Iceland is an anomaly. Although you can visit Iceland at any time during the year, it's one of those countries that appeals to many during the winter months. This draw is due to its abundance of unique activities that only occur during the darker, colder, and icier seasons. Surprisingly, even with limited daylight, winter in Iceland offers exciting experiences. You can explore blue ice caves, kayak in iceberg lagoons, dogsled with Huskies, and track the wild reindeer that roam the country's eastern valleys.
There are many regions in Iceland, but the country's famed South Coast is a hotspot for winter activities. From kayaking in glacier lagoons to exploring ice caves, Iceland's south is a prime location for wintertime fun.
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach
A trip to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is an experience like none other. The lagoon sits at the bottom of Europe's biggest glacier in Vatnajökull National Park. Large icebergs float in the water as they slowly make their way out to sea. Nearby is Diamond Beach, a beautiful black-sand beach that gets its name from the smaller icebergs that sit along its shore shimming in the sunlight. Although you can enjoy this activity in other seasons, winter is when the icebergs are plentiful. Read More
Mýrdalsjökull Glacier Snowmobiling
Also located on Iceland's South Coast is Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, which sits above one of the most active volcanoes in the country, Katla. Although the area is an active geological site, it's perfectly safe to explore the glacier, and even beginners can enjoy this thrilling experience. You'll glide across the glacier, stopping to take in the scenery of snowy mountain peaks. On a clear day, you can see all across Southern Iceland. Read More
Skaftafell National Park
Although striking in any season, the Svartifoss waterfall in Skaftafell National Park is especially spectacular in the winter. It partially freezes over and the snow-covered terrain adds to its surreal appeal. Nestled between the tongues of the famous Vatnajökull glacier, you'll find many other natural attractions in Skaftafell, including several winter hiking options. Read More
Blue Ice Caves
Walking through a blue-hued ice cave in Europe's largest glacier is truly a bucket-list item, and only possible in Iceland in the wintertime. Your guides will take you up to the Vatnajökull glacier by Jeep and lead you on a picturesque walk through glacial landscapes. Then, depending on the conditions of the caves and weather, you'll explore inside ancient glacier caves (and possibly tunnels) featuring different shades of blue and formations of ice. Read More
Iceland's famed Ring Road circles the entire country, offering an easy way to reach Iceland's northern region. In the wintertime, the drive is worth the time, as you can snowshoe along one of the country's longest fjords and enjoy a thrilling day dogsledding through the countryside.
Snowshoe Hike in Eyjafjordur
Explore one of Iceland's most unique environments with a snowshoe hike along Eyjafjordur. As one of the longest fjords in the country, Eyjafjordur stretches nearly 45 miles (70 km). Surrounded by mountains, you can absorb the incredible scenery around you, filled with idyllic fishing villages and wildlife sightings. Although it's more common to spot puffins and dolphins in the fjord, there's always a chance to see blue whales or other porpoises. Read More
Dogsledding near Akureyri
Glide through Northern Iceland's idyllic scenery with a pack of huskies leading the way! This dogsledding experience takes you about six miles between Akureyri and Lake Mývatn, a picturesque stretch of Iceland's snow-covered landscape. You'll find this common activity throughout the Nordic countries, so it's a thrilling and cultural experience if you're traveling to Iceland in the winter. Read More
Not many visitors venture to East Iceland, but you'd be amiss not to explore the region in wintertime. This is because the area is home to Iceland's only herd of wild reindeer, which migrate into the valleys during this season.
Join a professional wildlife tracker into the snowy wilderness of East Iceland, the only place to find wild reindeer in their natural habitat. The species was imported to Iceland in the 18th century and now reside in the eastern stretches of the country. The best time to spot them is in the winter, when they make their annual migration through the valleys. Enjoy learning more about this unique species while absorbing the surrounding scenery of snow-capped mountains and fjords. Read More
How to Craft the Perfect Winter Itinerary in Iceland
If you're interested in visiting Iceland in the winter, you'll be met with various opportunities for exciting adventures! The most popular regions for winter fun are the country's southern and northern reaches; so when planning how many days to spend in Iceland, consider the driving time. Still, you can combine areas like Western Iceland, the Golden Circle, and the South Coast in just 5 or 6 days. If you'd like to enjoy more wintertime excursions or visit other regions, plan for at least one week in Iceland.
Past kimkim travelers enjoyed the following itineraries that included winter experiences in Iceland: