Top 5 Reasons to Visit Iceland This Winter
Iceland is a small Nordic island nation. Though it is a small country, its population on January 1, 2021, was only 368,792. It is full of natural wonders. Imagine dramatic landscapes, hot springs, glaciers, geysers, lava fields, volcanoes, waterfalls, and all that is Iceland. Let’s go over our additional top 5 reasons to visit Iceland this winter.
1. Chasing the Northern Lights
Is catching the Northern Lights or, also known as aurora borealis, on your bucket list? If yes, you’ll want to visit Iceland in the winter months. The reason is that you need dark skies to see the colors of the aurora. In Iceland, the winter period is the darkest time of the year. Therefore, thousands of tourists come to Iceland every year to take a look at those dancing lights.
2. Celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Iceland
In Iceland, there are plenty of festive traditions to learn about and events that you can join in on at this time of year. Experience Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, called here – “Jólin” – run through November, December, and January, with pretty decorations and lights bringing a touch of magic to towns like Reykjavík. Attend a New Year’s Eve party to enjoy a gourmet feast with drinks, local food, live entertainment, and spectacular fireworks.
3. Relaxing in the Natural Hot Springs During Winter Months
Iceland is famous for its natural geothermal hot springs and there are several places where you can enjoy such Icelandic pools such as hot tubs, play areas, swimming pools, and saunas. Plunging into the warm, steamy water is just what you need on a frosty winter’s day. Icelanders love this Nordic wellness ritual and will tell you that it’s an unbeatable way to relax, rejuvenate and absorb natural minerals. At certain pools you can also treat yourself with some spa treatments for a fully indulgent experience. Among the most famous ones are the Blue Lagoon and Secret Lagoon, both accessible from Reykjavík. The Secret Lagoon is a magnificent natural hot spring located in the geothermal area in a small village called Fludir (Flúðir), 25 km from Geysir. The Secret Lagoon is one of the oldest geothermal pools in Iceland, having been built in 1891.
4. Exploring the Golden Circle in Winter
The Golden Circle tops almost every visitor’s bucket list and is one of the best places to visit in Iceland during winter. It is an extremely popular route in the South of Iceland and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a short touring journey that begins from Reykjavík and features the magnificent Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir Geothermal Field, and Thingvellir National Park. The great thing about exploring the Golden Circle is that you experience the diversity of Iceland’s nature in a day.
5. The Icelandic Top Food
Like in most of Scandinavia, Icelandic cuisine predominantly makes use of fish, lamb, or some other type of meat and is entirely inspired by the ingredients Icelanders have around them. The country is dotted with numerous seafood restaurants, serving mostly cod, haddock, salmon, and herring. Today’s chefs are masters at creating excellent dishes, infusing the ocean’s variety with herbs and spices found in Icelandic nature. Here are some top dishes, that you can’t leave the island without trying:
- Pylsur (or Reykjavik’s Hot Dog)
- Skyr – thick and creamy dairy product
- Rye bread topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese or served with creamy butter and crunchy lava salt
- Fermented Shark
You can’t deny that Iceland is full of beauty and natural wonders. Of course, there is still so much to see and discover in Iceland, making it one of the best travel destinations in winter or any other season that you will never regret. We hope this list of our top 5 reasons to visit Iceland this winter will help you make the most of your trip to this incredible place!
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