Iceland is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places that I have ever visited. Would I go again in the middle of winter? Probably not…but most of these places that I’ve listed look 10x prettier in the snow, I swear. You just gotta brave the cold. And honestly, it’s really not even that cold (unless you’re from California, like me). The wind is the only thing that gets annoying, but I hear it’s windy over summer too. Anyway, there’s A LOT to see on the island, and especially for you winter travelers, you probably won’t get to everything on your list. The weather can be rather unpredictable. We actually got snowed in a couple of days…the storms were so bad that driving was basically impossible. So if you’re going to visit during winter, budget a couple extra days in case the weather fails to cooperate.
Now for the important part of this post. Whatever your Iceland bucket list looks like right now, make sure these places are on it. You’ll thank me later 🙂 They’re listed roughly in the order that I visited them in. So starting from the western side of the island going east along the southern border. Hope you guys enjoy!
1. View from Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik: This church is absolutely breathtaking, inside and out. But I think the highlight for me was climbing to the top of the tower. Actually, you take an elevator up, so effort to get up there is pretty minimal. Which means you have no excuse to not go! The line for the elevator can get long and there is a small admission fee (~$8 per person if I remember correctly), but it’s totally worth. Check out these views!! You can see the whole city of Reykjavik from the top. All the colorful buildings, the water, the snow-covered streets. It was quite the sight to behold. I’m sure it looks every bit as beautiful in the summer, but the snow adds a little bit of extra magic 🙂
2. Kirkjufell Mountain: So there’s Kirkjufell Mountain and Kirkjufell Falls. Both are gorgeous, and they’re conveniently right next to each other (as their names would suggest). If you’re looking for the perfect photo opportunity, this is it. The view is nothing short of majestic. We didn’t have much daylight when we went during the winter, but I imagine sunrise/sunset here would be incredible. You can Google pictures of this place for inspiration 🙂 It’s a bit of a drive from Reykjavik, but I recommend seeing Kirkjufell Mountain as part of a day trip to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. You can find my previous post here.
3. Svartifoss: Are you guys starting to notice a pattern? The waterfalls in Iceland are something else. And this was hands-down my favorite one! Not because of the waterfall itself, but the intricate rock formations (lava columns, I believe) surrounding it. It’s mind-boggling how they all formed naturally. These falls also required the most hiking to get to. But again, 100% worth, I promise. It’s probably not as bad over the summer since you’re not trudging through snow. I think the total distance each way is a little over a mile. So not bad! And the views are beautiful. If you go during the winter, the icicles that form on the lava columns are a pretty cool sight too.
4. Glacier Lagoon: This was the place that I was most excited to visit, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was on your list already. The colors of the glaciers here are a marvelous blue. And the mountains behind them make for an amazing backdrop. You could sit here for hours and not get tired of the scenery. There is a hill that you can climb if you want a better vantage point, but be prepared for the wind. You do get a much better view of the mountains in the back, though. It had started to snow by the time we got up the hill, so I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures. But the view from the bottom ain’t too shabby, either 🙂
Hope you guys enjoyed this post!
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