The days are shorter and darker. The mercury is dropping steadily. Winter is coming and if you are heading to Iceland this winter then you should read on to find you what to in Iceland in winter.
And, you know what? That’s okay. Because a new season just brings a new wealth of things to do and see, and lends a fresh new look to the summer scenery that you may have been fawning over either in person or in gorgeous photos online. Believe us, just because that fluffy green moss is white with snow doesn’t make the unspoilt Icelandic nature any less dramatic and inspiring.
Here are just a few things that make winter a great time to visit Iceland. Have a look and let us know what you’d add to the list.
Hit the slopes
Surprise, surprise: this mountainous, northern country is a decent place to strap on some skis or a snowboard and hit the slopes. While you’ll find slopes throughout the country, the best place for the powder is, arguably, Hlíðarfjall, just outside of Akureyri in the north of the country. With slopes ranging from 500 m – 1000 m above sea level, you’re pretty well guaranteed a good snow cover once the runs are open. And the season lasts long, with ski bunnies heading for the hills well into April last year.
Imagine an après-ski in one of these cozy cottages:
Take a dip
Imagine the bragging rights you’d earn by wading into the north Atlantic during the summer months. Now multiply that my infinity! If you’re feeling adventurous just head over to Reykjavík‘s geothermal beach at Nauthólsvík and (cautiously) jump in. The water temperature in the winter months will be hovering around 3º-5º Celcius, slightly heated by the runoff from the sea-side hot tub that you can retreat to when you’ve had enough of a “refreshing” experience in the sea.
Warm up in a nearby Reykjavík rental:
We’ve told you about the glorious northern lights before, but this spectacular display is worth a reminder. If you’re one to think “meh, what could be so special about some light in the sky… don’t I see that every day from the sun?” you’re sadly mistaken. There is really something absolutely spectacular about watching streaks of emerald and magenta dance across the dark night’s sky. It’s mesmerizing.
Peek out the door of one of these retreats for a good glimpse:
Go for a ride
Have you got a need for speed? Hop aboard a snowmobile atop one of Iceland’s glaciers and rev that throttle! Seeing one of Iceland’s glaciers from the roadside is one thing — one very spectacular thing! — but making the ascent up onto one of the ice giants in a 4×4 and then zipping along its surface on the back of a snowmobile is an experience that’s difficult to rival. The sheer size of the glacier really sinks in when you realise that you and your machine are but a tiny speck on its back. And the wild, untamed nature of the country definitely makes itself known when you ride alongside a deep crack in the ice and imagine that this massive slap is actually moving beneath you as you glide over its top. Wild!
Come down from the adrenaline rush in one of these relaxing abodes:
What’s your must-do activity this winter? Join the discussion on Facebook or leave us a comment!