iceland in december weather
Discover a wide range of Mountain Tours Why not join this Mo... What is there to do in the Westfjords of Iceland? 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. How do Icelanders celebrate Christmas and the New Year? To take this tour, therefore, you must be over sixteen, at least 50 kilogrammes (110 lbs), and 150 centimetres tall (4'9"). The tour operator provides everything you'll need to stay warm and safe out on the trail, but you'll still need appropriate winter wear beneath your equipment and a valid driver’s license if you're driving the snowmobile. Jól, Yule, Christmas December in Iceland is as tricky as it is a treat. How long does a sunset or a sunrise last? Of course, no activity is without its risks, and snorkelling in Silfra is no exception. Grýla descends the mountain every Christmas to kidnap and eat naughty children (and, possibly, grown adults). 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. Besides Christmas and New Year, visitors coming to Iceland may be interested in two other cultural events. Even bars host Christmas concerts and shows. So from December 1st to the Winter solstice, almost an entire hour of daylight is lost. The main location for this is in Silfra fissure, located in Þingvellir National Park. December Weather in Iceland (Temperature, Daylight Hours, What to Pack) As you can see, December is a great time to go to Iceland. We absolutely loved Landmannalaugar on our trip. There are just two conditions that make for a perfect view: high solar activity, and very little cloud cover. Photo from Glacier Discover | Glacier Hike in Skaftafell Area. 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. 8 reasons Reykjavik is one of Europe's most unusual city breaks, New airline routes & holiday destinations for 2021, 10 Brexit-proof holiday destinations to explore, Beyond caffeine: the fascinating coffee cultures of the world, Kiwi.com: Book flexible flight, train & bus tickets, VRBO: Holiday rentals with free cancellation, TUI: £150 off Canaries + summer & winter sun deals, Marella Cruises: Free amends on summer 2021, Where to go in 2021: Top destinations to rediscover travel, Where to go on holiday in February for the best weather, Where to book family holidays with free child places, Where to go on holiday in January for the best weather, coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for Iceland, Hurtigruten: Book 2021/2022 cruises with confidence, Travelzoo: Top offers with fully refundable vouchers, Book 2021/2022 cruises with new cancellation policy, Cancel for any reason & get refund including deposit, Save on hotels, restaurants, spas & more with Travelzoo, Book online with fully refundable vouchers, Filter vouchers by theme, price, type & more. The weather in Iceland is always unpredictable and December is no exception. Regarding weather, any sort of long term forecast is simply not worth reading. 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. Then you’ve come to the right place! The museum presents an excellent opportunity to enjoy the high spirits of Iceland in December. Icelanders hold the biggest Christmas gatherings and exchange gifts on Christmas eve. This is because there’s low visibility, limited day light (about 4-5 hours), and frequent windstorms in winters. 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. The weather is a huge factor when trying to determine the best time to visit. Winter may be the coldest time to visit Iceland, but one of the biggest draws during this time of year is the chance to see the aurora borealis, or the northern lights. 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. The routes are well lit, and the height of the caves means that you don’t even need to stoop to move through them. December is one of Iceland's wettest months, with 97 mm (3.8") of precipitation. Just curious more than anything. Even so December is a magical time to visit this island up in the North and for me as a photographer a favourite month in terms of light. Many Northern Lights tours are very affordable, like this Audio Guided Northern Lights Tour, which you can take in one of ten languages; it's conducted on a larger bus and takes you to the best-known vantage points for the conditions. These thirteen brothers, who made a comeback in Iceland in the 1930s by poet Jóhannes úr Kötlum, now dress in full Santa regalia. Glacier hiking is also an obvious choice if you're travelling to Iceland in December. and set them off pretty much wherever they want to, but the most popular spots are Hallgrímskirkja and Perlan. Does it rain in Iceland in December? It’s cold and dark with the Winter Equinox on December 21st being the shortest day. 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 Silfra crack is located right between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, which, as they pull apart, tear ravines in the earth that fill with water running from Langjökull glacier. Because lava rock is very porous, the water that seeps through them freezes into stalactites and stalagmites. What is the weather like? Photo from Exhilarating 1 Hour Snowmobile Adventure on Langjokull Glacier with Transfer from Gullfoss . Haven't been there in December so I can't comment on the weather except to say that the lowest average temp all year is 29 degrees F, which isn't bad (that would be Jan.). AVERAGE WEATHER IN SEPTEMBER IN ICELAND. Nowadays, these figures add to the fun of Advent, which continues until December 23rd. You should be prepared fo all kinds of weather in December, including snow, wind, sun and occasional snow storms. While the weather may be a bit unpredictable, that’s true all year long. Thanks Temperature of water and air, precipitation, amount of days with rain and advice on the best time to visit Iceland. 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. 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. Everything you need to know about planning a DECEMBER trip to Iceland. The Christmas Spirit here is infectious, and it's a great place to shop for some unique presents. You can enjoy an eight-or-nine day holiday to Iceland in December in many ways; some may prefer to base themselves in Reykjavík, while others may wish to see as much of Iceland’s nature as possible. There is usually less snow in Reykjavík then in … You can do all kinds of fun outdoor activities like glacier hikes, skiing, and ice cave exploration. At the beginning of December, the length of day is 5 hours. 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. 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 & … 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 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. You can also take Northern Lights cruises out of Reykjavík. The temperature ranges from 2.2°C to … Despite the cold weather and short hours of sunlight, December is actually a great time to visit Iceland. How has Guide to Iceland changed since its conception? Gleðileg jól! 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. 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. It’s the first time a red weather alert has been issued in Iceland since the new warning system was implemented several years ago. How long is the period in which you can experience the midnight sun in Iceland? As long as both of these circumstances look promising, you have a good chance of spotting the auroras. Whale watching in December is a rewarding experience. December If you are looking for a white Christmas, with lots of festivities and the chance to see the Northern Lights – this is a great month to visit. The festival officially starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Eve, when across the country, the Christmas trees are lit. Leaving from either Grundarfjörður or Ólafsvík, you will set off into Breiðafjörður bay to see these magnificent creatures. Yes, weather in Iceland is unpredictable and you could face blizzard, sleet, rain, snow or even storm. December is the second coldest, second windiest, and the third wettest month of the year. Brittany Ferries Cruise Nation DFDS English Heritage Enterprise Explore! Driving in Iceland in winter, especially December, is not as easy as driving during the summers. Read ahead for all you need to know about visiting Iceland in December. The Iceland sunrise & sunset times shown below are for Reykjavik. The same low-pressure system that moves through Iceland in autumn continues into winter, so remember to wear warm clothing and sturdy shoes wherever you go. Many tours run from the capital, leaving from the Old Harbour, and lasting between two and three hours. It is quite unpredictable honestly. Predicting the weather in Iceland is usually very simple. Even today, Ásatrú, the Old Norse religion, makes up around 1% of the religiously affiliated population. Why don’t Icelanders recognise autumn or spring, and what is the best season to travel? If you plan on renting a car, therefore, it is highly recommended that you rent a four-wheel-drive. No, the coach driver has experience driving in rough conditions. Which is warmer then a lot of travelers expect. Driving into the highlands isn't possible unless you join this day tour of Landmannalaugar in a Super Jeep. There could well be storms in Winter (November - March), especially December and these could be with or without snow. Photo from One Day South Coast and Katla Ice Cave Tour from Reykjavik. I know its obviously winter, but is it wet, snowy.. or both? Possibly the best place to feel the Christmas spirit, however, is at the Árbæjarsafn Open Air Museum, part of the greater Reykjavík City Museum. But it is recommended to pack a … As a primarily Lutheran country, Iceland has developed unique and wonderful traditions around Christmas time. During the season, the hip town centre turns into a fairytale Christmas village. The entrance is also often blocked with snow throughout winter, meaning that entering it requires you to slide down a chute that you dig out, so it's not necessarily the best choice for those who are uncomfortable with tight spaces. People who are anxious about tight spaces might look into touring Víðgelmir or Raufarhólshellir. The itineraries are flexible because the weather in winter in Iceland is a force to be reckoned with. Water running underneath the glaciers opens up tunnels within them, allowing visitors to explore the unbelievable world inside of an ice cap. There's also an adorable gift shop in Hafnarfjöður that sells Christmas goodies and confections, a stable where you can see how tallow candles were made (considered an excellent gift because they provided light throughout winter—but let's not forget, they were also bait for Candle Stealer), and houses where you can try Christmas dinner staples: smoked lamb, or hangikjöt, and leaf bread, or laufabrauð (which is not made of leaves). Below you can hear Icelandic singer Björk sing a Christmas Song about the Yule Cat in true Icelandic fashion. 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. 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. Consider visiting Iceland in the months of May, June, July, August, for the best beach weather.Also consider one of our other suggestions for December. The most obvious choice for any traveller coming to Iceland for eight days is this winter package. Get the monthly weather forecast for Reykjavik, Greater Reykjavik, Iceland, including daily high/low, historical averages, to help you plan ahead. But you can also experience cold, dark nights where the magical Aurora borealis dance in the skies! Average Weather during December in Skogar (South Iceland), Iceland. The final option, however, is the easiest and most reliable: taking a northern lights tour. And keep your eyes peeled for the lights--both the beautiful Christmas lights that christen the city streets and the Northern Lights. It's possible to take a ferry over to the island to watch this ceremony. 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. Select a month to view Iceland sunrise & sunset times for the next twelve months. Icelandic Meteorological Office’s website will give you all the information you need to know about the weather in Iceland in December. After resting in the tranquil waters until you're fully recharged from your flight, you’ll reach Reykjavík, and settle into your hotel. It's unprectiable 363 days a year. That is the risk you have to take when travelling to Iceland in deep winter. 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. This will mostly affect the 24th, the 25th, and the 26th of December, as well as the 31st of December and the 1st of January. When does the midnight sun take place in Iceland? There are usually 19 days with some rain in Reykjavik, Iceland in December and the average monthly rainfall is 100mm. Skaftafellsjökull is on the far side of the south coast, located within the Skaftafell Nature Reserve. 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. 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. What is Guide to Iceland? December is a very special time in Iceland. Of course, there are plenty of locations where you can simply go sightseeing throughout December. The views from this glacier are spectacular. 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. The weather in Iceland is very changeable and the snow or rain could accompany … The average sea temperature around Reykjavik, Iceland in December is 3°C. 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. Your fourth day in Iceland will be spent enjoying Reykjavík further. You will go ice caving, take a complimentary Northern Lights bus tour or cruise, and choose between going horse-riding, snowmobiling, or snorkelling. What is the best way to experience the summer solstice? There are three different ways to try to see the Northern Lights in Iceland. 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. 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. My favorite thing about the weather in September is that you can usually experience the best of both seasons! The race starts and finishes at Harpa. Every year on the Winter Solstice (December 21st), the Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey Island is relit, until December 31st. Can I still take tours? When was Guide to Iceland founded and why? First, you can stay in Reykjavík, and try to spot them from its darkest places, such as Grótta Lighthouse or Klambratún Park. In the winter in Iceland, the temperature generally hovers around freezing— ranging between -1° and 4°C (34°F and 39°F). Continue reading for all you need to know about Iceland in December. In that case, combining a few packages will allow you to create a perfect combination of city and nature. December is one of Iceland’s coldest and darkest months. Perhaps the festive, romantic air. The festivities are not the only reason to come to Iceland in December, however. December is a very cold and slightly rainy time for sunbathing in Iceland, and not recommended.December is too cold for swimming in Iceland for any length of time, unless you have a wetsuit. If you're lucky, you'll see the aurora borealis dancing above the icebergs. Read an overview of the climate. Weather in Iceland in December. Blue Lagoon is also a … Snuggle up inside warm cafés, stroll the snowcapped streets, explore the impressive countryside and admire the Northern Lights at night. 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. The air is filled with Christmas vibes. Some of these tours also include an ice-climb for some added adventure, like this Sólheimajökull Ice Climbing and Glacier Hike. The event is hugely popular among locals, and participants often dress up in costumes to win prizes. The most common species is the white-beaked dolphin; this acrobatic animal travels in pods and exhibits behaviours like breaching and bow riding. The most important thing to decide before arriving is whether or not you'll rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle and drive yourself. No matter what the weather might be up to, it's always nice to soak in hot water, so booking a trip to the Blue Lagoon or checking out some of the best swimming pools and hot tubs in Reykjavík is sure to be a soothing outing—and rather exciting if there's a snowstorm raging while you're kicking back in the hot water. Also in this area, you have a chance also to see pilot whales, which are quite hard to spot, and even beaked whales. To prepare for this, ensure you have a hat and gloves, thermal undergarments, windproof and waterproof outer layers, and warm clothes in between; you'll also need sturdy hiking boots if you're planning to do some exploring. 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. 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. This settlement has deep ties to folklore and tradition, and its residents go all out. 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 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. When the excursion leaves from Vík, you'll also see the Reynisfjara black sand beach, the Reynisdrangar sea-stacks, and Dyrhólaey rock arch. One even steals candles made from lard, presumably to stave off starvation). 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. Continue... See a selection of wonderful photographs that capture the magic of the Northern Lights throughout Iceland. It also maintains a constant temperature of two degrees under the earth, so it doesn't freeze until it reaches lake Þingvallavatn. The two best places for winter whale watching in Iceland are Faxaflói bay in Reykjavík and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Adding to this, theres a palpable buzz from the anticipation of one of the countrys most popular times, Christmas. 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. This ceremony is sometimes attended by Yoko Ono, who conceived the idea in memory of Jon Lennon. Will I be able to see the Northern Lights? Where do you need to travel to find the most spectacular waterfalls? There is a 2-day road trip to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, which involves ice caving, can be combined with a 5-day self-drive around the west (for example, the Golden Circle and Snæfellsnes Peninsula). It is nonetheless possible to book this 6-Day Guided Winter Package to south, east, and north Iceland, and this Winter 7-Day Self Drive Tour to the north of Iceland. If you choose to drive yourself around Iceland in December, make sure that you know the exact route you're going to take before you set off, and that you let somebody know. 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 one of Iceland's wettest months, with 97 mm (3.8") of precipitation. Snow is piling up around the country and the sun only makes an appearance in the sky for four to five hours a day. Choose between a multitude of tours, or rent a 4WD car and drive yourself (more on this below). One of the bonuses is the number of cool activities that await you during this winter month. Glacier hikes are excellent because of the view, but it's so much more than that. This thrilling experience usually lasts an hour, in which you are free to blast across the fresh snow. Weather in Iceland in December 2020. Most tours of this area in December are on-location, like this Skaftafell Glacier Hike (medium difficulty), so you'll have to meet your group at the park. 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