Iceland in winter is spectacular from every angle. Our experts Mel and Gina recommend seeing it from above, on the water and heading into its mountains and glaciers to pack in as many stunning sights as possible. From helicopter tours over lava fields to intercontinental snorkelling and glacier hikes, we’ve rounded up their favourite winter activities in Iceland by land, water and air.
Into the Glacier
Delve deep within the icy blue interior of Langjokull, Iceland’s second-largest glacier which features the largest man-made ice cave in the world. Once inside the cave, you enter a surreal icy world and stand inside a crevasse which makes for stunning photographs. You can also skirt along the ridges of the Svinafelljokull glacier in the Vatnajokull National Park, an exhilarating guided hiking experience as you find yourself in the middle of towering icy peaks. Get there while you still can as these glaciers may not be there in a couple of decades. While you’re in Vatnajokull, be sure to stop by the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach, where icebergs float on the water and shards of ice sparkle like jewels on the black-sand beach.
Into the Sky
Iceland in winter is a visual feast, with endless snowy landscapes – and what better way to take them in than from above? Go on a personalised helicopter tour from Reykjavik’s helipad to see the city turn into a tiny toy town. You will fly over moon-like lava fields and can choose to land by a volcano or hot springs. Be sure to bring along a power pack though as below-freezing temperatures causes phones to die as soon as you step outside. If you can’t get enough of bird-eye views of Reykjavik, we recommend a stay at Tower Suites, located on the 20th floor of the Hofdatorg Tower, the second-tallest building in Iceland after the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church.
Into the Mountains
Hugging the huge mountains of the Troll Peninsula in Northern Iceland, Deplar Farm is an exclusive adventure paradise located within a converted 3,000-acre sheep farm in the Fljoy Valley, which has one of the highest average snowfall in the world. It has an impressive geothermal pool and provides floats for your wrists and ankles so you can lie back and enjoy the Northern Lights dancing overhead. Here, there are a multitude of ways to take in the dramatic mountain scenery, from skiing and heli-skiing near the Arctic Circle and snowmobiling to jeep and helicopter tours and horse riding.
Into the Water
Iceland has plenty of hotspots to enjoy this beautiful country from the water. Make your way to Thingvellir National Park where you can snorkel in the Silfra fissure between two tectonic plates that separate Europe and North America. The water is crystal clear and known locally as the ‘true blue lagoon’ because of its bold blue hues, with visibility that exceeds 100 metres. With the chance to swim between two continents, this is one of the most unique diving experiences in the world. Aside from the smoking blue-white waters of the Blue Lagoon (which can be combined with a stay at the Retreat at the Blue Lagoon), there are also lots of hot springs scattered across the country, including the Jardbodinn Nature Baths in Myvatn and the Secret Lagoon in Fludir, which is located by a small geyser.
The best time to visit Iceland in winter is from October to February. Explore our Iceland itineraries or call our experts on 020 7337 9010 or make an enquiry.