Why You Should Visit Iceland in the Winter

Iceland. Sounds like a terrible place to visit in winter. I mean, who wants to go to a frozen island in the middle of January? For many world travelers, winter is the time to get away from the cold and thaw out in the tropics. But beauty is more than just piña coladas and white sand beaches. Some beauty can only be witnessed in a winter wonderland.

While Iceland is beautiful year round, in the winter, the snow blanketed landscape looks like a page from a fantasy book. I mean, Vikings settled this mystical land, so what are Vikings without frozen tundras, icy waterfalls, and snow-capped mountains? During this time, the streets of Reykjavik are dusted in snow, and the famous Kirkjufell, which means “Church Mountain” changes her coat from green to white.

In the skies above, the northern lights are often more easily seen in the winter because the days are much shorter, and the nights are much longer. With as little as 5 hours of daylight in December and January, you have plenty of darkness to hunt for auroras, if that’s what you’re after.

Yet, there are plenty of other countries where you can see the northern lights and walk in a winter wonderland. So why Iceland?

Well, Iceland is a major layover destination for flights to and from Europe and North America. This means you can buy plane tickets there for cheap. But there’s a catch. Summer is high season in Iceland, so flights are more expensive during that time. Can you guess what season is low season?

Yeah, winter. During the frosty Icelandic winter, round trip flights to Iceland from the eastern United States can be as low as $300, which is absolutely insane to think about.

On top of that, as a potential layover location, you can stop in Iceland for a few hours or a few days without diverting your journey, wherever that may be. If you fly to Norway, Sweden, or Finland for the northern lights, you really have to go out of your way to see them.

Of course, these countries have their own charm, but if you’re specifically after the northern lights, Iceland in the winter is your best bet. Here, you can see the northern lights anywhere there’s a clear sky and low light pollution.

Another perk of visiting Iceland in the winter? Solitude. Low season means lower tourism, so you are less likely to find crowds who are willing to endure the teeth chattering cold that only Vikings would enjoy. But, if you’re an adventure-seeking introvert, that’s not a bad deal at all.

The downsides of visiting Iceland in the winter are probably pretty obvious. It’s cold, and the days are very short. The steep, frozen roads can also be very dangerous and can become impassable, especially in the northern parts of the country. If you decide to rent a car during the Icelandic winter, please be careful and check the road conditions before you head out!

So, if you don’t mind swapping out swimsuits for sweaters, you should experience the Icelandic winter for yourself and walk in a real life winter wonderland. Oh, and try some Skyr yogurt while you’re there! The Vikings made Skyr over 1000 years ago, and it’s freakin phenomenal.

But, anyway, thanks for watching! If you enjoyed this video, please give it a like, and subscribe to Tidewater Teddy! Have a great day!

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