You have probably noticed that Iceland has become a popular destination over the past few years, a result of Instagram and the thousands of photographers that want to capture these unbelievable landscapes. We ourselves, were also attracted by the diversity and beauty of the sceneries you can find here. We wanted to experience a real Icelandic adventure, like it use to be, before its fame. This is why we decided to visit the island during the winter season, and frankly, this is why you should do the same. Here’s five reasons to convince you!
1. It’s less crowded
If you think of Iceland, you probably think of the famous waterfalls like Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss and Svartifoss, beautiful and secluded. Perhaps, what you don’t know is that they’re actually located right on the ring road and they’re invaded by hundreds of people every day. Sadly, the herd of tourists make those magnificent places a little bit less impressive. Coming to Iceland in the winter, you get the chance to see those beautiful attractions with less than half the people you would normally encounter.
2. Warmer winters than Canada
Iceland might be located further north than most of Canada, the temperature rarely goes below -5ºC ! The ocean surrounding the country tempers the weather, due to a warm gulf stream current. You have to admit, outdoor activities become much more enjoyable when it’s not freezing outside.
3. The northern lights
From the month of October until March, it’s the aurora borealis season.The longest nights happen around December and January, the coldest months. The country is located perfectly close to the arctic circle, following the path of the northern lights.Also, there is almost no “light pollution” outside the towns, which means you only need a 15 minutes drive to be in the middle of nowhere. Allow yourself a couple of days in the country, since the weather is unpredictable and constantly changing, you will need a clear sky to be able to see them.
4. Best time of the year to enjoy the hot springs
This place is literally a hot spring wonderland. I’m not talking about the infamous Blue Lagoon here, i’m talking about dozens of natural and free hot springs. There is nothing more peaceful than soaking in a perfectly tempered pool with snowflakes falling from the sky. Some of them are quite hot and wouldn’t be pleasant during the summer months. On top of that, you have better chances of enjoying them all by yourself!
5. It's easier to find free camping spots
If you love camping, and you don’t want to spend all your savings on a 2 weeks trip to Iceland, this is your solution! We camped more than 85% of the time and have never been bothered by anyone. The summer time attracts all the backpackers and it might get hard to find a decent spot that isn’t already taken. You definitely don’t have to worry about bumping into another tent during the winter months, it’s just you and the infinite landscapes.