Misconception number one: Iceland in the winter is miserably cold. And number two: Iceland in the winter is miserably dark. Nope and nope! The neglected truth is—the great white north is incredibly beautiful from late November to February.
During the winter, Iceland is especially dreamy and all the more perfect for living out your fairytale fantasies. Just imagine snowy landscapes lit by the breathtaking Northern Lights. The country is pretty much one big Christmas card that has come to life. Also, consider spending Christmas here; they celebrate it for two days!
Make the most out of the short, but gorgeous daytime.
There won’t be complete days of darkness, but it will be a challenge to get out of bed in the morning. The sun can come up as late at 11am and set as early as 3pm. This can be more extreme in more northern parts of the country. But cities are well-lit and Icelanders go on with their day even when the sky is still dark.
Do as the Icelanders do, and resist the urge to stay in despite the dark sky. You’re gonna want to catch the sun because when it’s up—it sets a soft, warm glow over Iceland that makes the surroundings truly breathtaking. With this kind of scenes and lighting, photographers will go wild.
“If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.”
The weather is unpredictable as heck. But don’t worry, you can turn that into a good thing! You can be looking at a snowstorm from your room, and then be basking in sunshine the next few minutes. And if you find yourself in a snow storm, your winter adventure can go on regardless—just like a normal day for Icelanders.
Dress in layers, check the weather forecast, be prepared for all scenarios, and most importantly—you’ll need to be spontaneous.
You can definitely handle the cold.
Iceland in the winter is just as cold as other popular winter destinations around the world. Expect temperatures hovering around 0 degrees Celsius or only a few notches colder. New York City, London and Paris during the winter have gotten colder.
Your wallet will thank you for visiting during winter.
Let’s be real—Iceland is an expensive country to visit. But, prices are lower in the winter, so visiting at this time will be kinder to your wallet. You can save up on accommodation, car rentals and even tours. Food and alcoholic beverages are on the pricey side, though, so consider booking an apartment where you can cook.
You’ll need a bathing suit. No kidding.
Yes, you can actually swim! Iceland features tons of volcanic hot springs—some transformed into lovely public baths. Just get through the few freezing seconds of removing your clothes, and then you can warm up and destress in the water. Check out the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa; it’s one of 25 wonders of the world.
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