Are you planning to visit Iceland during winter? Iceland has so much to offer during the winter season, for example nothern lights, ice caving, glacier hiking, super jeep tours, geothermal pools and much more. The landscape is particularly beautiful during winter and you should plan ahead to get the most of your visit. Here below you find things that are good to know when planning to visit Iceland during winter.
TEN important things when planning a winter visit to Iceland
1. Choose your tours before you book your flights! Many tours are not available every day – some perhaps only once a week – others once per year. Finding out that you already paid for a flight to Iceland and the tour which is the reason for your whole trip is not available on your dates is ... well... disappointing – to say the least.
2. Choose your tours before booking accommodation in Reykjavik. Some of the best winter tours are 2 or 3-day ones in the country side and include accommodation.
3. To see the northern lights it is important to have overnight tours, 2 and 3 day tours, where the accommodation is in the darkness of the countryside. Evening tours out from Reykjavik, out from the light pollution, are usually back to the city around 12:30 and very often the lights snow them selves later into the night.
4. If you have no experience of driving in snow, on icy roads, in heavy winds or in total darkness, avoid self-drive tours during the winter. Let the experts do the driving;choose scheduled guided tours, feel safe and enjoy.
5. There are many scheduled guided tours, with no minimum bookings, every day out from Reykjavik. Day tours, two day tours, three day tours and longer. Enjoy your travel instead of spending the day inside a bus = have two and three day tours instead of long day tours.
6. For Snaefellsnes Peninsula choose the 2 day tour but not the day tour. For South Coast and Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon choose the two day tour but not the day tour. And if you want to include ice caving then have the 3 day tour. For Landmannalaugar the same ... choose the 3 day tour. For glacier hiking choose the 2 day tour for the South Coast but not the day tour. That way you get much more out of your visit to Iceland.
7. Most tour operators offer pick-up an drop off from all main hotels and guest houses in Reykjavik. But if you choose accommodation on the countyside, even if they are not located far from Reykjavik, only private tours are possible.
8. Choose and book all tours some weeks before arrival, be organized. Don´t choose your tours when you have already arrived in Iceland. The most popular tours are often fully booked one or two weeks in advance and sometimes longer, even more than a month during Christmas and New Year.
9. Timing of sunrise and sunset does not tell all the truth about the daylight ... there is daylight in Iceland long before sunrise and long time after sunset.
10. Organise your activities and tours before arrival, do your homework, research your options, read the tour descriptions, choose tours, then book your flight, then book the tours and the last thing you do is organise and book your accommodation.