As Iceland enters the winter months, tourist crowds wane making it the opportune time to experience the more authentic Iceland you’ve been dreaming of.
If you’re going to choose a time and place to step out of your comfort zone, winter in Iceland offers the ideal equation. The land of fire and ice presents you with a plethora of thrilling activities, allowing you to explore Iceland the way it was meant to be experienced, and witness what occurs when you let your inner adventurer take over—adrenaline pumping through your veins to keep you warm throughout a winter itinerary of nordic luxury.
From November to March, temperatures and daylight hours decrease, thus so do the number of visitors during these winter months. Although many adventurers already prefer to visit during the off-season, it is March that stands out as an all-around idyllic time to visit the Nordic hub. During this transition month between darker days and sunnier solstice, the island is still covered in snow, while Northern Lights dance across the unpolluted night skies. Days are getting longer and temperatures warmer—and while visitors are getting ready for their summer trips, the time is perfect to get active and explore.
Excursions such as ice-hiking and sea kayaking amidst glaciers and fjords become all the more magical, as you experience Iceland’s ability to elevate a standard trek or paddle to an activity-lover’s dream. You can be sure that your journey through Iceland will be most memorable after engaging in these five activities.
Iceland is a rugged territory, especially when you venture off-road to get close to the wonders that this perfectly sized island has to offer. In specially equipped Land Rovers you will veer off the touristic paths and navigate through walls of ice, past moon-like volcanic landscapes and cross icy rivers to unravel the secrets of the land of fire and of ice.
Spend up to two days driving and admiring the stunning landscapes of the Nordic island, as the black lava beaches, shimmering glacial waters and towering mountain peaks tantalize you to hop out of your Rover and draw you to experience them for yourself.
Ice-hiking and climbing
Shatter your expectations of a generic hike by grabbing an ice pick and strapping into ropes that secure you for a glacial climb. Maneuver the ice ridges and crevasses by hiking as you ultimately move toward an ice-field against the volcanic mountains. Be sure to conserve your energy as you tackle the final challenge of the icy wall ahead of you climbing with crampons and ice picks.
Hovering effortlessly amidst crystal clear waters as you peek into the world beneath you doesn’t typically top the activities list for real adventure junkies. When you add that this is done in frigid waters (37° Fahrenheit) between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates with sheer endless visibility, however, it becomes one of Iceland’s experiences you simply can’t miss.
Suit up in a protective dry suit before plunging into the icy waters and entering the underworld; a silent oasis grounding you in the cold and unexpected serenity that accompanies this short, yet sweet, thrill. With only 45 minutes, the frigid waters maintain your alertness, encouraging you to take it all in and even heightening the adrenaline in such extreme conditions.
Snowmobiling and ice caves
Until recently, what lies beneath the Langjokull glacier has been a mystery known only to a small group of scientists and glaciologists. This excursion will take you into the heart of this remote ice cap to see the magnificent blue ice, deep beneath its surface.
The entrance is a mere two hours away–a spectacular journey by snow mobile. There’s nothing quite like gliding along that untouched layer of snow on a machine so graceful you succumb to the elements, the wind chilling, yet exhilarating, on your face. Experience both the rush of leaving fresh tracks in the snow, as well as the weightless feeling of crossing Europe’s second largest ice field. Spending an afternoon on these mobiles result in an adrenaline-induced intoxication that may just make you feel like a child again.
Since you can only spend a limited amount of time underwater, a sea kayaking experience offers a longer and most scenic gateway into the thrill of experiencing the deep waters of the icy Atlantic. Enjoy an awe inspiring 360-degree view of the surrounding snow-capped mountains encapsulating you as you navigate the icy Fjords.
Throughout this expedition, you’ll maintain your body heat with specially designed suits and gloves, which prepare you to kayak amidst the icy waters and snowy peaks for up to three hours.
If you’re looking for an experience to capture all of the above, PUREWILD Adventures has created a 6-day private itinerary curated around Iceland’s spectacular beauty, that reveals itself only to the adventurous. Find out more on how to book your experience here.