The Perfect Iceland Winter Itinerary 7 Days (Iceland In 7 Days)

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What to do in Iceland in winter? Iceland is a stunning destination in winter, offering a unique blend of natural wonders, adventure activities, and a chance to witness the Northern Lights. So let’s check out Iceland winter itinerary 7 days in this article. 

ALSO READ: General Best Iceland Itinerary 7 Days ( Things To Do In Iceland In 1 Week )

Iceland Winter Itinerary 7 Days Iceland in winter
Planning a Trip to Iceland – Land of Fire and Ice

Iceland Winter Itinerary 7 Days – Iceland in 7 days

Here’s a detailed 7-day itinerary for your winter trip to Iceland, along with tips and recommendations.

Day 1: Arrival in Reykjavik – Things to do in Iceland in winter

iceland winter itinerary 7 days - things to do in iceland in winter

  • Arrive at Keflavik International Airport.
  • Pick up a rental car or arrange for an airport transfer to Reykjavik.
  • After checking into the hotel, explore the city’s downtown area, including Hallgrímskirkja, Harpa Concert Hall, and the Sun Voyager sculpture.

Overnight Stay Options in Reykjavik:

Day 2: Golden Circle

Gullfoss - iceland winter itinerary 7 days - iceland in 7 days

  • Drive the Golden Circle route or book guided tour to Golden circle route (190 miles (300km) circular route): Þingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall.
  • Optional: Visit the Secret Lagoon for a relaxing hot spring bath.
  • Head back to Reykjavik for the night.

Day 3: South Coast Adventure

Seljalandsfoss iceland in 7 days - iceland winter itinerary

  • Drive along the South Coast, stopping at Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls.
  • Explore the black sand beach at Reynisfjara.
  • Visit Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon if road conditions allow.
  • Book Katla ice cave jeep tour & Glacier walk.
  • Stay overnight in Vik or Kirkjubaejarklaustur.

Overnight Stay Options in Vik:

Day 4: Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach

Jokulsarlon iceland winter itinerary 7 days - iceland in 7 days

  • Continue your drive to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
  • Explore the Diamond Beach, where icebergs wash up on the black sand.
  • Take a guided glacier hike or ice cave tour (book in advance).
  • Overnight stay in Hofn or nearby.

Overnight Stay Options in Hofn:

Day 5: East Fjords

  • Drive through the scenic East Fjords, stopping at picturesque villages like Seydisfjordur and DjupivogurSeydisfjordur iceland - iceland in 7 days - iceland winter itinerary 7 days
  • Take in the breathtaking coastal landscapes.
  • Stay overnight in Egilsstadir.

Overnight Stay Options in Egilsstadir:

Day 6: North Iceland

Husavik iceland in 7 days - iceland winter itinerary

  • Head north to Akureyri, Iceland’s second-largest city.
  • Visit Akureyri Botanical Garden and soak in the warm waters of the Myvatn Nature Baths.
  • Explore the Húsavík area, known for whale watching (seasonal) and Husavik Geothermal Baths.
  • Stay overnight in Akureyri or Húsavík.

Overnight Stay Options in Akureyri:

Overnight Stay Options in Húsavík:

Day 7: Return to Reykjavik

Where to spot Auroras/Northern Lights? – Iceland winter itinerary

  • Reykjavik – While in Reykjavik, if the forecast is favorable, you can attempt to see the Northern Lights. Try heading to areas with minimal light pollution, such as the city’s outskirts or nearby hills like Öskjuhlíð or Perlan. Book guided Northern Lights bus tour from Reykjavik. iceland winter itinerary 7 days - things to do in iceland in winter
  •  South Coast Adventure – Vik and the surrounding areas in South Iceland offer great Northern Lights viewing opportunities. Drive away from the town, find a dark spot, and keep an eye on the sky.
  • Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach – Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon is an excellent place to watch the Northern Lights with the icebergs as a stunning foreground. You can witness the lights dancing over the lagoon if you’re lucky.  iceland in 7 days - iceland winter itinerary 7 days
  • North Iceland – Akureyri and Húsavík in North Iceland also offer good chances to see the Northern Lights. Check the local forecast and go to a dark area away from city lights for the best experience.

Valuable Tips for Northern Lights Viewing:

  1. Aurora Forecast: Monitor the aurora forecast and cloud cover to increase your chances of witnessing the Northern Lights.
  2. Darkness: Choose locations away from artificial light sources for the best viewing experience.
  3. Warm Clothing: Dress warmly in layers, as you may need to wait outside in cold temperatures.
  4. Camera: Bring a camera with a tripod to capture the beautiful light display.
  5. Patience: Be patient, as the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and might not appear every night.

Remember that the Northern Lights are unpredictable, so there are no guarantees. However, following this updated itinerary will give you the best chances of catching this magical natural spectacle during your winter trip to Iceland.

Useful Tips to know before you plan Iceland Winter Itinerary:

Gullfoss - iceland winter itinerary 7 days - iceland in 7 days

  1. Weather: Winter in Iceland is cold and unpredictable. Dress in layers and bring waterproof clothing.
  2. Daylight: Daylight hours are limited in winter, so plan activities accordingly.
  3. Road Conditions: Check road conditions and weather forecasts daily. Roads may be closed due to snow and ice.
  4. Northern Lights: Keep an eye on Aurora forecasts and venture away from city lights for the best chances of seeing the Northern Lights.
  5. Reservations: Book accommodations and tours in advance, especially during winter.
  6. Driving: Drive carefully, respecting speed limits and road signs. Roads can be icy, and daylight is limited.
  7. Currency: Iceland uses the Icelandic Krona (ISK), so it has some cash on hand for smaller purchases.

Weather of Iceland in Winter

Iceland’s winter weather is characterized by cold temperatures, with average lows ranging from -1°C to -10°C (30°F to 14°F) in coastal areas and even colder temperatures in the interior. It’s known for its changeable and often stormy conditions, with frequent snowfall, strong winds, and short daylight hours, making it essential for travelers to dress warmly and be ready for rapidly changing weather.

Vegan Icelandic Dishes – Iceland in 7 Days

Iceland, known for its unique culinary traditions, offers several delicious vegan dishes. Here are some vegan Icelandic dishes you should explore:

iceland winter itinerary 7 days

  1. Grilled Mushroom Skewers (Grillaðar sveppir): Iceland’s pristine nature allows for an abundance of wild mushrooms, and you’ll often find grilled mushroom skewers seasoned with herbs and served as a flavorful appetizer.
  2. Kale Salad (Bragðarefur): Icelanders love their leafy greens, and you can enjoy a hearty kale salad with various toppings such as roasted nuts, seeds, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.
  3. Lentil Soup (Lauksúpa með linsu): A warm and comforting bowl of lentil soup, often flavored with garlic and herbs, is a popular vegan option in Iceland, especially during the colder months.
  4. Rye Bread (Rúgbrauð): Icelandic rye bread, traditionally baked underground using geothermal heat, is typically vegan. Enjoy it with dairy-free spreads like avocado or hummus.
  5. Root Vegetable Stew (Rótargrautur): This hearty stew features a mix of root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and turnips, cooked to perfection with herbs and spices, making it a flavorful and filling vegan choice.
  6. Barley Risotto (Perluhrisgrjón): Barley is a staple in Icelandic cuisine, and you can savor a creamy vegan barley risotto with seasonal vegetables and herbs.
  7. Vegan Skyr Parfait: While traditional skyr is dairy-based, some Icelandic cafes and restaurants offer vegan alternatives made from almond or coconut milk, served as a parfait with berries, nuts, and granola.
  8. Vegan Pancakes (Plönnur): You can find vegan versions of Icelandic pancakes, often made with plant-based milk and egg substitutes. They’re typically served with berry jam or sugar.
  9. Seaweed Salad (Sjávarhreinsa): With Iceland’s coastal location, you’ll find delicious seaweed salads that incorporate various types of seaweed, providing a unique taste of the sea.
  10. Vegan Hot Dogs (Haugemál): Iceland is famous for its hot dogs, and some vendors offer vegan versions, often made from a mix of beans, lentils, and vegetables. Top them with onions, ketchup, mustard, and remoulade for a flavorful treat.

Remember that while Iceland is becoming more vegan-friendly, communicating your dietary preferences when dining out is still a good idea. Many restaurants are accommodating and can adapt dishes to suit your vegan needs. Enjoy exploring the vegan side of Icelandic cuisine during your visit!

Must Attend Festivals or Events in Iceland In Winter

Iceland in winter offers a unique opportunity to participate in various special events and festivals that showcase the country’s rich culture, traditions, and the magical beauty of the season. Here is a list of some special events and festivals held during winter in Iceland:

iceland winter itinerary 7 days - iceland in 7 days

Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF):

    • Date: Late September to early October
    • Location: Reykjavik
    • RIFF is Iceland’s premier film festival, featuring diverse international and Icelandic films. It’s a fantastic event for film enthusiasts.

Reykjavik Fashion Festival:

    • Date: Late October
    • Location: Reykjavik
    • This fashion event showcases the work of established and emerging Icelandic designers, offering a glimpse into the country’s unique fashion scene.

Iceland Airwaves:

    • Date: Early November
    • Location: Reykjavik
    • Iceland Airwaves is a renowned music festival featuring a mix of Icelandic and international artists across various genres, from indie to electronic and folk.

Christmas Markets:

    • Date: Throughout December
    • Locations: Reykjavik, Akureyri, and other towns
    • Icelandic Christmas markets are a delightful way to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit. You can shop for handmade crafts local delicacies, and enjoy festive entertainment.

Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival:

    • Date: Late February
    • Location: Reykjavik
    • This festival celebrates the play of light and darkness during winter with various artistic and cultural events, light installations, and performances.

Þorrablót:

    • Date: Late January to early February
    • Locations: Across Iceland
    • Þorrablót is a traditional Icelandic midwinter festival where locals come together to enjoy unique Icelandic dishes like fermented shark and sour ram’s testicles. It’s a cultural experience worth trying.

Northern Lights Festivals:

    • Date: Throughout winter
    • Locations: Various locations
    • Several towns and regions in Iceland organize Northern Lights festivals featuring guided tours, lectures, and activities centered around aurora borealis viewing.

Reykjavik Winter Lights Run:

    • Date: February
    • Location: Reykjavik
    • This annual run takes place in the heart of Reykjavik and offers a unique experience as participants run beneath the city’s winter lights.

Winter Wilderness Festival:

    • Date: February
    • Location: East Iceland
    • This festival celebrates the winter wonders of East Iceland with various outdoor activities, art exhibitions, and cultural events.

Thorrablot Ball:

    • Date: Late January to early February
    • Location: Reykjavik
    • This formal ball is part of the Þorrablót celebrations and features traditional Icelandic music, dancing, and a lavish feast.

These events and festivals provide an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in Icelandic culture, enjoy the winter season, and connect with locals and fellow travelers. 

I hope you loved these things to do in Iceland in winter with this useful Iceland winter itinerary guide.

Iceland’s winter offers a captivating journey through stunning landscapes, rich culture, and the chance to witness the Northern Lights, making this 7-day itinerary a memorable adventure. Embrace the magic of Iceland in winter, where each day promises new wonders and the opportunity to create lasting memories.

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