Iceland, Travel
Comments 33

The best things about Winter in Iceland

With the colder weather and winter officially approaching, I thought it would be a great time to post about some colder destinations, starting off with Iceland! You may remember that I went there earlier this year and I only got to posting about our amazing itinerary. Now, it’s finally time to wind back up to that trip and share more about this fantastic destination – one of my all-time favourites so far, and I’m not a fan of cold weather so that says a lot.

I went to Iceland with my boyfriend in late February/early March, which was still winter there, though some of the snow was already starting to melt. While Iceland is definitely more popular in summer as there are generally more things to do and the temperatures reach normal levels, winter in Iceland is extremely beautiful.

So, I thought I would write a little list about all the best (and some silly) reasons to go to Iceland in winter and why it is really worth it in my opinion!

Catching the Northern lights

Iceland is a great destination to watch the Northern lights, and while you can still see them in spring or autumn, the long winter nights give all the time for the auroras to appear. It is one of the most breath-taking things I have ever experienced, and I can’t imagine ever being tired of it. Of course, as these are natural occurrences, there is no way of knowing with absolute certainty if you will see them, so keep you expectations low, regardless of the season!

Visiting the ice caves

The ice caves near Jökulsárlón glacier lake. You can only visit them in the colder season and some part were already not accessible in early March.

Iceland is home to Europe’s biggest glacier, and there are many more all around the island. In winter, they create beautiful ice caves and visitors can also hike on top of them. These excursions only take place in winter, as part of the glaciers melt in the summer, making them extremely dangerous.

Hot springs under the snow

The stunning Hrunalaug hot springs – almost empty in winter, probably quite crowded in summer!

Since it is a volcanic land, Iceland has many hot springs and geothermal pools, the most famous being the Blue Lagoon. These can be enjoyed throughout the year, and summer will not be too warm for it, but sitting in a warm hot spring, while seeing the snow slowly cover all the nature around you and melt as it reaches the steam is something you can only experience in winter.

Snowy and epic landscapes

The view from the Thingvellir National Park

In winter, pretty much every landscape you’ll see in Iceland will be covered by a nice white layer of snow or ice. It obviously means you have to be more careful when walking around, but there is also something really peaceful and beautiful about a snowy landscape. The pictures I’ve seen from summer in Iceland and what I experienced in winter seemed like completely different places, so you can also go twice and see for yourself 😛

Less crowds

Of course, since it is the off-season and there aren’t as many people on holidays during the winter months, it also means that every famous spot will be less busy. For instance, when we went to some of the most famous waterfalls, the area surrounding them was almost empty, allowing us to truly enjoy it to the fullest.

Cheaper flights

For the same reason, the flights to go there are also much cheaper during winter than in summer, where there are many tourists coming to visit. Similarly, when booking an accommodation, it will be easier to find something towards the cheap side, than if you go during peak season. This can be very interesting especially since Iceland in general is not a cheap destination.

Perfecting your driving skills

This is a bit of a silly one, but I’m a much more confident driver since I managed to drive in Iceland, and I feel like I can now take on everything the road throws at me: snow storm? Good! Icy roads? Good! Strong gushes of wind? Good! Very narrow bridges? Good! Ability to parallel park on an uphill street covered with a thick layer of ice? Goo- no actually my boyfriend had to do it for me because I was struggling…😭 Jokes aside, the roads will test you in Iceland, and there were moments where I was definitely panicking (luckily I was not the one driving), but afterwards, I really felt more confident!

The snow was already starting to melt in some places, but some roads were still very icy!

You still have plenty of things to see in summer

Most of the main and most famous spots of Iceland are located in the South of the island, which is easily accessible in winter, with less adverse weather conditions. So you won’t miss out on much anyways. However, there will be things you probably won’t be able to access in winter, especially in the North, but that means you’ll still have many things to explore in summer! I know it can be a bit discouraging if you want to visit all of Iceland on one occasion, but even though I do plan to go back one day, I’m still really happy with all the amazing things that I saw in winter, and I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything at all!

Going to Iceland in winter is a wonderful way to explore the island with less crowds and to experience some of the most beautiful things the country has to offer, such as the Northern lights or the ice caves. While it does come with its load of difficulties, I think all of it is worth it when you see the incredible landscapes and experience the power and strength of nature there – as a European living in a big city, it is really not something that I’m used to!

If this post has convinced you to book a trip to Iceland this winter, watch out for my next post, with some tips on how to survive it and have the best experience!


Would you like to go to Iceland in winter?

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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! ☼


    • Bellissimo! Io purtroppo non mi ero portata il costume quel giorno ma quant’era bello! Vorrei tanto tornare d’estate pure!


  1. Looks like you had a truly winter wonderland of a time in Iceland! I went in May, so it was definitely a different climate experienced…I would only return to Iceland in the winter for the Northern Lights, but otherwise, I’d rather stick with visiting in the spring or summer. I mean, I like the cold, but not THAT cold, haha!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ahah yes, especially since you can do a bit more in summer anyways, and I’d love to go back in spring/autumn. It really felt a bit like a winter wonderland at times (on sunny days), and sometimes like I was in the middle of an epic music video or in Game of Thrones (when the weather was not so great) ahah!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I was also a bit apprehensive for the cold because I love a warm weather, but if you come prepared, it’s all good, and nature is so beautiful and breath-taking that you usually forget the rest. The Northern Lights definitely are a highlight!


    • We stayed there for 10 days which is quite long but we could have stayed more – and also less, I think if you keep an active pace you can do the “essentials” in a week, maybe a bit less! The ice caves and northern lights surely are the highlight of winter in Iceland!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, black ice was really terrifying and we were really scared of that but luckily didn’t have problems. I hope nothing too serious happened for you in Japan! Our most scary part was getting caught in a snow storm at night and I honestly thought we’d have to sleep in the car covered in snow because we couldn’t get back home!!


  2. I want to visit Iceland so badly, and I’ve always assumed summer was the time to go, but this has me reconsidering. I’m beginning to realize I’m willing to put up with this like cold and snow to avoid the crowds. And it looks beautiful in winter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahah, I’m sure summer in Iceland is fantastic as well also because you get to see more things – and I do want to go back in the summer for sure anyways. But winter really makes it really magical!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stunning photos of an absolutely beautiful wintry landscape. The Northern Lights truly are a phenomenon to witness and the ice caves look amazing. As for the Hrunalaug Hot Springs, that photo is just too good. Avoiding crowds is always one of my priorities when travelling, so winter sounds like a great time to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Iceland in wintee really has some truly epic landscapes, and those hotsprings seemed like they came straight out of a movie! Thanks for stopping by!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Winter in Iceland – Things I wish I knew | Sunny Days with Juliette

  5. It didn’t take much to convince me that Iceland is a must-see destination hahahah Those ice caves are amazing and I’d love to just be outside in front of a huge open field covered in snow/ice with mountains far away. Being accustomed to snow a lot, I feel like I’ll only love Iceland more for its natural beauty hahah Great post, Juliette! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nature in Iceland is stunning regardless of the season, but it is true that snow adds something to the landscape! At least you’ll have all the good clothes to stay outside and not freeze instantly, that’s for sure! Especially as I think Canada is colder than Iceland in this season!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The answer was no! I wouldn’t have liked to go to Iceland in winter, but reading your reviews, I may change my answer. However, I loved the endless days in July and I might go again at this time of year first! For the Northern Lights, Canada is also a good place to see them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the midnight sun you get in summer must be absolutely amazing and to be fair I’d looove to go back in summer and experience it to the fullest – something you can probably only do in the warmer months! It’s true, Canada is alaso great for Northern Lights! I’d love to go to Norway, Sweden and Finland for those too!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: 7 stunning waterfalls to see in Iceland in winter | Sunny Days with Juliette

  8. Pingback: My little guide to seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland | Sunny Days with Juliette

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