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Optimal Time to Explore Iceland During the Winter Season

Winter is one of the most beautiful seasons of the year! Everything is dressed in snow and Christmas lights are everywhere! The atmosphere is very festive and chill!

December is the ideal season for Northern Lights in Iceland and snow activities!

Let me give you the most important pro and cons why December is the best time to visit Iceland in winter and also the best time to see northern lights in Iceland

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Pro arguments

1. It is the best time to see Northern Lights in Iceland

Seeing Northern Lights is a unique phenomenon which could be seen in certain moments of the night when all these three elements are met: total dark, intense solar activity and a sky without any clouds.

Is December the best time to visit Iceland in winter?
Best time of year for Northern Lights Iceland

Because spotting Aurora Borealis request for total dark, you need to leave town searching for total darkness.

Car is essential when chasing Northern Lights. A car guarantees you the freedom and flexibility needed to chase Aurora Borealis

Get the best price for your car rental today

Detailed guides for choosing the best time for northern lights in Iceland:

best time of year for Iceland Northern Lights in 2020
best time of year for Iceland Northern Lights in 2020

2. Enjoy the snow and the new face of Iceland

Iceland in winter looks completely different than in summer. Everything is dressed in snow and a fairy tale atmosphere embrace the country. Winter holidays amplifies the joy feeling.

Is December the best time to visit Iceland in winter?
Iceland Winter Iceberg

We encourage you to join the game of finding Santa Clause! In and around Reykjavik, in windows and on buildings are hidden 13 holograms with Santa.

Let yourself immerse in Christmas magic and become a kid once again!

Transform your ordinary vacation into an extraordinary Icelandic adventure with our amazing 10-day itinerary!

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Iceland, where you'll encounter extraordinary natural wonders, from thundering waterfalls to glistening glaciers.

Iceland Travel Guide PDF 10 day itinerary
Iceland Travel Guide PDF 10 day itinerary

Get the 10 day itinerary in Iceland today and seize this rare opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Don't wait another moment – embrace your inner explorer and book your Icelandic adventure now!

3. Go on a glacier adventure in December, the best time to visit Iceland in winter

To make the most of your winter Icelandic trip, we advise you to do something unique, something which could not be done in any other period of the year!

You can rent a snowmobile and climb to the top of a glacier, or hike to the top of a glacier! It will be a tiring trip but worth it!

What you feel when you are on top of the glacier, just you and the infinite white is something impossible to describe in words.

Is December the best time to visit Iceland in winter?
Iceland in winter

The glacier is not very far from Reykjavik so you can book accommodation in Iceland capital and from there explore the surroundings.

4. The prices for accommodation and car rental are the lowest of all year

During winter there are the lowest prices for accommodation and car rental.

Because the number of activities is limited comparing with summertime and the weather is colder and moodier, the number of tourists is not that high.

This means better prices at food, hotels and even tours. It is the best time of the year to visit Iceland on a budget.

Is December the best time to visit Iceland in winter?
Car rental Iceland


1. The day has just 4 hours of light

If you travel to Iceland in December keep in mind that you have only 4 hours of light. When I am speaking about light don’t imagine the sun shining on the sky.

That is in summer! You have just a diffuse light so your biological clock might be affected. More than that, you have a limited number of hours visiting and driving.

Because of the moody weather, it is not advisable to travel when outside is dark, so suddenly your driving hours reduce considerably!

2. The Ring Road is closed

If you want to drive along the Ring Road the best time to visit Iceland in winter is not good at all for the Ring Road.

Is December the best time to visit Iceland in winter?
Winter road Iceland

In most days of December, the Ring Road is partially or totally closed, depending mostly on the weather!

Ice and snow cause big problems to drivers so you cannot plan such a long drive as the Ring Road in December.

You have to limit to small trips around Reykjavik!

3. You need to pack for thermal clothes

Your suitcase will become bigger because you need more clothes. Take with you thermal clothes to keep you warm during winter days from Iceland.

It is a must to have in your luggage a windproof coat, gloves and a hat. Even if the temperatures are not extremely low, because of the wind you feel colder than actually is.

December is one of the best months of year to see northern lights in iceland.

So, the answer to the question if December is the best time to visit Iceland in winter is yes, especially if you are interested in chasing Northern Lights and unique adventures like climbing a glacier.

Logistical tips and tricks for your trip

Book your accommodation
We always use as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.

You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.

Don't forget travel insurance
We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money.

When we go for longer trips around the world we get Globelink Insurance as it offers a good cover for an affordable price.

Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected costs caused by medical events like illness, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.

We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.

Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.

We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.

We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.

Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.

Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.