Iceland is a magical place to visit in winter. Witness the Northern Lights while soaking in hot springs, visit ice caves, enjoy frozen waterfalls, experience the polar night, and be fascinated by the exceptional beauty in Iceland in winter.
December is Iceland's darkest month, but Icelanders respond with a festive atmosphere, Christmas markets, concerts, and New Year celebrations. In January and February, the country is dark, cold, and strikingly beautiful under its snow cover. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, winter in Iceland is still mild. If you visit Iceland this time of year, you will be able to enjoy natural wonders covered in snow and magical light, making Iceland's landscape even more stunning. It is also a quieter time of the year with fewer tourists and more attractive prices.
Things to see and do in Iceland in winter
Daylight hours are shorter in winter and the weather is a bit chillier, but you can still enjoy the Icelandic nature around you. Join a snowmobile tour on a glacier, take a glacier walk, chase the northern lights, soak in the blue-milky waters at the Blue Lagoon, go ice caving, snorkel between tectonic plates in Silfra, visit the Golden Circle, or go horse riding. If you are lucky, you will catch the aurora while enjoying a hot bath in one of the natural geothermal pools in Iceland.
For those travelers who would like to undergo a self-drive adventure through a wintry Iceland, it is also possible, but we highly recommend renting a bigger 4x4 car. Taking a self-drive in Iceland in winter is the perfect way to experience the magic of the winter season and feel the power of wild nature. Why not spice it up further and get behind the wheel of a super jeep and explore the South Coast and the Golden Circle on your own.
The Northern lights in Iceland
The thrill of witnessing the Aurora Borealis is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many. Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights and in warmer temperatures than other countries in Scandinavia. The chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland are very high and the choices for fantastic backdrops are endless.
But remember, the hunt for the northern lights is just one of the countless attractions in Iceland. The country is a heaven for adventurers and nature lovers alike! Combine the search for the magical lights with sightseeing to Iceland’s scenic landscapes and thrilling winter activities. While some more off-the-beaten-path attractions are closed or inaccessible during winter, you have many places to visit. Golden Circle, Snaefellsnes, Reykanes, and Jökulsárlón are all easily accessible during winter.