Even if you usually go on summer vacation, you should travel to Iceland in winter. And we’ll tell you why!
Volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, glaciers, black beaches, geysers and fjords. Iceland’s nature is wild and untouched and often seems almost unreal. This is exactly what makes Iceland so special. There is simply no comparison between Iceland and any other country. Even if the country has established itself more and more as a travel destination in recent years, it is still almost deserted, especially outside the well-known attractions.
If you are now thinking: In winter to Iceland – that’s way too cold! We have to put this cliché right right away. It is significantly warmer in Iceland in winter than in New York, for example, because the Gulf Stream, which flows past Iceland, ensures a moderate climate. As a result, it rarely gets colder than -5 ° C even in winter. We have six reasons why you should definitely visit Iceland in winter!
1. Marvel at the Snow on Vík’s Black Beach
Iceland is a country full of wild beauty, the landscape of which will amaze you. And especially in winter, the country becomes a tad more magical, because the snow makes everything sparkle. The sleepy village of Vík í Mýrdal in the south of Iceland is an absolute must-see. The black pebble beach with its rock formations and basalt columns is impressive in itself. But have you ever stood on a black beach that has snow on it? A sight that you will definitely not forget anytime soon!
2. Relax in a Hot Spring
Iceland is not called the land of fire and ice for nothing, because there are countless volcanoes and glaciers here. But above all, Iceland is boiling: geysers, mud pools and hot springs. Due to the high geothermal activity, there are natural hot springs throughout the country that are ideal for bathing. And what could be better than jumping into a hot spring after a walk through Iceland’s winter landscape and warming up in the water?
The most famous source is the Blue Lagoon, which is located in the middle of a lava field and has extremely blue water. In the meantime, however, the natural pool is very overcrowded due to its popularity. We therefore recommend one of the natural pools that are located directly in nature. For example, near the Golden Circle near Reykjavík is the Secret Lagoon, a natural bath with raw charm. You can reach another geothermal pool at Hveragerði, from where you can hike to a warm river.
3. Jump Into the Fray of the Iceland Airwaves
Iceland’s capital may only have around 123,000 inhabitants, but anyone who has been here knows: Reykjavík is anything but a sleepy town. Hip boutiques, colorful houses, cozy cafés, street art and cool bars are in abundance here. The Iceland Airwaves music festival is also held every November. During this time there is a state of emergency in Reykjavik. The many visitors liven up the small streets of the city and cavort at the numerous concerts. Icelandic as well as internationally known bands play on several days at various locations in the city. Have you ever experienced a concert in a church or in a hair salon? Then it’s about time!
4. See the Northern Lights
The absolute highlight of a winter holiday in the north should of course not be missing from our list. Because the northern lights are definitely one of the things that should be seen! And of course you can see them particularly well in winter when it gets dark early. You have the best chance if you drive a little out of the city to avoid the light pollution. And then just wait and hope. If you are lucky, you will quickly discover the magical, dancing lights in the sky.
5. Buy a Real Icelandic Sweater
Admittedly: Icelandic sweaters are not the trendiest fashion item. But they are super warm and a REALLY authentic souvenir. Especially if you are in Iceland in winter, it can’t hurt to get yourself a warm sweater. And what speaks against cuddling up in your new sweater when you get back home? There are numerous shops in Reykjavik that sell the so-called lopapeysa. However, the hand-knitted sweaters have their price, you have to shell out around 120 euros on average.
6. Enjoy Golden Hour All Day Long
Do you know that moment when the sun is already low in the sky? When the shadows get longer and everything is bathed in golden light, almost everything looks beautiful. And of course, the golden hour is a dream for photographers in particular. The bad news first: In December it is only light for four hours in Reykjavik. The good news: While it is light, the sun is so low all the time as if it was about to set. This allows you to enjoy the magical light of the golden hour all day long!