Visiting beautiful Iceland in the winter in expectation for northern lights
- + 6
Europe3 days / November - December 2017
Highs & Lows
Natural beauty and aurora
Prices, but you can find economic ways to do the trip
The first beautiful place we visited was the Black Sand Beach. This beach is close to the village Vík. We didn't visit Vík itself (because we were more interested in nature), but I guess it's a quite nice place to see if you want to visit.
It's a beautiful beach with black sand from volcano lava and amazing stones. We watched the most beautiful sunset there.
I have to admit that we were quite lucky with the weather, it hardly rained the time we were there, so we could enjoy it a lot.
And in the night we went there to see the northern lights - and we were lucky. It looked so amazing - the green and purple northern lights dancing. It was one of the most beautiful experiences in my life.
Before going to Vík we visited on our way a very delicious tomato soup place called Friðheimar. (It's not that close, but it was on our way and definitely worth it.) They grow their own tomatoes in a glasshouse where also the restaurant is inside. You can enjoy your soup with bread and herbs there and visit the glasshouse with its special tomatoes.
Second amazing stop
Iceland is a very beautiful island - especially in winter. One might think that the temperatures are very low. But the time we were there (end of November and beginning of December) it was around 0 degrees Celsius. But to be fair - what made it icy was the wind. So you should make sure that you have enough clothes with you (gloves, warm shoes, warm jacket, warm hat, ...)
For the next place, we went very early in the still cold morning so that we could enjoy the sunrise.
Diamond Beach has small and big ice cubes on it, which look like diamonds in the light of the sun - therefore the name. If you have your gloves with you, you can try to hold a big ice cube to take a nice picture.
There is also an amazing lagoon around which is called Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. It is definitely worth a visit too.
You can take a walk along the beach, you can walk around the lagoon and spend a calm and nice time there.
Another highlight this day was Svinafellsjokul Glacier. It was just amazing to walk on the glacier, even though I was a little scared. It was absolutely worth it.
The third location which I liked a lot is the canyon of Fjaðrárgljúfur.
Going up you have a beautiful few on the canyon. To be honest, there are bigger canyons in the world, but I found this one really lovely.
On our way there, we also visited the Eldhraun lava field, which is very interesting to see and surely worth a visit if you are interested.
Both can be reached easily by car. Here is one tip for the car. You should make sure to close all the doors because of the strong wind if you want to bring back your car completely.
We were told that it was better to choose a 4x4 vehicle in winter. And that's what we did in the end. We stayed in the south of the island since going by car in the north during the winter can get difficult. Besides that, there is enough to see in the south to spend one week.
Q & A
What would you have changed?
It was an amazing trip, and I wouldn't have changed anything. This is of course personal opinion. The only thing to mention here, is that the prices are quite high. But you can find economic ways to travel (for example not go to restaurant, but buy at supermarket and cook at hostel)
Anything go wrong during the trip?
As I mentioned, we were very lucky with the weather. You just have to take care with the wind and the weather, since it can change from one moment to another. Besides that, it's a safe country with nice people.
How was the food?
The tomato soup place for sure. If you want you can try some specialties of Iceland maybe in Reykjavik, but I do not have any concrete recommendations.
What tips would you give a friend?
Take warm cloths with you
Warm cloths and be prepared for rain
Renting a car was fine and easy, streets are good to drive on. Sometimes there are more adventurous roads, but it is still ok