Below Freezing: Winter in Iceland
Iceland is having a moment right now. For a small country with a population of around 400 000, it is making it’s mark on the travel industry in a big way. Adventure tourism in Iceland is booming with almost 2 million tourists visiting in 2016 and we now understand why.
One rule of thumb we stand by at TWP, is what would we tell our friends if they were planning a trip? So with that in mind, we like to think of YOU as our friends and if you are reading this you are probably considering a trip to Iceland. So here is our hitlist and tips for the road.
With only 5 days on the ground in Iceland, we completed to entire Route 1 ring road pretty fast. If you’re planning to do this route in winter like we did just beware it’s dangerous. A 4WD and spiked winter tyres are a must. Weather conditions change faster than we have ever seen before. Not so bad in the South but winter hits the North pretty hard. Flash blizzards, seriously low visibility, roads iced over and very sketchy mountain crossings all of which you might have to conquer in the dark because there’s only 4 hours of sunlight in winter months.
We have previously mentioned in our post on Jökulsárlón, that the idea of a below freezing getaway is not usually our style but Iceland is EVERYTHING and more. In case you’re cold just thinking about it and need convincing, here’s some reasons why……
ION LUXURY ADVENTURE HOTEL
This is by far the best hotel in Iceland and almost a destination in itself! It’s a super cozy design hotel complete with a heated outdoor pool and spa. It’s about an hour outside of Reykavik so we stayed for one dreamy night as we made our way around.
THE BLUE LAGOON
You can’t go to Iceland without seeing the Blue Lagoon. This one is a major tourist hotspot so best to go early in the morning before the crowds.
SELJALANDFOSS & SKOGAFOSS
Foss is Icelandic for waterfall and these two are pretty incredible and easily accessible from the ring road.
VIK & REYNISDRANGAR CLIFFS
There’s something so special about seeing these cliffs for the first time. The beach scene is so rugged and dramatic that it almost doesn’t seem real.
JOKULSARLON GLACIER LAGOON
This place is nothing short of incredible and still sits at the top of our list of Iceland memories. The glacier lagoon and iceberg beach are not to be missed. Winter season offers an array of glacier hikes and cave tours then in the summer months you can do speedboat tours. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do a tour of the ice caves like we would have liked as the season is short and it books up very fast so be prepared.
You can see more on Jokulsarlon here.
Northern Iceland is quiet, remote and incredibly calm. There were times when we didn’t see another person all day. This is also where we found the weather to be really unpredictable. A beautiful sunny day can turn bad in an instant but we made it! Our highlights were Mytvan, Godafoss and our stay at the Einishus Cottages.
LIGHT & LANDSCAPE
Iceland is the kind of place that’s so photogenic, you can’t stop taking photos so here is a quick edit of our favourite shots.
- black sand beach
- black sand iceland
- blue lagoon
- blue lagoon iceland
- Einishus Cottages
- iceland adventure
- iceland glacier
- iceland sunset
- ion hotel
- ion hotel iceland
- ion iceland
- reynisdrangar cliffs
- the ion luxury adventure hotel
- vik iceland
- wave STAY