Whether you travel for an adventure, to learn or to find inspiration from the Earth’s greatest treasures, you rarely find that single destination that offers you this in a bundle. Usually when Iceland comes to mind, most people refer to the country in the literal sense; that it is an ice-land. Whilst this is considered the normal perception of the beautiful country, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should cross it out of your “Countries I Must Travel To” list. There is a lot more to this country than its name. This European country is extremely unique within its own merit and will give you the ultimate travelling experience you have ever wished for.
The Land of the Vikings is renowned for being a cold country with temperatures dropping below minus. This country is full of surprises! What people don’t really know is the great distinction between Iceland life in the Winter and Iceland life in the Summer which essentially provides you with two completely different experiences that are incomparable and special.
To give you some background:
Iceland in the Summer is an entirely different experience from what it is like in the Winter. It consists of bathing under the sun during the 24-hour daylight period (June-August). This naturally becomes the perfect time to take a road trip using the ring roads (more unique places are accessible during this time as they are closed off during the Winter) or to take a boat tour around the coastline of Iceland to spot the Atlantic Puffins. However, visiting during the Winter gives you the opportunity to view the country in a microscopic lens giving you a close-up to natural phenomena. Below are my reasons for why you should visit Iceland in the Winter.
Iceland in the Winter:
The Winter months in Iceland transgress throughout September to early April which increases the probability to see the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights is a once in a life-time opportunity- quite literally. There are many explanations of this natural phenomena which stems back to mythology to modern day science. The beautiful thing about the phenomena is that it is always there across the sky however cloudy weather usually prevents you from sighting it. I was able to visit Iceland during its Winter season (February 2019), whist we managed to catch a glimpse of the aurora whilst standing on a cliff side overlooking the city lights, many other travellers during our stay were able to see it so it overall depends on how cloudy it is on the night! Its existence really does validate how magical planet Earth is- it truly is humbling.
Another thing you can do is take a road trip to the South of Iceland. Iceland is easy to navigate around when using their ring roads which makes it very easy to take a road trips to the most exotic places. Every road you turn begs you to take a quick stop to admire the beauty that surrounds the City. The picture-perfect city gives you the time travelling experience at every turn. At one point you could be admiring the towering buildings enriched with history to landscapes with sculptured cliffsides– the village of Vik, volcanic sand beaches and the Diamond beach is also a must see!
The Winter season is also a great time to visit Iceland’s waterfalls. Iceland is home to many waterfalls however, a must-see waterfall would be Skogafoss. Skogafoss is an extremely large and dramatic waterfall in the south of Iceland that gives you an astounding view of the waterfall from the ground and a bird’s eye view – which is accessible by stairs. Another great waterfall to travel to would be Hraunfossar. This instantly became my favourite as it was carved flawlessly into the cracks of the cliff. Its dimensional character projects an edge that makes it the epitome of perfection.
Furthermore, it would be a great time to enjoy Iceland’s Lagoons. Located by a lava field and just 20 minutes from Reykjavik airport, the Blue Lagoon is the perfect way to start or end your trip to Iceland. The geothermal spa contains a high quantity of silica in its cloudy blue water, which is allegedly great for the skin. It also offers a complimentary face mask, a free drink and a towel with the basic comfort ticket. The spa also has a couple of onsite restaurants namely; the Lava Restaurant which is built into the cliff and the Moss Restaurant which overlooks the spa. There are also many secret lagoons dotted around Iceland which will allow you to enjoy the peace with complete isolation and intimacy with your friends and family.
Essentially there is something for everyone!
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”
If you have thought you did it all, think again. Have you ever imagined what it would feel like to be in an ice cave? Plan a day trip to travel to Iceland’s biggest glaciers which is also home to their secret ice caves, which is located at the top of the glacier! Langjokull, Iceland’s second biggest glacier is the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of snowy clifftops under clear blue skies in the far distance, giving you a breath-taking view of nature
The Winter is also a great time to tour central of Reyjavik. You can take a walk past the Harper from take the free shuttle to Perlan where you can enjoy man-made replicas of Iceland’s ice caves. It would also be the perfect opportunity to learn about the science of the country’s majestic natural forces during their shows in the Planetarium. To compliment the end of your trip to Perlan, unwind in their intimate and accommodating café which sits on the top floor of Perlan. It offers a wide selection of drinks and an amazing variety of bakery (my favourite being the cinnamon bun). It would also be a great time to trek to the city’s oldest church; Hallgrímskirkja where you can purchase tickets just after the door to the top of the tower to endure a breath-taking 360 view of the city.
6 thoughts on “Why You Should Visit ICELAND In The Winter”
Iceland is such a bucket list destination. Can’t believe I never made an effort to visit. Living in isolation and practising constant social distancing is challenging and I can’t wait to be back on the road again. Thanks for sharing and inspiring 😀 Aiva
Hi! Thank you very much for your reply. I am happy it inspired you. Iceland is a fantastic place to visit and there have been times i have considered moving there permanently. Its just so beautiful and special.
I agree, this current period is very difficult which is why i have been putting my focus into drawing a list (bucket list) of everything i wish to do when the lock down has been lifted. Like you, i miss travelling – which prompted me to post the article. Hopefully soon we will both be back on the road 🙂
Stay safe and lots of love,
Huge fan of Iceland and always love to go in winter, particularly for the Northern Lights. Great content, keep it up! Greetings from London.
Hello, thank you for your reply.
The Northern Lights was something i really hoped to see. Unfortunately, the day we went to spot them it was quite cloudy – i did get a little glimpse of it though. Despite that, Iceland and the Icelandic people exceeded my expectations i really cant wait to go again.
Stay safe during this time.
I get that. It will make it all the more worthwhile when you do see them though.
Iceland is a positively wonderful country and the people are incredibly welcoming I find!
Iceland is one of my favourite places! Great blog!!