Looking to escape the winter blues? Then head to Iceland! Sounds crazy, but the northern European country’s spectacular landscapes, diverse wildlife and numerous activities make for a surprisingly fun and unique holiday, even during the winter and spring months.
Now is the time to go because the low travel season gives way to the cheapest air tickets, accommodations and car rentals. Whether you plan head to the “Land of Fire and Ice” during the off-season or in the summer, be aware that holidays there aren’t the cheapest. So, it may be wise to save up for the trip. No matter the time of year, fun and adventure await you in this majestic country where every moment is well worth the money spent.
Iceland is located just south of the Arctic Circle, which means that some of the most dramatic scenery and beautiful natural attractions can be found all throughout the country. From volcanoes and geothermic fields, waterfalls and geysers, to rolling mountains and icecaps, the regions geography is diverse and breathtaking.
The Great Geyser in the Haukadalur Valley is the most powerful geyser in Iceland, and can shoot boiling water nearly 60 meters high. However, unlike the Strokkur geyser, it does not erupt frequently. Deep in a canyon of the Hvítá River, is the nearly 32 meter Gullfoss waterfall. Iceland does indeed have ice.Vatnajökull National Park is home to the country’s largest glacier, while Skaftafell National Park has the world’s largest icecap outside of the Poles. Iceland is one of the most volcanically active countries in the world. Many volcanic craters and lava fields can be found in Lake Mývatn Conservation Area.
Even in the winter, the temperatures are surprisingly mild, which means it’s even easier to go outdoors and enjoy all nature has to offer. Many visitors like to participate in some of the more adventurous winter sports such as backcountry skiing, glacier snowmobiling and hiking, dog sledding and Jeep touring. In the summer, the 24 hours of sunlight, provide great conditions for caving, horseback riding, whale and dolphin watching and other aquatic activities. Kayaking, deep sea fishing, snorkeling and diving make for thrilling adventures.
Reykjavík is the capital and cultural hub of Iceland. Nearly half of the population lives in this compact city, so the nightlife, as you could imagine, is booming. During the off season (September to May) many of the museums outside of Reykjavík close. However, some institutions, such as the Icelandic Opera only open during this time. Yet, with Iceland’s rugged landscape and natural beauty, why spend time indoors? A favorite pastime of many locals and visitors is to unwind in the geothermal spas. A visit to the steaming turquoise waters of the Blue Lagoon is a must. Renowned for its healing minerals and surrounding beauty, the spa is the ideal place to relax and re-energize. Iceland’s warmest and second largest city, Akureyri, is great for exploring the cultural aspects of the country. Folk dancing and arts and handicrafts can all be found here. There are also several pubs that offer live shows and endless entertainment. The colorful lights of the Aurora Borealis serve as the perfect ending to an amazing day in Iceland.