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Top 7 Things to do in Iceland this Winter

By: Jenna
Last Updated: 24/04/2020
Posted in: Blogs, Things to Do

Winter in Iceland is magical, with the soft light, cosy days, and lots of activities. We asked some of our Nordic Visitor colleagues what they like best about the Icelandic winter season. 

1. Hunt Northern Lights

We know you love them and we love to show them off. Catching a glimpse of the northern lights is probably the biggest draw for winter tourists to Iceland, but locals appreciate them as well. „I would say the northern lights on a clear winter night is my favourite,“ says Hjalti in our marketing department. „It‘s a privilege to witness such a natural phenomena just outside your window on a regular basis.“

Thingvellir Winter Northern Lights

2. Plan a Christmas Visit

Icelanders can‘t get enough of Christmas. „I love the Christmas lights and everything to do with Christmas,“ says Silja, a travel consultant. „Icelanders celebrate Christmas a lot and it is loooong. We always have something to celebrate—the Yule Lads, Christmas Eve, New Year‘s, the 13th day of Christmas and more.“

Reykjavik Winter

3. Embark on a Reykjavik Cafe Crawl

Reykjavik might be a small city, but there are so many establishments to choose from in city centre. „The cafe culture is fabulous in wintertime,“ says Jessica from our marketing department. „The coffee houses are so cosy and full of people chatting, working on laptops or just reading. The cold weather also makes it seem okay to indulge in extra calories, so go on and have that cake with your latte.“


Reykjavik Food walk

4. Iceland‘s Unique Light

Iceland‘s light is so soft in winter. „When the sun is at its highest point (in places where the sun is visible at all) you can still experience those long dramatic shadows of sunset,“ says Catharine in our marketing department. „It‘s romantic.“

Winter Lights Hallgrimskirkja

5. Icy Waterfalls

While the landscape is lush and colourful in the summer, Iceland‘s natural pearls look beautiful during the winter. „I love seeing waterfalls in their icy costume,“ Hafdís, a sales manager, reports. „The sections of smooth ice meeting jagged earth is breathtaking.“ Check out Goðafoss below!


6. Explore Ice Caves

Visiting an ice cave is an activity that must be done during the winter months, from mid-November to early March to be exact. „New natural caves form each year and they collapse once it gets warmer,“ says Jenna, from the marketing department. „Watching the light hit the vast caves is a very cool experience.“

Ice Cave in Iceland

7. Enjoy Iceland‘s Pools

Lárus, a travel consultant, suggests enjoy the local swimming pools. „I love to go swimming on a frosty winter day. It‘s best if it even snows a bit. Swim a few laps, site in the hot tub, go to the sauna or steam-bath and then back to the hot tub.“

Laugardalslaug Swimming Pool


Post by: Jenna

Originally from New York City, Jenna Gottlieb made her first trip to Iceland in 2007, promptly fell in love with the island and relocated in 2012. She lives with her Icelandic husband in rural West Iceland.

Find Jenna on LinkedIn.


More posts by Jenna

Getting there

We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.