Winter in Iceland can be rude and present some disadvantages. You must face the risk of an hazardous weather and live at the rhythm of the few amount of sun characteristic of this time of the year. A lot of touristic attraction are closed and roads are not easily accessible, especially in the highland. However, more and more people chose to visit Iceland during Winter as it also present some advantages: sauvages landscape, most of the time covered with a white coat and completely different from what you can see in the summer season, amazing northern lights illuminating the night, very few tourist so you can better enjoy touristic sites, lower prices, and a most authentic experience. To give you an overview, we selected 10 places to visit in Iceland during Winter : `
1. Jökulsárlón Ice Cave, the biggest glacier in Europe
Jökulsárlón Ice Cave is located in the Vatnajökul national park. These caves are only accessible in the winter from mid-December until mid-March. Despite the price of the tour that is a little bit expensive for small budget, it is a wonderful natural wonder that you cannot miss. They are also called the Crystal Caves as the light shining through the blue ice makes them look like crystals.
2. Relax and warm up to the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa in southwestern Iceland located in a lava field near Grindavík, which is approximatively at 45 minutes from Reykjavik. You can enjoy the hot spring, which is even more pleasant in the winter to warm up your body after a day of discoveries and sightseeing. They have different treatments with a lot of virtues for your skin. The plus about going there in the winter is that the water is more blueish than in the summer which makes amazing pics.
3. Admire the northern light.
Although it is not really a place in itself as you can admire them from the entire country, winter is the best time of the year to have the chance to see these amazing northern lights. There are a lot of website to track these beauties as https://aurorareykjavik.is/aurora-forecast/ so be ready to jump in your car and search for it and why not camp outside or in your car to admire them for hours.
4. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach in Vik
If you are a big fan of series, you might remember this beach from Game of Thrones. And it’s not a hazard that they chose to record some sequence there considering the beauty of this beach. The sand is black as charbon and the view on the rocks on the ocean makes it truly unique. It’s definitely a must do!
5. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
This 60 meters high waterfall is one of the most visited and photographed waterfall in Iceland. What makes it unique is the fact that you can hike behind the waterfall and have a totally different panorama. You really feel like you are in the waterfall, feel the mist all over your skin and hear the song of the water dropping and forming a small river.
6. Gullfoss waterfall, located in the golden circle
This waterfall is very close to the capital, which also makes it one of the most popular for day tours. Some viewpoint are closed in the winter but however, it’s one of the most appreciated as you can see the waterfall from above and not from below as most of the waterfall. The good point about visiting this waterfall in the winter is the ice all around the water which makes it look very unique!
7. The famous Geysir, also located in the golden circle
This is certainly one go the most famous spot in Iceland and we can understand why! Every 5 to 10 minutes, you can assist to a magical and natural show where water erupts from the ground. Unfortunately, the original Geysir rarely erupts anymore, but visitors can enjoy regular eruptions from smaller neighbor Strokkur.
8. Skaftafell glacier hike
If you are a little bit adventurous and want to try an activity that you won’t forget, try glacier hikes! Iceland is covered of 10% of ice which is why it is called the land of fire (volcanoes) and ice (glaciers). There are dozen of tours, with different levels and length and with very skilled guides to help you in this new adventure.
9. Sólheimasandur plane wreck
This US navy plane crashed in 1973 because of a lack of fuel. Fortunately, everyone survived and the remains are still lying on the black sand very close to the beach. If you want to do something unusual and jump into a science fiction movie, this place is made for you!
10. Snæfellsnes peninsula
This peninsula is located Iceland’s western coast and is approximatively 90 square meters. There are plenty of things to see there as for example the Kirkjufell mountain, the Arnarstapi village, the Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge & the Sönghellir cave, the Búðakirkja black church surrounded by lava fields or the Gerðuberg basalt cliffs. It might worth staying a few days there.