Things to do in Iceland in Winter

Magazine Things to do in Iceland in Winter

Planning an Iceland trip in Winter and wondering what fun things are on offer?  To help you make the most of your winter vacation, we’ve compiled some of the most popular activities and tours for you.

Before we begin, lets set the stage for what you can expect. First, due to its high latitude, Iceland has extremes in daylight during the summer (midnight sun) and short days during the winter. Average temperatures will generally be around freezing, and you may see snow and you may not.  The mountains, however, will be covered in snow.  You may experience strong winds, but this can happen all year around. Just bring warm clothes and you’ll be fine!

But still Iceland is a beautiful country in the winter months and definitely worth seeing. Plus you get the added bonus of fewer crowds and better deals on travel, tours and accomodations. So, without further ado, here are some of the most popular things to do in Iceland in winter:


Iceland Airwaves - An international music festival that starts at the end of October and runs for several days.

Christmas & New Years - Icelanders really love the holiday season and celebrate in great splendour with lights, decorations, bonfires, public events, parties, banquets and so much more.  And, Iceland's New Years Eve fireworks are unlike any other, with the entire population lighting fireworks ALL night long!

Roam the fun city of Reykjavik - Iceland’s capital city is packed with great cafes & restaurants, lively nightclubs, museums, shopping and there's lots of sightseeing with the city’s many beautiful monuments and historical buildings.

Enjoy Iceland’s abundant hot water - Iceland has abundant, clean hot water which is heated by the Earth (geothermal). Go ahead and take that extra long shower, fill that bathtub, enjoy the many, many public swimming pools; almost all offer hot tubs, steam saunas, lap pools, wading pools and more. 

Popular Winter tours (all available from Reykjavik):

Northern Lights - Winter is Northern lights season and there are lots of tour operators that offer tours. You can choose bus tours, or more personal tours like jeep tours that are more inclusive and hands-on.

Glacier walks - Few get the opportunity to walk on a glacier and there are a multitude of tours offered year-round and for all skill levels.

Ice-climbing - If you dare!  There are a number of tours on offer by professional mountaineers that will give you the experience of a lifetime.

Skiing - There is a popular ski resort just outside of Reykjavik. But if you want the best skiing in Iceland, head to Akureyri!

Golden Circle tour - this tour includes some of Iceland’s top natural attractions including: Gullfoss (waterfall), Geyser and Thingvellir National Park. There are numerous companies that offer this tour.

Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal spa  - One of Iceland’s most popular geothermal spas is located in one of the country’s most historic geothermal areas. In fact, the spa uses steam and hot water directly from the earth. Enjoy wading pools an oversized hot tub and several Finnish-style steam saunas, all located on a beautiful lake.

Blue Lagoon - Iceland’s most famous attraction is located just 15 minutes from Keflavik International Airport; soak in milky-blue thermal water in an moon-like landscape. An experience you’ll won’t regret.

And, the list could go on. For the outdoor enthusiast, there’s cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, duck boat rides in Jokulsarlon (glacial lagoon), caving and more still.  So, pick your favorites and enjoy!  You’ll come back with a smile and some truly adventurous stories to tell. From Berjaya Hotels, Iceland's premiere hotel chain.

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