Iceland, Travel
Comments 29

Winter in Iceland – 6 days itinerary

A few weeks ago, I was able to fulfil one of my long-time dreams of going to Iceland, and it was truly amazing. I went there at the beginning of March and stayed there for a week. It was still winter, so to avoid being blocked by snow or other weather-related problems, we decided to go on a road trip in the South of Iceland, which has lower risks of snowstorms.

For this trip, we followed (and adjusted) an itinerary that I found on the Iceland Trippers blog, created by the couple behind the Follow Me Away blog and Instagram account. There, you’ll find everything you need to know about Iceland, as well as great itineraries and travel-related tips! They also have an amazing Instagram account so you should definitely check them out!

Day 1: Reykjavik and the Golden Circle

Our first day in Iceland was initially all about exploring the Golden Circle in details. The Golden Circle is the main tourist road in Iceland as it has some of its most famous landmarks: a national park, gorgeous waterfalls and a geysir, as well as so many other beautiful things.

Reykjavik’s Hallgrímskirkja church, pretty streets and opera house

Because of a snowstorm and icy weather, the Golden Circle road was closed in the morning, so we had to change our plans a bit and decided to walk around Reykjavik instead. We explored its cute shops, nice clean streets and admired all the colourful houses along the way. The centre is quite small so it only takes half a day to see it, which was perfect for us. After some time, we stopped to check the beautiful opera house and its architecture.

In the early afternoon, we left the capital and started the Golden Circle by taking the Southern Road, stopping to check the Kerid Crater, hot springs that looked like they belonged on a movie set, walk around the geyser geothermal area and witness an eruption, and admire two gorgeous waterfalls including Iceland’s iconic Gullfoss waterfall. Sadly, we couldn’t finish the Golden Circle as it was getting dark and we got caught up in a blizzard, so we decided that we would do the rest at the end of our trip and headed back to our accommodation taking a 2-hour-long detour because all the roads were getting closed.

The Hrunalaug hot springs and foggy Gullfoss waterfall

Day 2: from Reykjavik to Vík

Waking up under a bright sunshine, our second day also included a late-ish start because of closed roads, but we managed to leave the Reykjavik area before noon, heading towards Vík, a seaside town located on the southernmost part of Iceland. The weather was splendid, so the drive through the breath-taking Icelandic landscapes was fantastic.

The hidden Gljúfrabúi waterfall, the majestic Skogafoss and the epic plane wreck

Our itinerary consisted of gorgeous waterfalls, including a “hidden one”, where we could almost get under the flow of water, and the famous Skogafoss, a wide and powerful waterfall that you can also see from the top. Finally, we hiked on an icy path to reach the Solheimasandur plane wreck, an abandoned plane wreck located in a scenic and very epic landscape, that looks straight out of a science fiction movie.

Day 3: from Vík to Höfn

Our third day on the road included a very long drive to a small fishing town called Höfn, with quite poor weather conditions: a very strong wind and pouring rain. We were certainly not as blessed as the day before, but these proved to be the best conditions to visit black sand beaches and basalt columns, our first stops. Right before Vík we stopped on this stunning beach, with huge waves crashing on the black sand, surrounded by basalt columns. It really felt like we were on the set of Game of Thrones and it doesn’t really get more epic than that.

Waves crashing on the Reynisfjara beach

After that, we made our way towards the Skaftafellsjökull glacier, that we reached after walking along a very slippery path. This was the first glacier that we saw (and not the last!) and despite the terrible weather, the ice was stunningly blue! In the evening, we reached Höfn and our very cute accommodation.

A view over the Skaftafellsjökull glacier

Day 4: from Höfn to the middle of nowhere

After a peaceful night, we left early and walked to the nearby Stokksnes beach, a beautiful black sand beach with a fantastic view over snowy mountains. It was also possible to visit a Viking village nearby, but we were on a schedule that day so we had to skip it. Going back to our accommodation, we stopped to pet some cute Icelandic horses and quickly walked to a beautiful waterfall nearby, then started our way back West.

A misty Stokksnes beach and cute Icelandic horses

Our main activity that day was to visit the ice caves with a tour that we had booked a few weeks before. This was definitely one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, and pictures really don’t do it justice. After that, we walked around the Diamond beach, where big chunks of glaciers really look like gemstones stranded on the black sand, and headed to our accommodation, in a tiny hotel in the middle of nowhere. There, we spent some time to admire and capture the beautiful starry sky, trying to catch a glimpse of the elusive Northern Lights, but we were not successful.

The turquoise ice and chunks of glaciers on the Diamond Beach (in the middle)

Day 5: back to Reykjavik

This fifth day on the road consisted of driving past some places that we past on our way East, so we could stop in all the places we didn’t have time to check before. Our first stop was a beautiful canyon, then we checked a viewpoint over the black sand beaches next to Vik, which offered a beautiful new perspective, and finally we stopped to check the stunning and quite secluded Kvernufoss waterfall, that we had all to ourselves, and that we could also see from behind.

From left to right: the Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, a black sand beach from above and the scluded Kvernufoss waterfall

Back to Reykjavik, we had dinner at Café Loki, a restaurant that serves traditional Icelandic food (like fermented shark!), where we tried different specialties, including their sweet rye bread that was heavenly. Finally, at around 9.30 pm we hopped on a bus for a “Northern Lights” tour, where we were rewarded with the most magical thing that I have ever seen, as we managed to “catch” the Northern lights.

Day 6: Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon

On our last day in Iceland, we went to the other half of the Golden Circle that we had missed the first day, and walked around the impressive Thingvellir National Park, located in a rift valley between two tectonic plates. Afterwards, we were supposed to go on a “bread tour” in a geothermal area, to see how they bake the bread underground for 24 hours, but decided to head back to Reykjavik because of a weather warning.

A frozen waterfall and a view of the rift at Thingvellir National Park

In the late afternoon, we checked in at the iconic Blue Lagoon, a famous geothermal spa. The naturally hot water was just a delight after days of walking, driving and hiking, plus the steam made the experience feel very intimate and cosy, even though there were quite a lot of people there. We used the sauna and steam room, then went to take our complimentary face mask and drinks. It was such a relaxing and unique experience and definitely worth it!

Last few words…

These holidays in Iceland were absolutely fantastic and everything went above and beyond my expectations. The landscapes are so different from what I am used to and everything just seems unreal and epic. This is for sure a trip that I would recommend to anyone!

I plan to write a bit more on Iceland and to share a lot more in here, so if you have any questions about our trip there, please let me know in the comments so that I can talk about it in future articles!


Have you ever been to Iceland?

What do you think would be your favourite thing there?

This entry was posted in: Iceland, Travel

by

Hey, I'm Juliette! I'm starting this blog to keep a record of and share my adventures. I love everything sweet, sunny days, fluffy kittens and people who smile. When I don't work I like to discover new places and try to learn languages. I hope you will find something that you like in here! ☼

29 Comments

  1. Un viaggio affascinante! Io lo feci in estate e mi sono sempre ripromesso di ritornarci in invernos e dopo aver visto e letto il tuo post…la mia promessa deve trasformarsi in piano da realizzare! Non hai messo nessuna foto dell’aurora boreale…complicata da fotografare? Un abbraccio!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In estate dev’essere fantastica pure! Sogno di vedere il sole di mezzanotte! Sicuramente ci tornerò, forse tra qualche anno 😊
      Il mio ragazzo è riuscito a fare delle foto molto belle dell’aurora boreale, le condividerò in un altro post, sicuramente tra qualche mese!

      Like

  2. This trip does indeed sound incredible. I went in the summer when it never gets dark and I loved the amazing scenery, especially the waterfalls. I think it’s brave to travel to Iceland in winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Iceland in the summer must be fantastic as well, and the longer days definitely allow you to see so much more! I’d really like to experience it one day! The waterfalls are indeed stunning, I think it was the first time that I actually saw big ones!
      I think going there in the coldest parts of winter like January of February can be a bit risky because nature is so unpredictable and there are also a lot of things you can’t do!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, in the end we were lucky to have a good mix of good and bad weather so we really got the full experience! 😊 Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  3. Omg what an incredible experience despite some weather issues! I have always wanted to go to Iceland. It seems like such an amazing place!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, what beautiful pics and experiences. Iceland is somewhere I probably can’t visit due to geographical and financial circumstances, so it’s amazing that I get such a detailed experience through your posts. Reminds me of Walter Mitty somewhat. You really do know how to capture places and produce travel pieces!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that’s so kind of you, thank you! I hope to share even more details about it at the end of the year (to keep things seasonal ahah)! Thanks for reading 😊

      Like

  5. What an awesome trip, Juliette! I’m glad you found time to complete this dream voyage and make the most of it too. It looks as stunning as I’ve known it to be! It’s definitely something that needs to be done at least once in our lives and hopefully sooner rather than later. I’m so curious to see if my own resilience to snow would allow me to appreciate Iceland even more too hahah Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading Lashaan! I’m sure you would be more equipped for the snow, that’s for sure! Can you believe that I almost left without a scarf?? 😂 I think what impressed me the most were how nature really dictates everything and how strong it actually is! I hope you’lle get to visit it sooner rather than later too! 😊

      Like

  6. i never considered visiting Iceland in the winter months, but you mount a convincing case! it looks freaking amazing! (i visited mid Juy 1999 so its been a long while)

    Like

    • Oh, I think Iceland in the winter is very very different, and beautiful in it’s own way! Of course you might be lucky enough to see Northern lights, but the weather conditions can make things a bit unstable and hard to plan… Despite this, I’m sure you’ll love it if you ever go back in the winter! And you’ll probably find it very different for many other reasons! Thank you for reading 😊

      Like

  7. Juliette,that was an amazing description of your Iceland trip alongwith some stunning photos!The blog was quite informative!I would have loved to be there in winters but my children have made a program in july-Aug !Never the less, hope to enjoy the destination!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a lot! I think July-August is a perfect time to visit Iceland: you won’t really have weather issues and the longer days will allow you to see many more things! I’m very excited for you and I’m sure you will love it! Thanks for reading as well!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Like you I too am a traveller very keen interest to exlore new places & learn about diverse culture across the globe!Please spare some time to go through my posts !you may find them informative ,Juliette !

      Like

  8. Pingback: 10 Tips to create happy memories | Sunny Days with Juliette

  9. Wow, such a great post, Juliette! And your travel photos from Iceland are truly amazing. Given how cold it gets in Iceland, I would usually never even think about visiting it during the winter months, but you’ve changed my mind! I can see now that visiting Iceland in winter gives you the chance to see the country’s stunning landscapes in a magical light and not to mention the opportunity to enjoy such thrilling Iceland winter activities as ice caving, snowmobiling and chasing the northern lights. Thanks for sharing and inspiring and have a wonderful day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! 😊 I also really hate being cold and it was definitely cold there, but the landscapes are so much different in winter so I think it is worth it go there in both seasons! Of course in summer you get more light so more time to explore though!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s