10 things to do in Iceland in winter
Iceland is beautiful in summer – but there are also plenty of things to enjoy during winter; Viewing the magnificent Aurora Borealis being one. Other advantages of visiting Iceland in the winter are the smaller crowds and cheaper accommodation. And, of course, all the exciting winter activities!
Jökulsárlón lake is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations and rightly so; With its luminous blue-white icebergs, it will leave you breathless.
Jökulsárlón literally means glacial river lagoon and the lake covers about 22 km2 (8.5 sq mi), reaching from the base of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, to the edge of Iceland’s southeast coast. Only a sliver of solid ground separates it from the North Atlantic ocean.
Distance from Reykjavík: 4.5 hours.
2. Snæfellsnes peninsula
Last year, Snæfellsnes became the only tourist destination in Iceland to be included be listed as one of the world‘s 100 most sustainable destinations. There is much to see and do in Snæfellsnes: Vatnsheillir cave, an 8,000 year-old volcanic cave that lies 35 metres below the surface, Snæfellsjökull glacier, the picturesce Arnarstapi cliffs, Mount Kirkjufell, Stykkishólmur town, and much, much more.
Distance from Reykjavík to Hellnar: 2 hours and 20 minutes.
3. Super Jeep tours
A ‘super jeep’ tour is a thrilling experience. There are a number of companies that offer such tours to different locations around the south and west regions. These monstrous jeeps will even take you all the way up onto glaciers for the ultimate travel experience.
Distance from Reykjavík: Depends on the destination, usually these tours last 8 hours or longer.
Yup. You can also enjoy Iceland’s outdoor swimming pools in winter and if you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights while you relax in the hot pools.
Distance from Reykjavík: You are never far away from a swimming pool.
5. Dogsledding in Iceland
Dogsledding Iceland has offered dogsledding tours since 1998. These tours give visitors a chance to experience Icelandic nature in a completely unique way.
Distance from Reykjavík: 1 hour.
6. 4x4 tour around Reykjanes peninsula
These quad bike tours take you through lava fields, the black sands of the Krýsuvík region, and up mountains where you’ll be able to enjoy amazing panoramic views over the Blue Lagoon and other Reykjanes landmarks.
Distance from Reykjavík: 45 minutes.
7. Northern Light tours
A number of tour operators offers special Northern Light tours. The companies check the weather forecast before deciding where to hunt for the natural phenomena. However, as the lights can only be viewed when the skies are clear, the tour operators reserve the right to cancel due to bad weather conditions. In such cases, customers are offered a refund or a second tour free of charge.
Distance from Reykjavík: Depends on weather conditions.
8. Árbæjarsafn Museum
The Árbæjarsafn Open Air Folk Museum has been voted one of Iceland’s best museums. In November and December, this quaint, little museum allows visitors to experience Icelandic Christmas as it was long ago. This includes the preparation of traditional Icelandic Christmas food and crafts such as candle making.
Distance from Reykjavík city centre: 15 minutes by car.
9. Fákasel Equestrian Theatre
Fákasel is Iceland‘s only equestrian theatre. It‘s situated midways between the neighbouring towns of Hveragerði and Selfoss on the south coast of Iceland and its aim is to showcase the Icelandic horse’s talent and beauty. This is a show the whole family can enjoy!
Distance from Reykjavík: 45 minutes.
10. Helicopter tours
Experience Reykjavík and its surroundings from above with Norðurflug helicopter tours. The Reykjavík Summit tour will fly you over the capital, giving visitors a completely new perspective of the city, before landing on a nearby mountain top for the perfect photo op.
10 beautiful Icelandic churches to visit
5 Questions you should avoid asking an Icelander
Foundations of Well-being: Iceland ranks fourth on the Social Progress Index
Seven interesting facts about one of Reykjavík’s best known landmarks, Hallgrímskirkja church
Food & Drink
The best lunch in Reykjavík
Word On The Street: What not to miss while in Iceland
13 Reasons to visit North Iceland in the Spring
Whaling is not an Icelandic tradition
Warning: Vatnajökull's ice caves have begun to deteriorate and crack
Food & Drink
Five Bars to Visit In Down-town Reykjavík
Follow Iceland Mag
Join our weekly hand curated newsletter to have all the latest news from Iceland sent to you
Don't worry, we won't spam you. Promise!
Negotiations at a standstill, no end for teachers strike in sight
Travel Magazine Condé Nast compiles a list of what NOT to do in Iceland
Statue of cellist Erling Blöndal Bengtsson to be moved to Harpa
Hofsjökull glacier grows for the first time since 1994
The mystical atmosphere, the endless variety of landscapes, the powerful sense of isolation
Venetians upset over Iceland's istallation at the Venice Biennale. Call for boycott
Watch: Iceland’s interior is one of the country’s greatest treasures
James Arterberry and his friends danced their way around Iceland - and the result is brilliant
Watch amazing aerial footage from the volcanic eruption
Breathtaking video of ice climbing on Vatnajökull glacier gives you a view of the glacier like no other