10 things to do in Iceland in the winter

10 things to do in Iceland in the winter

30.11.2016 | Kaelene Spence

Iceland is always beautiful, but Iceland in the winter time, it takes things to another level. With snow covered waterfalls around every corner, sunrises and sunsets that reflect pinks and oranges across the snow and the Northern Lights brighten up the night sky; one thing is for certain, Iceland in the winter time is a scene fit for a fairytale.

Winter In Iceland


While the weather during the winter months is a bit crisp with temperatures staying around 0 degrees Celsius that doesn’t mean you can’t get outside and explore the nature! As we say here in Iceland, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” So be sure to pack correctly for your winter break and add one of these 10 unique activities to your winter escape to Iceland!

  1. Enjoy an afternoon exploring the Icelandic countryside on a horseback riding tour

Horseback riding in the winter in Iceland  

The Icelandic horses are just as much a sight to see as the Icelandic nature. They are some of the most playful and friendliest animals around and have played an important part in the history and culture of the country. Take your group for a horseback riding tour and learn more about what makes the Icelandic horses so special all while taking in some beautiful wintery landscapes along the way. If you are looking for a tour that will bring a diverse mix of the Icelandic nature this horseback riding tour is for you.

  1. Go on a hiking and hot spring adventure

Hiking in the winter in Iceland 

If you are hoping to get some hiking trips in on your winter trip, this adventure is for you! Spend a few hours hiking back into the mountains taking in new landscapes around every corner before enjoying a relaxing soak in the hot springs hidden in the mountainside. There is nothing better than soaking in the warm natural hot springs with sparkling snow surrounding you; it will be worth the hike back to reach them. 

  1. Explore inside an ice cave

Ice caving in the winter in Iceland 

Also known as the Crystal Caves, the ice caves found in the Icelandic glaciers are a wonder of nature! A visit inside one of these ice caves will be unlike anything you’ve ever done in your travels. As you walk through the sparkling ice cave taking in the shimmering shades of beautiful blues, you will feel like you're walking under a frozen ocean. Ice cave tours run from November to March. It is important that you do not try and venture into an ice cave without a guide so make sure to book your tour before you leave for your trip to Iceland. 

  1. Visit Friðheimar Greenhouse

Visit Friðheimar Greenhouse 

In the middle of a day of exploring make a lunch stop at the charming Friðheimar greenhouse for a memorable dining experience. Guest will learn about the processes of greenhouse horticulture and the use of geothermal heating in Iceland before sitting down for a fresh meal in the greenhouse. Enjoy a menu filled with all things tomato while you take in the view of the tomato plants surrounding you and the snow trickling down outside.

  1. Cuddle with some cute animals at an Icelandic Farm

Farm Visit and Hug a Lamb tours.jpg 

Agriculture in Iceland has played an important part in the Icelandic culture since the earliest settlements and continued to do so today. Take your whole family for a farm day adventure where you will learn more about the farming methods used in Iceland’s harsh conditions and get to meet some of the friendly animals playing around the farm. 

  1. Go on a Viking sushi adventure boat tour

Viking sushi adventure tour 

Take your adventure to sea with the Viking sushi boat tour and get to experience the Icelandic sea and its nature. On the 3 hour tour, you will see seabirds flying all around as the boat goes past the cliffs where they nest. This experience will show you the best the Icelandic sea has to offer, including a taste of scallops fresh from the sea.

  1. Explore a lava cave

Explore lava caves 

Get up close with the Icelandic lava with a visit to one of Iceland’s most easily accessible lava tubes that were formed over 8000 years ago. While exploring the Vatnshellir cave, you will learn about the formation of the cave as well as the geology of the area. After this tour, you will look out at the lava fields in Iceland with a new appreciation for nature.

  1. Enjoy the Northern Lights by Boat

Northern Lights tour

Many visitors heading to Iceland during the winter months are coming with the hopes of viewing the Northern Lights. If you are one of them why not make the experience even more memorable by heading out for an evening boat tour to capture the Northern Lights by sea. Away from the light pollution of the city, you will have a better chance to get a clear view of the lights as they dance across the sky. 

  1. Join a Snowmobile Tour

Join a snowmobile tour 

If you are more of a thrill seeker this snowmobile tour on a glacier is for you. On this guided tour you will explore the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier which covers Katla one of Iceland’s largest volcanoes. Take in the winter wonderland scenery while you cruise on by on your snowmobile. This tour is one unique way to get out and explore Iceland’s diverse nature!

  1. Take a winter stroll through Thingvellir National Park

Thingvellir National Park in the winter 

A day at the famous Thingvellir National Park is perfect for those looking to enjoy some leisurely exploring and don’t want to venture too far from the city. Pack some hot cocoa and kleinur and spend the afternoon walking along the many walking paths in the park while learning about the area's deeply rooted history.

Make your winter escape to Iceland complete with a stay in one of Hey Iceland’s 170 carefully selected accommodation options around the countryside. Whether you choose to stay in a relaxing country hotel or a charming little cabin, you will be close by to all the winter wonders of the Arctic just waiting for you to get out and explore.

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