Is it wise to visit Iceland in December? Won’t Iceland be bitterly cold in winter? What can one see in winter? Being Christmas time, will it be crowded? If more crowds mean the hotels will be expensive-right?
These are the usual expected questions that come to us if someone recommends a holiday trip to Nordic island Country in Winter.
Let me address all the questions to the best of my knowledge.
- It is perfectly all right to go to Nordic island Country during December.
- No, it won’t be as cold as Norway or Canada where the temperature dips to below -20 degree C. In winter temperature won’t go down below -1deg C. I am sure that will be tolerable even if you are not a winter lover.
- There are plenty of places to see during Winter. Such extremely beautiful places don’t exist anywhere in the world. Those are simply December sights. I have listed all the places to see and things to do in Iceland in Winter after I have answered the basic questions about the wisdom of visiting Nordic island Country during December.
- Yes, more crowds mean the rate of rooms in hotels will go up. However, It is not crowded at all in December even though it is Christmas time. Therefore, you will find accommodations at affordable rates.
What To Do In Iceland In December
Nordic island Country during winter is a must-visit country for the above-mentioned reasons. In addition, the following are the gorgeous places to see and exciting things to do in Iceland in December.
Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
I request you to go to the top of this blog post and look again at the title image. What you see is not painting on a canvas but real natural lights. This extraordinary phenomenon named as the ‘Northern Lights’. You have to see the Northern Lights to believe it. You will feel literally on ‘cloud 9’ when you see the sky is lit up with a spectacular natural light show. Aurora Borealis is the prime reason for people to visit here during winter when the temperature is also at a tolerable level.
Use this guide to get to know the Northern Lights better and find helpful tips for organizing a trip to Iceland centered on chasing this heavenly phenomenon.
Long nights in Iceland during winter
If you are a winter lover, you will like the long nights wherever you are. Here, the nights are too long and the daylight remains for just 4 to 5 hours only. This is certainly a different experience that you would love to recount to your friends back home.
Though the nighttime is very long in winter, don’t expect the place to be covered in bitter darkness. On the contrary, the cities brightly lit by the Christmas lights from skyscrapers, shops, and apartment complexes during the festive season.
Warm up your body in the natural hot springs.
Oh, this will be cool; I mean it is a cool idea to dip yourself in a natural geyser that is surrounded by snow on all sides! Weird!
It is always soothing to take a hot water bath in an open area when the weather is freezing.
There are a few geothermal springs in this country that offer a wonderful winter escape for the tourists as well as the locals.
Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa
Hmm… it is incredibly large. I was expecting a small fountain that spews bearable hot water but this Blue Geothermal Lagoon is unbelievably large!
If you are staying in Reykjavik, the capital city, you can board a bus to the Blue Lagoon natural hot springs. Look out for the bus that is heading to Global Geopark, a UNESCO site.
Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is not the only one in this country. There are three more natural hot water bathing spots namely:
- Secret Lagoon
- Myvatn Nature Baths
- GeoSea Sea Baths
This is an interesting attraction. It is located in a hot spot for whale watching. It is a small town called ‘Húsavík’.
Instead of a natural spring, here the seawater is heated up. It is a place in Nordic island Country that will take your breath away with its stunning beauty all around.
Can you imagine entering a cave formed out of ice in Winter? Even to think about it, I feel the shiver.
There are five ice caves in Nordic island Country, spread across the country.
Skaftafell Ice Caves.
Katla Ice Cave. …
Crystal Ice Cave
Vatnajökull Ice Caves
Langjökull Ice Cave
You cannot explore these ice caves on your own. You definitely need a guide to go into the ice caves. “Ice Cave Tours in Iceland” is your keyphrase to find a reputed ice cave tour operator.
Ice caves are wonderful tourist attractions during December.
Riding and sledding during winter
There is really no point in touring Iceland in December without enjoying a ride in the snow using a ‘snowmobile’.
We all enjoy rides such as a toy train, horseback, dog sled, and snowmobile. These rides are just for fun if not used for commuting.
Iceland in Winter attracts tourists by offering facilities for snowmobile riding or dog sledding.
While the scene around you when you move on the snow using either a motorized vehicle or a cart (sleigh) pulled by trained dogs is not attractive (only snow), you will still have a memorable experience when you go on a holiday in winter.
Horseback riding is also an enjoyable experience in December. You will be amazed at how easy the horses walk on the snow in Nordic island Country.
Gullfoss Canyon and waterfall
Hvítá River is plunging over a canyon resulting in a breathtaking waterfall.
I wonder whether the water will freeze during December in Nordic island Country.
Well, these are the places to see and things to do in Winter.
What can buy as souvenirs and gifts?
Since you will be in Nordic island Country during the Christmas holidays, you can shop for gifts for your relatives.
Some of the unique and special gifts you can buy when you are visiting include:
- Woolen scarves, sweaters, and blankets
- Leather belts and leather jackets
- Jewels made of volcanic rock
- Chocolates made by Omnom brand
- Fleece jackets and blankets
- Puffin ( a bird) soft toys
- Icelandic Elves
I think you have to allocate half a day to shop for Icelandic gifts and souvenirs.
You will never forget your first holiday in Iceland in December. Touring in Winter is a worthy expenditure.