Iceland certainly lives up to its name during the winter months. But despite the frosty weather and long nights, Reykjavik is at its most atmospheric during the wintertime, and there’s no shortage of adventure-filled activities in Iceland to keep visitors entertained.
Embark upon a winter hiking adventure from Reykjavik following the scenic Golden Circle route. Alternatively, join a day tour of the south coast that includes a glacier hike and stops at the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls. You might also add ice climbing to your glacier hiking experience.
Northern Lights Tours
One of Iceland’s most popular winter activities is spotting the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis—the breathtaking natural phenomenon that lights up the arctic skies throughout the winter. Northern lights tours or cruises from Reykjavik offer the best chance of viewing the magical shows, which occur mostly on clear nights between September and March.
Join a super jeep tour around the Golden Circle and deep into Thingvellir National Park to see the powerful Strokkur Geysir and magnificent Gullfoss Falls. Then head off-road to reach the Langjokull glacier, where you’ll enjoy a thrilling snowmobile ride on the glacier. Or combine your snowmobiling experience with a visit to the natural hot springs of the Blue Lagoon.
Icelandic Christmas Traditions
During the holiday season in Iceland, stock up on gifts at the Christmas markets in and around Reykjavik. Embrace unique Icelandic Christmas traditions, like swapping Santa Claus for the Thirteen Yule Lads and their mother, Gryla the Troll. Then celebrate New Year in Reykjavik with a nighttime bonfire tour and fireworks display.