When Matthew McConaughey coined the slogan, “Frost Yourself” in the 2003 romantic comedy, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, he wasn’t just talking about diamonds. Today is the first meteorological day of Winter, and why not explore one of the coldest places on Earth? If you’re a fan of the season, immerse yourself in one of the world’s most iciest places. Visit nature’s Winter Wonderland while the tickets are ridiculously cheap, the hotels are practically free, and you’ll have the island to yourself. Book that flight, bundle up, and let’s chill in Reykjavik, Iceland.
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We know it sounds crazy.
Ok, visit Iceland in the Winter? Who wants to go be a popsicle? Yes, it’s cold. Extremely cold. Yes, daylight is minimal. The nights are dark, but we guarantee you’ll never have a dull day. The island averages about five hours of effective daylight, but with these “Once in a Lifetime” experiences, we’ve got those 5 hours of daylight covered with unforgettable nights.
But first, book a window seat.
Don’t sleep the entire flight. You’ll miss the views you’ve only seen on the National Geographic channel. Capture breathtaking aerial views of Iceland as you fly in. Before you get time on land, take in all the views while you’re 38,000 feet in the air. Who doesn’t love a birds-eye view? Oh, and don’t forget to catch the glaciers as you fly over Greenland, Iceland’s icy neighbor.
See the Northern Lights
We told you the days are dark, but the nights get lit. This is Iceland’s magic. If you only do one experience discussed in this article, this has got to be it. The Winter is the most optimal time to see this natural phenomenon, and you simply cannot miss it while you’re there. We suggest booking a guided trip with a Northern Lights Tour company instead of hunting in the dark for the lights on your own. Guides know when, where and exactly how to capture views of these polar lights. Not to mention, they are skilled in interpreting the meteorological data and how to track them. We must add, that they’re not always guaranteed to show daily. You can’t control nature. However, tour companies track the data daily, and let tourists know ahead of time if the chances of seeing them are optimal or not. If not, they gladly reschedule you for the next day. All tours include a guide, transportation, and they mostly depart from Reykjavik.
Bathe in the Blue Lagoon
Yeah, Iceland is cold, but it’s hot too. Taking a dip in a geothermal pool during the Winter is definitely a bucket list experience. Not to mention, it’s totally bragworthy. What better way to warm up and relax from searching for the Northern Lights than a bath in the Blue Lagoon? Iceland is a unique island that geothermally heats itself from their 30 active volcanoes. There are several geothermal pools in Iceland, but the Blue Lagoon Resort and Spa is the most popular and closest to Reykjavik. Add this experience to your bucket list.
Visit the Black Sand Beach
No need to take any sand to this beach. Besides, it wouldn’t be the same anyway. If you’re a beach person at heart, Iceland’s got something for you too. Take a stroll down this unique beach with its distinctive Icelandic black sand. Watch waves crash in, and feel the crisp Arctic air blow in from the ocean. Iceland is truly unique in nature, and you can’t experience this anywhere else. Do some whale watching while you’re there, and don’t forget to bottle some black sand to take home.
Explore the Ice Caves in Iceland
Imagine being able to walk inside a glacier. Touring a natural ice cave is a winter-only experience in Iceland that you simply cannot miss. No ice cave is the same, so you never know what you’re going to see. This is an authentic wonder of nature. Tour guides navigate tourists under the blue ice to find icy wonders that you never knew existed. This is one of the top Winter Iceland experiences, and definitely a bucket list item. How many people can say they walked inside a glacier before? Not many. That’s why this tour is highly popular, and we recommend you check availability and book well in advance. Really bundle up for this one! Layers on layers on layers, but it’s worth it.
Before you Fly Out
When in Iceland, drink like a Viking. They know their vodka. Take a strong Icelandic souvenir to enjoy at home from the duty-free shop in the Keflavík Airport. Locals claim this Icelandic vodka is the best in the world. The water used to make Reyka comes from a 4,000-year-old lava field, and is uniquely brewed from one of the coldest places on Earth. Not too many distilleries can match that. Strikingly smooth and crisp, you’ll enjoy this taste of Iceland when you get home. Bottoms up! #drinklikeaviking
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