Here are some things to do in Iceland in December
If you’re planning a trip to Iceland in December, you’re in for a treat! This beautiful Nordic country offers a wide range of activities and attractions that are perfect for winter exploration. From witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights to exploring the famous Golden Circle, there’s something for everyone. In this article, we’ll dive into the top things to do in Iceland in December, ensuring you have an unforgettable experience.
Witness the Northern Lights
One of the most magical experiences you can have in Iceland in December is witnessing the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. The dark winter nights provide the perfect backdrop for this natural phenomenon. Head away from the city lights and find a spot with clear skies for the best chance of seeing the dancing lights. It’s a truly awe-inspiring sight that will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty.
Explore the Golden Circle
The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route that takes you to some of Iceland’s most iconic natural wonders. In December, this route takes on a whole new level of beauty as it is covered in a blanket of snow. Here are three must-visit stops along the Golden Circle:
Visit Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and holds great historical and geological significance. It’s the meeting point of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, and you can actually walk between them. In December, the park is transformed into a winter wonderland, with frozen lakes and snow-covered landscapes.
See the Geysir Geothermal Area
The Geysir Geothermal Area is home to the famous Strokkur geyser, which erupts every few minutes, shooting hot water high into the air. The contrast between the bubbling hot springs and the icy surroundings is truly mesmerizing. Be sure to bring your camera to capture this unique natural spectacle. More about Geysir | Learn about Strokkur | Discover Haukadalur
Admire the Gullfoss Waterfall
Gullfoss, also known as the Golden Waterfall, is one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls. In December, the waterfall is surrounded by snow and ice, creating a stunning winter landscape. Stand in awe as you watch the powerful water cascading down into the gorge below. It’s a sight you won’t soon forget. More about Gullfoss | Learn about its history | Discover the Golden Circle
Relax in the Blue Lagoon
No trip to Iceland is complete without a visit to the Blue Lagoon. This geothermal spa is the perfect place to unwind and relax in the warm, mineral-rich waters. In December, the contrast between the hot water and the cold air is incredibly invigorating. Soak in the lagoon while surrounded by snow-covered lava fields, and let all your worries melt away. Learn more about the Blue Lagoon | Discover its history | Explore other attractions in Iceland.
Go on a Glacier Hike
Iceland is known for its stunning glaciers, and December is the perfect time to explore them. Strap on your crampons and join a guided glacier hike to experience the breathtaking beauty of these icy giants up close. Marvel at the sparkling blue ice formations and listen to the sounds of the glacier as you make your way across its frozen surface. It’s an adventure you won’t want to miss.
Experience Ice Cave Exploration
Another unique winter activity in Iceland is exploring ice caves. These natural wonders are formed by melting glacier water, creating intricate ice formations that are a photographer’s dream. Join a guided tour and venture into the heart of the glacier, where you’ll be surrounded by walls of glistening ice. It’s a truly magical experience that will leave you in awe of nature’s artistry.
No trip to Iceland is complete without a visit to its vibrant capital city, Reykjavik. Here are three must-visit attractions in Reykjavik:
Explore the Hallgrimskirkja Church
The Hallgrimskirkja Church is one of Reykjavik’s most iconic landmarks. Take the elevator to the top of the church tower for panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. The view is especially breathtaking in December when the city is covered in snow.
Stroll along Laugavegur Street
Laugavegur Street is Reykjavik’s main shopping street and is lined with charming boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll along this lively street, browse the unique shops, and stop for a cup of hot chocolate to warm up from the winter chill.
Visit the Harpa Concert Hall
The Harpa Concert Hall is a stunning architectural masterpiece located on the waterfront. In December, the concert hall is beautifully illuminated, creating a magical atmosphere. Check the schedule for concerts and events during your visit, as experiencing a performance in this world-class venue is a must.
Go Whale Watching
Iceland is one of the best places in the world for whale watching, and December is no exception. Join a whale watching tour and set sail into the icy waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. Keep your eyes peeled for humpback whales, orcas, and dolphins as they swim and play in their natural habitat. It’s an unforgettable experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Enjoy Winter Sports
If you’re a fan of winter sports, Iceland has plenty to offer. Here are three activities to try:
Go skiing or snowboarding
Iceland may not be the first place that comes to mind for skiing or snowboarding, but it offers some fantastic slopes for all skill levels. Hit the slopes and enjoy the breathtaking views as you glide down the mountainside.
For an adrenaline-filled adventure, hop on a snowmobile and explore Iceland’s snowy landscapes. Zip across glaciers and through snow-covered valleys, taking in the stunning scenery as you go.
Go ice skating
Ice skating is a classic winter activity, and you can enjoy it in Iceland too. Lace up your skates and glide across the ice at one of the outdoor ice rinks in Reykjavik. It’s a fun and festive way to embrace the winter spirit.
Experience Icelandic Christmas Traditions
Visiting Iceland in December gives you the opportunity to experience the country’s unique Christmas traditions. Here are three things to do:
Visit Christmas markets
Explore the charming Christmas markets that pop up in towns and cities across Iceland in December. Browse the stalls selling handmade crafts, local delicacies, and festive decorations. It’s the perfect place to find unique gifts for your loved ones.
Try traditional Icelandic Christmas food
Indulge in traditional Icelandic Christmas food, such as smoked lamb, fermented shark, and leaf bread. These unique dishes are a true taste of Icelandic culture and are often enjoyed during the holiday season.
Attend Christmas concerts and events
Immerse yourself in the festive spirit by attending Christmas concerts and events. From choir performances to traditional Icelandic music, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the sounds of the season. Check local listings for upcoming events during your visit.
Conclusion of things to do in Iceland in December
Iceland in December offers a winter wonderland of activities and attractions. From witnessing the Northern Lights to exploring the Golden Circle, relaxing in the Blue Lagoon, and experiencing Icelandic Christmas traditions, there’s something for everyone. Embrace the magic of this Nordic country and create memories that will last a lifetime. So pack your warmest clothes, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Iceland this December.
FAQ about things to do in Iceland in December
- Is it a good time to visit Iceland in December? December is a popular time to visit Iceland due to its stunning winter landscapes and the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights. However, it is important to note that December can be quite cold and snowy, so be prepared for winter weather conditions.
- How many days do you need in Iceland in December? The number of days you need in Iceland in December depends on your travel preferences and the activities you want to do. However, a recommended minimum duration is around 5-7 days to fully explore the main attractions and have enough time for day trips and outdoor activities.
- Is the Blue Lagoon warm in December? Yes, the Blue Lagoon is warm throughout the year, including December. The geothermal water in the Blue Lagoon maintains a temperature of around 37-40°C (98-104°F), making it a perfect place to relax and unwind, even in the winter months.
- Can you visit the Blue Lagoon in December? Yes, you can visit the Blue Lagoon in December. It is open year-round, and many visitors enjoy the unique experience of bathing in the warm geothermal waters surrounded by snowy landscapes. However, it is advisable to book your tickets in advance, as it can get quite busy during the holiday season.