Iceland during the wintertime may sound a little scary on paper: spontaneous snow storms (sometimes blizzards), hazardous road conditions, the beginning of the country's dark season, and the very reason why traditional woolen sweaters are so popular. How do you sleep during the... Iceland is a country of many amazing waterfalls, but which are the best ones? Glacier hiking is also an obvious choice if you're travelling to Iceland in December. December is, in fact, widely considered to be the second-best time to visit Iceland because of the explosion of Yule Tide joy. After resting in the tranquil waters until you're fully recharged from your flight, you’ll reach Reykjavík, and settle into your hotel. You can tour lava caves throughout the year, but these excursions are particularly special during winter because of the ice sculptures that form within them. There are three different ways to try to see the Northern Lights in Iceland. With the Christmas season, the city of Reykjavík comes to life with entertainment, and many tours still run out into the country, meaning there's still quite a lot to do both inside and outside of the city. Iceland's ice caves are a beautiful part of the country, but they are natural formations, which means that they don't cater to our desires. The main location for this is in Silfra fissure, located in Þingvellir National Park. Read... Iceland in December | An Unbeatable Guide, Guide to Iceland | The Story of the Leading Travel Agency of Iceland, Iceland in June | Everything You Need to Know, What to Know About in Iceland in December, Suggested Itinerary for Iceland in December, Two Day Tour from Reykjavík, visiting Jökulsárlón and an Ice Cave, One Day South Coast and Katla Ice Cave Tour from Reykjavik, Leidarendi Lava Tube | Cave Adventure from Reykjavik, Meet on Location 30 Minute Snorkeling Tour in the Crystal Waters of Silfra, Unforgettable 3 Hour Whale Watching Boat Tour with Transfer from Reykjavik Harbor, Sólheimajökull Ice Climbing and Glacier Hike, Glacier Discover | Glacier Hike in Skaftafell Area, Skaftafell Glacier Hike (medium difficulty), Exhilarating 1 Hour Snowmobile Adventure on Langjokull Glacier with Transfer from Gullfoss , best swimming pools and hot tubs in Reykjavík, Best Places for Marriage Proposals in Iceland. You may also see the elusive harbour porpoise, and perhaps even a group of great orcas. With just four hours of sunlight in the weeks around the winter equinox, you will have plenty of opportunities to hunt for the Northern Lights in the twenty hours of darkness each day. During the season, the hip town centre turns into a fairytale Christmas village. The weather in Iceland is always unpredictable and December is no exception. Just wondering on weather during December. December is one of Iceland's wettest months, with 97 mm (3.8") of precipitation. This causes the gray weather as well as the cold temperatures that cause frequent snowfall- which are the main characteristics of the weather in Reykjavik throughout December. Driving in Iceland in winter is only recommended for those who are both experienced and confident. The high amounts of rainfall in December and January combined with low readings on the thermometer mean that the country will be covered in ice and snow during this time. Located in the heart of the polar winter, December is not only the coldest month of the year but also has the shortest days. The average sea temperature around Reykjavik, Iceland in December is 3°C. These thirteen brothers, who made a comeback in Iceland in the 1930s by poet Jóhannes úr Kötlum, now dress in full Santa regalia. It's important to set a strict time to wake up in the morning and go to bed in the evening to avoid a seasonal slump. Photo from Exhilarating 1 Hour Snowmobile Adventure on Langjokull Glacier with Transfer from Gullfoss . Despite the harsh winter weather and shortest daylights, there are still plenty of things to do in Iceland in December. Grýla has an enormous black cat, the Yule Cat, which also eats children, but only those who aren't given clothes for Christmas. So the itinerary below outlines a trip comprised of tours and packages instead. The average temperature in September is 7 °C (45°F). Even bars host Christmas concerts and shows. To top it off, if the tour is cancelled due to unfavourable conditions, or the forecast was wrong and the lights didn't appear, you can take the tour again free of charge until you see them. December is also cold, the average temperature is -0,2°C (31,6°F) and the average precipitation is 79 mm. Because this will be your last opportunity to immerse yourself in the Icelandic countryside, however, you'll combine it with another tour, like whale-watching, horse-riding, snowmobiling or snorkelling; the choice is yours. Those who want to enjoy the season outside of the capital region could head to Óbyggðasetur Íslands, the Wilderness Centre. The December weather guide for Reykjavik, Iceland shows long term weather averages processed from data supplied by CRU (University of East Anglia), the Met Office & … Weather in Iceland in December. Here’s a quick overview of Iceland weather by month and season. In the winter in Iceland, the temperature generally hovers around freezing— ranging between -1° and 4°C (34°F and 39°F). Average Weather during December in Skogar (South Iceland), Iceland. On the second day, you'll get to go ice-caving before returning to the capital. and set them off pretty much wherever they want to, but the most popular spots are Hallgrímskirkja and Perlan. The main problems with this approach, however, is that light pollution limits the intensity of the auroras, and you can't manoeuvre away from cloud cover with the same ease that you'd have in a vehicle. After heavy rains they often flood, which can compromise their structural integrity, and if that happens, the tour will only be conducted if it is safe. Choose between a multitude of tours, or rent a 4WD car and drive yourself (more on this below). It's also, well, dark. Gleðileg jól! Of course, there are plenty of locations where you can simply go sightseeing throughout December. December is one of Iceland's wettest months, with 97 mm (3.8") of precipitation. The entrances to both are wide with steps that lead to wooden pathways. The roads into the Highlands and many around the Westfjords are now closed, and you don't want to become stranded or snowbound. Also in this area, you have a chance also to see pilot whales, which are quite hard to spot, and even beaked whales. Regarding weather, any sort of long term forecast is simply not worth reading. The average minimum temperature (usually the minimum temperature is noted during the night) in Skogar in December is 0.0°C (32°F). The ambitious could even do these two as one self-drive package. Leiðarendi is more challenging, but makes for a more adventurous trip; there are no lights or walkways inside, and the whole circuit within requires a degree of clambering and crawling. What is the best way to experience the summer solstice? In December, the average temperature is -0.2 degrees Celsius. Christmas in Iceland has always been an important holiday, and the festivities in Hafnarfjöður will help you to learn about Iceland's past while enjoying a hot cup of cocoa. There are a number of great activities still running, and ice caving is one of the most renowned and spectacular that you can take part in. It’s the first time a red weather alert has been issued in Iceland since the new warning system was implemented several years ago. First Choice FloridaTix Hoseasons James Villas Jet2.com Jet2holidays Love Holidays On the Beach Rail Europe - formerly Loco2 RHS Saga Holidays TUI Virgin Atlantic VRBO (formerly HomeAway) More... We help you find the best travel deals for your holiday in the sun by sharing tips on when and where to go, before providing you with top discounts. This will allow you to see a huge swathe of the country in about a week, and if you are staying longer, to enjoy the Reykjavík Festivities too. Read ahead for all you need to know about visiting Iceland in December. This thrilling experience usually lasts an hour, in which you are free to blast across the fresh snow. Photo from Glacier Discover | Glacier Hike in Skaftafell Area. The weather in December in Iceland ranges from 30-39 fahrenheit. Even though Iceland is cold in December, it’s still a great month to visit. They can explain the phenomenon to you, answering all of your aurora-related questions, while helping you with your camera settings. Then you’ve come to the right place! You will go ice caving, take a complimentary Northern Lights bus tour or cruise, and choose between going horse-riding, snowmobiling, or snorkelling. The temperature means that the roads are often icy. Prior to Jóhannes úr Kötlum's poem that formally laid out 13 Yule lads, the lads were continually changing--and the list did include a few zombie-like maniacs, like Lungnasléttir (Lung Splatter), who carried his lungs in front of his chest and beat children with them. Lava caving is not a particularly dangerous activity, but having the right equipment (namely, a torch, helmet, and crampons) and an experienced guide are essential. These excursions are led by experienced guides who don't only know Iceland's roads and road conditions well, but are also very knowledgeable about the aurora borealis. The itineraries are flexible because the weather in winter in Iceland is a force to be reckoned with. On days 5 and 6, you'll take a two day trip to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. If you want to drive out of the capital and into the country, it's absolutely essential. While snowfall is common in December, it's fairly likely that Reykjavík won't be beneath it; the climate of the capital is warmer than the rest of the country and it tends only to be covered in snow sporadically between the months of January and April. That evening, enjoy a dinner in one of the city’s great restaurants or check out the nightlife at one of its many bars. Why don’t Icelanders recognise autumn or spring, and what is the best season to travel? You could get snow, sleet, or rain all in the same day. But, the most important thing is that the drivers here know how to drive in icy conditions with quickly changing weather and potential high winds and whiteouts. And if the weather is too bad, the tour will be cancelled. Rain may fall as snow in this month. In Icelandic, and related Scandinavian languages, the holiday is called 'Jól', which echoes the yule of English. For example, some roads, like Route 1 along the south coast, are very vulnerable to high winds, while others are susceptible to avalanches after heavy precipitation, so make your plans accordingly, and be flexible if you can see that your safety could be compromised. Sólheimajökull can be reached with this easy day tour, Sólheimajökull Glacier Hike, as it is located on the south coast between Skógafoss and Vík. The air is filled with Christmas vibes. Note that some shops and restaurants in Iceland, as well as some tours, may be closed for a number of days during the holidays, or have limited opening hours. This museum is usually open only during summer, but it's also open on weekends in December, from 13:00 to 17:00. This is because there’s low visibility, limited day light (about 4-5 hours), and frequent windstorms in winters. There are guided museum tours at 13:00, and a Christmas service in the turf church at 14:00. While the larger baleen whales that come to Iceland to feed in summer have largely migrated south to their mating grounds (although there are often some stragglers who stay year-round), there are still a number of other whales. Weather warnings. The weather in Iceland is very changeable and the snow or rain could accompany … *affiliate links: find out how we are funded and why this helps us remain free to use. Northern Lights in Iceland . To take this tour, therefore, you must be over sixteen, at least 50 kilogrammes (110 lbs), and 150 centimetres tall (4'9"). December 10, 2019 ; Nature, Travel, x News; The worst storm of year is hitting Iceland, with yellow, orange, and red weather alerts active across the country. The roads are covered with metres of thick snow, so much so that the road signs may be completely covered. The base of the tower has 'Peace' written on it in 24 languages, and the pillar of light can appear up to four kilometres in the air on clear nights. If they are particularly strong, you'll be able to see them even in places with some light pollution, like a dimly lit street or your hotel window. Continue... See a selection of wonderful photographs that capture the magic of the Northern Lights throughout Iceland. But you can also experience cold, dark nights where the magical Aurora borealis dance in the skies! What do you do in Iceland in December? The Iceland sunrise & sunset times shown below are for Reykjavik. What temperature will it be in Reykjavík and elsewhere on the map? The festivities are not the only reason to come to Iceland in December, however. What is Guide to Iceland? Picture from Into the Blue | Snorkelling Day Tour. On day 8, you'll head back to Keflavík Airport for your flight home; if you have a longer holiday, however, you can use the extra time to see more of Reykjavík, take in the festive spirit, and finish up your Christmas shopping. Continue reading for all you need to know about Iceland in December. Visit Reykjavík's website lists the Christmas opening hours of various shops, restaurants, and other venues in Iceland from November onward. You can have beautiful warm summer days. Where do you need to travel to find the most spectacular waterfalls? Tickets to the museum can be bought on location or through the purchase of a Visit Reykjavík City Card, which gives you access to museums and galleries across the capital. Like lava caving, snorkelling is available throughout the year, but particularly unique during winter. Far from being dreary and cold, the cities and towns are alight with holiday lighting and festivities. Most of the well-known sites and many of the tours are still accessible in Iceland in December, and some activities, like ice caving and Northern Lights hunting are at their peak. While this Ice Tunnel Day Tour is open throughout the year, natural ice caves are only around for a short season. Which mountains are the most beautiful mountains in Iceland, where are they located and what kind of mountains can you find in Iceland? Because of the risks associated with entering an ice cave without knowing how stable it is, ice caving should only be done with an experienced glacier guide on an official tour. Admire them, by all means, but keep over thirty metres away from the water’s edge because of the notorious sneaker waves along this stretch. It's possible to take a ferry over to the island to watch this ceremony. The two areas you need to consider more than anything else are the weather and the roads. Driving into the highlands isn't possible unless you join this day tour of Landmannalaugar in a Super Jeep. You can always see what roads are open on road.is, but the roads may close while you're on them, so we really don't recommend self-driving in winter. To fully immerse yourself in the country without driving, you could book a guided winter package, which will take you to all the sites. Even today, Ásatrú, the Old Norse religion, makes up around 1% of the religiously affiliated population. The two best places for winter whale watching in Iceland are Faxaflói bay in Reykjavík and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The race starts and finishes at Harpa. In recent years, the stories have softened because parents were concerned that these characters were too cruel and frightening for their children. The most important thing to decide before arriving is whether or not you'll rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle and drive yourself. You can start in the morning by learning about Iceland’s fascinating history at the Reykjavík Maritime Museum or by having a giggle at the world’s only Phallological Museum, before heading to the Árbæjarsafn Open Air Museum when it opens at 13.00. And keep your eyes peeled for the lights--both the beautiful Christmas lights that christen the city streets and the Northern Lights. Possibly the best place to feel the Christmas spirit, however, is at the Árbæjarsafn Open Air Museum, part of the greater Reykjavík City Museum. Photo from One Day South Coast and Katla Ice Cave Tour from Reykjavik. First, you can stay in Reykjavík, and try to spot them from its darkest places, such as Grótta Lighthouse or Klambratún Park. There are usually 19 days with some rain in Reykjavik, Iceland in December and the average monthly rainfall is 100mm. Your guides are professional scuba instructors with a wealth of experience in cold water, and you'll be provided with the appropriate equipment. The final option, however, is the easiest and most reliable: taking a northern lights tour. She is a cannibal, alongside her third husband, Leppalúði, who is several centuries older than her, and more likeable. If you're lucky, you'll see the aurora borealis dancing above the icebergs. Yes, weather in Iceland is unpredictable and you could face blizzard, sleet, rain, snow or even storm. However, there is no need to swim in the sea as the Blue Lagoon is 37-39°C and there are lots of other hot springs around to swim in. Just curious more than anything. This ceremony is sometimes attended by Yoko Ono, who conceived the idea in memory of Jon Lennon. Glacier hikes are excellent because of the view, but it's so much more than that. You could get snow, sleet, or rain all in the same day. Despite the cold weather and short hours of sunlight, December is actually a great time to visit Iceland. I had the same issue a few years ago while planning my epic New Year’s Eve trip to Reykjavik and the surrounding area such as Vik and Thingvellir National Park.. At the end of the day, deciding what to wear in Iceland in winter is a big challenge for some travelers. You can also take a snowmobiling tour. Brittany Ferries Cruise Nation DFDS English Heritage Enterprise Explore! When was Guide to Iceland founded and why? Answer 1 of 6: Hey folks, I am heading to Iceland in December with the family. Weather in Iceland in December 2020. You should be prepared fo all kinds of weather in December, including snow, wind, sun and occasional snow storms. How long is the period in which you can experience the midnight sun in Iceland? My favorite thing about the weather in September is that you can usually experience the best of both seasons! As a primarily Lutheran country, Iceland has developed unique and wonderful traditions around Christmas time. When the excursion leaves from Vík, you'll also see the Reynisfjara black sand beach, the Reynisdrangar sea-stacks, and Dyrhólaey rock arch. With the festive spirit, a sprinkling of snow, Northern Lights and a wide variety of tours, the country becomes an amorous winter wonderland that draws couples from all around the world. The climate in Iceland in december is very bad across the board. Additionally, the holiday season means that the city and surrounding towns are at their most beautiful, decked in lights and decorations, brightening up the dark nights and creating a fairytale ambience. Of course, this option should only be taken by confident drivers and you should have a good knowledge of the potential routes you are planning to take so you don't end up in a bad situation. Weather in Iceland in December. On New Year's Eve, Reykjavík also hosts a 10-kilometre run. So from December 1st to the Winter solstice, almost an entire hour of daylight is lost. Predicting the weather in Iceland is usually very simple. Rain may fall as snow in this month. The most obvious choice for any traveller coming to Iceland for eight days is this winter package. The museum presents an excellent opportunity to enjoy the high spirits of Iceland in December. Can I still take tours? After that, you'll have loads of free time to spend in downtown Reykjavik, taking in the Christmas spirit; the main street, Laugavegur, and the downtown area will be fully dressed in lights and decorations. Driving in Iceland in winter, especially December, is not as easy as driving during the summers. It’s cold and dark with the Winter Equinox on December 21st being the shortest day. Iceland’s December Weather: Average Temperatures, Snowfall, Daylight Hours. There are normally 0 hours of bright sunshine each day in Reykjavik, Iceland in December - that's 9% of daylight hours. One such place is the Skaftafell Nature Reserve; in December, the glaciers have changed from a mix of white snow and black ash to vivid blue ice, and they advance into the reserve, making a hike to them short and easy. Sólheimajökull and Skaftafellsjökull are both relatively easy to hike at this time of year. In winter, this place is incredibly dramatic; the waves that crash against the rocks and along the shore are enormous and unpredictable. On day seven, you'll take the Golden Circle. What are the benefits of travelling in winter compare... What is Iceland like in June? Book your complete trip with the best companies only. Water running underneath the glaciers opens up tunnels within them, allowing visitors to explore the unbelievable world inside of an ice cap. Protective glasses, if you err on the side of caution, are sold around the city in the lead up to the night; common sense dictates that it's sensible to protect yourself when nearby or using fireworks. The dancing Aurora Borealis covers the sky for most of … Select a month to view Iceland sunrise & sunset times for the next twelve months. Are there waterfalls all around the country? Adding to this, theres a palpable buzz from the anticipation of one of the countrys most popular times, Christmas. The Icelandic Yule Lads arrive to entertain guests from 14:00 to 16:00, and at 15:00, there's a celebration of dancing in the square of the reconstructed town. At the turn of the year, thousands upon thousands of people take to the streets to watch one of the largest firework shows on earth; locals buy fireworks in bulk from the Icelandic Search and Rescue organisation (to fund them!) Get the monthly weather forecast for Reykjavik, Greater Reykjavik, Iceland, including daily high/low, historical averages, to help you plan ahead. These conditions make for a very special snorkelling site; visitors marvel at the vast, cathedral-like spaces and vividly blue water. There are also two-day packages and three-day packages that include guided glacier hikes and tours of nearby sites, like the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. The Christmas celebrations in Iceland take place during Advent, and they weave together both Lutherism and Paganism. Icelanders hold the biggest Christmas gatherings and exchange gifts on Christmas eve. The amount of rain in December is high with an average of 144mm (5.7in). Similarly, New Year’s Eve in Reykjavík is the city’s most lively and exciting night. How long will you need to explore the Westfjords? Restaurants in Iceland serve wildly popular "Christmas buffets" that families and co-workers flock to; shops stay open until 10 pm from December 15th until December 23rd. The suggested itinerary below can, therefore, be adjusted and tweaked to suit the individual, but has a broad allure that should appeal to most visitors. How has Guide to Iceland changed since its conception? The area features the turf houses and churches of old Iceland, with staged areas showing the ways in which Icelanders of various economic backgrounds traditionally celebrated. Throughout December, they host ‘Nostalgia of Christmas’ tours, where you can learn about the history of the festival in Iceland while enjoying homemade Icelandic Christmas food in this Highland locale. Travel guide and advices. The most common species is the white-beaked dolphin; this acrobatic animal travels in pods and exhibits behaviours like breaching and bow riding. Your fourth day in Iceland will be spent enjoying Reykjavík further. Being the darkest month, the days during this time are the shortest and nights utterly gorgeous. Though this tour will not take you down the entire south coast, you'll still be able to see the majority of notable sites on the way, like Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, which might be frozen! Early in the month, you can take advantage of low-season savings, and if you come over the holidays you’ll find a delightfully festive atmosphere. Many tours run from the capital, leaving from the Old Harbour, and lasting between two and three hours. It may not sound very inviting, but the fact is that Iceland in December is just miraculous.
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