Travel Guide: Why You Should Visit Iceland in December

Christmas time in Iceland

Have you ever thought about exploring Iceland in December? It’s honestly the perfect time to go. Why, you ask? Well, it’s prime time for catching the mesmerizing northern lights and getting into that cozy holiday spirit.

Let me break it down for you. In this travel guide, I’ll dive into what the weather’s like (spoiler: it’s chilly but magical), the must-visit destinations, and all the fun stuff you can do. And let’s not forget about the tours – there are some real gems out there waiting for you.

December in Iceland gets pretty chilly and dark. The snow piles up all over the place, and you’re lucky if you catch the sun for more than a handful of hours each day. But don’t let that get you down! Christmas time brings out the festive cheer big time, making things a whole lot brighter.

Surprisingly, many of Iceland’s famous spots and tours are still open in December. Plus, this is the prime time for cool activities like exploring ice caves and chasing the northern lights. If you’re into planning, you can easily find the top tours and vacation packages for winter in Iceland. And hey, if you’re up for driving yourself around, there are some sweet winter self-drive tours to check out too!

Just a heads-up, though: there are a couple of things to keep in mind to make sure your trip is as awesome (and safe) as possible. Stick with me, and I’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

And hey, if you’re there for New Year’s in Reykjavik, you’re in for a real treat – it’s an absolute must-do!

Fancy a Christmas in Iceland?

christmas in Iceland

Now, about Christmas in Iceland. Being mostly Lutheran, they’ve got some really unique and beautiful Christmas traditions. There’s this amazing vibe all through December, making it a top time to visit. They call Christmas ‘Jol’ (kinda sounds like ‘Yule’, right?), and it’s all about celebrating light – especially since the days start getting longer after the winter solstice. Walking through Reykjavik, you’ll hear “Gledileg jol!” – that’s their warm way of spreading holiday cheer. It’s something you’ve got to experience firsthand!

So, diving a bit into Iceland’s history, they officially switched to Christianity way back in 1000 AD during an Althingi session – that’s their big historic assembly. But here’s a fun fact: the old heathen ways didn’t just vanish overnight. They kind of lingered on the down-low, even getting a nod of approval by law, as long as they were kept hush-hush. Fast forward to today, and there’s still a fascination with those Old Norse Gods. Did you know about 1% of the folks there follow the Asatru religion? Pretty cool, right?

Now, about Christmas in Iceland – it’s this incredible blend of Lutheranism and old Pagan traditions. The whole festive season kicks off during Advent. The country literally lights up with Christmas trees from the fourth Sunday before Christmas Eve. And in Reykjavik, they’ve got this massive tradition: the Oslo Christmas Tree lighting in Austurvollur square. It’s a big deal and a total crowd-puller. The tree’s a gift from Norway – talk about neighborly love! It’s the official signal that Christmas season has started, and trust me, it’s a sight to see.

As Christmas approaches in Iceland, you might spot these cool characters called the Yule Lads wandering around town. They’re a mix of merry and a tad bit scary, especially for the kids. Forget the usual Santa and his reindeer; here, it’s all about these 13 brothers!

These guys start their rounds on December 11, popping into towns one by one, each day. They’re like your secret gift givers, sneaking presents into kids’ shoes left on window shelves throughout December. By the time Christmas Eve hits, those Icelandic kiddos already score 13 small surprises! But hey, if they’ve been naughty, it’s just a boring old potato for them.

These Yule Lads aren’t always angels themselves. They’re a mischievous bunch with names that match their antics. Take “Door Slammer” for instance, he’s loud and bold. Then there’s “Skyr-Gobbler,” who’s all about munching on skyr and won’t think twice about snatching it if he’s hungry. Oh, and “Doorway-Sniffer”? He’s got a nose for sniffing out this special fried bread called laufabraud, a Christmas delicacy. These guys sure keep things interesting!

Other Yule Lad characters are guys, like “Spoon-Licker”, “Pot-Scraper”, and “Candle-Stealer” – not your typical holiday names, right? They used to be more like trolls, straight out of parents’ spooky bedtime stories to keep kids in line. But now? They’ve mellowed out, dressing up in Santa-like gear and hanging around downtown Reykjavik.

But their mom, Gryla? She’s a whole different story. This troll lady is still pretty intimidating, ruling her family with an iron fist, alongside her bumbling, much older hubby, Leppaludi. Gryla is the one who’s still out there, according to legend, snatching up naughty kids – and maybe even adults – during Christmas. If you’re ever in Akureyri, check out the figures of Gryla and Leppaludi.

And then there’s the Yule Cat, Gryla’s pet. This enormous black cat has a taste for kids who don’t get any new clothes for Christmas. It’s a quirky way to make sure kids appreciate all gifts, even the “boring” ones like socks or shirts. Every year in Reykjavik, they put up this massive, lit-up Yule Cat statue in Laekjartorg square – it’s pretty wild to see!

But December in Iceland isn’t just about the Yule Lads and their antics; it’s a whole festive vibe! Picture this: restaurants dishing out these awesome “Christmas buffets” that everyone—families, colleagues—can’t get enough of. And hey, shops extending their hours till 10 PM from December 15 to 23! Even bars get in on the action with Christmas gigs and shows.

But, here’s the catch: during the peak Christmas buzz, some places might shut their doors or have shorter hours. Typically, it’s a downtime between December 24-26 and December 31-January 1. Icelanders go all out on Christmas Eve, swapping gifts after a big dinner—it’s a tradition.

Now, if you’re up for exploring beyond the capital, there’s this spot called Obyggdasetrid, the Wilderness Center. They’ve got these ‘Nostalgia of Christmas’ tours all through December. You get a dose of Icelandic Christmas history while munching on homemade Christmas grub. It’s a pretty cool way to soak up the season!

Weekend opening at the Reykjavik Family Park and Zoo

When visiting in December and having your kids with you then  you should defiantly check out the weekend opening at the Reykjavik Zoo and Amusement Park (Húsdýragarðurinn). It is a nice place to go to in the evening when fully lit with all types of Christmas decoration and lights. Just take care it is only open in the weekends and opens around 10am and closes around 8pm. This might of course change in the coming years so be sure to check the link above for the current opening time.

Happy Happy New Year's Eve in Iceland

Now, let’s talk New Year’s Eve in Iceland. Trust me, it’s a whole different level of celebration, especially in Reykjavik. Think of it as the highlight of the year – the city comes alive like you wouldn’t believe.

As midnight approaches, it’s like the entire population hits the streets. And the fireworks? We’re talking about the biggest show in Iceland. Here’s the cool part: locals buy their fireworks from the Icelandic Search and Rescue team. Yep, it’s their way of funding these heroes! And then, they light up the sky pretty much anywhere and everywhere, all evening and way into the night. It’s like the whole city turns into one massive party. Definitely something you’ve got to see at least once in your life!

Lets talk about Winter Solstice

winter ball

Aside from the big Christmas and New Year’s bashes, there’s something else in Iceland during December that’s pretty special – the Winter Solstice. It’s a big deal in those long, dark winter days. Every year on December 21st, over on Videy Island, they relight the Imagine Peace Tower, and it stays lit until the end of the month. You can hop on a ferry to catch the ceremony – it’s a serene, beautiful experience.

Here’s a fascinating bit: Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s widow, came up with this idea. It’s a tribute to Lennon. The base of the tower has the word ‘Peace’ inscribed in 24 different languages. And the light beam? On a clear night, it shoots up to 2.5 miles into the sky – absolutely mesmerizing. You can even spot it from all over Faxafloi bay and the capital area. It’s like a beacon of peace lighting up the winter darkness, a pretty profound sight if you ask me.

December Delights

So, it might be chilly and some roads are closed, but don’t let that fool you – there’s a ton to do in Iceland in December, especially in Reykjavik.

Stay in the capital in the Christmas

reykjavik christmas lights

Talking about Christmas in Reykjavik, it’s a huge deal. To get the most out of your trip, keep an eye on the Visit Reykjavik website. They start posting Christmas opening hours for shops, restaurants, and other spots from November.

Now, for a real Christmas vibe, you’ve got to visit Hafnarfjordur. It’s this charming town in the greater capital area, just 15 minutes from downtown Reykjavik. The place is steeped in Icelandic folklore and tradition, and they really go all out for Christmas. The hip town center transforms into this enchanting Christmas village, complete with a weekend market. And Hellisgerdi park? It becomes this magical realm of Christmas lights. Trust me, it’s like stepping into a fairytale!

But you know where the Christmas spirit really comes alive? The Arbaejarsafn Open Air Museum, just on the outskirts of Reykjavik. This place is usually a summer-only destination, but they open up on weekends in December, from 1 to 5 PM.
This museum is like a time capsule – it’s got turf houses and old churches, set up to show how Icelanders from different walks of life used to celebrate Christmas. It’s a deep dive into Iceland’s yuletide history, and you can do it all while sipping some hot cocoa.

There’s this cool exhibit where you can see how tallow candles are made. These candles were a big deal back in the day, not just for light in the long winters, but also as a favorite item for our friend, the Yule Lad “Candle-Sneaker” to swipe. And when you start feeling peckish, you’ve got to try the traditional Christmas dinner items: smoked lamb, known as hangikjot, and leaf bread, or laufabraud. This bread is a work of art, with intricate leaf-like patterns – and no, it’s not made from actual leaves!

It’s a unique experience, mixing history, tradition, and some really tasty treats. Definitely a must-visit for a taste of authentic Icelandic Christmas.

At 1 PM, they’ve got these cool guided museum tours kicking off, followed by a cozy Christmas service in the turf church at 2 PM. And guess who’s dropping by from 2 to 4 PM? Yep, the Icelandic Yule Lads, ready to entertain the crowd. At 3 PM, get ready to groove at the town square’s dance celebration—sounds like a blast, right?

Now, snagging tickets is easy. You can grab them right at the museum or, here’s the nifty part, snag a Reykjavik City Card. It’s your golden ticket to all sorts of museums and galleries across the city. Trust me, the museum vibes in December? Off the charts!

If you’re all about diving deep into Icelandic culture and those magical folktales, here’s a quirky idea: head to a wool workshop. Yeah, wool’s been a big deal here forever, and at this workshop, you can create your own monster! Talk about inspiration galore—those surreal Icelandic landscapes will fuel your imagination for sure.

Ring in the New Year in Iceland

fireworks display

New Year’s Eve in Reykjavik? It’s a blast, literally, with fireworks lighting up the capital. The top spots to catch the show are around Hallgrimskirkja church and Perlan.

Hallgrimskirkja church is the place to be. It’s this iconic church that offers a fantastic view of the city. But honestly, wherever you find yourself in Reykjavik, you’re in for a great view of the fireworks. A little tip: you might want to pick up some protective glasses sold around the city as the night approaches.

And there’s more – Reykjavik hosts this 6.2-mile (10-kilometer) run on New Year’s Eve. It’s a big hit with the locals. Picture this: people running in costumes, all for the fun of winning prizes. The race starts and ends at the Harpa Concert Hall, and it’s a sight to see.

Then, after the run, or maybe after you’ve warmed up with some pre-partying, Reykjavik’s famous nightlife is there for you to dive into. Trust me, it’s the perfect way to ring in the new year!

Ice Caves in Iceland are so much fun

ice cave

But hey, there’s more to Iceland in December than just the holiday cheer. It’s also prime time for some really cool activities – and I mean that literally. Take ice caving, for instance. It’s one of those experiences that’s just out of this world.

Beneath the glaciers, there’s this secret world where water flows and creates tunnels. It’s like stepping into a fantastical ice kingdom. And every December, three of these glaciers become the perfect destinations for exploring these icy wonders. It’s a rare opportunity to see the inside of an ice cap and learn about how these stunning natural phenomena come to be.

But here’s the thing – these caves are totally at the mercy of nature. They’re not always what you’d call ‘tourist-friendly’. Heavy rains can lead to floods, messing with the caves’ structure. So, tours only happen when it’s safe – no compromises there.

And really, if you’re thinking about ice caving, do it with someone who knows their stuff. An experienced glacier guide on an official tour is a must. It’s all about keeping the adventure awesome and safe.

Now, for the hotspots – Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier, is where it’s at. The area around it, with all its incredible sights, is accessible all winter. You could start at the Jokulsarlon Glacier lagoon and then head into the heart of the Vatnajokull glacier for your ice cave expedition.

Another cool spot is the Skaftafell Nature Reserve. In December, the glaciers there transform into this stunning shade of blue, and they creep right into the reserve, making your hike to them pretty easy. Want a tip? Try a small group ice cave tour that includes all the glacier gear. It’s a more intimate, fun way to do it.

And if you’re near Vik, check out a tour that combines ice caving and glacier hiking at Katla Volcano in Myrdalsjokull. They even sort out your transfer. It’s all about getting up close with these icy giants in a way that’s safe, fun, and just a bit thrilling.

See the Northern Lights dance in Iceland in December

southcoast northern lights

So, in those weeks around the winter equinox in Iceland, the sun’s pretty much playing hard to get – you get about four hours of daylight. But here’s the cool part: this makes it the ultimate time to catch the northern lights. Imagine, 20 hours of darkness each day – it’s like nature’s prime time for an aurora light show.

Now, for the perfect aurora experience, you need two things: a sky full of solar activity and as few clouds as possible. A little tip: keep tabs on the Icelandic Meteorological Office website for the aurora forecast. If the solar activity’s buzzing and the clouds are taking a break, your chances of seeing those magical lights skyrocket. It’s all about timing and a bit of luck, but when it all lines up, it’s an unforgettable sight.

If catching the Northern Lights in December is on your radar, Iceland’s got a few ways to make it happen.

First off, you can hang around Reykjavik and scout for them in the darkest spots, like Grotta lighthouse or Klambratun Park. Sometimes, if they’re really kicking, you might even catch a glimpse from areas with a bit of city glow, like a quiet street.

But here’s the hitch: city lights can dim the show. They kinda hold back the full glory of those auroras. Plus, you’re stuck in one place; can’t just zip off to dodge pesky clouds like you could in a vehicle.

Another way to chase those magical lights is by taking matters into your own hands—literally! Rent a car and become your own Northern Lights detective. Check out the aurora forecast and zoom off to the countryside, dodging all that pesky city glow.

Here’s the perk: no city lights messing with your view, and you can snag those perfect, crowd-free spots. But hey, big disclaimer: this plan’s for the confident drivers out there. You’ve got to know your stuff about those routes; getting lost or stuck isn’t the kind of adventure you’re after! Safety first, folks!

The easiest and most foolproof way? Opt for a Northern Lights tour—it’s like having your own aurora expert by your side!

These tours are the real deal. Led by seasoned guides who knows their way around Iceland’s roads and, more importantly, in finding those elusive lights. They’re like encyclopedias when it comes to the aurora borealis. They’ll unravel all its mysteries and even help you nail those perfect camera settings.

Here’s the kicker: if the weather’s a downer or the lights decide to play hide-and-seek, no worries! You can hop on another tour for free until you catch those dancing lights.
And hey, don’t think these tours will break the bank. There are some sweet deals out there. Hop on a comfy bus, get to those prime spots, and soak it all in.

But wait, there’s more! You can go the VIP route with private tours, some even using super jeeps to reach those off-the-grid spots. That means no crowds, just you and the awe-inspiring lights. Oh, and here’s a quirky one—how about a Northern Lights boat cruise from Reykjavik? Talk about a unique way to witness nature’s show!

Lava Cave Exploration

icelandic cave

Winter adds an extra dash of wonder to exploring lava caves in Iceland! Why? Well, inside these caves, ice sculptures pop up like nature’s own art installations. The porous lava rocks soak up water, and when it freezes, voila! You’ve got stunning stalactites and stalagmites.

There are three go-to caves you can hit up anytime, but they’re especially cool in winter. There’s Leidarendi cave on the Reykjanes peninsula, Vidgelmir cave in the Hallmundarhraun lava field, and Raufarholshellir cave near Hveragerdi.

But let me tell you about Raufarholshellir—it’s like stepping into a secret underworld. Imagine walking through tunnels formed 5,200 years ago by molten lava. This classic tour unveils a hidden world beneath your feet, and trust me, it’s pure magic.

If the idea of tight spaces gets your nerves going, no sweat! There are family-friendly options for checking out these lava caves. Take the Vidgelmir cave tour or opt for a guided exploration of Raufarholshellir cave—they’re more open and spacious: Wide entrances, easy steps leading to wooden pathways and plenty of headroom.

Now, let’s talk safety. Lava caving isn’t super risky, but having the right gear is key. A good torch, a helmet, and crampons (those spiked shoes for icy surfaces) are must-haves. Plus, never underestimate the importance of a knowledgeable guide—they’re your ticket to a safe and awesome adventure underground.

Aquatic Adventure

iceland aquatic adventures

Snorkeling in Iceland isn’t just a fair-weather activity—it’s equally intriguing during winter, especially at the Silfra fissure in Thingvellir National Park.

This fissure sits snugly between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates and gets its water supply from Langjokull glacier’s melt. As these plates slowly shift, they carve out an exceptional underwater realm.

Silfra stands out for its clear and pure water, thanks to its passage through lava fields. Despite the cold, this water holds a steady two-degree Celsius temperature underground, only freezing once it reaches lake Thingvallavatn.
The snorkeling scene at Silfra is something else! There are massive, cathedral-like spaces and the water is so intensely blue. In winter, the whole vibe gets even cooler.

When you’re diving in, the dry suits are your fortress against getting wet, and thick undersuits are your cozy armor against the cold. Now, if you go for wetsuit hoods and gloves, sure, they let some water sneak in, but don’t worry—it heats up pretty fast. And these guides? They know every cold-water trick in the book. They’ll set you up with all the right gear for the best underwater adventure.

When it comes to diving in Silfra’s world, there are some ground rules for safety. To join in on the Silfra diving or snorkeling fun, you’ve gotta be at least 16 years old, weigh around 110 pounds (50 kilograms), and stand at least four foot nine inches (150 centimeters) tall. These standards are all about keeping everyone safe while diving into the wonders of Silfra!

Lovely Winter Whales

whale watching during winter

December adds its own charm to Iceland’s whale watching scene. While the larger baleen whales that usually visit during summer have mostly headed south for their mating season (although a few linger around year-round), there’s still a lot to witness.

For a great winter whale-watching experience, Faxafloi Bay in Reykjavik is the place to be. Tours start from the Old Harbour, just like any other time of year, offering a two to three-hour expedition.

Leading the show? The energetic white-beaked dolphins steal the spotlight with their playful moves—leaping, diving, and surfing in groups. Keep your eyes peeled for the rare harbor porpoise and, if you’re lucky, a pod of magnificent orcas might make an appearance!

Glaciers Tours in Iceland

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Hiking on Iceland’s glaciers is a fantastic pick for a December visit. The Solheimajokull glacier and Skaftafellsjokull glacier are perfect for hikes during this time.

The Solheimajokull sits along the south coast, nestled between Skogafoss waterfall and Vik. You can join a Solheimajokull glacier hiking tour here. And guess what? Some of these tours even offer ice climbing to add an extra thrill to your adventure!

Exploring the Skaftafellsjokull glacier, tucked away in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve, offers some breathtaking vistas along the South Coast.

In December, most tours for this area kick off right there—like a Skaftafell glacier hike (medium difficulty). You’ll need to meet up with your group at the park, where the adventure begins. Or, you could opt for a two or three-day package that not only includes guided glacier hikes but also takes you to incredible nearby spots like the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon or the majestic Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

Glacier hikes aren’t just about the views; they’re a whole adventure! And rest assured, these excursions are led by experienced guides who not only showcase the beauty but also delve into the fascinating science behind these icy giants.

Winter Thrills - Snowmobiling


You’ve got the chance for an epic snowmobiling adventure too! From Reykjavik, there’s a day trip zooming off to Langjokull glacier, packed with a visit to the famous Golden Circle. Another option? Grab a transfer from Gullfoss waterfall for an hour of snowmobiling excitement right on Langjokull glacier.

Picture this: you’re cruising across fresh snow, feeling the thrill for about an hour. The tour team sets you up with all the gear you need to stay cozy and safe, but make sure you’ve got your winter layers underneath and a valid driver’s license if you’re taking the wheel.

At Langjokull, there are human-made tunnels carved into the glacier’s stable parts—a sort of ice castle filled with stunning ice sculptures and separate rooms.

Now, the Ice tunnel day tour at Langjokull is an all-year-round gig, but the natural ice caves are a short-season wonder. The perk with the ice tunnel tour? It’s less likely to get canceled due to tricky weather conditions.

Winter Wonderland. Some must see places.

vik iceland

Looking for the best places to explore in Iceland come December? There’s a bunch of spots perfect for sightseeing during this time! The iconic Golden Circle, Iceland’s South Coast leading to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, the stunning Snaefellsnes peninsula, and the Reykjanes peninsula are mostly open for adventures.

You’ve got options—pick from various tours or grab a four-wheel drive to navigate yourself around (more on that below). If you’re staying within the city, a compact car rental might do the trick.

Now, those self-drive tours? They’re all about chasing the Northern Lights! You call the shots on where and for how long you hunt for this jaw-dropping phenomenon, boosting your chances of catching it in action.

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Southeast Iceland is a gem—icebergs floating in crystal-clear waters create a stunning sight. Plus, it’s a top spot for seal-watching, especially during winter.

Many South Coast package tours kick off from Vik village, swinging by the Reynisfjara black sand beach, the striking Reynisdrangar sea stacks, and the Dyrholaey rock arch.

Now, this area? It’s awe-inspiring, but the waves crashing along the shore are massive and unpredictable. They’re a sight to behold, but it’s essential to keep a good distance of over 100 feet (30 meters) away from the water. Those sneaker waves are notorious here and can be seriously risky.

Heading to the South Coast means passing by some iconic Icelandic sites—think Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, which might just be frozen! If you’re up for fully soaking in the beauty of the south, better book your hotel in South Iceland real soon!

Exploring Eastern Iceland

eastern iceland

Venturing into the highlands solo won’t cut it—unless you’re up for joining a day tour in a super jeep. The snow piles up thick on the roads, sometimes even hiding the road signs completely.

Now, here’s the deal—the weather and road conditions might put a damper on exploring North Iceland, East Iceland, and especially the Westfjords.

But hey, don’t lose hope! There are package tours that let you cruise through various destinations for an epic road trip. They keep things flexible because, let’s face it, December weather in Iceland can throw some serious surprises.

Explore Hot Springs

Is the Blue Lagoon still open in December? Absolutely! But as expected, it’s still super popular. If snagging Blue Lagoon tickets feels like trying to catch a shooting star, don’t sweat it—check out some of Reykjavik’s top-notch swimming pools instead. Or hey, consider diving into the relaxing Hvammsvik Hot Springs for a soothing soak.

In the Greater Reykjavik Area, you’ve got the fantastic Sky Lagoon—imagine lounging in its infinity pool with ocean views. And up in North Iceland, don’t miss a chance to unwind at the Myvatn Nature Baths—a stellar geothermal spa nestled in an incredible natural setting.

After your winter adventures, dipping into warm geothermal waters is an absolute treat. And let’s admit, it’s kind of thrilling to soak it up in the hot springs while a snowstorm paints the scene outside!

Things To Know About Visiting Iceland in December

December in Iceland is more than just Christmas and New Year’s—it’s a winter wonderland waiting to be explored! But prepping for a trip here means being savvy about two major things: the weather and the roads.

Is December A Good Time for an Icelandic Adventure?

a fancy house in Iceland

You betcha! It’s one of the liveliest times, with the holiday spirit in full swing. Plus, with the winter solstice, you’ve got extra-long nights—perfect for chasing those elusive northern lights.

And hey, all those glacier and ice cave tours? They’re at their absolute best. Just remember: your winter gear is the real MVP for this journey!

Planning Tip for a Trip to Iceland in December

woman planning on a trip

When gearing up for a December jaunt to Iceland, a few nuggets of wisdom can save the day. First off, be a weather watcher and stash those cozy clothes in your bag. Oh, and mark this: December means fewer daylight hours, so plan your adventures accordingly.

But here’s the real deal-breaker: driving in Iceland in December—brace yourself for that!

Driving around Iceland in December

driving during winter

December in Iceland means icy roads are on the menu, thanks to the cold. So, if you’re planning to rent a car in Reykjavik or at Keflavik Airport, go for the four-wheel drive option. It’s a game-changer, especially if you’re up for an adventure beyond the city.

But hey, if icy roads aren’t your thing, skip the car idea and jump on guided tours instead. Let the pros steer while you soak in the scenery minus the stress.

Tours? They’re your hassle-free ticket. And don’t sweat it, getting from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik is a breeze!

To dive deep into Iceland sans driving, snag a guided winter package tour—those cover all the must-sees. But if you’re up for driving, there are tons of winter self-drive packages to ponder.

Now, if you’re steering yourself through Iceland in December, plan your route before you hit the road and let someone know your game plan. Heads up: the roads to the Highlands and Westfjords will be off-limits. Trust me, being stranded in the snow isn’t part of the adventure. Always check road conditions before hitting the road.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office is your go-to for all things weather-related in December.

Some roads, like Route 1 along the South Coast, get wild with high winds. And after heavy snowfall, there’s a risk of avalanches, so stay adaptable and plan smartly to keep safe on the roads.

December Weather in Iceland

weather during december

December hits Iceland with a serious chill—it’s one of the coldest months! The winds kick up quite a fuss, too. That low-pressure system from autumn? It’s still doing its thing, so bundle up in cozy layers and rock those sturdy shoes. But here’s a tip: Reykjavik’s a bit more forgiving in December, thanks to those city buildings giving some wind cover.

Darkness? Yeah, it’s in full swing. Pair that with the cold and dampness, and it can be a bit of a mood dampener. So, stick to a routine—rise and shine early, hit the sack early. And don’t miss out on the magic: the festive city lights and those elusive northern lights!

Chilly Vibes: December Temperatures in Iceland


Curious about Iceland’s December temps? Think hovering around freezing—usually between 34°F and 39°F (that’s -1°C to 4°C). Oh, and get this: it’s one of the wettest times, dishing out around 3.8 inches (97 mm) of rain.

Snow Galore: Iceland's December Snowfall

December snowfall

Snow’s a regular guest in December. Time to gear up! Grab your cozy headgear, snug gloves, thermal layers, and waterproof outerwear. Oh, and don’t forget those trusty hiking boots if you’re planning to explore. And hey, if you’re short on winter gear, Laugavegur shopping street in Reykjavik’s city center’s got you covered with winterwear stores aplenty.

Winter Vibes in Reykjavik

winter in Reykjavik

Wondering about Reykjavik’s December weather? Picture this: while the rest of Iceland might be rocking a snowy blanket, Reykjavik’s usually steering clear. Thanks to its warmer vibes, snow only pops in sporadically from January to April. Plus, here’s a cool hack—many streets here have a heated secret, keeping them snow-free and slip-proof.

Cozy Nesting: Where to Stay in Iceland in December

cozy indoors

If you’re eyeing Iceland for a December getaway, Reykjavik’s your cozy destination. Why? Well, the weather might play some tricks on roads up North and East or in the Westfjords, but the capital and South Iceland? Top picks. For the inside scoop on recommended stays and Reykjavik hotels, plus a guide on the best spots to hunker down in Iceland, we’ve got you covered.

Iceland in December: A Romantic Getaway

date in winter

December in Iceland is like walking into a wonderland. There’s this buzz in the air, with snow dusting everything and the northern lights teasing you overhead. The towns turn into these magical scenes straight from a holiday movie, all aglow with lights and cheer.

It’s the perfect time for cozying up in quaint cafes, wandering hand in hand through the charming streets, and catching those breathtaking northern lights. It’s like falling into a romantic fairy tale!

Recommended Itinerary for a Trip to Iceland in December


Spending about eight or nine days for your vacation in Iceland in December can be a total adventure. Some folks might want to make Reykjavik their hub, while others aim to soak in every bit of Iceland’s natural beauty.

Everyone’s got their vibe and budget, so think of the suggested itinerary below as a rough sketch, something you can mold and shape to fit your style. But hey, the big decision lies in whether you’ll be zooming around in a four-wheel drive. Iceland’s got some nifty self-drive packages that can get you to all the hotspots in a week if that’s your jam.

For a taste of adventure, you’ve got options like a two-day self-drive tour to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, which even includes ice caving. If you’re up for more, there’s an epic six-day northern lights winter self-drive tour along Iceland’s South Coast, packed with sights and, yes, more ice caving. All these goodies wrapped up in about a week, with enough time to soak up the vibes in Reykjavik during the festivities.

And for the really intrepid explorers out there, consider stretching the adventure with a nine-day winter self-drive tour exploring the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and South Coast. That’s a journey that’ll make the stories last a lifetime!

Driving in Iceland during winter is not for the faint-hearted. It’s all about icy roads and tricky conditions. So, this trip idea below will focus more about tours and packages that’ll save you the hassle.

Picture this: an eight-day winter wonderland travel package. Yep, it’s like a smorgasbord of Iceland’s best bits. You’ll hit the Golden Circle, wander along the South Coast, check out the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, explore the Snaefellsnes peninsula, and hey, you’ve even got a free day to roam Reykjavik or hop over to Akureyri and hang out at Lake Myvatn.

Ice-caving, northern lights tours or cruises, plus your pick of horse riding, snowmobiling, or snorkeling—this package has it all. And since it’s December, the festive vibes are real. If you’re digging Reykjavik’s scene, mix and match a few packages to strike that perfect city-nature balance. Cool, right?

Day one’s all about landing at Keflavik Airport, hopping on the Flybus, and starting your holiday super relaxed—Blue Lagoon style! Picture soaking in those soothing waters till you’re all set after the flight, then heading to your pad in Reykjavik.

Once you’re settled, get ready to dive into the holiday feels! Downtown Reykjavik during Christmas? It’s like stepping into a festive movie. Laugavegur and the whole downtown scene? Lit up with twinkling lights and decorations. Perfect for strolling around and soaking in the vibe!

Once you’ve taken in Reykjavik’s city buzz, it’s time for a countryside adventure! Strap in for a two-day South Coast tour—you’ll chase waterfalls and explore sights en route to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. If luck’s on your side, catch the aurora borealis dance over the icebergs. Day two? It’s all about ice-caving fun before heading back to Reykjavik.

Day four’s all about diving into Reykjavik’s charm! History buffs? Kick off with the Reykjavik Maritime Museum or maybe a quirky visit to the Phallological Museum (yep, it’s a thing!). Then, head over to the Arbaejarsafn Open Air Museum, opening at 1 PM, for a peek into Iceland’s past.

On days five and six, you’re in for a treat with a two-day exploration of the West Coast and Snaefellsnes Peninsula. I mean, we’re talking epic sights like Mt. Kirkjufell, Snaefellsjokull glacier, and those impressive Londrangar sea stacks. Plus, you might even catch some seal watching and explore lava caves. It’s like a nature lover’s dream come true!

On the seventh day, we’re hitting up the Golden Circle – the last shot at soaking in Iceland’s countryside. But here’s the twist: we’ve got choices! Horse-riding, snowmobiling, or snorkeling – which adventure grabs your fancy?
Then, on day eight, it’s time to head back to Keflavik Airport. Got a bit of time left? Why not squeeze in some more Reykjavik fun or tie up those Christmas shopping loose ends?

Starting to think more about a dream vacation to Iceland in December? I hope this guide has set the stage for your Icelandic plans!

Robert Robertsson

Hey, I'm the founder of Airmango. My love affair with travel and entrepreneurship kicked off in 1994 in Iceland. Fast forward through two decades, and I've been lucky enough to weave my career through five different countries. Each place has left its mark on me, not just in my personal life, but in how I approach business too. With Airmango, I'm bringing all those global insights and experiences to the table – it's like seeing the world through a business lens.

Icelandic river

Discover Iceland in February: Handy Guide

iceland town by the river

Thinking about hitting Iceland in February? I’m here to spill the beans! Let’s talk about what’s up with the weather, what to toss in your suitcase, and how to get prepped for your journey. And hey, I’ll clue you in on some awesome February tours and the sweetest things to do, like whale watching, hunting down those captivating northern lights, exploring ice caves, and a bunch more fun stuff.

So, when February hits, Iceland’s pretty much a snowy wonderland. And darkness takes over more than daylight, making it the prime time to catch those mesmerizing northern lights.

You know, Iceland in February might seem like a wild ride with its crazy weather, but here’s the deal: it’s still pretty accessible. You’ve got options – hit the road and explore the entire Ring Road or just chill in one spot and discover loads of amazing places from there.

A word to the wise: driving around Iceland in February can be a bit of an adventure. I’m talking tricky roads, surprise weather swings, pitch-black nights, and not much light once you’re off the beaten path.

But here’s the sweet part: February’s the time when Iceland takes a breather – fewer crowds compared to the peak season. It’s been Iceland’s laid-back month for a while now, so it’s perfect if you’re not into the hustle and bustle.

There’s a ton of cool winter activities waiting for you! So, no worries about getting bored during your Icelandic escapade. Stick around for the lowdown on enjoying Iceland in February!

Navigating Iceland in February: Must-Knows

You’re going to be absolutely wowed by the serene, snowy landscapes and the cities buzzing with life. But let me share a few nuggets of wisdom before you dive in, especially about staying safe with the driving and weather of Iceland in February.

Exploring by Car in Iceland in February

car drive in Iceland during winter

So, driving in Iceland in February, it’s kind of its own beast. Usually, the roads are decent, but in winter? Man, it’s like a whole different world.

Imagine this: roads slick with ice, with snowdrifts that look like they’re straight out of a movie set. And the weather? It throws everything at you – heavy snow, rain, and it’s dark a lot, like you’re in some moody film noir. Plus, the wind is no joke – it can make your car feel like it’s caught in a tango.

You really should only grab a rental car if you’ve got some solid experience driving in tricky, icy conditions. You know, the kind where the roads are more ice than asphalt. And if you do decide to rent, seriously consider getting a four-wheel drive. It’s like the difference between wearing sneakers and snow boots in a blizzard – trust me on this.

Now, about the tires, because that’s super important too. You can’t use chains on your tires there, but don’t worry, every car comes with winter tires. That’s like the basic setup. But here’s a pro tip: a lot of rental places have studded tires – we’re talking tires with little nails for extra grip. It’s like having cleats for your car, which is pretty cool. Make sure you ask for these studded bad boys if they’re not already part of your rental package. Stay safe and enjoy the ride!

Alright, so next up on the list of ‘Keeping Yourself Safe in Iceland 101‘: make sure you let someone know your travel plans. It’s like leaving breadcrumbs – if something goes sideways, it’s way easier for someone to find you. And here’s another biggie: always, and I mean always, check the weather website for your route and destination before you head out.
Things change fast out there, so make it your morning ritual to recheck conditions. Some spots are notorious for avalanches and stuff, so better safe than sorry, right?

Now, about those roads. The ones going into the Highlands and a bunch in the Westfjords? Forget about them in winter. They’re closed. These are the ‘F-Roads’ – and no, that ‘F’ isn’t what you’re thinking! It stands for ‘fjall’, which means ‘mountain’ in Icelandic. Pretty much a no-go zone in the colder months.

Parking – this can be a sneaky one. Be super careful where you park. Getting stuck in the snow is no joke, and guess what? Most insurance won’t cover the cost to tow your car out. That’s a bill you don’t want to be surprised with.

Last but definitely not least: if a road is closed off, it’s closed for a reason. Don’t even think about crossing it. And off-road driving? Big no-no. It’s not only illegal with some seriously hefty fines (and even jail time), but in winter, it’s downright dangerous. Let’s keep the adventures fun and safe, alright? Enjoy your trip!

Weather in Iceland in February : What to Expect?

sunny iceland during March

So, let’s talk February in Reykjavik, the capital. Temps usually hang around 33.8 F (1 C), and it’s no surprise – it’s a bit of a wet one, averaging about 3.3 inches (83 millimeters) of rain.

Now, Iceland’s February weather? It’s all over the place! Picture this: snow, wind, and rain might just team up on you – maybe all in one day! It can be a rollercoaster.

The nights? Cold and dark, real long ones too. But here’s the cool part – daylight increases by nine minutes every day. Snow’s got a silver lining – it brightens up those dark hours. And when the sky’s clear and chilly, that’s when the northern lights put on their show. So, wrap up and keep your eyes peeled for that magical display!

Wardrobe Essentials for Iceland in February

winter coat

Get ready to pack like you’re off to a winter wonderland!

First things first, hiking boots. Even if you’re just planning to hang in Reykjavik, those streets can be like a mini ice age – either super slick with fresh ice or that tricky, melting kind. Regular shoes might seem fine at first, but unless you’re into the idea of cold, wet feet, go for the boots.

Gloves are up next. Not just any gloves, though – you want the good stuff. Think leather gloves with a snug fleece lining. They’re basically like a warm hug for your hands.

Now, if you’re venturing outside the city, wind and waterproof pants are your best friends. The weather can be a bit of a wild card – usually windy and wet.

Okay, gear checklist! Those windproof and waterproof pants? Absolutely essential! Once you step away from Reykjavik, Iceland’s weather plays its game – mostly windy and wet during February. So, trust me, packing those pants is a smart move.

Now, for the twist – a swimsuit! Hear me out, it might sound random. But if you’re eyeing the hot springs, geothermal pools, hitting up local swimming spots, or planning a day at the Blue Lagoon or snorkeling in Silfra, that swimsuit’s your ticket to join the fun.

Let’s talk about staying cozy! Here’s the golden rule: pile on those warm layers – scarves, hats, gloves, the whole shebang. And for that comfy, easy-pack vibe, fleece and wool items are your A-team.

Daylight Patterns in Iceland in February

daylight during winter in Iceland

Moving on to daylight hours in Iceland in February. Brace yourself, it’s kinda short, but hey, it’s all part of the winter charm. At the start, sunrise plays it cool at 10:07 AM, and by 5:16 PM, it’s saying, ‘See ya!’

But as the month rolls on, sunrise comes in earlier, around 8:38 AM, and sunset’s partying until 6:43 PM, giving you a sweet 10 hours of daylight by the end of February!

Blue Lagoon Accessibility during February

blue lagoon during winter

The Blue Lagoon keeps its doors wide open in February. It’s an all-year-round deal. Sure, the thermometer might scream ‘brrr’, but trust me, soaking in that toasty water amidst the chilly air? Pretty darn magical.

Oh, and snap-happy folks, listen up! Winter’s the time to grab that camera and capture that cool, thick steam rising from the warm, azure waters. Instagram gold, seriously.

And hey, it’s not just the Blue Lagoon! Iceland’s got loads more hotspots – we’re talking geothermal spas, hot springs, and public pools scattered all over. Check out the Sky Lagoon for some capital relaxation vibes or venture to the stunning Hvalfjordur fjord to unwind in the lavish Hvammsvik Hot Springs.

Iceland in February: Must-Do Activities

If you’re all about diving into the winter wonderland of Iceland in February, you’ve got a bunch of cool activities on your plate. Winter exclusives, you know? Stuff like exploring ice caves in Vatnajokull glacier or going on a quest for the northern lights.

And here’s a quirky twist: ever thought about snorkeling in Silfra with the snow and ice as your backdrop? Trust me, it’s a whole new level of magic.

Check out our top picks for things to do in Iceland this February.

Hunting the Northern Lights in Iceland in February

viewing northern lights by boat

Seeing the northern lights is a big draw for most travelers in Iceland during winter, especially in February. Why? Because that’s when the skies are clearer, darker, and make for the perfect aurora borealis show. To catch this stunning spectacle, head out of Reykjavik. City lights can dim the magic of the northern lights. The best bet? Take a guided tour or a cruise outside the city to experience this enchanting display.

Here’s the scoop about catching those dazzling northern lights: soon as you touchdown in Iceland in February, consider booking a tour pronto. These lights play hard-to-get, so if they don’t show up on your first try, most tour guides will gladly give it another go.

Quick tip: it’s a good call to try it early in your trip ’cause sometimes the weather doesn’t play nice. If the forecast looks gloomy or the lights aren’t shining too bright, the tours might get called off. So, better to try your luck as soon as you arrive!

More chances equal more magic, so keep your schedule flexible if you miss out the first time.

If you’re off on a solo hunt for the northern lights, peek at the aurora forecast (anything above a 3 is a good go) and check the cloud cover for the area.

Photography enthusiast? Make sure you’ve got the gear and know-how for capturing the aurora. Patience is key, so relax and wait for that perfect shot.

February's Frozen Wonders: Ice Cave Exploration

ice caving in iceland

When you’re thinking about what to do in Iceland in February, one of the coolest winter activities is exploring the ice caves nestled beneath the massive Vatnajokull glacier, Europe’s largest ice cap. These caves are super rare, forming naturally in a way that’s hard to come by.

Rain can sometimes play a spoiler – heavy rainfall can make the caves unsafe, leading to tour cancellations. But hey, February’s rainfall isn’t as intense as other winter months, so it’s a better shot at bagging an ice cave tour.

Remember, it’s risky business exploring these caves solo. You’ll need to join a guided group for safety. If you’re up for a combo adventure, you can pair an ice cave tour with a 2-day trip along the South Coast or a 3-day adventure covering the Golden Circle & South Coast. These tours take you to some jaw-dropping spots like the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and the scenic Skaftafell Nature Reserve – offering a taste of Iceland’s breathtaking natural beauty.

Marine Marvels: Whale Watching in Iceland in February

whale watching during winter

In February, Reykjavik’s still buzzing with whale-watching tours that run all year round. You’d be amazed to know there are over twenty different types of whales swimming around Iceland’s waters during this time.

Those playful white-beaked dolphins steal the show in February, showing off their social skills and playful jumps in Faxafloi bay. But hey, spotting harbor porpoises might need a bit more patience; they’re around, just a tad elusive.

Alongside these dolphins and porpoises, you might get a peek at orcas, pilot whales, and beaked whales enjoying the chilly Icelandic waters. Oh, and let’s not forget about those minke whales—some of them choose to stay back rather than migrating that year!

Just a heads-up, similar to those northern lights tours, whale-watching trips might get called off if the weather decides to throw a tantrum. Sometimes, you might not get lucky spotting those majestic sea creatures. But don’t worry, most tour operators offer another go at it for free if that happens.

Here’s a handy tip: It’s smart to hop on a whale-watching jaunt early in your trip. That way, if you miss out on a whale sighting, you’ve got time to give it another shot.

And when you’re getting set for the whale watch, make sure you’re all bundled up! Those sea winds can get pretty chilly. Usually, they provide these nifty overalls to keep you cozy, but bringing your warmest gear is a smart move. Those winds don’t play nice, you know!

Underground Wonders: Lava Caving in Iceland in February

lava caving Iceland

Diving into lava caves of Iceland in February is an awesome adventure, even though it’s a tad more challenging than in summer. But you know what’s cool? The icing on the cake (literally!) in February are these amazing ice formations inside the tunnels.

Lava rock acts like a sponge, letting water move through it slowly. So, when the water seeps through the cave’s ceilings, the freezing cold turns it into these awesome icicles or tiny stalactites. It’s like nature’s own ice sculpture show! And when that water hits the ground, it creates these equally cool ice shapes.

It’s a real treat for the eyes, but watch your step – all that ice can make things slippery! Don’t fret about gear though, the guides will set you up with crampons and helmets. If you want an easier cave trip, Raufarholshellir or Vidgelmir cave are great options. They’re roomier and have walkways, making your underground expedition a breeze.

Taking a Dip in Iceland's Public Pools in February

blue lagoon during winter

Icelanders love their public swimming pools—they’re a hub for socializing and unwinding. After a long day or even on weekends, it’s where you’ll find locals relaxing and catching up with friends.

These pools are heated by geothermal energy and are scattered across towns in Iceland. In Reykjavik, for instance, there are seven public pool centers. The largest boasts two Olympic-size pools—one indoors and one outdoors, alongside smaller pools, hot tubs of various temperatures, and spacious public saunas.

Imagine soaking in an outdoor pool with the air brisk and chilly—it’s an authentic Icelandic experience you won’t forget!

Snorkeling in Iceland's Chilled Waters

scuba diver

Iceland in February offers a unique adventure: snorkeling in Silfra. You might think it’s only for the bravest souls, but hey, modern drysuit gear makes it doable for almost anyone.
Silfra’s open year-round and it’s not just any dive spot – it’s legendary!

Nestled in Thingvellir National Park, Silfra’s this stunning gorge filled with the clearest spring water you’ll ever see. Imagine diving into this world of mesmerizing blue hues and fantastic geological formations with visibility that goes beyond 330 feet (100 meters).

Now, picture yourself snorkeling in Silfra beneath the swirling auroras. And here’s the cherry on top: imagine swimming in between snow-capped surroundings.

It’s an exclusive chance, something so unique you’ll hardly find it elsewhere. Especially snorkeling between two different tectonic plates – that’s an experience you won’t forget!

Before diving into Silfra, there are some things to consider. For diving, you’ll need to be a certified drysuit diver or have a solid record of ten logged drysuit dives in the last two years.

Now, for snorkeling in Silfra, here are some general guidelines (though these might differ slightly based on the tour company):

You should be at least 16 years old.
Swimming ability is a must.
Height should be over 4 feet 7 inches (145 centimeters), and weight should be over 99 pounds (45 kilograms).
For folks above 60, or if you’re 45 and love your pipes or a good drink, a medical waiver’s required.
Similarly, if there are underlying neurological, circulatory, or respiratory conditions, a medical waiver is necessary.
Oh, and the snorkeling gig’s not for expectant moms either.

Glacier Trekking in Iceland's February Frost

watching ice sheets breaking in Iceland

Glacier hiking is something you can do any time of the year and it’s pretty awesome every time. But, let me tell you, February adds a special touch to it. You’ve got these glaciers covered in this electric blue ice – it’s like stepping into a magical world! And guess what? Ice caves!

Yes, those beautiful formations hiding inside the glaciers. In February, the Solheimajokull and the Svinafellsjokull glaciers down in South Iceland are the go-to spots for this icy adventure.

Get yourself a guide who knows the ropes and voilà! You’ll be diving right into these amazing ice wonders and learning tons about Iceland’s fascinating geology. It’s not just a hike; it’s like a trip into an icy wonderland with a bonus science lesson!

Riding horses in Iceland is like being a part of history and soaking in the awesome landscapes all at once. These horses were the backbone of Iceland back in the day, and let me tell you, they’ve got quite the story to share.

What’s cool about Icelandic horses? Besides being tough in the cold, they’re super curious and smart too. Hanging out with them is a real treat – they’re a mix of clever and charming.

Riding one of these Icelandic beauties is like diving deep into Iceland’s heritage. Seriously, it’s an adventure that’s worth every moment!

Unraveling Iceland in February: Must-See Sights

While winter might close off some parts of Iceland, there’s still a lot to explore. You can actually travel the entire Ring Road, either on a guided tour or driving solo.

Iceland’s natural wonders are a big draw for visitors, especially in February. Here are our top four recommendations for sightseeing in February.

Winter Charms of the Golden Circle in Iceland in February

Gullfoss Falls

The Golden Circle, a must-see trail, covers Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall. Each spot is known for its striking beauty and distinct appeal, attracting travelers year-round. February doesn’t disappoint; the snow-draped Thingvellir, with frozen features like the Oxarafoss waterfall, is simply breathtaking.

The Geysir Geothermal Area is a sight to behold in February. Picture a mosaic of vibrant colors popping out from the ground amidst all that snowy landscape. It’s like Mother Nature’s hidden canvas.

Now, let me tell you about Gullfoss waterfall during this time.The rocks wear these icy crowns, sparkling next to the powerful rush of water. And if you’re lucky, catch a rainbow gracing the scene. It’s like stepping into a fairytale!

That’s why folks love the Golden Circle tours here. You get to witness so much breathtaking beauty in just a short time. It’s a real treat for anyone exploring Iceland!

February's Trail: Iceland's South Coast Marvels

Southcoast Adventure in Iceland

February’s a great time to explore Iceland’s South Coast. It’s like a wonderland of diverse landscapes and cool sights.

Think about it: you’ve got these amazing waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, plus massive glaciers like Solheimajokull and Vatnajokull. And don’t forget the legendary volcanoes – Eyjafjallajokull, Katla, and Hekla!

But that’s not all, there’s Skaftafell Nature Reserve, the stunning Reynisfjara black sand beach, the old Solheimasandur plane wreck, and the breathtaking Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.

The South Coast is a hit year-round, but keep an eye on the waves at Reynisfjara beach. They can be a bit unpredictable, so best to admire them from a safe spot. Safety’s important, but there’s so much beauty waiting to be explored!

Fantasy Land: Iceland’s Lake Myvatn in February

person standing on lake myvatn

Up in North Iceland in February, Lake Myvatn is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered, especially if you’re a Game of Thrones fan. It’s not just a lake; it’s a real-life movie set.

Imagine wandering around and realizing, “Hey, Jon Snow and Ygritte had a romantic moment right here!”

The frozen lake is like nature’s artwork, with unique shapes poking through the ice. And don’t even get me started on Dimmuborgir, the ‘Dark Fortress.’ The snow-draped lava formations are like something out of a dream. It’s not just a sightseeing spot; it’s a journey into a winter wonderland that’s both magical and awe-inspiring.

Iceland in a Nutshell: Snaefellsnes in February

Snafellsness Iceland in february

The Snaefellsnes Peninsula, they say it’s like a mini Iceland all on its own, covering about 56 miles (90 kilometers). This place has a bit of everything that makes Iceland so special.

No matter when you visit, there’s a buffet of natural goodies here – think volcanoes, mountains, lava fields, beautiful beaches, cool rocks, vast fields, and charming little towns.

When February rolls in, it’s like a snow-coated dreamland. The mountains wear fresh snow caps, waterfalls freeze up a bit, and those rocky shores stay just as striking. And guess what?

February is when orcas often drop by for a visit along the coast, especially around Snaefellsnes, the place to be for catching these awesome creatures.

Highlight Festivities in Iceland in February

Beyond Iceland’s natural marvels, the vibrant festival scene in Reykjavik is a huge draw for tourists. Every month, the capital buzzes with events that attract both visitors and locals. Here are a few notable ones.

Winter Lights Festival: Glimmering Nights

night in reykjavik in Iceland

Kicking off every first weekend of February, the Winter Lights Festival marks the start of brighter days amidst the winter backdrop. As the city illuminates with lights, a series of events unfold over several days. There’s a bit of everything—music, sports, art, history, and cultural affairs.

Keep an eye out for Museum Night and Pool Night; these evenings bring unique entertainment to the city’s museums and public pools. They’re absolute musts!

Thorrablot: Celebrating Culinary Heritage

traditional icelandic dishes

Thorrablot is a unique cultural fest that happens from late January to mid-February, marking the lunar month of Thorri in the old Norse calendar. This fest is all about Icelanders celebrating their roots by digging into traditional Icelandic dishes that have been around for ages.

Now, some of these eats might not tickle everyone’s taste buds at first. We’re talking about fermented shark (hakarl), boiled sheep’s head (svid), and ram’s testicles (hrutspungar) – definitely not your average dinner fare!

But hey, they’ve been a part of Iceland’s history for centuries, helping folks survive the harsh times. But if you’re not up for those adventures in eating, there’s also smoked lamb (hangikjot), rye bread (rugbraud), and delicious stockfish (hardfiskur) to savor, especially with a good dollop of butter.

Thorrablot isn’t your typical festival with flashy events all over the city. It’s more like a month-long celebration where folks gather for family dinners or companies throw Thorrablot feasts for their employees. You won’t find a big public event downtown, though.

But here’s the thing: during January and February, lots of these unique dishes are available in Icelandic supermarkets. So, if you happen to visit Iceland at that time, you can pick up some traditional Icelandic grub and have your very own Thorrablot with your travel buddies!

For an even better experience, you might want to consider joining a guided food tour in Reykjavik. They offer awesome traditional Icelandic food tours or guided food lover’s walking tours that showcase the local flavors. Great way to dive into the culture!

Love in Winter Air: Valentine’s Day in Iceland

valentine's day in Iceland

You know, Icelanders don’t really go all out for Valentine’s Day like folks do in other places. But hey, the date’s catching on, and some fancy hotels and restaurants are starting to roll out special deals and meals on February 14th.

If you happen to be in Iceland for Valentine’s Day, why not make it a bit more special? Grab a table at one of Reykjavik’s top-notch restaurants—they might just have a stellar menu for the occasion.

Or here’s another ace up your sleeve—book a spa day at the Blue Lagoon. Think soaking up in those dreamy milky-blue pools and, wait for it, getting pampered with treatments like massages or facials using cool stuff like algae and silica. It’s like a whole new level of relaxation!

Women's Day: Celebrating Women

celebrating woman's day

Wanna know about an awesome Icelandic tradition? It’s called Woman’s Day, or ‘konudagur’ in Icelandic, and it’s a cool way to celebrate women! Happens in the second half of February, and it’s all about giving a shoutout to the amazing women in your life.

This tradition goes way back to the Norse calendar, which had 13 months based on the moon cycle. Woman’s Day falls on the first day of the month of Goa on that calendar. And get this: guys show their appreciation by doing thoughtful things like bringing flowers, taking their special lady out for dinner, or giving them cool presents. It’s not just romantic; even kiddos give their mom some love with flowers or gifts!

Oh, and if you’re curious, Icelanders also have a Man’s Day! That one’s in the lunar month of Thorri, a month before Goa, and goes down in the second half of January.

Crisp Winter Getaways in Iceland in February

skiing in iceland

Now that we’ve covered a bunch about touring Iceland in February, I’ve got some pretty cool suggestions for you! These itineraries are all about making your stay in Iceland top-notch, and they’re tailored to fit the number of days you’ve got here. Plus, they’re totally adjustable, so feel free to tweak them to match your vibes, plans, and budget.

Long Weekend Blast

ion adventure hotel

Your epic four-day adventure in Iceland in February kicks off the moment you touch down around noon on day one. You hop on this airport transfer bus from Keflavik International Airport straight to the breathtaking Blue Lagoon.

It’s like a dream—a chance to relax and unwind in those stunning azure waters, maybe even throw on a silica mask for some top-tier pampering. Then, you proceed to settle in your Reykjavik hotel and spend the rest of the night strolling around the city, looking for unique shops and dining in quirky restaurants.

Since there’s a bit of time constraint, it’ll be wise to grab a two-day tour to cruise around the South Coast.

After soaking up the South Coast’s natural wonders, it’s back to Reykjavik for you. Get back to your hotel, freshen up, and get ready to dip your toes into the city’s nightlife. There’s always something buzzing after dark!

Your departure’s likely in the late afternoon on day four, but hey, you’ve got a bit of morning time. How about starting the day with a horseback ride? It’s a real taste of Iceland, trust me!

As your Icelandic adventure winds down, it’s Flybus time to head back to the airport. That’s the wrap on your short but jam-packed February trip to Iceland.

Oh, and here’s a hot tip: if you’ve got a spare day, don’t miss out on a mini-bus tour of the Golden Circle. It’s totally worth extending your stay for this one!

Winter Vacation

winter vacation

To truly soak in the magic of Iceland in February’s winter vibes, you’ll want a solid 10 days on your hands for the Getaway Traveler Itinerary.

Check this out: there’s an option for a10-day Circle of Iceland self-drive tour or a 10-day South Coast self-drive tour. Both let you dive into Iceland’s awesome landscape on your own schedule.

But hey, if you’re not too keen on navigating icy roads, no worries! Consider a holiday package or a guided tour instead. They’ll take the wheel and let you focus on enjoying the ride!

There’s a 9-day minibus adventure. It’s all about hitting the Ring Road, cruising through the East Fjords, and exploring the stunning Lake Myvatn. Then, there’s a 10-day tour option that really digs into the south. You’ll be checking out the Landmannalaugar geothermal area and soaking up the beauty of the Snaefellsnes peninsula.

If you’re aiming to catch the top spots like Lake Myvatn and experience the vibes of the Snaefellsnes peninsula, these packages are golden.

Picking a package is probably your smoothest way to plan your trip and really make the most out of your February escapade in Iceland.

Once you touch down at Keflavik Airport, don’t miss out on the Blue Lagoon experience before settling into your Reykjavik accommodation for the night. Now, here’s the plan for an early start the next morning: kick off an eight-day guided northern lights tour, cruising through the complete ring road. Get ready for some glacier hiking and an epic ice cave exploration.
Oh, and you’ll also be exploring the stunning Snaefellsnes peninsula, hitting all the major sites like the Snaefellsjokull glacier and Mt. Kirkjufell.

Winter’s the prime time to catch those amazing northern lights. If you stay away from city lights, chances are good you’ll see the aurora lighting up the sky over these breathtaking natural spots while you’re on your journey through Iceland.

To sum it up, even though Iceland’s still chilly and dark in February, it’s a pretty awesome place to visit. The folks here are super friendly, which adds to the charm.

With nights and days balancing out, fewer crowds around, and a bunch of cool winter activities, there’s this cozy vibe to the month that’ll make your winter adventure really stand out.

Robert Robertsson

Hey, I'm the founder of Airmango. My love affair with travel and entrepreneurship kicked off in 1994 in Iceland. Fast forward through two decades, and I've been lucky enough to weave my career through five different countries. Each place has left its mark on me, not just in my personal life, but in how I approach business too. With Airmango, I'm bringing all those global insights and experiences to the table – it's like seeing the world through a business lens.

october in iceland

Visiting Iceland in October | Things To Do While Visiting

green mountain filled with snow

Thinking about Iceland in October? Great choice! I went last year, and it’s like the island’s best-kept secret. After the summer rush, but before the deep chill sets in – perfect timing. And the northern lights? Just wow. Rent a car, drive away from the city lights, and prepare to be amazed.

Staying there is a breeze. I found this cozy little hotel, no crazy summer prices, and the tours on offer were top-notch. The best part? The crowds are gone. It’s like having Iceland to yourself.

October’s cool because you’ve got enough daylight to explore and just enough night to catch the auroras. Trust me, it’s the ideal time to go. Planning what to do and pack can be a bit of a puzzle, but hey, that’s part of the fun, right? Oh, and about the weather – it’s a mixed bag, but let me break it down for you.

October Weather

man during fall season in Iceland

October weather in Iceland is like a rollercoaster. I experienced sunshine, rain, and hail – all in one day! Reykjavik temperatures can swing from a freezing 19°F (-7.2°C) to a mild 59°F (15°C). I’d say the only constant thing is to expect the unexpected.

On average, you’re looking at around 41°F (4.8°C) in Reykjavik. But step out of the city, especially towards the Highlands or Westfjords, and it gets even chillier.

The start of winter in Iceland is in October. Low-pressure systems are brought out that whip up some serious wind and rain. When I was walking around, I quickly learned umbrellas are useless – those gusts are no joke!

Early October has winds around 11. 5 mph, but by the end, it picks up a bit more. And rain? October’s the wettest month, so you better prepare your waterproof gear because it’s definitely a must.

Snow’s not a big thing in Reykjavik or the south in October, but up north or in the Highlands? Totally possible. If you’re heading there, be ready for some wintery scenes.

Daylight Hours in Iceland in October

The daylight hours in Iceland during October is pretty balanced, you know. It’s quite fascinating. Both September and October enjoy about 12 hours of sunlight each day. Picture this: on the first day of October, you’d see the sun peeking over the horizon at 7:37 in the morning and bidding goodbye at 6:56 in the evening. But as the month progresses, the days get a bit shorter.

By the time Halloween rolls around on the 31st, the sun doesn’t rise until 9:08 a.m. and it’s already setting by 5:13 p.m. It’s quite the shift, don’t you think?

Packing Essentials for your Iceland trip in October

clothes for october in Iceland

Here’s the inside scoop on packing: think layers! One minute you’re all bundled up, the next, you’re shedding a jacket because the sun decided to say hello. Always bring warm stuff – Iceland’s weather can flip in a heartbeat. I learned that the hard way when I was halfway up a glacier!

Your best bet? A solid waterproof coat, some thermal layers (trust me, they’re lifesavers), and comfy yet warm sweaters – great for both exploring and those cozy dinner nights. Natural fibers like merino wool are your friends – warm, light, and they don’t take up much suitcase space.

And hey, don’t leave behind a warm hat, gloves, and a scarf. But here’s a surprise – bring your swimsuit, towel, and shades. You might be thinking, “Swimwear? In October?” But picture this: lounging in a toasty geothermal pool, icy air, but you’re just perfect.

Besides your adventure gear, pack your usual stuff – jeans, tees, long-sleeves – and comfy sightseeing shoes. And, oh! Sturdy hiking boots are a must for those amazing Icelandic trails!

Driving Basics in Iceland in October

Just a heads-up if you’re hitting the road in Iceland come October – it’s not your usual drive. We’re talking about a mix of chilly weather, rain showers, and sometimes, a dash of snow or ice. A lot of folks actually pass on renting a car because those Icelandic roads, especially the gravel ones, can get pretty wild.

I rented a car myself on my trip, made sure it was a four-wheel drive. Seriously, it was a game changer in those conditions. Always a good move to keep tabs on the weather and road conditions – they flip faster than you’d think in Iceland. And, hey, watch out for unexpected floods or avalanches. Rule of thumb: if a road’s blocked, just don’t go there. Better safe than sorry, right? But don’t sweat it too much – with a little care, you’re in for an epic road trip.

Your Ring Road Journey

driving in a gravel road in Iceland

Cruising Iceland’s Ring Road in October? Good news – most of the time, it’s all open, unless Mother Nature decides otherwise with a surprise storm, flood, or avalanche. That means getting to all those must-see spots should be pretty straightforward, whether you’re on a tour or driving yourself.

They’re pretty good at keeping the Ring Road clear of snow and ice, so driving it is usually not too dicey. But, pro tip – rent a 4X4. Trust me on this. Even if you’re sticking to the main road, the weather, especially up North, can flip in a heartbeat, and you’ll be glad for the extra grip.

If you’re not too keen on driving in iffy weather, maybe stay south. The conditions tend to be more forgiving there, and you’ll dodge the trickier bits of the journey.

Iceland October Activities

summer and winter mountain weather in Iceland

October getaway to Iceland is a sweet spot in the calendar! It’s like getting a taste of both summer and winter. Most of the summer tours keep going until the snow says ‘hello’ – usually around November or December. And those cozy winter tours? They just need a bit of darkness to set the mood, kicking off as early as September. So, October in Iceland? It’s where summer adventures meet winter wonders. As a traveler, you get this awesome mix of experiences. It’s like Iceland rolls out a ‘best of both worlds’ red carpet for you.

Aurora Views: Chasing Iceland's Northern Lights

northern lights during October

October could be your chance to see the northern lights. The nights get longer and darker, perfect for aurora hunting. Here’s a tip: head out of the city. Even though you might spot them from Reykjavik, like near the Grotta Lighthouse, the countryside’s dark skies are unbeatable.

I joined a northern lights tour last time – totally worth it. The guides know exactly where to find the clearest skies. We zoomed off in a super jeep, far from any city lights, and the view? Spectacular!

Fancy something different? A boat cruise in Faxafloi Bay is like being in another world – just you and the stars.

Or, if you’re up for an adventure, rent a car and chase the lights on your own. Just keep an eye on the weather forecasts and aim for spots with little cloud cover. Remember, seeing the aurora is never a sure thing, but in October, the odds are in your favor. Here’s to clear skies and dazzling lights!

Whale Watching

whale watching in Iceland

Whale watching in Iceland during October is an experience like no other. Sure, it’s post-summer, and many of the migratory whales are heading out, but the waters around Iceland are still bustling with life. It’s like a final whale-watching hurrah before winter!

Out there, you might get lucky and spot orcas or even the majestic blue whales. And although the numbers dwindle, a few great whales often linger behind.

I hopped on a tour from Reykjavik, right into Faxafloi Bay. We saw minke and humpback whales, plus playful dolphins! And in Akureyri, up in the north? The fjords there are humpback territory, but sometimes you get the rare treat of seeing belugas or narwhals. The RIB boat tours are super thrilling if you’re up for a bit more speed.

Oh, and if you’re into learning more about these sea giants, the Whales of Iceland exhibition in Reykjavik is a must-visit. They have these life-sized models that really put into perspective how incredible these creatures are. Standing next to a full-scale whale model? That’s something you won’t forget.

Iceland Glacier Excursions

glacial scenery during October

October in Iceland means glacier time! Hiking atop these icy giants like Solheimajokull is unforgettable – the views are jaw-dropping. I went with a guide who made it safe and super interesting. We even checked out Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls on a South Coast tour.

Thrill-seekers? Try snowmobiling on Vatnajokull or Langjokull – it’s a wild ride with epic scenery. Near Reykjavik, Langjokull is easy to reach and has these amazing ice caves to explore.

And Vatnajokull’s natural ice caves sometimes open up in mid-October. Each visit is unique, blending adventure with Iceland’s stunning nature.

Horseback Rides in Iceland

icelandic horses

Riding an Icelandic horse? Did that last October and it’s an experience I still rave about. These horses are something special – purebred and full of character. They’ve got this unique gait, ‘tölt,’ so smooth you could practically drink a glass of water while riding!

I remember heading out from Reykjavik, galloping over these dramatic lava fields, totally lost in the whole Viking era vibe. Then there was this one ride in Gufudalur Valley – hot springs, geothermal rivers, and the friendliest horses you’ll ever meet.

If you find yourself in the south, definitely try a horseback excursion from Hella. It’s like stepping into a completely different world. Each ride is a blend of adventure, tranquility, and a chance to connect with these amazing Icelandic horses.

Snorkel & Dive

snorkeling in cold waters

Ever thought of snorkeling or diving in Iceland in October? It’s surprisingly awesome. I took the plunge at Silfra Fissure in Thingvellir National Park. Picture this: crystal-clear waters between tectonic plates, with visibility over 300 feet. The water’s chilly, around 35°F, but the drysuits they provide keep you snug and warm. Wetsuits are an option too, but they’re definitely for the bolder folks!

October’s cool for this – not as freezing as winter, so gearing up is easier. Getting out, you warm up fast, which is a huge plus.

Now, about the requirements. For drysuit snorkeling, you’ve gotta be at least 14 years old (60 and over need a medical waiver), between 150 cm and 200 cm in height, and 45 kg to 120 kg in weight. Being a swimmer and physically fit is a must. For wetsuit snorkeling, it’s pretty similar, but the age limit is up to 65 with a waiver.

Drysuit diving? You need to be 18 or older, with a confirmation of good health if you’re over 60. Height and weight requirements are the same as snorkeling, but you need an Open Water certification and drysuit experience – either a certification or at least 10 confirmed drysuit dives.

Diving in Silfra was a mind-blowing experience. Floating in those pristine waters, it’s like being in a whole different world. If you meet the criteria and are up for a unique adventure, this is something you can’t miss.

Golden Circle Tour

Gullfoss Waterfall

Visiting the Golden Circle in October is a must. This 186-mile trip is a showcase of Iceland’s best: Gullfoss waterfall, Thingvellir National Park, and the Geysir geothermal area.

I remember standing at Gullfoss, watching this massive waterfall cascade down over 100 feet – it’s a sight that sticks with you. Just a short drive away, the Geysir area is mind-blowing. Geysers like Strokkur erupting every few minutes – it’s like Earth showing off!

Thingvellir National Park was another highlight. It’s not just about the stunning landscapes – waterfalls, mountains, lava fields – it’s a walk through history. Did you know it’s where Iceland’s first parliament met in 930?

You can whip around these sites in a day, driving or on a tour from Reykjavik. But staying nearby? Totally worth it. You get more time to soak it all in and less hustle with the crowds. There are plenty of cozy spots to stay around the Golden Circle, perfect for a more relaxed exploration.

Hot Springs Fun

Seljavallalaug swimming pool

Here’s a tip from my trip: Don’t skip the hot springs and pools. It’s like a national hobby there! After a day packed with sightseeing, lounging in a geothermal pool is the best.

It’s not just for tourists – locals are all about pool life in Reykjavik. Picture this: 17 different pools to choose from, each with its own vibe. There’s something about soaking in that warm water that just makes you feel part of the community.

More into a chill scene? The hot springs are where you want to be. Across Iceland, you’ll find these natural gems, perfect for kicking back and taking it all in.
My personal journey? I mixed it up with a hot spring tour and hitting whatever local spring was nearby. Each one had its own unique charm. It’s the ultimate way to soak up (literally) the Icelandic way of life!

Blue Lagoon Visit in October

female in blue lagoon

Blue Lagoon during your October is iconic. Right near Keflavik Airport, it’s a no-brainer as your first or last stop. Super easy to get there from Reykjavik too.

The lagoon’s open year-round, and October? It’s kind of the sweet spot. Fewer tourists mean you might just sneak in without a booking, but it’s still super popular, so booking ahead is your safest bet.

The Blue Lagoon isn’t just about those striking blue waters; people swear by their healing touch. Imagine ending your Icelandic adventure with a soak there – it’s the perfect wind-down after days of exploring. Pure bliss!

Hikes & Jeeps

hiking in Landmannalaugar during October

Thinking you can’t hike or jump in a super jeep for some highland adventure in Iceland come October? Think again! It’s like the last call for those summer vibes, perfect for some epic outdoor action.

Sure, those multi-day treks might be off the table – camping in the cold isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – but day trips? Plenty of those. I headed to Thorsmork, the ‘Valley of Thor,’ on one such trip. Seeing it decked out in autumn colors was unreal.

And Landmannalaugar! Those rhyolite mountains and hot springs are something else. I joined this super jeep tour that zipped us past Mount Hekla. While the full Laugavegur trail wasn’t an option, exploring these spots was just as breathtaking.

East Iceland in October is a bit trickier, but still doable. The fjord villages are charming, and the Vok baths? Picture this: soaking in geothermal waters, floating atop a lake. It’s relaxation and marvel all in one. So, don’t write off October for exploring Iceland – it’s got its own unique charm.

Jokulsarlon Trips

kayaking through Jökulsárlón glacier

A boat tour of Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon in October is definitely something else. Sure, it’s a summer favorite, but the end of October? Just as magical. Jokulsarlon isn’t just any lake – it’s Iceland’s deepest, dotted with icebergs that create this surreal, slow-moving spectacle.

For wildlife enthusiasts, it’s a dream. Seals are everywhere, lounging on ice or swimming around. Honestly, it’s one of the best spots to see them in their natural habitat.

Getting into the heart of the lagoon is an adventure. I jumped onto this amphibious vessel, which is like a boat with wheels. It takes you right from land into this icy wonderland. And those ice sculptures up close? They’re like nature’s own art.

If you’re up for something more intimate, try the zodiac tour. It’s a smaller boat, gets you closer to the action. The way the October light plays off the ice – it’s a whole different level of beautiful. Jokulsarlon in autumn is a must-see – it’s like watching a living, breathing ice museum.

Snaefellsnes Discovery

Kirkjufell entering winter in Iceland

Snaefellsnes is like a mini Iceland, packed with everything from glaciers to black sand beaches. I explored it and was amazed at how much diversity you can pack into one area. If you’re looking to experience the essence of Iceland, this is your spot.

The heart of Snaefellsnes is the Snaefellsjokull glacier. Yes, the one from ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth!’ The surrounding National Park? A paradise for hiking and birdwatching.
The coastline is stunning – cliffs that are a birdwatcher’s dream. I was captivated by the Londrangar basalt cliffs and the Arnarstapi rock formation. And Ytri-Tunga beach with its black sands and seals? So serene.

But there’s more than just nature. I wandered through quaint fishing towns like Stykkisholmur and Grundarfjordur. They give you this real feel of Icelandic life and culture. Oh, and Kirkjufell mountain in Grundarfjordur is a must-see – it’s like stepping into a postcard.

Snaefellsnes has these cool lava caves too. I checked out Sönghellir – it’s got this echo that’s almost musical. And Vatnshellir? Its colors are otherworldly.

October was perfect for soaking it all in – fewer people, more time to explore. I even did a cave tour at Vatnshellir and a seafood cruise in Breidafjordur bay. Snaefellsnes is a slice of Iceland you just can’t miss.

Reykjavik Sights

Reykjavik during winter

Wandered around Reykjavik in October and I can say that it’s the heart of Iceland – lively, packed with both locals and tourists. There’s so much to dive into, from artsy galleries to vibrant nightlife.

I spent a few days there, and it’s an absolute must. The city’s got this friendly vibe, and it’s small enough to explore on foot. I loved strolling down Laugavegur and Bankastraeti, popping into quirky shops and cafes. And the nightlife? It’s a blast – bar hopping here is an experience in itself.

Don’t skip Harpa Concert Hall – its architecture is stunning. And the Sun Voyager statue by the sea? It’s like a piece of poetry in metal. Oh, and you’ve got to see Hallgrimskirkja church – it’s not just big, it’s an icon of the Reykjavik skyline. Reykjavik’s this perfect blend of culture, history, and fun – it’s a city that really knows how to welcome you.

More Unique Destinations

Hvitserkur rock

If the roads are clear, going to North Iceland in October is an adventure you won’t forget. I made it up there and was stunned by places like the Hvitserkur rock and the Vatnsnes peninsula. The towns, Reykjahlid and Husavik, are welcoming with open arms, offering their local charm.

Lake Myvatn? It’s like stepping into a fantasy world, especially under a blanket of snow. For any ‘Game of Thrones’ fans, it’s a pilgrimage – ‘north of the Wall’ scenes come to life!

And the Highlands in October? If you get the chance, take it. I drove both the Kjolur and Sprengisandur routes, and the landscapes are out of this world – glaciers, volcanoes, vast lava fields, steaming hot springs, and towering mountains. It’s a panorama that stays with you long after you’ve left.

Iceland's October Festivals & Events

Thinking Iceland’s all about nature? Wait till you dive into its festival scene! I found out Icelanders are big on their celebrations. Events like Iceland Airwaves and the Reykjavik International Film Festival? They’re huge, drawing crowds from all corners of the globe, growing every year.

Now, October in Iceland is a bit more laid-back, festival-wise, but don’t be fooled – it’s far from quiet. There’s this unique buzz with events that give you a real taste of Icelandic culture. It’s the perfect blend of excitement and the mellow vibes of autumn.

Iceland Halloween Fun

halloween festival in Iceland

Reykjavik during Halloween, and guess what? It’s catching on big time there. Picture this: it’s a crisp autumn night, the streets are a buzz with folks heading out, everyone decked out in all sorts of wild costumes. Felt like the whole city was in on one big, joyful secret.

I ended up in this little bar, surrounded by Vikings, ghosts, and what I’m pretty sure was an elf. Everyone was just having the best time. And there were these Halloween events popping up all over town – from spooky tours to themed parties. If you’re around Iceland for Halloween, it’s like stepping into a whole new world of fun. Totally unexpected, totally unforgettable.

October Film Festival

film festival

Caught the Reykjavik International Film Festival, RIFF, on my trip to Iceland last October. It’s the biggest film fest in the country, stretching from late September right into early October. You wouldn’t believe the variety – films from over 40 countries, spanning all sorts of genres. It’s a goldmine for indie film buffs.

The city transforms during RIFF. Concerts, workshops, you name it – they pop up everywhere, turning Reykjavik into this buzzing hub for filmmakers and movie lovers. It’s not just about watching films; it’s a whole scene of networking and learning.

If you find yourself in Reykjavik when RIFF’s on, definitely grab a ticket to a screening. It’s more than just catching a movie; it’s experiencing the pulse of the city’s vibrant film culture.

Lighting of Imagine Peace Tower


Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik? It’s this beautiful tribute to John Lennon, crafted by Yoko Ono. When I visited last October, I was struck by its message of peace and unity, with ‘Imagine Peace’ inscribed in 24 languages.

It’s set on Videy Island, just a short ferry ride from Reykjavik. Standing there, with the monument towering over me, was so moving. And when they light it up? It’s like nothing else. This beam of light shoots up 4,000 meters into the sky – a beacon of hope and remembrance.

They light it every year on October 9th, Lennon’s birthday, and it stays lit till December 9th. You can see it from all across Reykjavik, glowing in the night. It’s a powerful reminder of Lennon’s vision, and seeing it was one of those moments I’ll always remember from my trip.

October Iceland Itinerary Ideas

An October getaway to Iceland is an absolute adventure. I was in your shoes not long ago. Packed time with a bit of summer and winter rolled into one. Here’s what I found works best for an October trip.

Renting a car and hitting the Ring Road was a game-changer for me. I chose this seven-day self-drive tour – perfect for soaking in Iceland’s raw beauty at my own rhythm. If you’ve got more time, the 11-day tour including Snaefellsnes is a winner. The landscapes are a photographer’s dream.

Arriving later in October? A 12-day tour focusing on the northern lights is spot-on. Those longer nights really amp up your chances of catching the auroras.

For aurora enthusiasts, I bumped into travelers who couldn’t stop talking about their five-day northern lights package. Ice caving by day, aurora hunting by night, plus a dip in the Blue Lagoon – sounded like the perfect mix.

Prefer to sit back and let others do the driving? There are these guided tours – I met a group on a seven-day trip covering all the iconic spots, and they loved it. Tight on time? The four or five-day tours can give you a brilliant glimpse of the south and west.
So, whatever your style, Iceland in October has something unforgettable in store. Trust me, it’s a month that brings out the best of Iceland.

Robert Robertsson

Hey, I'm the founder of Airmango. My love affair with travel and entrepreneurship kicked off in 1994 in Iceland. Fast forward through two decades, and I've been lucky enough to weave my career through five different countries. Each place has left its mark on me, not just in my personal life, but in how I approach business too. With Airmango, I'm bringing all those global insights and experiences to the table – it's like seeing the world through a business lens.

gullfoss waterfall in march in Iceland

Iceland in March: Handy Travel Guide

sunny iceland during March

Thinking of hitting up Iceland in March? Oh, it’s a hidden gem! Imagine stepping into ice caves or watching the northern lights – it’s unreal! Pack for surprises though; the weather’s pretty unpredictable.

With Iceland in March you’ll see more sun than snow – a real mood-lifter! Here’s a tip: it’s the off-season, so you can snag some cheap hotels and cheap flights before the summer rush. And there’s a bunch of cool tours that let you soak in Iceland’s vibes under those dazzling northern lights.

March in Iceland? It’s like the island’s best-kept secret. You’re slipping in right after the Christmas rush and just before summer hits, so guess what? You practically get those breathtaking sights all to yourself – no jostling with crowds for that perfect photo.

And it’s not just about the scenery. Iceland in March has some quirky festivals and events that you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, if you’re into adventures, the ice caves are still epic, and northern lights? Absolutely still on the menu.

Want a few ideas to kick off your Icelandic adventure in March? Here’s what’s on my must-do list.

Essential Things to Know About Iceland in March

woman in the black sand beach in Iceland

Is March a good time to swing by Iceland? You bet!

You can still dive into those cool winter adventures like checking out ice caves and chasing after those mystical northern lights. Plus, here’s the kicker – it’s not as jam-packed during this time.

But hey, there are a few things to consider if you’re planning a March trip to Iceland.

Driving Around Iceland in March

jeep in thick snow road in Iceland

So, you’re mulling over renting a car in Iceland, huh? It’s a fab way to see the sights on your own terms. But let me give you the lowdown: Icelandic roads in March can be a bit like a winter wonderland obstacle course – think icy patches, sudden snowdrifts, and some pretty feisty winds. Oh, and let’s not forget those long, dark nights.

If you’re the confident, ‘I’ve got this’ type when it comes to driving in frosty conditions, then you’re in for a real adventure. Just a heads-up: make sure you go for a four-wheel drive. It’s pretty much your trusty steed during the Icelandic winter.

All the cars are kitted out with winter tires, but here’s a pro tip: ask for studded tires. They give you that extra grip and peace of mind, especially if you’re the ‘better safe than sorry’ kind. But remember, it’s a March thing – once April rolls around, it’s back to regular tires.

Alright, so you’re cruising around Iceland in March – it’s epic, but let’s talk about tackling that wild weather. When it’s coming down hard, keep your eyes peeled for those sneaky road markings hiding under the snow. And about parking? Choose wisely. Trust me, you don’t want to get towed. It’s not just pricey; it’s a real mood-killer, and it’s usually not covered by your insurance.

Now, driving in Iceland isn’t just about battling the elements. You’ve got to be a bit of a road detective too. Keep an ear out for avalanche or flood warnings – they can be a thing in March. My pro tip? Always, and I mean always, check the latest on the weather and road conditions before you hit the road. Better safe than sorry, right? Stay sharp and you’ll have a blast!

Exploring Iceland in March: Top Activities and Experiences

Did you know the old Icelandic calendar split the year right down the middle – six months for winter and six for summer? Pretty neat, huh?
So, according to this handy old-school way of thinking, March is still winter time in Iceland. That’s awesome news if you’re itching to try ice caving or chase those elusive northern lights.

But, here’s the cool part: March is also when days start stretching out a bit more and it’s not as nippy as the deep winter months. So, you’re not just stuck with winter-only fun.

Want the inside scoop on the top things to do in Iceland in March? I’ve got some ideas that’ll make your trip unforgettable!

Enchanting Ice Caves of Iceland in March

Jökulsárlón ice cave

Oh, have you heard about the electric blue ice caves in Vatnajokull glacier? They’re like something out of a fantasy movie! Seriously, one peek at a few snaps and videos, and you’ll get why folks from all corners of the globe flock there. But here’s the catch – they’re a bit of a seasonal exclusive, open just a few precious months each year. Lucky for you, March is in that golden window!

You’ll find some jaw-dropping cave tours in Southeast Iceland. Most kick off from Reykjavik, which is super convenient. If you’re up for an adventure, check out this three-day extravaganza. It’s a mix of ice caving and glacier hiking, and you’ll get to see show-stoppers like the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Trust me, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip!

If you find yourself down in the southeast, there’s this epic Vatnajokull glacier ice cave tour that starts right at the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. It’s like stepping into another world!

Now, remember to gear up with some solid hiking boots and cozy, waterproof clothes – Iceland’s beauty is matched by its ruggedness. And hey, wandering around glaciers on your own? Not the best idea. It’s way safer (and way more fun) to join a tour. They’ve got all the gear you’ll need, plus you get a guide who knows the lay of the land.

There’s also this amazing 2-day South Coast and Jokulsarlon lagoon tour. It’s up and running all through March. Picture yourself exploring ice caves by day and chasing the northern lights by night. Sounds like a dream, right?

Chasing the Mesmerizing Northern Lights

following northern lights via car

Catching the northern lights in Iceland? Oh, it’s like winning the nature lottery, and guess what? March still gives you a pretty sweet shot at it.

Here’s the deal: if the sky’s clear and dark, and the sun’s doing its solar dance just right, you’re in for a spectacular show with the aurora borealis. It’s like nature’s own disco in the sky.

Now, the best way to chase those elusive lights? Jump on a northern lights tour. There’s a bunch leaving from Reykjavik. You could go for a cozy minibus tour, or, for something a bit fancier, how about a super jeep tour with a photographer guide? They’ll help you capture those magical moments.

And for something totally different, why not a northern lights boat cruise? Imagine floating in Faxafloi bay, away from all the hustle and bustle, just you and the lights.

Hanging around in Reykjavik might not be your best bet for northern lights spotting, though. The city lights can be a bit of a party pooper. But, if you don’t want to stray too far, there’s a ferry to Videy island. It’s close, but just far enough to give you a decent chance of catching the aurora.

Why not try renting a car and going on your own aurora hunt using Iceland’s northern lights forecast as your map? Just remember, the dark hours are your hunting grounds, so evenings are prime time for this adventure.

Now, renting a car in Iceland in March does come with a bit of a caution flag – the roads might still be snow-covered or icy. But if you’re up for driving in Iceland and feeling confident, it’s a fantastic way to discover the country’s beauty.

Whale Watching Adventures

whale watching in Húsavík Iceland

Heading out on a whale-watching tour in Iceland? You’re in for a real treat! When you’re out there on the waves, keep your eyes peeled for humpback and minke whales – they’re the usual crowd-pleasers. But hey, you might get lucky and spot orcas, fin, or even the majestic blue whales. And if it’s your day, you could even catch a glimpse of beaked, pilot, or sperm whales.

Most tours set sail from Reykjavik in those sturdy standard whale-watching boats. You know, with the weather being a bit unpredictable, they’re your best bet over those smaller RIB boats.

Or, if you’re up for a bit of a journey, head over to Olafsvik harbor on the Snaefellsnes peninsula’s north side. It’s a whole different vibe there. And then there’s Breidafjordur – a hot spot for orcas thanks to it being a herring haven.

Up north? Akureyri’s got you covered for whale watching too. The tour there takes you along Iceland’s longest glacial fjord – talk about a scenic route!

And if you’re all about packing in the experiences, why not mix it up with a whale watching and northern lights cruise? It’s like hitting two of nature’s jackpots in one go!

Snorkeling and Diving in Iceland in March

diving underwater

Guess what? Iceland in March is prime time for snorkeling and diving! One standout spot? The Silfra fissure in Thingvellir National Park. This freshwater spring boasts crystal-clear waters with visibility stretching over 300 feet (100 meters) – it’s like diving into a dream.

Now, brace yourself – the water temp hits about 35.6 F (2 C). But hey, don’t let that deter you! Snorkeling in Iceland? It’s a thrill like no other. People are flocking here for a reason – Iceland’s underwater beauty is simply mind-blowing!

But, before you gear up for some snorkeling fun in Iceland, here’s what you’ll need to tick off your checklist. Keep in mind, each tour provider might have their own twists on these rules:
For drysuit snorkeling:

You gotta be at least 12 but not older than 60. Height-wise, gotta stand at least 4 feet 9 inches (145 centimeters), and weigh in at a minimum of 106 pounds (45 kilograms). Oh, and you should be comfortable swimming, of course.

Now, for wetsuit snorkeling:
Minimum age bumps up to 14, and again, max age is 60. You need to stand about 4 feet 11 inches (150 centimeters) tall and weigh at least 110.3 pounds (50 kilograms). And yeah, gotta be a swimmer!

Switching to drysuit diving:
Ages 17 to 60, standing at least 4 feet 11 inches (150 centimeters), and hitting that 106 pounds (45 kilograms) minimum weight. Oh, and here’s the kicker – you either need at least 10 drysuit dives under your belt or be certified for it.

Most folks go for drysuits for snorkeling ’cause they offer better protection, but hey, some adventurers opt for wetsuits. Scuba diving? Always a drysuit gig. By the way, no diving or snorkeling if you’re pregnant. Plus, if you’re over 60, or over 45 and love your drinks or pipe, or have certain health history, waivers might be needed.

And hey, worry not! Experienced divemasters lead the tours. They’ll make sure you’re comfy with the gear and the chilly temps before you take the plunge.

Glacier Fun in Iceland in March

Gigjökull glacier

Iceland’s got these amazing glaciers covering about 11% of the place – and they’re a major draw for visitors.

When it comes to glacier hikes from Reykjavik, most folks head to the Solheimajokull glacier. It’s like this arm of the Myrdalsjokull glacier down on the South Coast, about 98 miles (158 kilometers) from the capital. And guess what? It’s not far from some epic sights like Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls and the Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

Now, here are two stellar ways to soak up Iceland’s glacier wonders: First, there’s the Solheimajokull glacier hiking tour. Then, there’s this 10-hour super jeep trip to the Eyjafjallajokull volcano and glacier. You even get a peek at the Solheimasandur DC plane wreck – pretty wild!

Oh, and there’s more! The glacier hike on the Falljokull glacier kicks off from the Skaftafell Nature Reserve in Southwest Iceland. It’s like heaven for hikers and a definite must-see for anyone craving Iceland’s natural beauty.
Snowmobiling in Iceland? Super thrilling and a total hit!

Most folks zip around on their snowmobiles on the Langjokull glacier, and some opt for the Vatnajokull glacier – it’s like the bigwig of European glaciers! For Langjokull, there are tours from Reykjavik or Gullfoss waterfall that you can join.

Here’s a cool hack: A bunch of travelers add snowmobiling to their Golden Circle tour. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone – you get the wonders of the Golden Circle and the thrill of snowmobiling!

Exploring Caves and Crannies of Iceland in March

cave icicles

Hey, if you’re headed to Iceland in March, caving tours are a must! Picture this: those lava tubes decked out with stunning ice formations—it’s like stepping into a frozen wonderland!

You’ve got icicles hanging above, and these ice stalagmites and stalactites make the caves feel straight out of a storybook grotto.
For an easy-breezy trip, there’s the family-friendly Vidgelmir lava cave tour or the Raufarholshellir lava tunnel cave tour. Both have smooth paths, making it a super relaxed adventure for everyone!

Horseback Adventures in Iceland in March

icelandic horses trekking

Horseback riding is big in Iceland, no matter the time of year. It’s not just a tourist thing; locals are into it too!

Riding an Icelandic horse? It’s like diving into the real deal of Icelandic life. These horses are a huge part of the country’s story and vibe.

Let me tell you about Icelandic horses—they’re something else! Tough as nails when the weather gets rough, but they’ve got a playful and smart side too. Meeting one? That’s like making a new buddy.

And here’s the kicker: these horses are famous for their fancy footwork! They’ve got five gaits, including this special move called the “tolt” that’s uniquely theirs. It’s like their signature dance move abroad.

Looking to saddle up for some horse riding in Iceland? There’s a heap of options to choose from!

Imagine trotting along Iceland’s incredible black sand beaches or riding with these beauties to unwind in the hot springs at Gufudalur Valley. It’s like stepping into a postcard!
Now, for a full-day adventure, why not blend horse riding with a Golden Circle tour? Or there are tours that toss in both whale watching and horse riding for an action-packed day!

Just so you know, while Icelandic horses are pretty tough and handle most weather, heavy snow in East and North Iceland might mean fewer riding tours happening there.

Sighting Marvels in Iceland in March

Iceland in March offers Loads to see. Nearly everywhere except the Highlands should be open for exploring. But hey, be ready for anything—the weather’s a bit of a wild card. Sometimes there’s flooding or a big snow dump, maybe even an avalanche, so stay tuned.Driving the Ring Road in March in Iceland

Cruising Around the Ring Road in Iceland in March

driving in the ring road Iceland

Now, the Icelandic Ring Road, or Route 1, is your go-to. You can usually cruise around the whole country in March. Go counterclockwise and you’ll hit the South Coast, cruise through the Eastfjords, zip across North Iceland, and then head down the western side (but don’t veer off to the Westfjords or Snaefellsnes Peninsula).

Most of the roads are well kept, no biggie. But watch out in the Eastfjords and the eastern side of North Iceland—those areas are a tad quieter and the roads might get snowy. So, keep an eye out if you’re heading that way!

Okay, listen up! The South Coast of Iceland? It’s like the hotspot! Loads of must-see spots right off Route 1.

You’ve got these epic waterfalls like Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, not to mention glaciers like Eyjafjallajokull and Solheimajokull, and those cool coastal features—the Dyrholaey rock arch and the Reynisdrangar sea stacks.

Most of these places are good to go in March, but heads-up! The paths around Seljalandsfoss might get icy, so watch your step. And, hey, if you’re checking out Reynisdrangar from Reynisfjara black sand beach, keep an eye out! Sneaky waves there are no joke and can be seriously risky. Just stay closer to shore, alright?

The South Coast leg of the Ring Road ends at the incredible Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. March, April, it doesn’t matter—this place stays magical year-round!

Now, moving along the next stretch between Reykjavik and Akureyri, you hit the lush western region. And trust me, you’ll want to make a pit stop! Hraunfossar area, the cool Barnafoss waterfalls, the Deildartunguhver hot spring, and hey, the Vatnsnes Peninsula—where seal-watching is top-notch!

As you journey north, the Ring Road brings you to the Lake Myvatn area. Seriously, it’s like entering another world here! And for Game of Thrones buffs, this is your jackpot. Lots of GoT scenes were filmed here—think “North of the Wall” where Mance Rayder’s troops set up camp. Pretty epic, right?

Exploring the Golden Circle in Iceland in March

view of the golden circle during March Iceland

You can’t miss the Golden Circle in Iceland—it’s like the classic trip everyone raves about!
Easy to follow, even in March! This loop takes you to three big-time spots: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall.

So, Thingvellir National Park? It’s the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on Iceland’s main turf! This place? It’s where they kicked off the Althingi way back in 930—the oldest parliament ever!

And get this: it’s right between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. That’s why it’s got such epic geology, like the famous Silfra ravine. Like, seriously mind-blowing!

Alright, Geysir Geothermal Area—cool story! You know the word ‘geyser’? Comes from Iceland’s very own ‘Geysir’—it’s like the OG hot spring geyser here.

Geysir’s taking a break, but its sidekick, Strokkur geyser? Now that’s the star! It’s like clockwork, shooting water up over 66 feet every few minutes. And the area? It’s a hotpot of hot springs, steamy vents, and bubbling mud pits.

And then there’s Gullfoss waterfall! It’s like the rockstar waterfall of Iceland, everyone knows it. And March? Not too shabby for a visit! Imagine this beauty with icy rocks around and snow all over—it’s like stepping into a fairytale.

Oh, and guess what? There are plenty of side trips along the Golden Circle, more hidden gems and natural wonders waiting to be discovered!

Snaefellsnes Peninsula Adventures in Iceland in March

Ytri Tunga beach

The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is open all year and draws a good crowd. People call it ‘Iceland in Miniature’ because it’s got a bit of everything packed in!

While mountain passes might be off-limits (better steer clear in March), you can still cruise along both sides of the peninsula.

Check out spots like Ytri Tunga beach—famous for its seals—Londrangar basalt cliffs, Snaefellsjokull glacier, Arnarstapi and Hellnar fishing villages, and Kirkjufell mountain. That’s just the start!

And hey, if this place casts a spell on you (which it probably will), why not bunk in Snaefellsnes? Makes sense to soak up every bit of its charm!

Embracing Eastfjords in Iceland in March

Höfn island

Okay, so March might not be prime time, but you could still sneak a peek at some of the East fjords—weather permitting, of course.

Sure, some roads might be snowed in, especially those high-up passes. But hey, you can still roll along the Ring Road and hug some coastal routes.

Stop by Egilsstadir, the bigwig town in the area. It’s your gateway to cool stuff like Hallormsstadarskogur forest and the mysterious Lagarfljot lake. And if luck’s on your side, you might hit up a few cute coastal villages—fingers crossed for good weather and clear roads!

Oh, and a heads-up: If you’re planning your own Eastfjords road trip in March, better snag a four-wheel-drive.

March Revelry: Icelandic Festivals and Traditions

Reykjavik in March? Buzzing! Lots of action happens in Iceland’s capital during this time. Plus, with Easter vibes lingering into March, locals often get a good chunk of days off to celebrate.

And hey, Iceland’s got some quirky traditions up its sleeve during this period! Ever heard of ‘Bun Day,’ ‘Explosion Day,’ or ‘Ash Day’? Trust me, joining in on these can really jazz up your trip and give you a taste of local flair!

Music Festivities: Battle of the Bands

battle of the bands

Alright, check this out! Iceland’s got this Battle of the Bands thing, also known as the Icelandic Music Experiments. It’s like this showdown for up-and-coming bands in Iceland, you know, those with peeps between 13 and 25.

And here’s the kicker—it’s like the launchpad for some real success stories! Like, remember Of Monsters and Men? They totally rocked the competition in 2010 and boom! Less than a decade later, they’re global stars!

Only in Iceland: Mustache March

guy with mustache

Speaking of unique months, November’s got this cool gig called ‘Movember’ or ‘No-Shave November.’ It’s a thing in many places, where dudes grow out their ‘staches to raise awareness about men’s health issues.

And get this—city buses even stick mustaches on their fronts! It’s all about spreading the word in style.

They go all out with funky ads, even a beard competition to raise funds. How cool is that?

So, if you’re swinging by Iceland in March, think about growing your ‘stache to blend in! Or hey, you can snag special socks around grocery stores and shops to show your support. It’s all about joining the beardy crowd for a good cause!

How’s the Weather like in Iceland in March?

cloudy weather in Iceland

Wondering about Iceland’s March weather? Well, it’s chilly! The temps usually hang around 28°F to 38°F (-2.2°C to 3.3°C)—pretty frosty, right?
Now, Reykjavik’s a tad warmer, but don’t be fooled. Even on its warmest days, it barely hits 54°F (12.4°C). And let’s not forget the chilliest recorded day—dropped to a shivering 9.5°F (-12.5°C)!

As for precipitation, you’re looking at about 3.3 inches (84 mm) on average every day. Rain’s the main player, but hey, snow’s been known to join the party too!

Daylight in Iceland in March

daylight weather in Iceland

March feels like winter’s wrapping up, and daylight’s making a comeback. Check out how the sun’s doing its thing at the start and end of March:

March 1
Sunrise: 8:34 AM
Sunset: 6:46 PM
Daylight: 10 hours, 11 minutes

March 31
Sunrise: 6:48 AM
Sunset: 8:16 PM
Daylight: 13 hours, 27 minutes

March’s like, ‘Hey, here’s more sunshine for you!’ Longer days mean more time for fun and exploring. Isn’t that awesome?

Clothing Tips for Iceland in March

winter clothes

When you’re planning a trip to Iceland in March, brace yourself for a mixed bag of weather. One moment it’s all sunshine and the next, surprise—it’s raining! So, before you step out, grab those waterproofs and cozy layers to keep the weather woes at bay!

March in Iceland demands a wardrobe update—thermal layers, wind-resistant jackets, a trusty hat, and gloves that’ll make your hands happy. And don’t forget to check the weather forecast daily! While March usually dodges major storms, sometimes those windy surprises pop up, so stay tuned for any weather alerts!

Tour Options and Adventures for Iceland in March

rental car

In March, tours in Iceland cover the best spots—think northern lights, icy caves, and stunning winter scenery. You’ve got options for how to enjoy these experiences on your Icelandic holiday.

One choice is booking a guided winter tour package. It sorts out everything—accommodation, transfers, and tours—before you arrive.

Another option is a self-drive winter tour. You’ll have a rental car to roam around and explore, but your itinerary and stays are pre-arranged.

For a mix of city life and country beauty, Reykjavik’s your base. There are cool day tours you can hop on from there to explore more of the country.

Common Queries About Iceland in March

curious woman

How’s the weather in Iceland in March?

Iceland in March is like a crossover episode between winter and spring. Temperatures range from -1°C to 4°C (30°F to 39°F), so picture chilly winds and occasional snowflakes. Layer up with your warmest gear and pack those waterproof buddies—mother nature’s got surprises!

How’s the road situation in Iceland in March?

Curious about roads? Most stay open year-round, but rural ones might throw a snowy roadblock. Quick tip: peep the road conditions before you zoom off. And if you’re thinking of a four-wheel drive, that’s your snowy superhero!

Can You Drive Around in Iceland in March?

Taking a scenic drive across Iceland in March? Totally on the cards! Just watch out for those snow-covered twists and turns. Staying ahead with road updates is like having your travel fortune teller. And that trusty four-wheel drive? Your secret weapon against the icy surprises!

What are the Daylight Hours in Iceland in March?

Prepare for around 12-13 hours of daylight! The sun says hello around 7:30 AM and waves goodbye about the same time you’re thinking of dinner, around 7:30 PM. More sunlight? That’s extra time to explore and dive into outdoor adventures!

What are the Best Attractions in Iceland in March?

Winter in Iceland is an absolute playground! Think snowmobiling, hiking on glaciers, and climbing ice walls. Plus, you can’t skip the headline acts like the Northern Lights, ice caves, and those heavenly hot springs. Oh, and the Golden Circle route? It’s like the ultimate highlight reel with the Geysir geothermal area and the jaw-dropping Gullfoss waterfall.

What are the Best Winter Sports and Activities in Iceland in March?

If you’re all about that winter sports vibe, March’s your month! It’s the prime time for snowmobiling, glacier hiking, and ice climbing.

What are some unique experiences to have in Iceland in March?

March in Iceland has some gems you wouldn’t want to miss. Picture yourself dog sledding or drilling a hole into a frozen lake for some ice fishing fun. And hey, ever been inside an ice cave? That’s another must-do! The wintry landscapes here are a painting waiting to be explored, and if you’re lucky, catching the Northern Lights is like witnessing magic in the sky.

Can you see the Northern Lights in Iceland in March?

Speaking of those dancing lights, they might just make an appearance in March. But remember, they’re natural performers, so there’s no guarantee they’ll take the stage every night.

What are the cultural events or festivals in Iceland in March?

Don’t miss out on the Reykjavik Food and Fun Festival! It’s a culinary extravaganza where top-notch chefs cook up a storm in the city’s finest restaurants. Plus, there are music battles, Easter celebrations, and even some St. Patrick’s Day cheer in Reykjavik. Lots to soak in!

What should I pack for a trip to Iceland in March?

Packing for Iceland in March is like getting ready for an epic snow adventure! Think heavy-duty coats, layers to keep you toasty, gloves, and a hat—stuff that says, “I’m taking on Iceland’s chill.” Waterproof boots? Absolutely. You’ll thank yourself when those icy roads come your way. Oh, and don’t forget your camera and binoculars for those incredible sights and a charger to keep your phone alive.

Is it a good time for budget travelers to visit Iceland in March?

Budget travelers, listen up! March is the secret treasure trove. It’s the off-season, which means some hotels and tours might toss out some sweet deals. But hey, it’s still Iceland, so don’t expect it to be a steal.

Are there any restrictions or closures in Iceland in March?

March in Iceland’s pretty cool, but heads up, some spots might have quirky hours or even shut down, especially if they’re in the middle of nowhere. A quick check before heading out could save some surprises!

Can I see puffins in Iceland in March?

Puffins? Nah, not their time yet. But you might get lucky spotting other birds, like the snow bunting, hanging around!

Is there anything else I have to be aware of when traveling to Iceland in March?

The right clothing’s crucial. Roads might ice over, daylight hours are limited, and those avalanches, gotta be mindful of those. And hey, keeping an eye on travel updates is a smart move!

Robert Robertsson

Hey, I'm the founder of Airmango. My love affair with travel and entrepreneurship kicked off in 1994 in Iceland. Fast forward through two decades, and I've been lucky enough to weave my career through five different countries. Each place has left its mark on me, not just in my personal life, but in how I approach business too. With Airmango, I'm bringing all those global insights and experiences to the table – it's like seeing the world through a business lens.

Iceland in September | Your Comprehensive Travel Guide

Skogafoss northern lights

September in Iceland is this sweet spot in the year – you get those bright, sunny days but also dark evenings perfect for catching the northern lights. It’s like getting the best of both worlds.

My tip? Rent a car that won’t break the bank and just roam free. There’s nothing like cruising through Iceland’s nature, trust me. But hey, don’t leave your hotel booking for the last minute; things can get pretty busy. And those September tours? Take a peek at them. They’re like a sneak peek into crafting your dream Icelandic adventure. Ready to dive in?

September Driving in Iceland


Have you ever thought about cruising around Iceland in September? Let me tell you, it’s the sweet spot. Picture this: chilly enough for a light jacket, but you’re not freezing. The mountains? They start to get this awesome snowy look – like icing on a cake.

It’s pretty much the tail-end of summer. You can still hit all those cool, out-of-the-way places because the roads are clear. Just a heads up – plan to visit the more remote spots early in September. Some of them start to close down later in the month.

And the best bit about September? The summer tourists have all headed home, so it feels like you’ve got Iceland to yourself. Walking through Reykjavik with all the leaves changing colors, or hiking in the countryside? It’s unreal. Like stepping into a postcard. Seriously, you’ve got to see it!

September Prices & Crowds in Iceland

Thinking about your budget and beating the crowds for your Iceland trip in September? You’ve hit the jackpot. September is the off-season, so guess what? Everything gets a bit cheaper – yes, even the flight tickets! They can be way less than during the peak summer months.

And if jostling with crowds isn’t your thing, you’re going to love September. The tourist rush calms down big time, so you get those famous spots almost to yourself. It’s like having your own private slice of Iceland’s nature.

Now, let’s dive into what you can get up to in Iceland during September. Trust me, there’s plenty on the table!

Top Activities in Iceland in September

lagoon in iceland

Iceland in September is an adventure! First off, you can’t miss the Golden Circle. It’s like walking into a nature documentary – exploding geysers, massive waterfalls, and those views! Absolutely unreal. Then, there was the day I spent in the Blue Lagoon. It’s like stepping into a hot bath under the sky, surrounded by nothing but mountains and fresh air. I could’ve stayed there forever. And Reykjavik? That city’s got charm.

Every street corner has its own story, and the vibe. It’s just so laid back yet buzzing with energy. The weather was the cherry on top – not too hot, not too cold. Just perfect for roaming around without bundling up in layers. I’m telling you; September in Iceland is the way to go. Already planning my next trip back!

September Iceland Volcano Excursions

volcano crater

I have dove into Iceland’s ‘Land of Ice and Fire’ side – and let me tell you, it’s wild! With over 300 volcanoes, the options for exploring are just endless. I hiked up to this crater – Askja. The lake there? It’s warm and dipping in is like nothing else. But heads up, September’s your last shot for that each year. Then there was this boat tour in the Westman Islands.

Picture this: sailing around, spotting Elephant Rock – yep, it’s as cool as it sounds, like nature sculpted an actual giant elephant out of rock. And get this – some volcano tours close down after September, like the one where you actually go inside a volcano! I mean, standing in an empty magma chamber? It’s like being on another planet. Honestly, if you’re into nature’s more dramatic side, these volcano adventures in September are a must. It’s like stepping into a world you’ve only ever seen in pictures.

Glacier Exploring in Iceland in September

Godafoss aurora north iceland

Iceland is totally the best place for glacier hiking. They have tours all year, even on Vatnajokull, Europe’s biggest glacier. I did a 3-hour hike from Skaftafell and it was epic. There’s also Svinafellsjokull, a bit closer to Reykjavik. Ever thought about snowmobiling on a glacier? I hopped on one at Langjokull – talk about an adrenaline rush! While it was too early for most ice caves (still a bit warm), I did the Katla ice cave tour. Being inside a glacier? Mind-blowing. If you’re in Iceland in September and crave adventure, glaciers are where it’s at!

Kayaking Adventures in Iceland in September

I got one word for Kayaking in Iceland in September. Unreal. It’s like paddling through a postcard. If you’re thinking about it, September’s your last shot before winter sets in. I was out there on the water, surrounded by Iceland’s epic scenery. The wildlife? Incredible. Seabirds everywhere, and I even had a seal pop up close to my kayak – like it was saying hi! Kayaking gives you this unique angle on Iceland’s landscapes, something you just don’t get on land. And steering through the water? So much fun. I kayaked around Jokulsarlon, weaving between icebergs. Felt like another world. For the more daring, there’s sea kayaking in Breidafjordur Bay. You get to paddle right by Kirkjufell Mountain. Honestly, if you’re up for a bit of adventure in September, kayaking in Iceland is a must-do.

Whale Encounters in Iceland

whales iceland

Whale watching in Iceland is a must. The weather’s still mild, and it’s like the grand finale of the whale-watching season. I was there, and the experience? Mind-blowing.

This is when the big migratory whales are around – we’re talking till October. Minke whales are everywhere, but the humpbacks? They steal the show with their acrobatics and tail slaps.

Oh, and if you love puffins, September’s your last chance to see these cuties before they head south. Spotting them from the whale-watching boat was a bonus.

While Reykjavik has plenty of tours, I went up to Husavik – they call it the whale capital of Europe for good reason. Being out there on the water, watching these giants? It’s something I’ll never forget.

Hot Springs Fun in September

Hot spring hopping in Iceland in September? Absolutely the best time. It’s like the whole country’s inviting you for a warm soak before winter rolls in. After September, a lot of them get hard to reach, what with all the ice and snow. Iceland’s bubbling with geothermal activity, so hot springs are everywhere. Some are off the beaten path, tucked away on private land – you’ll need a nod from the owner to dip in those. I took a hot spring tour, which was a breeze. No hassle of figuring out where to go or how to get there. But hey, if you like your comforts, like changing rooms and saunas, Iceland’s geothermal pools are the way to go. They’re all heated, pretty cheap, and oh-so-relaxing. Warming up in those springs with the cool September air? It’s like Iceland’s giving you a warm hug.

Must-Visit Places in Iceland in September

Ever driven Iceland’s Ring Road? I did it last September, and it’s an experience I can’t recommend enough. This road’s open all year, but trust me, September is when it shines. You avoid the heavy winter challenges but still get all the epic views. In my little rental car, I hit all the classics – the Golden Circle, with those geysers and waterfalls, the wild Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the serene Lake Myvatn, and the dramatic South Coast. It felt like every turn in the road was a new adventure. Want the insider scoop on the best spots to visit in September? Alright, let me break it down for you!

Iceland's South Coast Gems

south coast

Last time I was in Iceland, I took a drive down the South Coast – and wow, does that route have some gems! Right off the highway, you’ve got places like Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls. Standing there, hearing the roar of the water – it’s something else. Then there’s the Eyjafjallajokull volcano and Myrdalsjokull glacier. And Reynisfjara’s black sand beach near Vik? It’s like stepping onto another planet. But the real showstopper? Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. I got there in September, just in time for a boat ride among those massive icebergs. The water’s this incredible icy blue, and the icebergs are like nature’s own sculptures. If you’re on the South Coast, you can’t miss it. It’s one of those ‘have to see it to believe it’ kind of places.

Highlands Trek

jokulsarlon aurora borealis

Ever ventured into the Icelandic Highlands? I did that last September, just before the snow started. It’s this window when the roads are still open, and you can really get into those parts that winter locks away.

I drove up to Landmannalaugar – the mountains there are like a painter’s palette, all these incredible colors. And there’s this natural hot spring where you can soak and just take in the view. Pure bliss.

You can also do a guided tour in a super jeep, which is pretty awesome. They take you to spots you’d never find on your own, real hidden treasures.

And if you’re into hiking, September is your last chance to hit the Highlands trails and see the autumn colors. It’s like the landscape’s putting on a final show before closing up for the winter. Definitely a must-do if you’re there at that time.

Westfjords Wonders


On my Iceland trip, I made sure to hit the Westfjords in September – and what a decision that was! This place is stunning, but it’s like a secret only a few travelers know about. Driving through those fjords is an adventure of its own. Every turn brings a view that’s straight out of a postcard.

A heads-up though – a lot of roads there are gravel, so you’ll want a four-wheel drive. Made a huge difference for me.

In September, places like the Dynjandi waterfall and Latrabjarg cliff are still reachable. Dynjandi is this massive, cascading waterfall that just takes your breath away. And Latrabjarg? It’s this huge cliff teeming with seabirds. If you’re a fan of puffins like I am, it’s like hitting the jackpot. You’ve got to see these spots before the winter snow shuts the roads down. Truly, the Westfjords are a hidden gem in Iceland.

Eve Fanfest

Reykjavik’s EVE Online Fanfest in September is like stepping into another universe. I was there, and it’s a whole different level of geeky fun. EVE Online, that massive multiplayer online game set thousands of years in the future, is actually created by Iceland’s own CCP Games.

The game’s huge – players exploring and battling across 6,000 worlds. And the Fanfest? It’s where the game comes to life. Fans and the devs hanging out, celebrating everything EVE Online for three days.

The coolest part? Seeing how players’ virtual worlds and alliances turn into real-life friendships and rivalries. This fest happens at Laugardalshollin arena, just a bit outside Reykjavik’s center.

And the people you meet? From fellow gamers to cosplayers, it’s like a carnival. There’s even a pub crawl through Reykjavik’s streets.

A lot of us made a pilgrimage to the harbor to see this massive EVE Online Monument, with names of players etched on it – kind of surreal.

And the highlight? The Party at the Top of the World. In 2023, Dadi Freyr, that Icelandic dance-pop artist, was headlining. Imagine a party with gamers from around the world, in Iceland, music blasting – it’s something else.


I was in Reykjavik last September, right in time for the Reykjavik International Film Festival – RIFF. It’s this whirlwind of cinematic magic, with about a hundred films from over 40 countries in just 11 days. Talk about a movie lover’s paradise!

RIFF isn’t just about mainstream movies. They’ve got everything. ‘New Vision’ is all about giving a platform to emerging filmmakers. ‘Icelandic Panorama’? That’s where you get to see the best from Icelandic directors. And ‘Focus On’ – each year, they spotlight a different country’s films. It’s a deep dive into world cinema.

Most screenings happen at Bio Paradis, this cozy arthouse cinema. But RIFF isn’t just confined to one spot. They’ve got events all over the city. I remember this one night at Harpa Concert Hall – a film concert that was just mind-blowing. And they even had a swim-in cinema at Sundhollin, an old-school heated pool. Imagine watching movies while floating in warm water!

Being a part of RIFF was like joining a global community, right in the heart of Reykjavik. It’s a must for film buffs visiting in September.

Iceland Jazz Fest


Let’s dive into the world of jazz with the Reykjavik Jazz Festival. This festival is an annual event or rather has been a yearly tradition, lighting up the city for a week either at the tail end of August or as September begins.

It’s been a part of Iceland’s music scene since 1990, making it the second oldest music festival in the country. Now, let’s talk about the music. The jazz you’ll hear at this festival is as diverse as it gets, from soothing melodies to the fast-paced rhythms of bebop, and even some experimental tunes for the adventurous listeners. And the best part? The festival isn’t confined to a single venue. It spreads its magic all over Reykjavik, from cozy cafés to bustling public parks, and even in record stores.

You’ll find both local talent and international musicians sharing their love for jazz and entertaining the crowds. So, are you ready to jazz it up?

Cultural Sept

September in Iceland isn’t just about the landscapes, it’s when you really get a taste of their culture. I found out about these old traditions, berjamó and réttir, and it’s fascinating stuff. Berjamó is all about berry picking. The countryside’s full of these wild berries, and it turns out picking them is a big thing here. Families go out together – it’s like a treasure hunt, but with berries!

Then there’s réttir, the annual sheep round-up. This blew my mind. It’s this huge community event where everyone helps gather the sheep from the highlands. There’s singing, storytelling, and a real sense of togetherness. Experiencing réttir made me feel like I was part of an age-old Icelandic tradition. If you’re around in September, these cultural activities are a must-see – they show you a whole different side of Iceland.

Berry Picking

Berry picking in Iceland? You guys should try it during berjamó in September, it’s surprisingly zen. You just head out into nature, away from the city bustle. Imagine sitting there, filling your container with berries, with nothing but the sound of a distant raven. It’s like nature’s own meditation.

The most common berries? Crowberries. They’re everywhere, dotting the mossy lava fields. A bit on the tart side, but they make the best desserts and juices – a true Icelandic staple.

And then there are the blueberries and bilberries, perfect with Skyr – that’s Iceland’s famous superfood, by the way. At the Skyrland exhibition, they tell you all about its health benefits.

If you’re just visiting and can’t whip up a jam, no worries. Just top some vanilla skyr with fresh berries or snack on them as is. It’s the simplest, healthiest treat you’ll find in Iceland.

Rettir Tradition

Rettir in Iceland is something else. I was there in September, right when the puffins were heading south and the Iceland gulls were coming back. That’s when the whole country gets into this age-old tradition – rounding up sheep.

All summer, Icelandic sheep roam free, munching on the wilderness. Come September, it’s time to bring them back. I joined a group of farmers, family, and friends – even strangers are welcome. We rode out on horses, with Icelandic sheepdogs leading the way, to herd these sheep from the plateaus.

The real fun starts back at the sorting fold. Each lamb is earmarked, so farmers can reclaim their own. And in North Iceland, they do the same with horses, rounding them up to bring them home.

Rettir’s about more than just herding, though. It used to be a rare chance for scattered farming families to get together – for trading, settling disputes, even matchmaking!

Nowadays, it’s still a celebration, ending with the Rettarball – a big party after a day of herding. Imagine ending your day with singing, dancing, and a sense of community. It’s a glimpse into a tradition that’s kept alive and well.

So if you’re driving around Iceland in September, watch out for sheep and horses. And who knows? You might just find yourself invited to a Rettarball – it’s an experience you won’t forget.

September Weather in Iceland

Visiting Iceland in September? Ah, it’s this sweet spot for outdoor adventures – think glacier hikes, horseback rides, and even snorkeling. Just perfect before it gets too chilly for camping. But Icelandic weather? Totally unpredictable. Always pack for rain, no matter what.

September’s also when those ‘haustlægd’ storms roll in – that’s ‘autumn depression’ in Icelandic. Expect some strong winds and a good bit of rain. In Reykjavik, though, it’s a bit warmer than the rest of the country. Makes city exploring a bit cozier. So, if you’re heading to Iceland in September, brace for a bit of everything, weather-wise!

Temperature Tips in September

Thinking about Iceland’s temperatures in September? Average is around 47.3°F (8.5°C) – not too cold, but don’t expect a heatwave either! Highs hover at 50°F (11°C), lows around 42°F (6°C), so snow’s pretty rare.

In Iceland, though, always expect the unexpected. Sure, it might hit a cozy 59°F (15°C), but it’s also Iceland – land of surprise weather! From comfy sweater days to sudden chilly winds, September’s got it all. My advice? Pack layers and be ready for anything – that’s the Icelandic way!

Daylight Info

Man, September in Iceland, that was something! The days were still kinda long, you know? Amazing sunsets every evening, all pink and purple. And the sunrises were just as epic. But what really got me excited was the night getting darker as the month went on. Perfect for northern lights!

I remember one night, late September, the sun dipped down before 7 PM. That’s when the magic happens. I was out there, wrapped up in a jacket, just waiting. And bam! The sky lit up with the northern lights. It’s something else, seeing them for real.

So, if you ever find yourself in Iceland towards the end of September, make some time in the evening. You might just catch those lights doing their dance. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.

September Packing Essentials: Iceland Edition

Planning for Iceland in September? Let me tell you, it’s all about layering. Last time I went, my suitcase was a mix of just-in-case and absolutely-need. Here’s the rundown:

• T-shirts are a must, and toss in shorts if you’re feeling optimistic.
• Warm layers – my fleece and thermal underwear were lifesavers.
• A waterproof, windproof jacket. You’ll thank me later.
• Sturdy hiking boots saved my ankles more than once.
• Don’t skimp on warm gloves and a cozy hat.
• Wool socks – your feet will be grateful during glacier hikes.
• And sunglasses – sounds weird, right? But on those bright glacier days, they’re essential.

Forgot something? Reykjavik’s Laugavegur street has shops that got me out of a few pinches. Sunglasses in Reykjavik? Maybe overkill. But on a glacier, it’s like staring at a giant mirror. Better safe than squinty!

Go-to Itineraries for your Iceland trip in September

If you are planning a trip to Iceland this September you’re in for a world of options. I was there last year, and let me tell you, it’s an adventurer’s paradise. Picture yourself snowmobiling across Europe’s biggest glacier, or feeling tiny inside a huge dormant volcano. And there’s nothing like a boat ride in Jokulsarlon, floating right next to those massive icebergs.

If you’re after something a bit more laid-back, I can’t recommend the Blue Lagoon enough – lounging in those warm, steamy waters is bliss. And whale watching in Reykjavik? It’s a game-changer, seeing those majestic creatures so close.

I rented a car when I was there, and it was perfect. Driving the Ring Road at my own pace, stopping wherever and whenever – it’s freedom like no other. You could cover the whole island in about 10 days, with cozy spots to stay along the way.

Short on time? No worries. I met folks who did this overnight bubble lights tour – they saw the highlights and still got a taste of the magic.

September in Iceland is this perfect mix – you’ve got the natural wonders, the adventures, and just the right weather to enjoy it all. What’s on your list? Chasing northern lights, soaking in geothermal bliss, or maybe a bit of both?

mount Kirkjufell during winter in Iceland

Robert Robertsson

Hey, I'm the founder of Airmango. My love affair with travel and entrepreneurship kicked off in 1994 in Iceland. Fast forward through two decades, and I've been lucky enough to weave my career through five different countries. Each place has left its mark on me, not just in my personal life, but in how I approach business too. With Airmango, I'm bringing all those global insights and experiences to the table – it's like seeing the world through a business lens.

dark cavern in Iceland

Your Travel Guide for Exploring Iceland in January

rural church during snow in Iceland

Thinking about jetting off to Iceland in January? Well, let me give you the scoop. It’s like stepping right into a postcard, I kid you not.

Those ice caves? They’re straight out of a storybook. And glacier walking – it’s like being on another planet! Chasing those northern lights is something else, truly a bucket list kind of thing. Yeah, it’s a bit nippy and the sun’s pretty shy, but the snow, oh boy, it turns everything magical.

The roads are a bit slick, so watch your step, but it’s all part of the adventure. Trust me, it’s a whole different kind of winter wonderland!

You know, January in Iceland is kind of special. Christmas just wrapped up, and it’s like everyone takes a collective breath. The crowds thin out, making it one of those rare quiet times there. For folks who head over in January, it’s like having the place to themselves.

Picture this: landscapes looking like frosted cake, longer nights perfect for northern lights hunting, and those famous spots? You’ve got them almost crowd-free.

It’s like Iceland rolls out the white carpet just for you. A real peaceful, snowy paradise!

Top Activities To Do in Iceland in January

man standing on top of glacier

There’s heaps to do. Ice cave trips? Unreal. Northern lights? Stunning. Just pack your days right and you’ll have a blast. It’s like a winter fairytale over there – totally worth it!

Dive into Iceland's Geothermal Pool Adventure

blue lagoon geothermal spa in Iceland

Thinking about Iceland in January? You’ve got to try the geothermal pools. Seriously, they’re a slice of heaven. It’s a big thing in Iceland, like a national pastime. No matter where you’re at in the country, you’re never far from one of these warm, cozy pools. Perfect for a chilly day.

The feeling of hopping into a warm pool when it’s freezing outside? Can’t beat it. Most places have both indoor and outdoor pools, so you can swim or just chill out. It’s like stepping into a warm bath on a cold morning – absolutely amazing. And don’t get me started on the Blue Lagoon – it’s famous for a reason and open all year round. There’s also this new spot, the Sky Lagoon. Infinity pool, ocean views, right near Reykjavik – it’s a must-see.

Whether it’s a local pool or something more touristy like the Blue Lagoon, it’s a top winter activity. In Reykjavik, check out the pools in Kopavogur. Easy to get to and top-notch. And the Blue Lagoon? Perfect spot to hit on your way to or from the airport. It’s a real treat!

Check out Iceland's January Ice Caves

ice caving in january in Iceland

Did you know January’s smack in the middle of ice-cave season in Iceland? It kicks off around mid-October or November and goes on until March. Those freezing temperatures make sure the caves are sturdy and safe to explore, except when they’re flooded, of course.

And let me tell you about these ice caves under the Vatnajokull glacier – they’re becoming a must-see in winter. The coolest (literally!) tours start from the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. It’s an experience you can’t miss.

The thing about these ice caves is they’re always changing, thanks to the glaciers moving around. So, every time you visit, it’s a whole new world. Sometimes, you might even get to see more than one cave on a tour – talk about luck!

If you’re up for it, there are these two or three-day tours starting from Reykjavik. They’re perfect because you get to check out the ice caves, plus all the amazing stuff around the area and the South Coast. It’s a package deal full of wonders.

Tour Iceland's Glaciers

glacier hiking

Glacier hiking? It’s a thing in Iceland all year round, but January? That’s when it’s really something else. The glaciers get this fresh coat of electric blue ice – looks like something from another planet.

Solheimajokull is the go-to for an easy glacier hike. It’s just a few hours’ drive along the South Coast, and there’s a tour that heads out from Reykjavik every day. Super convenient.

If you’re hanging around southeast Iceland, check out the tours from Skaftafell Nature Reserve. They’ll take you up Svinafellsjokull glacier. Another cool spot is the Vatnajokull glacier. You can hike up Breidamerkurjokull, one of its outlets.

Each of these places has its own unique charm – you can’t go wrong!

Iceland Snowmobile Tours

snowmobile tour in Iceland

Not much of a hiker but still want to check out Iceland’s glaciers? There’s a quicker way – and it’s a blast! Snowmobiling. Picture yourself zipping across Iceland’s snowy glacier plains. It’s as fun as it sounds.

January’s perfect for snowmobiling. You can even mix it up with the Golden Circle tour, with a transfer right from Reykjavik. Or, if you’re up for it, there’s this 2.5-hour snowmobiling adventure on Myrdalsjokull glacier. You can meet up there and just dive in.

With about 11% of Iceland covered in glaciers, you’ve got options galore for snowmobiling. Whatever your style, there’s a tour that’ll get your heart racing. It’s an exhilarating way to experience the icy landscape!

Snorkel & Dive in Iceland this January!

scuba diving in Silfra iceland

Think snorkeling or diving in Iceland during January sounds a bit wild? It’s actually an amazing experience, thanks to modern drysuit gear.

Most of the action happens at Silfra, a natural spring in a fissure that’s open all year. It doesn’t even freeze! It’s known as one of the top diving spots globally. And here’s why: Silfra’s in Thingvellir National Park, nestled right between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, surrounded by jaw-dropping natural sights.

In January, it’s even more stunning. Imagine diving or snorkeling with snow and ice sculptures lining the ravine – the scenery’s just unreal, perfect for photographers.

And get this – Silfra’s a spring, right? So the water’s been filtering through lava rock for decades, which means you get insane visibility – we’re talking over 328 feet! It’s like having super clear underwater glasses on. Definitely a unique way to see Iceland’s underwater world.

Essential Safety Guidelines for Snorkeling

two person snorkeling

Diving or snorkeling in Silfra during January is pretty safe, but there are a few boxes you need to tick first.

For the drysuit snorkel, here’s what you need: you’ve got to be at least 12 but under 60, taller than 4 feet 7 inches, and over 99 pounds. And yep, you need to know how to swim.

If you’re thinking about the wetsuit snorkel, the rules are a bit different. You should be 14 to 60 years old, over 4 feet 9 inches tall, and weigh at least 110 pounds. Swimming skills are a must here too.

Now, for the drysuit dive, the requirements are a bit more specific. You need to be 17 to 60 years old, at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, and over 99 pounds. Plus, you should have at least 10 logged drysuit dives under your belt, or be a certified drysuit diver. Safety first, always!

Horseback Adventures in Iceland

icelandic horses trekking

Riding through those winter landscapes is something else. Plus, you get to meet the Icelandic horse – a real charmer. These horses are like the off-road vehicles of the equine world. They’ve been trekking through black sands, rivers, and lava fields for over a thousand years. Super sure-footed!

And they’re not your average horse. They’ve got five gaits – yeah, five! While most horses have three or four. The coolest one is the ‘tolt’ – it’s this smooth, ground-covering stride.

Also, these horses are famous for being curious and smart, more so than their cousins on the mainland. Ask any Icelandic horse owner, and they’ll go on and on about them. In January, they’re all fluffy with their winter coats – just adorable.

Looking for horseback riding tours? There’s a bunch to pick from, many right out of Reykjavik. Some even pair it up with trips to the Golden Circle or whale-watching. How cool is that?

Witness the Magic: Northern Lights in January's Iceland

exploring iceland northern lights while riding a car

January in Iceland means prime time for the jaw-dropping northern lights!

This time of year, chances are high to catch these elusive beauties. And, with fewer daylight hours, it’s like their own spotlight’s on.
Here’s the deal with sunrise and sunset:
Picture January 1st – sunrise at 11:19 AM and sunset at 3:44 PM, giving you a mere 4 hours and 24 minutes of daylight for soaking up Iceland’s mesmerizing vibe!

By January 31st, the day kicks off around 10:10 AM and bids farewell at 5:10 PM, giving you a solid 7 hours and 2 minutes of daylight to explore Iceland’s wonderland!

Now, let’s talk northern lights: Reykjavik might give you a taste, but the real show? It’s beyond the city lights.

Time to ditch the urban scene and embrace nature! Thingvellir National Park, just a hop from Reykjavik, amps up your chances for an incredible light spectacle!

So, let’s talk about how to track down those incredible northern lights!

For a budget-friendly option, jump on a bus tour—it’s easy on the pocket. Or, if you’re up for it, amp up the adventure with a super jeep, getting you to places other vehicles can’t reach.

In Reykjavik, there’s the option for a northern lights cruise—imagine seeing those auroras in the sky and then mirrored in the water below. It’s like a double delight!

Feeling like a solo explorer? Grab a rental car and hit the road into nature, on a mission to find those mesmerizing lights. Driving yourself gives you the freedom to chase the auroras wherever they appear!

Let’s dive into the game plan for chasing those stunning northern lights:
First things first, keep an eye on that aurora forecast—aim for a rating above three—and scout out the clearest skies by checking the cloud cover. That’s where the magic unfolds!

Now, when it comes to wheels, go for the tough stuff—think four-wheel-drive rides like jeeps or SUVs. And don’t forget to ask for those studded tires! They’re your ticket to conquering those snowy roads like a pro.

But hey, renting a car in Iceland during January isn’t for the faint-hearted—it’s a gig for confident drivers who’ve aced those icy country roads!

Winter Wonders: Iceland's January Festivals and Events

Winter in Iceland kicks off with a bang! Here’s the lowdown on January’s hot events:

New Year's Eve Bash in Iceland

things to do in iceland

Iceland goes all out for the start of January.
On December 31st, the party starts! Locals gather around bonfires, known as ‘brenna’, across the Capital Area to symbolize bidding farewell to the past year’s challenges.

And fireworks? They’re a big deal! Thousands of Icelanders light up the sky at midnight, turning the city into a kaleidoscope of colors that keep going all night long.

For the ultimate view, hit up spots like Hallgrimskirkja—you’ll catch fireworks in every direction! Reykjavik’s New Year’s Eve is hard to beat—it’s a total blast and hands down one of the year’s best party nights!

The Thirteenth Yule Lad in Icelandic Tradition

christmas season in iceland

Wrapping up the Icelandic Christmas season is January 6th, aka “the thirteenth day of Christmas” or “Þrettándinn” in Icelandic. It’s a day loaded with folklore—like cows supposedly chatting and hidden folks relocating, while the last of the 13 Icelandic Yule Lads heads back to the mountains.

The scene? Think bonfires lighting up Reykjavik and the countryside. Plus, those leftover New Year’s Eve fireworks get their second round. It’s a day buzzing with cultural events to keep the festive spirit alive!

Dark Music Days

harpa concert hall

If you’re into music scenes, there’s this cool thing called the Dark Music Days festival. It kicks off early January, hitting up Harpa Concert Hall and a bunch of other spots, all thanks to the Icelandic Composers’ Society.

Why is it rad? Well, you get to groove to national and global talents, checking out some cutting-edge contemporary beats and fresh Icelandic compositions. Started back in 1980, this fest has premiered more new tunes than any other Icelandic gig—it’s a real game-changer in the music scene!

Reykjavik International Games

Late January is all about the Reykjavik International Games, hitting up Laugardalur stadium. This showdown covers a whopping 20 different sports, from karate, athletics, swimming to cross-fit. And guess what? They’ve even added some e-sports to the mix in recent years.

This gig’s a record-setter, no joke! World records? Yep, they’ve happened here, and Icelandic sports often notch up national records during the showdown. It’s a two-weekend affair, offering a smorgasbord of sports and games for everyone to dig into!


cultural festival

Thorrablot is this cool cultural gig that goes down in the lunar month of Thorri on the old Icelandic calendar. In 2023, it kicks off on January 20th. The first day, Bondadagur (Man’s Day), is all about honoring the head honcho of the house. Then, it wraps up in mid-February with Konudagur (Woman’s Day), celebrating the incredible women of Iceland.

What’s the vibe? Well, during this fest, Icelanders pay tribute to their ancestors by chowing down on foods that have been chomped on for centuries here.

Iceland’s history has seen a lot of tough times, especially during those long, dark winters. Folks had to get creative to make food last when nothing was growing. They used every bit of an animal, making sure nada went to waste ’cause hey, every bite counted!

So, here’s the scoop on the grub during Thorri—it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was Iceland’s survival pack for over a thousand years. You’ve got stuff like svid (boiled sheep’s head), hakarl (fermented shark), or hrutspungar (ram’s testicles)—a bit out there, but hey, it got the job done!

Not everything’s that intense though! You’ve also got some crowd-pleasers like tasty smoked lamb (hangikjot) or super-nutritious stockfish (hardfiskur). And get this: during January and February, supermarkets stock up on these local treats, in case you’re feeling adventurous.

If you’re up for it, dive into a fun food tour. There’s this cool 3-hour ride in Reykjavik all about traditional Icelandic eats or a fantastic 3-hour food lovers’ walking tour with a guide to show you the ropes.

In Iceland, they throw these awesome Thorrablot parties during this lunar month to honor the old Norse feasts with a spread of classic Icelandic grub. And what’s the drink of choice? Brennivin, Iceland’s signature distilled spirit, known as “Black Death” by some English speakers.

Once the feast wraps up, the real party begins—locals dive into storytelling and singing, going strong till the sun comes up. Getting invited to these feasts? It’s a pretty big deal!

If you’re curious about this scene, dig into traditional Icelandic food and hit up a drink tour. Wanna give it a shot? Try brennivin, Icelandic whiskey, and gin on this cool 1-hour Eimverk distillery tour, where they’ll even let you taste. Or join a guided walking tour in Reykjavik, sipping on Icelandic beer and schnapps. Cheers!

Must See Spots in Iceland in January

person in the shoreline in Snaefellsnes peninsula

Hey, January in Iceland’s pretty much mid-winter, and it comes with a heads-up: some places might be a bit tricky to get to. Like, the roads in the Highlands? Totally snowed in. Parts of the Westfjords? Might be off-limits. And the East Fjords? A bit tricky to navigate.

But, here’s the silver lining! Your go-to spots like the Golden Circle, South Coast, and Snaefellsnes peninsula? They’re still open for business and look absolutely stunning draped in that winter snow.

The cool part? Loads of top spots in Iceland are open year-round, and honestly, they’re even more magical in the winter!

The Golden Circle in Iceland in January

winter in Þingvellir in Iceland

When it comes to must-see spots in Iceland, the Golden Circle attractions top the list.

First stop? Thingvellir, just a hop from Reykjavik. Situated smack between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, this place is something else. Think deep gorges, mossy lava fields, and waterfalls cascading off cliffs.

Fun fact: Back in 930 AD, this was the spot where Iceland’s earliest settlers formed the longest-running parliament globally. Plus, it’s where they ceremoniously signed Iceland’s declaration of independence in 1944. Pretty cool, right?

Next up on your Golden Circle road trip is the Geysir Geothermal Area in Haukadalur Valley.
Imagine this: steamy fumaroles and streams slicing through the snowy ground, painting the soil with these wild and vivid hues. And the highlight? The geyser Strokkur puts on a show, erupting every five to ten minutes. It’s a photographer’s dream!

Finally, the showstopper: Gullfoss waterfall. This baby is one of Iceland’s showstoppers, tumbling down in two layers into a breathtaking gorge.

Come January, the rocks around it are dressed in ice, adding an extra dose of magic—it’s like stepping into a winter fairy tale.

You’ve got options galore for Golden Circle tours—pick from buses, minibusses, or even jeeps. And here’s the cool part: pair it up with horseback riding, a dip in the Blue Lagoon, or swing by an ice cream farm for a sweet treat!

Iceland's South Coast in January

The South Coast is right up there with the Golden Circle as one of Iceland’s iconic routes. The Ring Road stretch from southeast of Reykjavik to Hofn packs in some seriously jaw-dropping features that you don’t want to miss.

First up, you’ve got a duo of waterfalls—Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Seljalandsfoss does this cool thing where it cascades off a curved cliff, making it quite a sight! Meanwhile, Skogafoss is wider and packs a powerful punch.

As you keep cruising, you’ll spot numerous glaciers along the way—Myrdalsjokull covering Katla volcano, the infamous Eyjafjallajokull volcano, Solheimajokull glacier, and Solheimasandur, all before rolling into the village of Vik.

Around Vik, you’ve got some seriously stunning coastal sights. Take in the Dyrholaey cliffs and rock arch, Reynisfjara’s black sand beach, and those striking Reynisdrangar sea-stacks.

Quick tip: Waves around Vik can get pretty intense, so keep an eye out. Once you’ve taken in the views, gear up for a drive through vast lava fields until you reach the Skaftafell Nature Reserve.

Skaftafell’s got it all—think lava fields, forests, glacier tongues, lagoons, and waterfalls.

And if you’re up for a hike, this place is a dream! Trails cater to every level, but make sure to hit Svartifoss waterfall. It’s famous for its incredible hexagonal basalt columns. Trust me, it’s a hiker’s paradise!

The last stop on the South Coast is Jokulsarlon, the renowned glacier lagoon.

It’s mind-blowing watching those icebergs glide across the lake toward the sea—some are even the size of multi-story buildings.

As they hit the ocean, these icebergs wash up on the black-sand shore, aptly named ‘the Diamond Beach’ because of how they sparkle in the surf.

There are tons of South Coast tours to pick from, like a cool 11-hour sightseeing tour or adventurous activities such as glacier hiking, ice caving, or snowmobiling.

Feel like hiking? There’s a top-rated glacier hiking tour in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve or this epic ice cave tour of Vatnajokull, starting right from the stunning Jokulsarlon.

And for some serious thrills, try out the 3-hour super jeep tour with snowmobiling on Vatnajokull—an experience you won’t forget!

North Iceland in January

Goðafoss Waterfall in northcoast of Iceland

Northern Iceland is a gem and stays open during winter. You can drive there or catch a flight from Reykjavik’s domestic airport to Akureyri, weather permitting.
Akureyri, draped in snow and still decked out in festive lights, is a total charmer. Trust me, it’s got loads of boutiques, restaurants, and bars that keep the vibe alive year-round. And, hey, if you’re into skiing, it’s got some of Iceland’s best slopes!
From Akureyri, there are loads of tours that promise an epic adventure. Take a short drive outside the town, and you’ll discover stunning waterfalls like Godafoss and maybe even Dettifoss—just keep an eye on those road conditions!

Up in North Iceland, Lake Myvatn is the place to be year-round.

This spot is a treasure trove of diverse sights—you’ve got the otherworldly lava formations at Dimmuborgir, the bubbling geothermal magic of Namafjall, the grand Viti crater, and the ancient Skutustadagigar craters.

Here’s a cool secret: Lake Myvatn’s a big deal for Game of Thrones fans! Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen strutted their stuff around here. Want to step into their world? Take a Game of Thrones tour for the full Westeros experience!

Iceland's Snaefellsnes Peninsula in January

mount Kirkjufell during winter in Iceland

Exploring the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in Iceland during January is like embarking on a mini Icelandic adventure.

They call it “Iceland in Miniature,” and for good reason. This 56-mile (90-kilometer) coastline packs in a whole mix of landscapes that mirror the essence of Iceland itself.

The star attraction? That’d be Mount Kirkjufell, just a quick 1.5-mile (2.5-kilometer) drive from Grundarfjordur, and yep, it had a stint in Game of Thrones! Then there’s Snaefellsjokull glacier and volcano, famous as the gateway to the ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ in Jules Verne’s epic novel.

But that’s not all, folks! Take a spin around the peninsula and discover a seal colony at Ytri Tunga and charming fishing villages like Arnarstapi, Hellnar, and Stykkisholmur.

And don’t forget the natural wonders—Djupalonssandur beach, the Budahraun lava fields, and the awe-inspiring Londrangar basalt towers.

Want to dive into this Icelandic gem? You can hop on a day tour from Reykjavik or truly soak it all in over a couple of days.

January’s a neat time to explore Iceland, but the chilly weather can give you pause. Wondering just how nippy it gets? Hang tight for that and more info below!

Reykjavik’s Weather in January

In Reykjavik, January hovers between 30°F and 33°F (1°C and -1°C). But once you step out of Reykjavik, it’s a smart move to check the Icelandic Meteorological Office’s website for the scoop on your destination’s weather.

How is Iceland's January weather?

Iceland's weather in January

It’s a mixed bag. Plan for around 3.5 inches (88 millimeters) of precipitation—expect rain, snow, hail, gusty winds, and even a peek of sunshine during your stay.

Heads up, storms roll through quite often during winter, bringing along potent winds. Keep an eye on weather alerts, especially if you’re cruising around Iceland on a winter self-drive.

January's Average Temp in Iceland

iceland temperature during winter

January’s Average Temp in Iceland hits around 31°F (-1°C). But remember, different areas might sway windier or wetter. Southern spots might feel a tad toastier than the north.

Can’t change the weather, right? No sweat! If Iceland’s January weather plays spoilsport, there’s a whole bunch of things to keep you occupied.

What to Pack for a  trip to Iceland in January?

winter clothes

Getting ready for Iceland in January is like prepping for a chilly adventure. Here’s what you’ll need:

Layer Up: Start with thermal base layers; they’re the secret to keeping cozy. Look for fabrics like merino wool or synthetic blends that wick moisture away. Then, top it off with a fleece or a snug down-filled vest. It’s like your outfit’s thermostat—easy to add or shed layers as needed.

Weather Warrior: A must-have? A jacket that’s waterproof, windproof, and insulated for that extra warmth. And don’t skip out on water-resistant pants—especially handy if you’re planning outdoor escapades.

Stay Warm: You’ll want those cozy wool socks, a snug hat, and a scarf for sure – gotta stay warm against those chilly winds. Don’t forget waterproof gloves; they’re lifesavers! Oh, and if you’re after those Northern Lights, grab some touch-sensitive gloves for easy camera clicks.

Swimwear: Yep, even in January! Iceland’s geothermal pools and the famous Blue Lagoon are total gems. Who’d pass up a dip in those, right?

Sunglasses : Your best buds for shielding your eyes from that bright snow glare when you’re driving around. It’s like giving your eyes their own little vacation!

Skincare: Hey, when it’s chilly outside, our skin’s like, “Whoa, hold up!” So, don’t forget your skin buddies – hand cream, lip balm, and moisturizer. They’re like the superheroes of skincare in winter.

Oh, and a quick tip: always keep an eye on the weather forecast. Iceland’s weather is kind of like a box of surprises, so being ready keeps your adventure smooth and stress-free!

Tips for Driving in Iceland in January

driving in winter in Iceland

If you’re thinking of grabbing a car in Iceland during January, go for a four-wheel drive and, hey, make sure you’re a pro at handling those icy roads.

Most rental guys have rides with studded tires, but to be safe, shoot them a message a few days beforehand to lock in one.

And let me tell ya, Iceland’s road rules are kinda unique, especially with all the different terrains. Best to get the lowdown on that.

Before you hit the road, always check the conditions. It’s not just about the weather; avalanches and floods can shut things down too.

Oh, and if a road’s closed, no go! Seriously, don’t risk it. Besides, getting stuck could mean dishing out for fines and hefty towing costs. And no insurance covers that hassle

How to plan an Itinerary for a trip to Iceland in January

person holding a map in iceland

In January, Iceland’s got tons to offer, and you can really tweak your plans to match your crew’s vibe, pockets, and clock. But here’s a rough sketch.

Driving solo might not be everyone’s jam, especially when it’s dark and icy out there.

That’s why most folks lean towards guided tours – less worry about the weather playing tricks while on the road.

Now, if you’re aiming to dodge all sorts of stress, those package deals are golden. They cover everything: stays, transfers, and all the tours you’re itching to take.

Those packages? They’re the ultimate Iceland sampler. Some cover the whole deal, like the elusive East Fjords, which are tricky to crack solo.

For a full country lap, you’d need at least eight days. But hey, stretch it to twelve, and you’ll score extra stops, like the Snaefellsnes peninsula – it’s all about how deep you wanna dive.

In these tours, you’ll get your dose of adventure – think ice caves, glacier hikes, the whole shebang.

Plus, the northern lights? You’ll have front-row seats, no hassle, thanks to those neat northern lights tours.

Got a tight schedule? Shorter packages got your back. Five days for Myvatn or four days soaking in the South, ice cave included.

In the end, January’s Iceland? It’s a full-blown winter dream. Think Northern Lights, unique winter-only spots – the whole enchilada.

Plus, fewer tourists mean you’re in for a real deal Icelandic adventure. A January trip here? Memorable stuff that’ll stick with you for ages.

So whether you’re setting up camp in Reykjavik or gearing up for an Iceland-wide winter escapade, hope our tips set you up nicely for the ride.

Robert Robertsson

Hey, I'm the founder of Airmango. My love affair with travel and entrepreneurship kicked off in 1994 in Iceland. Fast forward through two decades, and I've been lucky enough to weave my career through five different countries. Each place has left its mark on me, not just in my personal life, but in how I approach business too. With Airmango, I'm bringing all those global insights and experiences to the table – it's like seeing the world through a business lens.

Reykjavik church

Top 10 Cities in Iceland

a fancy house in Iceland

In this read, we’ll give you the lowdown on the top 10 cities in Iceland and what sets each of them apart. Iceland has a bunch of places to explore, from easy-to-say spots like Vik to tongue-twisters like Fáskrúðsfjörður. Continue reading to explore the unique experiences each of this cities in Iceland has to offer.

Reykjavik: The Heart of Cities in Iceland

Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik

Reykjavik, the heart of  Iceland, holds most of the country’s people. It’s a vibrant city, painted with history and quirky little nooks.

The main drag for shopping and dining is Laugavegur (which belongs to postal code 101), but the real treasures are scattered all over the place. Reykjavík’s got these must-sees like swimming pools, Hallgrímskirkja Church, the Harpa Concert Hall, the Grandi District, the city pond, and the famous hot dog stand, Bæjarins bestu.

Picture this: strolling through Reykjavík, taking in that fresh air, with these neon-bright iron houses popping up at every turn. And the street art? It’s like the city’s tattooed in creativity. Artists get paid big bucks to deck out the downtown area.

The vibe here? Lively yet laid-back, and folks are friendly as can be. You could wander around Reykjavik for days on end, and it’ll still manage to surprise you each time you turn a corner.

Kópavogur: A Delightful Stop

sky lagoon in Kópavogur

Kópavogur, this Icelandic town close to Reykjavik, has quite the charm. It’s got a cool bay, earning it the nickname ‘Baby Seal Bay,’ and it’s known as a laid-back family-friendly spot. There are some neat spots to check out here, like the swimming pools – Kópavogslaug and Salalaug – plus the mall Smáralind and Gerðarsafn, the local art museum.

Tyying to keep things budget-friendly while exploring cities in Iceland? Kópavogur’s got your back. It’s just a short 15-minute ride to Reykjavik, easy to hop on a bus (they call it Strætó) or drive there with your rental.

Hafnarfjörður: Lava, Vikings, and Local Charms

viking decorations

Now, let’s chat about Hafnarfjörður – it’s got a rep for lava tales, elves, and Vikings. Nestled in the capital region, it’s the westernmost part of the area. It’s one of those cities in Iceland that’s absolutely brimming with life and character. The locals dig it so much they rarely venture out of town.

There’s a bunch of cool stuff to explore in Hafnarfjörður – check out the local swimming pools, especially Suðurbæjarlaug. When you’re hungry, don’t miss spots like Pallette, Brikk, and Tilveran. And if you’re into history, the Sívertsenhúsið heritage museum is worth a visit.

Oh, and there’s this epic Viking festival in mid-June. But even when that wraps up, you’ve got the Fjörukráin Viking pub that keeps the Viking vibes alive. They’re all about the Icelandic meat soup and decking the place with intricate Viking-era décor.

Reykjanesbær: Iceland's Vibrant Hub

sunset in music festival in september

Alright, let’s talk about one of the cool town in Iceland – Reykjanesbær! You might know it better for its famous Keflavík town, the one where the international airport is all named after. So, when you touchdown at Keflavík airport, Reykjanesbær is the first spot you’ll catch sight of – perfect for a chill night before you jet off or right after landing.

There’s plenty to do here! You’ve got a whole lineup of cool museums to check out, from the Museum of Rock and Roll to The Viking World Museum, The History Museum, The Maritime Centre, and even the Duushus café and art museum. Plus, the area’s not just about Keflavík – there are other nearby spots like Njarðvík, Grindavík, and Sandgerði all in this lively municipality. Oh, and let’s not forget, it’s all nestled in the lava-covered Reykjanes Peninsula. You’ve got to swing by the famous Blue Lagoon, just a hop away from Reykjanesbær.

Their highlight? The Light Festival! Happens every year, a blend of music and arts, usually rocking the first weekend of September.

Akureyri: Northern Gem Among Cities in Iceland

Akureyri iceland

Akureyri is quite the standout, sitting up north, far from Reykjavík. It’s like the big player of the North, given its size and importance compared to other towns up there.

You’ll find a lot of history, artsy vibes, skiing adventures, and let’s not forget Brynja ice cream – seriously, the best around.
This town? It’s one of the gem cities in Iceland you can keep revisiting and still find something totally fresh every time. Akureyri has this deep history, like it’s been a hub for trading for ages.

Come winter, locals dash to Hlíðarfjall for some slope action, and when the sun’s out, they take over the local pool, bragging it’s one of Iceland’s best. Oh, and Akureyri folks have this thing for french fries. Seriously, they put them on everything, like in burgers or stuffed into hot dog buns. But trust me, once you taste it, you’ll get it!

Garðabær: A Closer Look at Iceland's Suburban Charm


Garðabær is like that posh neighbor sandwiched between Hafnarfjörður and Kópavogur in the capital region. It’s got these fancy homes where Iceland’s big shots reside. Recently, they’ve spiced things up with new local food joints, but it wasn’t long ago that your only meal option was Swedish meatballs at IKEA!

If you’re into hiking, this place rocks! Nature trails aplenty. But hey, bus rides can be a bit wonky here, so having your wheels, like a rental car, is the smarter move.

Now, they’ve got this awesome swimming pool and guess what? A Costco just landed! Yep, right in one of the cities in Iceland! Bring your membership card; you’ll save a bunch, especially on gas.

Mosfellsbær: Retreat Near Reykjavík

botanical garden in Reykjavík

Mosfellsbær is this sweet little town, almost like a cozy farm spot, snuggled right next to Reykjavík. It’s for those who want that peaceful vibe but still be close enough to the city. You’ll find big gardens, a real connection to nature, all that good stuff.

One cool thing here is the Álafoss factory, which is like the OG of wool in Iceland. It’s where you score those iconic wool sweaters, warm blankets, and even these super cool sheepskins. Plus, there’s this cute café right nearby, so it’s easy to chill there for a while.

Oh, and get this: Mosfellsbær sits right under Mt. Esja, this hiking hotspot. Loads of folks hike up the mountain and then swing by this town. It’s like a tradition to hit up Mosfellsbakarí, this bakery joint, and grab some goodies before tackling Esja. And guess what’s waiting for you after the hike? The Mosfellsbær swimming pool. Seriously, it’s one of the best in the cities in Iceland. You’ve got to try it out!

Árborg: One of the Vibrant Cities in Iceland

Árborg, or commonly known as the Selfoss municipality, is one of those cities in Iceland’s Ring Road that you can’t miss. As you roll into town, the Ölfusá River greets you, boasting its status as the country’s most voluminous river. Selfoss is a hub along the South Coast, serving up some fantastic spots to eat and a killer swimming pool. If you’re up for shopping, this place is gold. Souvenirs? Check. 66°North sweater? Absolutely. You can even snag a locally knitted wool sweater.

And let’s talk about the food scene – the hot dog stand by Dominos and Subway is a hidden gem. Their hot dogs, subs, sandwiches, and pitas will kick-start your carb cravings in the best way possible.

Mark your calendar for mid-June when Kótilettan, a smashing BBQ festival, lights up the town. Oh, and here’s a quirky tidbit: there’s an Árborg in Manitoba, Canada too!

Akranes: Hidden Gem by the Sea

Akranes lighthouse in Iceland

Hey, so have you checked out Akranes yet? It’s this gem of a town a bit off the Ring Road. You just hang a left at the roundabout after popping out of the Hvalfjörður tunnel. It’s one of those cities in Iceland that’s got its own unique vibe, especially if you’re into sports.

But that’s not all. The place is packed with some seriously amazing diners, restaurants, and cafés. And let’s not forget about the shops – they’re fantastic. Oh, and you’ve got to try out their swimming pool; it’s top-notch.

Now, the real star in Akranes? It’s gotta be the Akranesviti lighthouse. Not just because the lighthouse itself is super cool, but the lighthouse keeper is a legend! Seriously, the guy is super sweet and knows everything there is to know about the place. Definitely worth a visit if you’re exploring cities in Iceland.

Fjarðabyggð: Gems of the Eastfjords

reindeer in Fjarðabyggð

So, have you heard about this place called Fjarðabyggð in the Eastfjords? It’s pretty unique – actually, it’s the only spot from there that’s getting any buzz lately. Now, it’s not just one place; it’s a bunch of cool little cities in Iceland all bundled together.

We’re talking Eskifjörður, Neskaupsstaður, Reyðarfjörður, and a few others. Neskaupsstaður’s the biggest of the lot within the municipality, but if we’re looking at the Eastfjords as a whole, Egilsstaðir is where it’s at. That place is kind of in a league of its own.

Oh, and there’s like over 7000 people living in Fjarðabyggð. The really awesome part? It’s the only city in Iceland where you can see wild reindeers just roaming around – how cool is that?

Now, if you’re ever cruising around the Ring Road, seriously consider dropping by any of these towns. Each one has this charming, small Icelandic fishing village feel that’s just super inviting. Definitely worth a visit!

Robert Robertsson

Hey, I'm the founder of Airmango. My love affair with travel and entrepreneurship kicked off in 1994 in Iceland. Fast forward through two decades, and I've been lucky enough to weave my career through five different countries. Each place has left its mark on me, not just in my personal life, but in how I approach business too. With Airmango, I'm bringing all those global insights and experiences to the table – it's like seeing the world through a business lens.

Thingvellir tectonic plates

Þingvellir National Park - Exploring the Rift Between Two Continents

thingvellilr plates

Hey, have you heard about Þingvellir National Park in Iceland? Let me tell you, it’s not just another tourist spot. It’s the only place in Iceland that’s got the UNESCO World Heritage stamp. Ever wondered why? Well, it’s not just about stunning views. There’s a whole story behind it.

So, imagine you’re on this epic road trip in Iceland, right? You’re probably gonna hit the Golden Circle, which is like the must-do tourist loop. You’ve seen those postcard-perfect shots of Gullfoss waterfall and the crazy geysers at the Geysir Area, but Þingvellir? That’s a whole different vibe.

Why’s everyone talking about Þingvellir? It’s like stepping into a live-action documentary. You’ve got these insane geological formations happening right in front of you – it’s where the Earth’s literally splitting apart! Plus, it’s not just a feast for the eyes. This place is where Iceland’s history kicked off. It’s like the birthplace of the nation!

But it’s not all history and rocks. There’s a bunch of cool stuff to do there, no matter what floats your boat. Whether you’re into nature, history, or just looking for some Insta-worthy spots, Þingvellir’s got you covered.

Keep reading, and I’ll dive into the juicy details about Þingvellir’s past, its crazy geology, and all the cool stuff you can do there today. Trust me, it’s worth the hype.

Historical Background

thingvellir national park

So, back in 874, this Norse guy Ingólfur Arnarson lands in Iceland, kicking off what they call ‘The Settlement Period.’ All these clans from Norway, fleeing from King Harald Fairhair’s rule, start setting up shop around Iceland. But here’s the thing: they all had different leaders and customs, leading to a lot of clashes over resources and beliefs.

Things get a bit chaotic, so they start forming local assemblies. But the real power’s in Reykjavík, and the rest of the settlers aren’t having it. They push for a general assembly to sort things out and live together without all the drama. That’s the birth of Iceland’s unique way of making decisions together.

So, there’s this guy, Grímur Geitskör, right? He’s got this big job: pull together reps from each clan and find a spot for them to meet. Now, Norse history being what it is, things get a bit wild. Geitskör’s on the hunt for a location when, bam, this guy who owns the perfect spot gets busted for murder. His land goes public, and just like that, Þingvellir is born.

Þingvellir’s in a sweet spot. Sure, it’s closer to the rich folks in the south-west, but even the guys from way out east can make it in 17 days tops. So, in 930 AD, over thirty chiefs rock up to Þingvellir and start laying down the law, literally setting up what’s like an early version of a parliament.
Looking back, it’s pretty wild. These early Icelanders were way ahead of their time, cooking up a sort of representative parliament nearly 800 years before similar ideas popped up in the USA and France. Talk about being ahead of the curve!

So, these chiefs hit it off so well at their first meeting that they decide to make it an annual thing. They call it the Alþingi. It’s not just about politics, though. It’s where folks settle their beefs, catch up on family news, and even where they dish out justice. There’s this guy called the Law Speaker who’s kind of like the face of the Alþingi, but he’s just there for show. The real decisions? They’re made by everyone together.

Þingvellir, or ‘the fields of parliament,’ is where all the big moments in Iceland’s history go down. Like in 1000 AD, when they switched from their old Norse gods to Christianity because of a Norwegian threat. Fast forward to 1944, and it’s the spot where Iceland breaks free from Denmark and gets its first president.

The Alþingi’s been around almost non-stop since it started, even through Iceland’s own civil war in the 13th century. The Danes shut it down for a bit in the 19th century, but it came back in Reykjavík, still rocking the same name. That makes Þingvellir the birthplace of what’s probably the world’s oldest still-running parliament.

So, Þingvellir’s history is so rich that it became a National Park in 1930, a cool thousand years after the Alþingi first kicked off. And in 2004, it scored a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The annual meet-ups at Þingvellir were pretty low-key. People came from all over, set up temporary digs, and then packed up when the meeting was done. Because of that, there’s not a ton of stuff left to show for all the history that went down there. But if you’ve got a sharp eye, you can still spot some old foundations, even some that have ended up underwater as the valley’s sunk over time.

And hey, speaking of the sinking valley, that’s a whole other reason why Þingvellir is such a draw. It’s not just about history; it’s also about some pretty wild geology.


land structure of thingvellir in Iceland

Okay, so Þingvellir isn’t just a history buff’s dream. It’s also a geology geek’s paradise. Get this: Iceland is split right down the middle by the Mid-Atlantic Rift. Parts of it, like the Westfjords and Reykjavík, are chilling on the North American tectonic plate. Others, like the Vatnajökull glacier and the East Fjords, are hanging out on the Eurasian plate. Iceland’s the only place on Earth where you can see this rift above water, and Þingvellir? It’s the best seat in the house.

When you roll into the park from Reykjavík, you’ll drop down a steep cliff into a valley. That cliff? It’s the literal edge of North America. Drive through the park, and you’ll climb up beside another huge wall – that’s Eurasia. The valley sandwiched in between, where Þingvellir sits, is the rift valley itself. Talk about standing between two continents!

So, when you’re at Þingvellir, you can literally walk between continents. One of the coolest trails takes you between the edge of the North-American plate and a part of the wall that collapsed, forming the Almannagjá gorge. This walk is a real eye-opener to the geological action happening here, and it even ends with a sweet waterfall called Öxaráfoss.

Here’s a fun fact: the tectonic plates in Þingvellir are drifting apart at about 2.5 centimeters a year, and they’ve been at it for ages. You can really see the impact of this movement all over the park. There are lava fields that bubbled up as the continents split, and the place is dotted with ravines that got torn open by earthquakes over the centuries.

Earthquakes are still a daily thing in Þingvellir, but most are so small you don’t even feel them. And while no volcano has erupted in the area for 2000 years, they’re not considered dead. More eruptions could happen – it’s just a matter of when.

Present-day Þingvelli

photoraphing thingvellir in iceland

So, between 2015 and 2016, a whopping 700,000 people swung by Þingvellir National Park. It’s only a 45-minute drive from Reykjavík and the first pit stop on the Golden Circle, so it’s no surprise it’s a hot spot. With tourism on the rise, those numbers are only gonna go up.

These days, people flock to Þingvellir for more than just the epic history and mind-blowing geology (though those are still big draws). A lot of folks are also coming for the unique snorkeling and diving experiences.

The ravines, ripped open by the tectonic shifts, get filled with meltwater from Langjökull glacier. This water’s been traveling underground for decades, getting filtered through porous lava rock. By the time it hits the ravines, it’s super clean and clear as glass.

The star of Þingvellir’s underwater scene is Silfra, the only ravine where snorkeling and diving are allowed. The water’s so clear, you can see over a hundred meters ahead, bathing in this surreal blue light and checking out the crazy geology down below. But heads up, it’s chilly – like, 2 degrees Celsius all year round. You’ll need a drysuit, though some bold snorkelers go in wetsuits.

Silfra’s pretty special, often ranking in the top five dive spots worldwide. Wanna scuba dive there? You’ll need a drysuit certification or a log of at least ten drysuit dives, checked by a pro guide. Snorkeling’s easier to get into, but you’ve gotta be at least 12 and know how to swim.

Þingvellir’s also a big hit with fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Spoiler alert for what’s next!

Remember the Almannagjá gorge? In the show, it’s the Gates of the Moon leading to the Eyrie, Lady Lysa’s crib. Caitlyn Stark and her crew, including Tyrion, pop by in Season One. Then in Season Four, the Hound and Arya Stark swing through. On the show, they jazz it up with buildings and crossbowmen, but if you’re a serious Thrones fan, you’ll spot it in a heartbeat.

The area’s also where the Hound and Brienne of Tarth throw down, and the Hound gets left for dead. Plus, Þingvellirvatn, the massive lake nearby, doubles as the bay Arya sails from to Braavos. The crew just edited out the mountains across the lake to make it look like it leads to the ocean.

Þingvellir’s wildlife is another big draw.

Anglers get a kick out of fishing in the lake for its huge trout – a result of 10,000 years chilling in evolutionary isolation. But remember, it’s tightly regulated and not cheap. Birdwatchers love the place too, especially in summer. It’s a hotspot for ducks, golden plovers, and common snipes. And if you’re lucky, you might spot an Arctic Fox or a Mink lurking around.

Visiting Þingvellir is awesome, but the surge in tourism’s been tough on the park. The infrastructure’s been struggling to keep up. There’s this super fragile moss all over the lava rock, and folks straying off the paths have wrecked a lot of it. It’ll take ages to bounce back.

People tossing coins into a ‘wishing well’ has jacked up the metal levels in the lake. And campers? Some are leaving more than just footprints. It’s a reminder that our visits can have a big impact on these amazing places.

Þingvellir is finally catching up with the tourist boom. They’ve got these easy-to-follow paths, and rangers are out making sure everyone’s sticking to the trail. The rules for snorkeling and diving? Getting stricter, which is good for both the environment and safety. Plus, tossing coins in the water is a big no-no now.

Þingvellir’s also leading the pack in reforestation, planting tons of native birches and some imported pines.

As a visitor, just keeping to the rules helps a ton. It’s all about making as little impact as possible. The goal? To keep Þingvellir not just beautiful, but inspiring too – something you’ll want to take back home.

Despite the tourist traffic, Þingvellir’s still got its magic – with its deep history, culture, wild geology, and natural beauty. We’ve just got to do our part to maintain its vibe.

Robert Robertsson

Hey, I'm the founder of Airmango. My love affair with travel and entrepreneurship kicked off in 1994 in Iceland. Fast forward through two decades, and I've been lucky enough to weave my career through five different countries. Each place has left its mark on me, not just in my personal life, but in how I approach business too. With Airmango, I'm bringing all those global insights and experiences to the table – it's like seeing the world through a business lens.

bruarfoss waterfall

Your Comprehensive Guide to Unveiling Iceland's Golden Circle

Ready to dive into the awesomeness of Iceland’s Golden Circle? It’s like the ultimate road trip with epic geysers, massive waterfalls, and you’re literally walking between continents.

The Golden Circle? That’s like the must-see trail in Iceland. There’s a bunch of cool stuff you can tack on, so definitely check out the top Golden Circle tours before you head out.

Driving there from Reykjavik is a breeze but here is a pro tip: Do one of these guided golden circle tours with local guides. It is so much worth it as they know all the extra details and stories.

Keep reading for the insider scoop on the best routes, can’t-miss stops, and all the highlights. And don’t forget to download some Golden Circle maps and itineraries to your travel plans. Trust me, you’ll want to remember every bit of this trip!

What Makes Visiting the Golden Circle Worthwhile?

The Golden Circle route is your ticket to checking out three of Iceland’s top sights in just one day. Super convenient, right? Whether you’re in a tour group or rolling solo in a rental, each stop is a mini lesson in Iceland’s geologic past – plus, they’re killer for photos.

What's the Golden Circle all about?

It’s these three amazing spots in Southwest Iceland:

Thingvellir National Park – where history and geology meet.
The Geysir Geothermal Area – home to some mind-blowing geysers.
Gullfoss Waterfall – this waterfall is seriously impressive.

Apart from Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon, these places are like the A-listers of Iceland’s attractions. And there are tons of reasons why the Golden Circle is so famous.

Stick around in this article, and I’ll walk you through all three of these must-see spots.

Exploring the Wonders of Thingvellir National Park


Thingvellir National Park is a real gem in Iceland. It’s not just a stunning natural spot; it’s packed with history too.

This place was the first to be named one of Iceland’s national parks. Plus, it’s got the cool title of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Talk about impressive!

It’s usually the first pit stop on the Golden Circle, sitting just about 29 miles (47 kilometers) from Reykjavik – super close, right?

Thingvellir is where you get this amazing mix of wild geology and a thousand years of history. When you’re wandering around, you’re literally walking through the story of how Iceland was formed and how its unique, leaderless society came to be. Definitely a must-visit!

Thingvellir National Park’s got this unique geology because it’s sitting right between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. This creates the rift valley that cuts right through Iceland.

Iceland is the only place where you can see this valley, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, above sea level. And Thingvellir? It’s got the best view.

Driving in from Reykjavik, you’ll come face-to-face with a massive cliff that’s actually part of North America. Then, on the other side of the park, several miles away, you’ll find the edge of the Eurasian continent – just as impressive.

The whole island was born from a magma pocket between these plates millions of years ago. As they drift apart, Iceland keeps getting shaped by volcanic activity. It’s like the island’s still being made, which makes the whole place feel super alive and dynamic.

At Thingvellir, you’ll see firsthand how Iceland’s still shaping up. The park’s landscape is all about stretches of lava rock, with volcanoes looming over Thingvallavatn, Iceland’s biggest natural lake.

It’s been a while since the last eruption – over 2,000 years – so now the place has this lush, green vibe. There’s this delicate moss that’s kinda taken over the lava fields, and parts of the area are dotted with native birch trees and imported pines.

thingvellilr plates

Visiting Thingvellir in autumn is something else – the colors are unreal. Even though it looks peaceful, don’t be fooled; there are still regular earthquakes. Each little shake nudges the tectonic plates further apart, about an inch (2.5 centimeters) every year. It’s like watching the Earth change right under your feet!

The earthquakes at Thingvellir have opened up some pretty incredible ravines, all filled with fresh water from the Langjokull glacier. This water seeps underground through the lava rock before it gets to Thingvallavatn lake, getting super filtered on the way.

So, when this water bubbles up in the ravines, it’s insanely clear – like, you can see more than 330 feet (100 meters) ahead. It turns a simple walk into a scenic adventure and offers some unreal diving and snorkeling spots.
You might think, “Snorkeling in Iceland? Really?” But with today’s dry-suit tech, even the chilly 36 F (2 C) water is totally doable, even in winter.

If you’re up for it, there are guides who take groups through the coolest ravine, the Silfra fissure, multiple times a day. It’s getting more and more popular, and once you see it, you’ll totally get why.

Snorkeling in Silfra at Thingvellir? It’s a total go for almost anyone over 16 who can swim. The dry suits they give you are pretty buoyant, kinda like a life jacket, and there’s this gentle current in Silfra that makes it easy to glide through the fissure.

But if diving’s more your thing, you gotta be a bit more prepped. You need to be a qualified PADI Open Water Scuba Diver and have some experience with dry suit diving.

The underwater views are out of this world. And get this – the dive tours actually take you between the tectonic plates. Talk about an adrenaline rush!

No wonder Silfra’s ranked among the top ten dive sites globally. It’s not just a dive; it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

While the Silfra area is super cool, it’s not without its risks. Diving in those cold waters is for the pros – you gotta be qualified and sure of your skills. Snorkeling, though? Most people in good health can give it a try. Just a heads up, it’s gonna be chilly!

If diving or snorkeling isn’t your thing but you still want to see where the earth is literally splitting apart, check out the Almannagja gorge. It’s a stunning walk that shows off the area’s geology and leads you to this beautiful, kind of secret waterfall called Öxarárfoss.

For all you Game of Thrones fans, walking through this gorge might feel a bit like déjà vu. It’s where they filmed the path up to the Eyrie and where Arya Stark and ‘The Hound’ journeyed through the Riverlands. Pretty cool to walk the same path as your favorite characters, right?

Thingvellir’s not just about its epic location or wild geology. The real reason it’s a National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site is its incredible history, which is pretty much the history of Iceland itself.

So, back in the late 800s, Iceland’s first settlers were these clans who didn’t want to bow down to Norway’s first king, Harald Fairhair. Fast forward to 930 AD, and they’re thinking, “Hey, maybe a collective government could help sort things out here.” So, around thirty groups each send a rep to this meeting.

They called their meeting spot ‘the fields of assembly,’ or Thingvellir in Old Norse. This first get-together was such a hit that it turned into an annual thing, then a decades-long thing, and finally, a centuries-long tradition, morphing into a full-on parliament.

This system stuck around even after Norway and then Denmark took over Iceland. The parliament only hit pause from 1799 to 1844. Then it was back up and running in Reykjavik, but the spirit and purpose stayed the same. That’s Thingvellir for you – not just a pretty place, but a cornerstone of Icelandic identity.

The Icelandic Althingi, or parliament, holds a unique place in history—it’s the world’s oldest functioning representative assembly. While much of Europe was steeped in feudalism with no inkling of democracy, the folks in Iceland were ahead of the curve. They crafted a system that would inspire many to come.

In recognition of this remarkable heritage, Iceland designated Thingvellir as a National Park in 1930, exactly a millennium after it all began. Fast forward to 2004, and UNESCO bestowed the title of World Heritage Site upon it. This wasn’t just for its breathtaking natural beauty, but also because it played a pivotal role in Icelandic history, witnessing the nation’s evolution through countless transformative moments.

Iceland’s history is like a thrilling saga in itself. Back in 1000 AD, they made the switch to Christianity, thanks to some nudging from Norway’s devout King Olaf I, who wasn’t taking no for an answer. And let’s not forget the witch trials and other juicy dramas that played out here, chronicled in the Icelandic sagas.

Even when the parliament packed up and moved to Reykjavik, Thingvellir didn’t fade into obscurity. It had its shining moments, like being the backdrop for Iceland’s declaration of independence in 1944 and the place where they crowned their very first president, Sveinn Bjornsson.

Thingvellir’s got it all – history, jaw-dropping beauty, and some epic geology to boot. No wonder it’s a hotspot for visitors. But here’s the twist: it’s just one stop on the classic Golden Circle route, with two more iconic spots waiting to blow your mind.

Unveiling the Marvels of the Geysir Geothermal Area

Geyser geothermal area

Now, let’s roll on to the second gem on the Golden Circle route: the Geysir Geothermal Area, nestled snugly within the Haukadalur valley. It’s a smooth 37-mile (60-kilometer) cruise from Thingvellir, and along the way, you’ll notice those steamy vents and chimneys doing their thing. Keep an eye out for the village of Laugarvatn, smack dab in the middle of Thingvellir and Geysir, where you’ll find some seriously heated relaxation.

Laugarvatn has a spa that’s dialed into the Earth’s natural warmth, with steam rooms sitting right on top of hot pots that can reach a toasty 140°F (60°C). Talk about luxury!

But the real showstopper is Haukadalur valley. Here, the geothermal action cranks up to eleven, and you can spot the steam show from miles away. The landscape is like something out of a sci-fi flick, with hot pools, clay pots, and fumaroles dotting the scene, all painted in vibrant minerals that give the hills and soil a surreal palette.

And if you thought that was cool, just wait until you meet the two rockstars of the show: the geysers themselves.

Now, let me introduce you to the star of the show, the one that inspired the name for all geysers worldwide: the Great Geysir. It’s a living legend, with roots that trace back to the earliest European writings. The name itself comes from the Old Norse word for ‘to gush,’ and trust me, it lives up to its name.

Here’s the kicker, though: the Great Geysir isn’t the most reliable performer these days. Blame it on tectonic shenanigans and a bit of meddling by us humans. It’s been around for a cool 10,000 years or so, and it tends to follow a cycle. Usually, an earthquake gives it a nudge, and it starts doing its thing, but it’s like the moodiest artist you’ve ever met. Timing? Consistency? Nope, not its style.

But don’t fret! Right next door, we have the ultimate crowd-pleaser, Strokkur geyser. It’s the life of the party, erupting like clockwork every ten minutes, sending water shooting up into the sky, reaching heights anywhere from 66 to 132 feet (20 to 40 meters). The Great Geysir might be a bit of a diva, but Strokkur is the dependable friend who’s always up for a good time.

Icelanders weren’t about to let their most famous landmark, the Great Geysir, be a fickle friend. In 1935, they took matters into their own hands and dug a channel around its silica rim to mess with the water table and coax it into erupting again. It worked for a bit, but then Mother Nature decided to be stubborn, and the channel got clogged. Back to square one.

Fast forward to 1981, and they cleared the channel, discovering a soap trick to make Geysir blow its top occasionally. But there was a catch – environmentalists weren’t thrilled about this soapy spectacle, and by the ’90s, they shut it down.

Since then, the Great Geysir has been mostly chill, but it still surprises folks now and then. And when it decides to put on a show, it outshines Strokkur in the grandeur department.
In the year 2000, it shot water a staggering 400 feet (122 meters) into the sky. The only time it went higher was back in 1845, when it unleashed an estimated 558-foot (170-meter) spectacle. Now, that’s what you call a legendary performance!

Strokkur’s dependable eruptions right in the heart of the Golden Circle are a big part of what makes this route so darn awesome. Geysers are like the unicorns of natural wonders, super rare because they demand some seriously specific conditions.

First up, you need a red-hot heat source. We’re talking magma getting cozy with the Earth’s surface, heating up rocks enough to make water boil.

Next, you gotta have water in the mix. Not just any water, though—there needs to be an underground supply on the move. In this case, it’s runoff from the Langjokull glacier, doing a fancy dance through porous lava rocks until it reaches the scene.

Lastly, you need a sort of secret plumbing system down there. Think of it like an underground reservoir where the water hangs out, and a vent with a silica lining that keeps the water from sneaking out before it decides to burst onto the stage.

But trust me, the Geysir Geothermal Area isn’t just about these explosive hot springs. It’s got a whole bag of tricks up its sleeve that’ll keep you hooked!

Right next to the geysers, you’ll find the Geysir Center, and it’s a treasure trove of Icelandic goodies. They’ve got a big boutique shop stocked with all sorts of handcrafted and locally made stuff that’ll make your inner shopper jump for joy. Plus, if your stomach starts growling, they’ve got your back with several restaurants dishing out traditional Icelandic grub, all whipped up from local ingredients.

Now, as for the Haukadalur valley, it’s like stepping into a natural wonderland. But, and this is a big “but,” let’s show some love and respect for Mother Nature. No throwing things into those hot springs or geysers, okay? Let’s leave it as pristine as we found it.

Encountering the Majesty of Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss waterfall

Welcome to the grand finale of the Golden Circle, folks – Gullfoss, the magnificent “Golden Falls.” This waterfall isn’t just a showstopper; it’s the reason this whole circuit got its catchy name.

Gullfoss is a jaw-dropping spectacle, nestled just a short drive from Geysir. Picture this: a roaring waterfall, a plunging ancient valley, and not one, but two cascading drops from a whopping height of 105 feet (32 meters). During the peak of summer, it unleashes a torrent of around 4,944 cubic feet (140 cubic meters) of water every second. That’s some serious power!

But it’s not just the raw might that makes Gullfoss special. On sunny days, you’ll be treated to nature’s own light show – rainbows! They arch over the falls, like a multicolored crown on this majestic beauty.

And as if that weren’t enough, the backdrop is a real treat too. You’ll be gazing over rolling fields that stretch all the way to the Langjokull glacier, giving you a picture-perfect finale to your Golden Circle adventure.

Just like the springs in Thingvellir and the waterworks at the Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss gets its flow from the Langjokull glacier. The river that takes this epic plunge is called Hvita, and once upon a time, it was the go-to spot for river rafting thrill-seekers in Iceland.

Now, if you’re planning a visit, summer’s the golden ticket. When there’s no ice underfoot, there’s a walkway that’ll lead you right to the edge of the falls. You’ll be so close, you can practically taste the mist on your face. Trust me, the photo ops here are out of this world, and you could easily lose yourself for hours, just soaking in the sheer power of the water.

But don’t count winter out! Even when things freeze up a bit, Gullfoss doesn’t lose an ounce of its magic. It might be a tad chilly, and you won’t get as up close and personal, but watching the falls partially frozen, with chunks of ice plunging into the abyss, is absolutely mesmerizing. Just remember to bundle up in plenty of layers – those glacier winds can be pretty sharp, and the mist from the falls? Ice-cold!

Gullfoss is a superstar, no doubt about it. It’s the kind of place that draws folks from all over the globe, and it’s safe to say that Iceland’s tourism scene owes a lot to this natural wonder.

Thankfully, Gullfoss has been lucky. It’s been left untouched, unspoiled, and undisturbed.

That’s not always been the case, though. Back in the early 20th century, some foreign investors had their eyes on this beauty, thinking it could be transformed into a hydroelectric plant with a fancy dam.

The owner of the land right next to the falls, Tomas Tomasson, initially let British investors explore these dam-building dreams. But things got real tricky when Tomas’s daughter stepped into the scene. Let’s just say she wasn’t having any of it, and her involvement put a big ol’ roadblock in those plans. Whew, close call!

Meet Sigridur Tomasdottir, the environmental hero of Gullfoss. She wasn’t about to let her beloved natural wonder go down without a fight. In fact, she was ready to go to great lengths to protect it, even threatening to take a dive into those powerful falls!

Sigridur’s passion didn’t stop there. She hiked the grueling 134 miles (200 kilometers) of unpaved road to Reykjavik and back, multiple times, all in the name of building a solid legal case to defend Gullfoss. Talk about dedication!

While her efforts didn’t directly save the waterfall, they sure got the attention it deserved. People all over the country started raising their eyebrows at those dam-building plans. The awareness she generated led to national criticism, putting the brakes on the whole operation.

But the real turning point came when Sigridur got a lawyer named Sveinn Bjornsson involved in the battle. Together, they convinced those investors (who were pretty short on cash) to scrap the whole idea. And guess what? Sveinn Bjornsson later became Iceland’s very first president in 1944. Talk about a power duo!

Today, Sigridur’s memory lives on with a stone memorial perched on the cliff overlooking Gullfoss. Icelanders remember her as the champion who raised awareness about the importance of preserving their natural treasures and not giving in to foreign investments. Thanks to her courage, Gullfoss continues to dazzle us all with its timeless beauty.

What's the Ideal Time to Experience the Golden Circle?

gullfoss waterfall

You know, the Golden Circle is a go anytime you fancy. Spring, summer, and fall? That’s when the weather’s mild, and there’s no snow in sight. But here’s the kicker: if you decide to shack up nearby during summer, you’re in for a real treat. Picture this – the midnight sun turning the whole place into a pink and orange wonderland.

Now, let’s talk about winter – it’s a whole different ballgame. The region gets all dressed up in a snow-white coat, giving you a completely unique experience. Gullfoss doesn’t back down; its waters keep on flowing.

But here’s the kicker: some parts of that waterfall freeze up, turning it into a sparkling sheet of glass. And guess what? It’s prime time to hunt for those elusive northern lights. Just remember to tread carefully; that waterfall platform can turn into a proper ice rink.

They do a pretty good job keeping the roads snow-free, but, as life would have it, surprise storms can throw a wrench in your plans. So, it’s crucial to keep an eye on those road conditions for a smooth and safe ride.

In the grand scheme of things, deciding when to hit up the Golden Circle really boils down to what tickles your fancy. Enjoy the journey, my friend!

Guide to the Classic Route of the Golden Circle

When it comes to exploring the Golden Circle, you’ve got some options. This map here lays out the quickest and easiest route, but there’s more to discover along the way.

What's the Distance Between Reykjavik and the Golden Circle?

Now, let’s talk distance. The Golden Circle isn’t a world away from Reykjavik; it’s a quick 25-mile (47-kilometer) jaunt east. That’ll get you to the first stop, Thingvellir National Park.

The last on the list is Gullfoss waterfall, a bit further out at 72 miles (116 kilometers) east of Reykjavik. But take a peek at that Golden Circle map, and you’ll see it’s totally doable in a single day. You’ll be back in Reykjavik by evening, no sweat. If you’re up for the adventure, check out the article on driving the Golden Circle for all the deets.

Getting to the Golden Circle from Reykjavik is a breeze, just a quick 25-mile (47-kilometer) hop to the nearest gem, Thingvellir National Park. Now, if you’re aiming for the farthest stop, Gullfoss waterfall, it’s a bit further, about 72 miles (116 kilometers) east of Reykjavik.

But here’s the cool part: the whole Golden Circle tour can be done in a single day, and you’ll be back in Reykjavik by evening.

Accommodation Options in Proximity to the Golden Circle

But hold on, where do you crash for the night near the Golden Circle? Well, if you want to get a head start and avoid the Reykjavik day-trippers, an overnight stay nearby is a solid plan.

The Golden Circle offers a smorgasbord of hotels and accommodations to choose from. And for those who dig camping, you’ve got campgrounds at Thingvellir National Park and Geysir to pitch your tent.

Some of the top-notch hotels on the Golden Circle roster include gems like Torfhus Retreat, Hotel Grimsborgir, Hotel Geysir, Efstidalur Farm Hotel, and the cozy Sel Guesthouse. The Bubble Hotel is also a cozy and unique option letting you stay in an entirely transparent igloo for the perfect view of the Iceland wilderness all day long. Whatever your desire might be, you’re free to take your pick!

The Optimal Approach to Explore the Golden Circle

Driving to Kirkjufell in Iceland

The Golden Circle is the hotshot of Iceland’s tourist scene, and guess what? There’s a boatload of ways to experience it.

Picture this: a vast menu of tours, each offering its own twist on the classic route. We’re talking hundreds of options, thanks to dozens of tour providers who know how to jazz up the Golden Circle experience. It’s like choosing toppings for your favorite ice cream.

Some tours? Well, they turn it up a notch. Imagine soaring over the Golden Circle in a helicopter, or embarking on an enchanting evening adventure beneath the midnight sun. It’s not just sightseeing; it’s creating lasting memories.

But wait, there’s more. For the free spirits among us, renting a car and crafting your own Golden Circle adventure is the way to go. No set schedules, no rush, just you and the road. Want to veer off course to discover those lesser-known gems? You’ve got the green light.

If the idea of taking the wheel in Iceland doesn’t float your boat, you’re in luck. There’s a plethora of guided tours to pick from.

Now, some of these tours keep it as simple as a Sunday stroll, hitting up the Golden Circle’s trio of attractions before gently bringing you back to your cozy spot for the night.

But if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, there are options that turn your day into a full-fledged Icelandic escapade. Picture this: you start your day with a visit to the enchanting crater lake Kerid, and then, you soak your worries away in the world-famous Blue Lagoon. It’s like a dream come true, isn’t it?

And here’s a little secret – you can actually conquer both the Golden Circle and the mystical Blue Lagoon in just one day. Now that’s what I call making the most of your time in Iceland!

These days, you’ve got some pretty sweet combo tours cropping up, mainly ’cause folks can wrap up the whole Golden Circle deal in just six hours, including the trek to and from Reykjavik.

Take, for instance, the Golden Circle and Snowmobiling Tour. This one’s a real kicker – it whisks you away to all three killer spots. After you’ve gawked at Gullfoss, they rev up the engines and zip you up to Langjokull glacier for an exhilarating ice dash.

You can up the ante even more! Imagine mixing the Golden Circle with some Silfra snorkeling or spelunking through lava caves on the Reykjanes Peninsula. It’s a whole different level of adventure!

And hold onto your hat ’cause there’s more! You can also blend this epic day with a splash of Icelandic culture. Picture this: a day packed with jaw-dropping sights, and as the sun goes down, you treat your taste buds to some lip-smacking traditional Icelandic grub. It’s the perfect recipe for an unforgettable day!

You know what’s really cool? There’s a whole bunch of multi-day tours out there, some with guides, some where you get to drive yourself, and they all revolve around or include stops at the awesome Golden Circle spots.

Now, if you’re kinda pressed for time, there’s this super sweet three-day South Coast guided tour you might wanna consider. It kicks off with the Golden Circle, then whisks you away down the South Coast to that mind-blowing Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. And the grand finale? You actually get to explore an ice cave inside a glacier! I kid you not, it’ll leave you absolutely gobsmacked!

But hold on to your hats, my friends who’ve got loads of time to play with. There’s this epic 14-day self-drive package that takes you all around the Ring Road, and guess what? It even throws in the jaw-dropping Westfjords for some extra spice. Trust me, it’s a journey you won’t soon forget!

9 Must-Visit Side Stops Along the Golden Circle Route

No matter how long you’re in Iceland, your budget, or your travel plans, you can almost always squeeze in a trip around the Golden Circle.

I mean, the variety of landscapes you get in such a short drive is mind-blowing, and it’s a must-do for anyone visiting Iceland. So, renting a car here is a pretty smart move, and you can really get to know the area around the Golden Circle.

Now, if you’re up for driving it yourself, there are tons of detours you can take to discover some hidden gems along the way. These spots are often not on the typical tourist radar, so you can blend the classic Golden Circle route with visits to these off-the-beaten-path treasures.

Check it out, here are the top nine lesser-known Golden Circle highlights that should totally be on your radar.

9. Skalholt: Historical Gem on the Golden Circle

Skalholt church

Skalholt is like this amazing historical gem in Iceland. It held the bishop’s seat from way back in 1056, and it didn’t let go until the 19th century. To put it in perspective, being the bishop of Iceland was like being the big cheese in a time when Iceland was under the rule of Scandinavian kingdoms. The bishop wasn’t just about religion; it was a position of immense power. So, Skalholt was basically the power hub for centuries in Iceland.

By 1200, it was rocking the title of Iceland’s first town, with around 120 folks calling it home. Plus, it’s where Iceland’s very first school popped up back in the 12th century. Fast forward to today, it still has its own bishop and hosts all sorts of cool cultural events, like those famous Skalholt Summer Concerts.

If you’re cruising through Iceland and happen to find yourself near Skalholt, you gotta make a pit stop, especially for the cathedral. Trust me, it’s totally worth it!

8. Thjorsardalur Valley: A Natural Marvel Along the Golden Circle


If you’re up for a bit more adventure and don’t mind extending your drive, taking a detour to Thjorsardalur valley is a fantastic idea, and it’ll only add a couple of hours to your journey.

Now, Thjorsardalur valley is like this hidden gem tucked away in the southern Highlands of Iceland, and it’s absolutely teeming with natural wonders.

First off, there’s a bunch of stunning waterfalls here that most folks never even get to see. We’re talking about beauties like Haifoss, Granni, and Hjalparfoss.

And check this out, there’s the Burfell woods, which is kinda unique for Iceland, ’cause it’s a pretty sizable forest.

But wait, there’s more! If you’re into plants and all that nature stuff, Thjorsardalur is like a botanist’s dream. You’ll find loads of wildflowers, grass, and moss thriving in the area.

To get there, just head south on Route 30 from Gullfoss, and then make a left onto Route 32. Trust me, it’s worth the extra drive time!

7. Solheimar Eco-Village: Sustainability Oasis Amidst the Golden Circle


Solheimar eco-village is a hidden gem with around 100 folks living there. What’s cool is that it all started back in 1930 when Sesselja Sigmundsdottir set it up as a haven for orphans and kids with learning disabilities. It’s always been this special place with a mission to unlock everyone’s potential, no matter their age or abilities.

Lately, more and more people have caught on to its charm and offbeat vibe. Would you believe it? Over 30,000 curious souls swing by each year to check it out.

Now, this village, nestled harmoniously in nature, has got you covered. They’ve got a bakery, cafe, guesthouse, and even an art gallery, all run by the locals.

And don’t miss the gift shop – it’s loaded with handmade souvenirs crafted right in the town’s art workshop. Residents there are into all sorts of cool stuff like candle-making, weaving, and ceramics.

But the crown jewel? The Sesselja House, an educational spot all about ecology and sustainable living.

Solheimar sits just 13 miles (21 kilometers) south of Laugarvatn, making it a perfect pit stop if you’re on an extended Golden Circle road trip. It’s a whole different kind of attraction, with an atmosphere that’s all about positivity and freedom. Truly one-of-a-kind!

6. Helgufoss and Thorufoss Waterfalls: Serene Gems near the Golden Circle

Helgufoss waterfall

Did you know that some of Iceland’s most mind-blowing waterfalls are super close to the Golden Circle?

Of course, you’ve got the iconic Gulfoss waterfall on the classic route, but there are these hidden gems nearby that are seriously worth checking out.

First up, we’ve got the Helgufoss waterfall and the Thorufoss waterfall, and guess what? They’re both named after Icelandic ladies, Helga and Thora, which is pretty cool!

So, Helgufoss is a quick detour just off Route 36 on your way to Thingvellir from Reykjavik.

Now, Thorufoss is part of the Laxa i Kjos river, and you can find it by following Route 48 after Helgufoss, right before you hit Thingvellir National Park. They’ve got signs pointing the way, and there’s a nifty little spot on the side of the road where you can park your ride.

Keep in mind, you’ll need a car to get to both of these waterfalls since they’re not usually part of the Golden Circle tour package. So, it’s a bit of an adventure, but totally worth it for these hidden waterfall treasures!

5. Fridheimar Tomato and Horse Farm: A Unique Stop on the Golden Circle


Let me spill the beans about Fridheimar – it’s not just your regular farm, it’s a tomato, cucumber, and horse haven, chilling right there on Route 35, close to Reykholt.

If you’re rolling through between noon and 4 PM, it’s the perfect pit stop for lunch. And oh boy, you’ve got to try their mouthwatering tomato soup with some home-baked bread – it’s seriously delish!

Now, here’s the deal – you could sometimes drop by if you’re in a small group, but it’s usually smarter to give them a buzz and make a reservation, ’cause it can get pretty packed.

And if you’re up for it, you can book ahead for a cool farm tour or catch a horse show. Fridheimar is like one of Iceland’s best-kept secrets, seriously underrated, and absolutely worth a visit. Trust me on this one!

4. Langjokull Glacier Snowmobiling: A Thrilling Experience on the Golden Circle


Here’s the inside scoop, my friend – the hottest combo in town right now is mixing up your Golden Circle adventure with some wild snowmobiling up on Langjokull glacier. I’m telling you, it’s a game-changer!

But guess what? You’ve got options! If you’re all about that snowmobiling thrill, you can book a direct trip to Langjokull glacier. Or, if you’re feeling a bit fancy, go all out with a tour that even throws in an ice cave visit for that extra wow factor.

Now, Langjokull is practically neighbors with the epic Gullfoss waterfall, and that’s where your tour crew will scoop you up for the snowmobiling shindig. And when the weather’s on your side, you’re in for some breathtaking views from up there on the glacier.

Oh, and let me spill the beans – the ride up in a beastly custom super-jeep? That’s an adventure all by itself!

3. Secret Lagoon in Fludir: Hidden Gem on the Golden Circle

The Secret Lagoon, also known as Gamla Laugin, over in Fludir is just the spot you need to wind down and recharge after a jam-packed day of exploring.

Fun fact – it’s the oldest swimming pool in all of Iceland, dating back to 1891. The water here stays toasty, a cozy 100-104°F (38-40°C) all year round, thanks to the natural hot springs that feed into it.

They’ve even got a scenic walkway that goes all the way around the pool, so you can soak in the geothermal beauty while you soak yourself!
Now, here’s a bit of history for you – this pool used to host swimming classes from 1909 to 1947.

But as new, fancy pools popped up around the country, it kinda fell by the wayside. That is, until 2014 when it got a fresh lease on life. They spruced it up with modern changing facilities and even added a cafe. So, it’s better than ever!

Quick tip – if you’re planning to visit, it’s wise to book ahead, ’cause this place is getting pretty popular.

Fludir, where the Secret Lagoon is tucked away, is right on Route 30. You can easily get there by car or as part of a guided Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon tour. So, don’t miss out on this slice of geothermal paradise!

2. Kerid Crater: Nature's Spectacle on the Golden Circle

Hey, if you’re taking on the Golden Circle, don’t skip the Kerid crater – it’s a natural wonder that’s totally worth your time. And guess what? Many full-day Golden Circle tours make a pit stop here, but even if you’re driving yourself, make sure to swing by.

This crater has some serious history – it popped up about 6,500 years ago and it’s got this cool oval shape with a lake chilling at the bottom.
But here’s where it gets even cooler – the rocks around the crater are like fiery reds, oranges, with streaks of black and green. It’s like a masterpiece of colors, especially against the crystal-clear blue waters.

And you won’t believe this – because of its unique shape, Kerid has some killer acoustics. Artists sometimes put on concerts there, floating on a boat right in the middle of the lake. Talk about an unforgettable setting!

So, here’s the deal – you’ll find Kerid on Route 5, not far from the town of Selfoss. They’ve even got a small parking lot right there, so it’s super convenient.

One thing to keep in mind – there’s a little fee to get in, but trust me, it’s totally worth it for the experience.

1. Fontana Geothermal Baths: Relaxation Oasis on the Golden Circle


Listen up, folks! If you’re cruising from Thingvellir National Park to Geysir, you’ve got to hit up the Fontana Geothermal Baths in the charming town of Laugarvatn.

Laugarvatn itself is perched by this massive lake famous for its geothermal vibes, and locals have been soaking it all in since 1929. But the real spa action started in 2011 when Fontana opened its doors.

Now, let me tell you about this place – it’s got three steam rooms, and the cherry on top is a classic Finnish sauna made of wood, with killer views of the lake and the stunning nature all around. Plus, there are these awesome shallow pools with different temperatures, so the kids can splash around while the grown-ups get their chill on.

And guess what? Fontana Geothermal Baths literally open up to the lake, so you can actually feel the warm earthy water bubbling up between your toes. It’s like Mother Nature’s foot spa!

Here’s the insider tip – don’t leave without trying the rye bread. They bake it for a full 24 hours in the hot sand, and when you pair it with some butter, it’s like an Icelandic tradition you can eat – and trust me, it’s delicious!

Oh, and if you’re down for the ultimate experience, there’s a day tour that hooks you up with the Golden Circle and Fontana Geothermal Baths. You get the best of both worlds!

Robert Robertsson

Hey, I'm the founder of Airmango. My love affair with travel and entrepreneurship kicked off in 1994 in Iceland. Fast forward through two decades, and I've been lucky enough to weave my career through five different countries. Each place has left its mark on me, not just in my personal life, but in how I approach business too. With Airmango, I'm bringing all those global insights and experiences to the table – it's like seeing the world through a business lens.

abandoned dc plane in Sólheimasandur in Iceland

Discovering the Forgotten: The Abandoned DC Plane at Sólheimasandur

black beach in Sólheimasandur

Ever dreamed of stepping into a sci-fi scene without the green screen? Well, I stumbled upon a real-life movie set vibe at Sólheimasandur’s black beach. Imagine an abandoned DC plane resting mysteriously amidst the stark black sands. It’s an otherworldly experience waiting to be explored.

Sólheimasandur's Legendary Plane Wreck: A Black Beach Marvel in South Iceland

plane wreckage in Sólheimasandur

Back in ’73, a US Navy DC plane took a nosedive onto Sólheimasandur’s black beach in Iceland’s South Coast. Luckily, everyone made it out alive. Turns out, the pilot goofed up by picking the wrong fuel tank. Now, the aircraft’s remains sit by the shore, not far from the waves. You can find tours to this spot.

Picture this: a white plane wreck on jet-black sand, the backdrop—straight out of a sci-fi flick! Trust me, it’s a shutterbug’s dream. You can even explore inside, perfect for some playful shots. And hey, if you’ve got time, the wild ocean’s just a stroll away, those waves are something else! You used to drive right up to the plane, but that’s a no-go now. Instead, gear up for a hike. It’s about an hour each way from the main road. Worth it for the adventure junkies and nature lovers!

You can’t just drive up to the plane wreck anymore. Before, it was a 4WD-only adventure on that soft, tricky black sand. But here’s the thing: that sand? It’s not forgiving. You’d hate to get stuck there, especially when it’s deserted. I’ve seen it, folks used to drive without a clear path, messing up the delicate plants nearby. And trust me, many ended up getting stuck or wrecking their rides. It’s why vehicles are totally banned now, to save the greenery.

Winter visits? Hmm, not a good idea unless you’ve got a local guide. I’ve been in that spot myself. Snow makes it worse, trust me. And if the weather’s acting up, better stay away. The wind? It’s a real force there, could whip up a sandstorm in no time. Just a friendly heads-up, not to spook you, but safety first!

So, if you’re itching to visit, plan a rad trip along the South coast! Cruise past the mind-blowing Skógafoss waterfall, keep driving till you cross this river called Jökulsá, and guess what? You’re super close!

But, here’s the buzzkill—I wish there were big signs pointing to the plane, but nope, nothing like that. You won’t spot it from the road either. There’s this new parking spot they’ve set up, ’cause folks were parking all over, which was risky business. It’s a hotspot, tons of cars parked up there ’cause, hey, it’s still a hit despite the two-hour trek! The entrance to this cool wreck? It’s on the right side if you’re driving east.

And oh, if you’re into coordinates, here you go (63 27.546-19 21. 887), or just punch it in your maps.

Hope you glide there without any hiccups and dig your journey to the plane wreck.

Happy adventures out there!

Robert Robertsson

Hey, I'm the founder of Airmango. My love affair with travel and entrepreneurship kicked off in 1994 in Iceland. Fast forward through two decades, and I've been lucky enough to weave my career through five different countries. Each place has left its mark on me, not just in my personal life, but in how I approach business too. With Airmango, I'm bringing all those global insights and experiences to the table – it's like seeing the world through a business lens.