yes, we know how cold it’ll be during winter considering the name(Ice-land) but we promise that with the right clothing and gear, you’ll have so much fun. There’re so many things to see like the Blue Lagoon, The Golden Circle, The Northern Lights, and more cold worthy sights. If by any chance you’ve seen the Polar Express, you’ll know how beautiful it is to watch The Northern Lights on full display. Experiencing Iceland in winter will be an experience you’ll never forget. It’s all forms of breathtaking, beautiful, adventurous… flying there would be a really good idea!
Visiting Iceland during winter should be on your must-visit list this year. Whether you want to come with your family or you want to travel alone doesn’t really make a difference. The experience will be nothing far from awesome. There are so many things to do in Iceland in winter so there’ll never be a dull moment.You also don’t have to worry about it being your first visit because, in Reykjavik, there are many touring companies and a very reliable one is the Reykjavik Outventure. Reykjavik Outventure ensures that you experience as much Iceland goodness as possible. They’ve been in the region for a long time so, they know little details like when and where to catch the Northern Lights.
We mentioned it earlier and we’re going to mention it again; there’s so much to do in Iceland in winter and we’re here to give you insights. There are different sights to see and activities to do in Iceland in winter specifically. This makes it even more special. From Reykjavik which is the capital city of Iceland, you can tour with Reykjavik Outventure, visiting some of the best areas in Iceland. Before we go on, we advise that you book early with Reykjavik Outventure so that you can get the best out of your Iceland adventure.
Now that your anticipation is probably out the roof, let’s get into the real stuff!
To-Do List For Iceland In Winter
We have prepared the perfect to-do list for your Iceland trip; this list has practically all the things you can do in Iceland in winter. Try not to get discouraged about the cold; this experience would be worth every frostbite (we’re kidding). Just because we care about your comfort when visiting Iceland in winter, here’s a list of basic things to pack for your trip.
– Thick scarf
– Thermal base inner wears
– Thick windproof and waterproof coat
– Warm wool socks
– Windproof gloves and head warmers
– Ear mufflers
– Thick and comfortable pants
– Waterproof and warm boots
– Thick sweatshirts
Now, let’s get back to the main reason you’re here.
1 Touring the Golden Circle
The Golden Circle is a common route between 3 beautiful natural attractions in Iceland; Pingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall.1 We’re pretty sure that visiting the Golden Circle would be one of the major highlights of your trip. When you tour with Reykjavik Outventure you’ll get a close look at the Gullfoss Falls, Geysir, and the Thingvellir National Park. Everything about the Golden Circle is worth the hype anyone has given it. It’s just so interesting to look at. Coming here with your family would create memories to last a lifetime. You’ll get to move around and also hear some stories and why it’s called the Golden Circle. Just as a reminder, there are so many other people who would want to experience the Golden Circle. The people there won’t be few but trust us when we say that the sights would have your full attention. You’re going to be fascinated by what the Golden Circle has to offer. To make it even more interesting, there are really nice restaurants around that serve the best Tomato soup. There’s absolutely no way that you would visit Iceland in winter and not experience the Golden Circle. We really can’t help but talk about how awesome it’ll be for you.
2 Staying ForIceland Christmas
Celebrating Christmas (Yule) in Iceland can’t be left out of your bucket list. If by chance you travel with your family, it’ll be an amazing experience. Celebrating Christmas in Iceland exposes you to some of their customs and traditions. You’ll also be lucky to see the Northern Lights on full display during this season. On clear nights, there is a possibility to see the Northern Lights, dancing green, white, pink and purple streaks across the sky.2You’re more than free to also visit the Christmas market and get decorations as souvenirs.It’ll be amazing to spend Christmas in Reykjavik where you’ll try out Iceland delicacies and watch the fireworks. Spending Christmas in would be one to remember and it’s most likely going to be a white Christmas wonderland. Icelanders love to decorate with colorful lights. Even when it’s really dark, the lights will shine even brighter. There’s also going to be Christmas concerts and carol singing to quickly put you in the Christmas spirit. You should also get amazing views of Reykjavik from the top of the Hallgrimskirkja church’s tower.
3 See The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are one of Iceland’s major attractions. You can hardly never get overwhelmed seeing the sky turn green and purple. It’s so breathtaking to see! Searching for the Northern lights on your own won’t be very effective because they don’t come out all the time. This is why you should book a tour with Reykjavik Outventure. With Reykjavik Outventure tours, you’ll have a better chance at catching the Northern Lights which always comes out where the sky is really dark and clear. This part of your Iceland trip might not be as active as the others. You’ll have time to sit and appreciate nature. You should also have in mind that catching the Northern Lights on your Iceland trip isn’t 100% certain. They come out when they feel like (that’s how nature works right?). Many people who have visited the northern lights call it a bonus for the trip. If you’re lucky to see it, then we’re happy for you. Not to worry though because your trip will be filled with more than enough beautiful sights and adventures. When you tour with Reykjavik Outventure, you’ll even get to hear some Iceland tales about the aurora. Get to enjoy a nice and quiet moment under the colored night sky.
4 Experiencing Iceland New Years’ Eve
It’ll be really amazing if you stick around for New Years’ Eve in Iceland. The people are so friendly and welcoming. Icelanders are cultural people and being around to experience their New Year Eve would be a big bonus to your visit. They go all out in their decorations and seeing how dark Reykjavik gets during this season; they light up any and everything. Tons of fireworks and street decorations’ll sure put a smile on your face. There’s plenty of Iceland restaurants you can try out in Reykjavik like Salon Bistro, Metwerk Kitchen, Restaurant Reykjavik, and many more. Iceland has one of the best champagne and sparkling wine to celebrate. You can waitfor the New Year bonfire in Skerjafjorour, Seltjarnarnes, and so on. Thinking of where to buy souvenirs for your loved ones at home? Well, there are stores open for you.
5 Glacier Hiking Is A Must!
You can’t visit Iceland in winter and not go glacier hiking. It’s one of the really fun activities to do in Iceland. Get to see nature at its best, walking on actual ice. It’s mesmerizing! Before we go on, going glacier hiking with guides from Reykjavik Outventure will be a good idea. Remember you’re walking on ice so you’ll need experts to direct you on which part to walk on. They instruct you, supply the necessary tools you’ll need for the hike and also inform you of facts about the glaciers. Back to the fun stuff! As long as you’re healthy, you can go on a glacier hike and there are some very popular spots for it. There’re the Solheimajokull-, Svinafellsjokull-, Falljokull- glaciers and others. Iceland has many glaciers and the biggest ones are Vatnajokull, Langjokull, Hofsjokull, and Myrdalsjokull you probably won’t expect to see sand but you will, as well as rock and ash from previous volcanic eruptions. Being in Iceland hiking would feel so amazing and the view would be like that from a painting. Touring in a group is one of the best ways to enjoy glacier hiking in Iceland. Besides, you need someone to take pictures of you looking awesome.
6 Whale Watching Is A Great Idea
Iceland is one of the best whale-watching destinations in Europe with over 20 whale species found in its waters. Who wouldn’t want to see one of the largest creatures in the world up close? We hope it’s not you. Part of the fun sights Iceland has for you in winter is whale watching. Reykjavik Outventure takes you on a whale watching and interestingly, you can even get really close. So far, we’re sure you can see that Iceland has so many fun experiences in store for you. You get to see the humpback whale, minke whale, orca, harbor porpoise, and so on. Even though most of the whale species are out during summer, you have nothing to worry about. You’ll get to see scarce whales like the Grundarfjordur orcas. Reykjavik Outventure like we mentioned earlier gets you up close to see the whales even when they can be seen while you’re onshore. Apart from the whales, there are also other interesting sea mammals that you don’t see often. All in all, it’s a must-see during your Iceland visit.
7 Visiting Northern Iceland
Many people tend to stay away from northern Iceland during the winter season because it’s way colder than the other regions. Well, that’s true but it’s also the same reason why you’ll come fully prepared. If you’re not a huge fan of crowded places, then you might as well focus more on Northern Iceland. Here, you can have enough time for yourself and with fewer people on your group tour. There’s so much to do in northern Iceland like the Godafoss waterfall and the Myvatn area with its volcanic pearls of nature; Krafla crater, Hverarond geothermal area and boiling mudpits, Dimmuborgir lava formations and Skutustoagigar craters. Here, you can also go scuba diving and carry out other fun snow activities. If you are searching for a Game of Thrones locations in Iceland, then you should pay closer attention to Akureyri or Reykjavik. Like we mentioned earlier, many people avoid Northern Iceland during winter but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t several fun activities to engage in. Reykjavik Outventure tours ensures that you have an amazing time which ever region you decide to tour. You’ll never have a dull moment; you can trust them on that!
8 The Famous South Coast
Also on our list is the South Coast which is located between the Reykjavik and Vik. Ever wondered what the waterfall in Pocahontas would look like in real life? Well, you’ll get to see one just as big and cool-looking. On the South Coast, there are some fun sights we’re sure you’ll love to see. What we love about visiting Iceland in winter is that each location is unique in its way. The South Coast is known for its beautiful waterfalls, black sand beaches, glaciers and a huge expanse of a lava field, and a lagoon filled with tiny icebergs. Thanks to the different attractions on the South Coast, there’s a high chance that the crowd would be divided. Reykjavik Outventure tours take you around the South Coast and keeps you updated with interesting information. Visiting the South Coast with Reykjavik Outventure tours is highly advisable because as you would expect, the roads would not be easy to navigate. With a reliable touring company, your trip would be easier because they would know what to expect and how to handle it. You won’t even have to worry about anything; just relax and be mesmerized by nature. Discover why the beaches are called “black sand beaches” and other interesting facts about the South Coast.
9 Diving and Snorkeling in ICE-land!
It sounds absurd we know! But guess what? You’ll love it. It’s not something you see every day so just get ready for a whole lot of adventure. The snorkeling trip takes place in the Silfra fissure in Thingvellir National Park.8 This is the site of a submerged crack between the two continental plates that run across Iceland, and the water here is incredibly clear with great visibility.9 Reykjavik Outventure tours ensures that you’re properly geared up for a great time under the sea. You’ll be instructed on where to dive to avoid accidents. Everyone as long as you can swim is allowed to enjoy this experience. You thought above the water is all the awesomeness Iceland has for you? Well, you’re about to be blown away. Underwater has so many interesting things to see also. It’s really clamming and peaceful. Going in a group tour with your Reykjavik Outventure tours guide won’t take the fun away. There’s enough underwater fun for everyone. Most people might not feel too enthusiastic about diving or snorkeling in Iceland which means that the crowd will not be overwhelming. Make sure you try it out during your visit and trust us, you’ll love it!
10 Dog Sledding? Of Course!
Dog Sledding is another fun activity to do on your Iceland trip in winter. You’ll get to see beautiful and energetic huskies taking you through the snow. There are different places where dog sledding takes place in Iceland and we advise that you do it in groups. Reykjavik Outventure tours also organises dog sledding activities in areas that you’ll get the most out of it. Before going on the tour, you’ll be advised on what to wear and take along just so that you’ll be most comfortable. You’ll also get the chance to play with the dogs (they’re so cute and friendly!). Most tours in the north take place close to Lake Myvatn. Here, you’ll get to see the Dettiffossi waterfall. Dog sledding can also take place in Akureyri. The locations of the dog sledding are selected based on the sights you’ll get to encounter and also how safe it is at that moment. We strongly advise that you add dog sledding to your bucket list of things to do in Iceland in winter. You won’t regret it one bit!
11 Try Out Iceland Hiking
For those that love every opportunity to hike, this is for you. From all we’ve spoken about, we can see that Iceland has so many mountains and breathtaking sights. Perfect combination right? Part of your must-do list should be winter hiking. Hiking trails are accessible depending on how severe the weather is. Winter hiking opportunities can be found throughout the country, and include inland trails, coastal trails, and even a number of smaller mountains.10 This would probably be the best hiking experience you’ll ever have. Reykjavik Outventure tours plays their part in first informing you about the suitable items to bring and what to wear. Day trips and private tours are also available. There are hike trails that are more difficult than others so we advise that you do what you can. Select a hiking trail that’s not too difficult so that you can enjoy it and not hate every moment. This is one of the really physical activities during an Iceland winter trip so you have to be physically willing and able to take part in it. With that said, the entire experience will be totally worth it for sure.
12 Check Out the ice Caves
If you remember the Ice Age animation and the ice caves, you’ll look forward to checking out the ice caves in Iceland. The amazing part is that you get to enjoy the best out of the ice caves during winter. Being inside these ice caves would make you feel invincible and ‘wowed’. We have to say that visiting ice caves in Iceland is one of our favourite things to do on the Iceland winter trip. Also, just so that you get the best out of the ice cave adventure, you should book a tour with Reykjavik Outventure. The Reykjavik Outventure tour guides are very experienced and attentive; they know their way around the ice caves and show you the best spots. The colours inside the ice are so mesmerising and wonderful. Make sure you have enough space on your camera or phone because you’ll need it. You have to be reminded that visiting the ice caves is a physical activity so if you’re not the very active and energetic type, you’ll have to rethink the trip. There are different ice caves including the Vatnajokull, Crystal, Katla, Langjokull, and others. It really is something you must experience in person to understand how magnificent it is. You can’t even begin to imagine how cold inside the ice caves would be so, follow instructions on what to wear and things to take along.
13 The Blue Lagoon?
Yes, the Blue Lagoon is just as interesting as the name sounds. The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal pool that is located close to Reykjavik. It’s most likely that this would be your first stop when you book a tour with Reykjavik Outventure. It’s kind of like a balance from all the ice and cold activities. It’s so warm and relaxing (so try not to sleep off). The Blue Lagoon is open most times so you can check it out any time. The water is milky blue which makes it really unique and lovely to look at. Coming here with your family is going to be amazing but, children under two years can’t go in. Also, there are other simple rules and regulations you will have to follow before making use of the Blue Lagoon like showering first. The Blue Lagoon is known all over the world and has even been used in The Amazing Race. While touring the Blue Lagoon, you’ll discover that it’s not completely natural. Your tour guide from Reykjavik Outventure tours would tell you more interesting facts about the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon feels great before you go on other tours or after other tours. Either way, you’ll enjoy it.
14 View Iceland Mountains From A Helicopter
In order to get the best out of mountain safaris in Iceland, you should book a tour with Reykjavik Outventure. You can choose which you want to do; either in a jeep or a helicopter. You can’t even begin to imagine how beautiful it is to see the Reykjavik mountains from a helicopter level. It looks so mysterious and amazing. This is one of those tours that you wouldn’t want to end. Booking a tour with Reykjavik Outventure would ensure that you get a full helicopter ride to all parts of the island. Whilst on the helicopter ride, you get to see the Reykjavik landscapes, craters, waterfalls, glaciers, and so on. You’ll feel like a bird flying over the best parts of Iceland. Though the fees for helicopter rides are high, the entire experience would be worth it. It’s also a part of the Iceland winter tour that’ll give you time to soak in all of natures’ awesomeness and of course take great pictures. During your Iceland winter visit, you can’t afford to miss out on a helicopter ride over the island.
15 Close View Of The Mountains In Vehicles
While helicopter rides are totally cool, mountain safaris in ATV and Buggy are just as amazing. With these vehicles, you’ll get to see natural wonders up close. Going on a mountain safari with a touring company like Reykjavik Outventure tours is highly advisable. You get to see the Golden Circle, the Hellisheidi Geothermal plant, etc. Part of the mountain safari tour includes rides to mountain tops. A normal vehicle cannot withstand such a trip which is why the Reykjavik Outventure tours has ATV and Buggies suitable for the trip. You get to see traverse lava fields, cross icy rivers and ultimately enjoy exquisite views of the country’s beautiful and majestic scene.12For a tour like this, feel free to bring your kids along since it’s a mountain safari. They’ll have more than enough things to tell their friends in school. It’s so exciting to partake in! Whether you choose to look left, right, or forward, there will be something interesting to look at. Every part of your Iceland winter trip will be filled with adventures and stories to tell. Going back down the mountains is such fun and it keeps you on your toes. For this trip, you need to sit down, relax and enjoy what Iceland mountains have to offer.
16 Iceland Cuisines
What’s a great trip without great food! Iceland has so many mouth-watering cuisines. The different regions have their own special places to eat but we’ll be focusing on Reykjavik. We can’t hide the fact that eating in Iceland isn’t so cheap because it’s an island with an extremely small population that relies heavily on imported goods and raw materials. One the bright side, there are affordable places to eat really good food in Reykjavik. You can get delicious Syrian food, pizza, unique burgers, Vietnamese food, pastries, noodles, Thai food, and of course Icelandic local cuisines. What we love about Icelandic food is that they come in varieties from all over the world. Reykjavik Outventure tours know some of the best places where you can get delicious foods. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available during your stay. Whilst on your visit, you’ll have the chance to try out different delicacies from top restaurants in Reykjavik. You’re about to have a whole new eating experience! Other good restaurants include the Old Iceland Restaurant, Matarkjallrinn, Resto, Fish &Co, Gallery Fiskur, Hi Noodle Reykjavik, and many more. Our list can go on and on and we can hardly point out a restaurant with bad food. Be rest assured that your Iceland winter trip would be even better with great food.
Snaefellsnes Peninsula is very popular thanks to how interesting the landscapes are. Here, you’ll also get to appreciate nature. The view is totally gorgeous and you’ll just keep wanting to see more. When visiting the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Reykjavik Outventure tours draws your attention to beautiful spots like the waterfalls, ocean cliffs, lava fields, Kirkjufell, volcanic craters and many more. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula has so many little attractions also that you’ll enjoy seeing. It’s one of the few locations in Iceland that has golden and pink beaches, unlike the usual black lava sand beaches. It’s so beautiful (we said it before). When on this tour, you’ll get to see Snaefellsjokull glacier, the Eldborg Scoria Crater, Gerduberg basalt columns, Rjukandi, and many more sights to see Snaefellsnes is a wonderland of great geothermal activity, the most photographed mountain in Iceland, charming little fishing villages and extraordinary sights. To make the trip even more amazing, there are so many places to eat like the Grillhud, Rjukandi Café & Restaurant, and many more.
18 Horseback riding on a whole new level
Most people find it weird when we talk about how fun horseback riding is in Iceland. The horses in Iceland are born for the cold weather and they are easy to ride. Icelandic horses are so cute and vary in size plus they are hairier than your regular horse. They’re easy to get used to and they’re friendly. You might not go fast like in normal summer circumstances but trust us when we say that you would want to take your time on the ride. There’s so much to see! You don’t have to be a skilled rider to get the hand of horseback riding in Iceland. Reykjavik Outventure tours is more than capable to take you to some of the best horseback riding areas in Iceland. Whilst enjoying the horseback ride, you’ll also get to see lava fields around Mt Helgafell or Lake Hvaleyrarvatn. Icelandic horses are easy to find even during the winter season. You’ll be glad to know that they’ll make your pictures look super cool. Never forget to dress warmly during any of your Iceland winter activities. Horseback riding in Iceland is one of those activities that also gives you time to relax and enjoy the view.
19 Check Out Reykjavik Museums
Did we mention that Iceland has a rich history and culture? Well, now you know. Iceland has enough historical events to back up their amazing culture and even their famous attractions. If you’re a lover of art and historical artifacts, then you have to check out Iceland’s museums. There’s several museums for art, local history, Icelandic sagas, maritime and fishing culture.Hearing stories about historic moments and seeing proof is a great way to spend some of your time in Iceland. The good thing is that the museums are located more in Reykjavik. With Reykjavik Outventure tours, you can visit as many museums in Iceland as possible. There might be times on your visit when the weather is just not nice so we’ll advise that you spend a few hours looking through amazing art and artifacts. A fun fact is that Iceland has had volcanic eruptions in the past so it’ll be really cool to see “Collateral Beauty” formed from the lava. Visiting the museums is not a strenuous activity so you can take your time looking through. Plus, museums in Iceland are always open to tourists.
20 The Glacier Lagoon
Jokulsarlon is a very large glacial lake in Iceland and there was no way we would have left it out of our must-see list. It further emphasises how beautiful and magnificent nature is. It’s breathtaking to look at and trust us when we say you can’t get enough. It takes about 4 hours from Reykjavik which is why booking a tour with Reykjavik Outventure would be best. The crowd won’t be little which is why traveling with a touring company like Reykjavik Outventure tours has its advantages. Even whilst traveling, there won’t be a dull moment because of the beautiful mountain views. You get to sail among massive iceberg and take in the breathtaking nature all around. Reykjavik Outventure tour guides will inform you and safety measures to take when walking up to the lagoon. It’s also interesting to know that the icebergs are gotten from the lagoon and that you’ll get to see more colours than just white and blue. You’ll have enough time to take pictures of the lagoon and of the icebergs. It’s mesmerising! There are so many legends about the islands that you’ll love to hear and that would help keep you even more interested. You can also see the black sand beach on your way to the lagoon.
Helpful Tips: Just so that we don’t live anything out, we put down a list of things you should know about visiting Iceland in winter.
– Have a really good budget: From the beginning till now, everything we’ve said is the truth. We won’t lie and say that Iceland tours are cheap; they aren’t. booking a tour with Reykjavik Outventure, it’s advisable to have a good budget and you can trust that they’ll give you your money’ worth.
– Book for tours early: To get the best experience on your Iceland winter trip, we advise that you book with Reykjavik Outventure tours months before your flight.
– There’s more than enough places to eat: Earlier, we’ve mentioned that Iceland has more than enough restaurants that serve varieties of good food. In that aspect, you have nothing to worry about.
– Icelanders are friendly: Yes of course, Icelanders are friendly and welcoming to tourists (as long as you are to them). You have nothing to worry about when visiting because they are happy to even share historical tales with you.
– Iceland gets dark in winter season: Iceland is unique because of how dark it gets during the winter season. No worries though; they have enough lights to brighten everywhere.
– Stores in Reykjavik stick to their opening and closing hours: Getting souvenirs from stores in Reykjavik is a good plan but you need to be there when they’re open. Try shopping within their opening hours to avoid disappointment.
– Touring on your own for the first time isn’t a good idea: If it’s your first time visiting Iceland in winter, we advise that you stick with your tour guides to avoid accidents. You might think watching videos online would give you insights on how to move around but you’re wrong. Besides, booking a tour with Reykjavik Outventure ensures to get the most out of your Iceland experience.
It’s been so much fun talking about all the fun things you can do in Iceland during winter. This is a trip you need to plan for so that you can get the best out of the experience. After your first trip here, you’ll want to come back for more Iceland adventures. Iceland never gets boring especially when you book with a good tour company like Reykjavik Outventure. They’re so great because every tour location is with a small group of persons. You wouldn’t have to worry about crowds. Interestingly, Reykjavik Outventure Tours shows you some of the best restaurants to eat in Reykjavik so like we mentioned earlier, your trip will be filled with great meals. So hurry now and book with Reykjavik Outventure Tours for a great Iceland winter experience.