Top 5 places to go in Iceland in the winter
Winter in Iceland brings a particular sort of experience, from pursuing the shape-shifting Northern Lights to trekking through caves of frosty blue ice. Despite its cold title, the Land of Ice and Fire is not inhospitable to winter wanderers. As soon as it’s no-go from the central highlands, the Ring Road, that paths the shore, remains open throughout the year. Remember, however, you’ll need studded tyres to push the Ring Road, and a willingness to rapidly alter your aims in harsh weather. Obviously, you can prevent the dodgy driving states by adhering into the cities or reserving on a tour. But you choose to do this, here are the top five places to go in Iceland in the winter.
The ideal location to begin your trip Iceland in the winter? Reykjavík
Having a typical January daylight temperatures of 0.5°C (like winter temps in New York) there is nothing stopping you from packaging your parka and going into the planet’s most northernly funding.
In the city, multicoloured rooftops are dwarfed by the creature spire of this concrete-clad Hallgrimskirkja church. Among many avant-garde buildings which make Reykjavík a cure for people who have a desire for layout.
Food is far better than you would believe; the New Nordic landscape throws up spins on traditional dishes like reindeer and puffin. Restaurant Dill was granted Iceland’s first Michelin star this past year.
Old fishing factories in the Grandi Harbour are currently hipster restaurants restaurants and breweries. Enrol at”beer school” in the Bryggjan Brewery to find out about their methods as you taste the craft beers.
To get a more active — and certainly cold — trip, snorkelling and scuba-diving are available even in mid-winter. Within day-reach is dip mecca, Silfra.
Then get a sense for Icelandic scenery in Snaefellsnes
Even the Snaefellsnes peninsula is occasionally known as”Iceland in mini” thanks to the varied landscape of glaciers, lava fields, and black and white gold beaches.
Inside the Golden Circle, it is only a two-hour push from Reykjavík and creates a simple day trip.
Clamp in your crampons and begin with a guided climb of this Snæfellsjökull volcano’s glacier. Hard work but worth itthe 1446m summit climbs above the oceans, to provide views of snowy peaks extending in the North Atlantic ocean.
Walk to the south to descend — this moment, through a underground spiral staircase to the early Vatnshellir lava tube.
Then, investigate the ice caves at Skaftafell
One of Iceland’s most striking all-natural wonders, the caves type from the ice once it begins to melt the summertime, dividing spaces at the glacier which remain suspended winter.
You are going to require a guide to direct you — fresh caves are formed annually and your guide will know where to proceed.
Take half a day that our from caving to stop by a iceberg-filled lagoon, the seven-square-mile Jökulsárlón, among the nation’s most photogenic places. Boat tours stop at winter but you can drift around it any moment, marvelling in the icebergs’ geometric artistry.
Find a hotel or homestay with large windows so that you can gaze out in the glaciers over breakfast.
It may be draining the Arctic Circle however Akureyri, the’Capital of the North’, is about the map because a yearlong destination. Direct flights in the UK established this year which makes it simpler than ever for to.
Weather here is really like Reykjavik. What is more, for this very small city it is amazingly lively, with good restaurants as well as some nightlife.
Sample local beers in Ölstofa Akureyrar and eat Strikið, on the top floor of this Skipagata 14 construction, overlooking the mountains and fjord.
Just outside Akureyri, in Eyjafjörður, you will locate that the exact distinctive turf homes.
A one-hour drive away is Mývatn, where obviously warm water is pumped to rock pools — perfect for a relaxing dip.
Hunt the Aurora at the East Fjords
There is a feeling of solitude with this 75-mile stretch of shoreline. The East Fjords extend from Berufjörður from the southwest, to the little fishing village of Borgarfjörður Eystri from the northwest.
As just 3.2percent of Iceland’s population live round the distant fishing villages, farms and woods here, there is little light pollution. That usually means the northern lights ought to be a lot easier to spot.
Norwegian-style homes are tucked between mountains and the fjord.
This is the springboard for winter activities, like safaris to identify wild reindeer (imported to Iceland from the 18th century and just located from the east). Strap on some snowshoes to get a tour round the town: they will have you looking for indications of additional winter wildlife like fox paths, ptarmigans and snow buntings.
Iceland in winter does not get better than that.