Winter Wonders: Exploring Iceland’s Chilly Charms

Arnar

Arnar

A co-founder of Local Adventures and guide, Arnar has a degree in physical education and is certified glacier guide. Along with his education he has worked in tourism for 20 years.

Many people who travel with us in the summer often ask us whether winter in Iceland is different, but also what my favourite thing to do is in terms of travel. That is difficult to answer because every season in Iceland has something. Only the months of December and January have very short days.

But from February onwards, the days quickly become longer again. Well, longer than in Europe anyway! The weather is also often more stable than in the preceding months. There is a little more snow certainty, although there are also harsh winters in Iceland when there is hardly any snow.  This applies especially in the south, where it is always slightly warmer than in the north. Myvatn, for example, is almost always covered with snow in winter.

It benefits the snow fun for sure but can also make travelling more difficult for you!

Weather conditions

When we started our winter trip in March 2020, a nice layer of snow was everywhere. The falls were frozen due to cold weeks before. What a difference from my trip in March 2018 when we visited the seals near Hvammstangi in the north.

It was windless, the sun was shining, and it was about 15 degrees! To be honest, I haven’t experienced that again, fortunately, although it was nice at that moment. You are here for the winter conditions.

In 2020, we were able to carry out our last winter trip. We wanted to have more in 2021, but unfortunately, the virus hit, and we had to cancel everything. That’s why we are excited that we can do it again this year! The first and second trips are already full, and only March is still bookable.

Closed roads and mountain passes

Many people who travel themselves, without a travel organisation, have a tight schedule. You want to do as much as possible and see as much as possible. And sometimes that is very practicable! But it may also happen that roads or mountain passes are closed to all traffic. We also experienced this on the way to Egilsstadir, when road no. 1 was also closed to Myvatn. If your planning goes wrong and you have to fly back a few days later, that is very annoying. Luckily, we adjusted our schedule a bit and did other fun things. Most importantly, we had the best day of the trip snowmobiling!

Waterfalls

You may need some luck for this. But when it is cold enough for a while, even the waterfalls we skip in the summer are now worth seeing. Sometimes photos say more than words… See for yourself!

p.s. I think the Godafoss, between Myvatn and Akureyri, is my favorite!

If you don’t travel with us

We think that is a shame, of course, but what we would like to tell you is: don’t plan too much ahead. There is always a place to sleep nearby. Activities can almost always be booked a day in advance, with some exceptions of course. And what about clothes? Layers. You will often need to take something off or put something on. Maybe because of that wind that rises or dies down. The sun that may or may not shine. Our winter trip page contains some tips and the packing list as we have put it together for our travelers. Feel free to download it.

Hopefully, you now know a little more. Whenever you go: Iceland is always something to fall in love with!

Some photos to conclude then?

We almost forgot that the Northern Lights are of course also on your list!

But we already wrote a blog about that, that’s why.

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