Iceland is one of those countries close to a pole. It combines ice with lava fields, rain with blue skies, and long summer days with almost permanent darkness during the colder seasons. If you are planning to travel to Iceland in the winter, we will tell you about the peculiarities of this period.
Why travel to Iceland in winter?
Although Iceland tends to be associated with extremely cold climates, the fact is that its temperatures are very mild compared to other European countries.
Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the island enjoys an oceanic climate. That is to say that the temperatures in Reykjavík and in the south vary between -5º and 5º, and between -20º and -5º for the interior areas.
However, if you are planning to visit Iceland in the winter, you should pay attention to its winds. It blows quite frequently and these are very cold gusts that only the locals are used to tolerating.
But beyond these climatic details, traveling to Iceland in winter is a sight worth watching. The Northern Lights in its sky are famous around the world, as well as its ice caves and thermal pools. Are you going to miss it?
An unstable climate like few others
During the cold seasons, the country constantly collides with the cold, dry air masses of Iceland and the warm, humid air of the tropical currents. This results in almost permanent instability of the climate.
Since this is a common occurrence in the country, the climate is not an obstacle to the development of normal life. However, as a tourist, if you are planning to travel to Iceland in the winter, this is one thing to keep in mind. Temperatures can rise and fall sharply, and on the same day, we may witness snowstorms, rain and clear skies.
As for snow, it is less frequent in winter than in the Nordic countries. But due to the constant variations of the climate, some areas may be closed due to snow, while in others no flakes will have fallen there.
The shortest days of the year
One of the most impressive aspects of a winter trip to Iceland is the length of the day. In the south and north of the country, the five hours of light are not exceeded throughout the day. And from mid-November to the end of January, it’s usually only four hours. An important detail if you want to go to Iceland in December.
But as the saying goes, “it’s bad for good”. When the sky is clear, you can contemplate the Northern Lights. A light show that has become the representative picture of Iceland in winter.
During these few hours, we should take the opportunity to visit the Golden Circle, the Reyjanes and Snaeffelsness peninsulas, Vik ì Myrdall and the rest of the treasures that the country offers us. And all this with a different aspect thanks to the special light of the end of the year.
Oblique light for photography enthusiasts
Iceland is a country with a mysterious character, and its special light is one of the responsible. As the sun is kept in a fairly low position, the few hours of daylight have a special brightness. Thanks to this mildness so characteristic of the region, sunrises and sunsets are a gift that completely compensates for the darkness of the rest of the day.
And what is there to discover in Iceland?
Having a car or motorhome is the best way to get to Iceland in winter. However, if you stop to take pictures, you should remember to close the doors. Otherwise, you run the risk of them breaking down, which even insurers remind their customers.
In addition to the Northern Lights, Iceland has volcanoes, lava fields, waterfalls and thermal pools. Located in the south-east of the island, the Blue Lagoon is the most popular spa resort in the country. It is a place visited not only by tourists, but also by Icelanders themselves who are used to bathing there, just like in other public swimming pools. The vapor released by water is due to lava formations.