Iceland in December can only mean one thing. It’s Christmas time!! Santa is flying his sleigh over the Arctic ocean, bringing with him the spirit of goodwill and showering Icelanders with festive cheer from the end of November straight through the holiday season!
Iceland in December is also one of the frostiest months. With the skyline slipping away under the snow that’s stacking up all over the country, the sun only rises for four to five hours a day. The darker days don’t deter visitors from having fun though. If anything, they add to the excitement and anticipation of the seasonal holidays!
You can wrap yourself in your winter woollies, wave off the weather, and look forward to wandering around the well-loved wonders of the country, many of which are still available in Iceland in December.
Snowmobiling on the surface of glaciers, ice-caving in captivating caverns, or hiking on glittering glaciers, surrounded by the sparkling snow, will add a mystical appeal to your adventures and make you think that, maybe fairy-tales are not fully fictional after all!
Iceland in December is also one of the best months to witness the otherworldly phenomenon of the Northern Lights when it is at its peak and then, after a day of awesome adventures, you can chill-out and check into the cosy hot tubs to thaw yourself out from the frost!
Visiting Iceland in December is always going to be a magical experience for families, couples, friends, and everyone’s inner-child. What could be more exciting than visiting a country that’s made for Christmas!
Iceland Winter – What to do in Iceland in DecemberIceland in December is always a merry time to visit and make many joyful and jolly memories Click To Tweet
With festive spirit in abundance and a heap of holiday entertainment to be had, you’ll be set for the best time ever!
Read on to find out what to do and what to expect of a holiday to Iceland in December. It’ll be a Noel in the Nordic that you’ll never forget!
What’s the Weather like in Iceland in December?
Even though Iceland in December is a dream-making destination to visit, there are a few things to keep in mind to make your holidays as safe and secure as possible.
Iceland really lives up to its name in December. It’s icy!! The typical temperature in Iceland in December is between -1° and 4° Celsius (34° and 39° Fahrenheit), which is perfect weather for polar bears (not that there are any), but you might need a few thermal layers and some sturdy hiking boots.
December is also one of Iceland’s wettest months, with 97mm of precipitation, so a brolly is advisable too and waterproof clothing is highly recommended! The raving region of Reykjavik is possibly the warmest part of Iceland in December, but snowfall can still be expected.
The adverse arctic weather conditions also mean that the roads in Iceland in December can be dangerous because, although they’re icy, it is not always noticeable.
If you’re planning on renting a car for your trip to Iceland in December, it is highly recommended that you hire a 4×4. This is even more important if you are planning on driving into the countryside. Everyone’s safety is of paramount importance during the festive season.
What to do in Iceland in December
Santa-Dash High Speed Snowmobile on Langjokull Glacier
Just as Santa speeds his sleigh over the snowy skyline, you too can surf the snow in Iceland in December… but on the ground!
As Langjokull is one of Iceland’s largest and loveliest glaciers, demand for this winter tour is always high. Early bookings are always advisable as these tours are available from November to May and is super popular among snowmobilers.
There’s no better place for an arctic pursuit than on the most glistening glacier Iceland has to offer.
Not only will you be amazed at the size of the glacier, but you will also be in awe at the purity of it and the fact that it is so well-maintained. You’ll feel like you’ve landed in Christmas land, you’ll probably find yourself searching for Santa’s grotto!
The High-Speed Snowmobile Tours on Langjokull Glacier are one of the best adventures in Iceland in December. Even though it’s sub-zero outside, the adrenaline of zipping and zooming across the incredible Icelandic highlands will certainly get the blood pumping through your veins.
To rev-up the day, we’ll collect you from the Gullfoss café or Reykjavik and whizz you past a whirlwind of Iceland’s scenic sights!
Once we’re at our destination, our well-equipped and qualified guides will instruct you on how to operate the commanding Yamaha Viper Snowmobile, a three-cylinder 1000cc machine which has approximately 140 horsepower.
As well as this, they will provide you with all the necessary equipment you need for your snowmobile ride and inform you of the required procedures before you fire off into the frosty fields of fluffy snow on a tour that’s designed for the ultimate speed-seeker!
Flying past two huge volcanic craters, and the crazily-coloured Kerlingarfjöll Mountains, you’ll be amazed at some of the sensational spots you’ll see along the way.
The fast and thrilling High Speed Snowmobile Tours are designed for participants who have some motor-sledge vehicle experience as the single-rider vehicles are capable of all snowy grounds, and are very rapid.
The custom-made tours can last between 2-4 hours, and our professional guides will tailor the trip in accordance with the climate and the curve of the land on the day.
This tour is normally 1 hour of high speed snowmobiling, but that’ll be long enough to ensure you’ve received the full-throttle experience on the Snowmobile Tour in Iceland in December!
Nordic Northern Lights in Iceland – Aurora Borealis Hunt
There’s no other experience more enchanting or magical than seeking out the Northern Lights in Iceland in December. Christmas is a time for fairy lights and festive surprises, and Iceland has its very own natural phenomenon on hand for your viewing pleasure.
On this tour, we transport you in a luxury, comfortable, super jeep, off road to offer you the best platform possible for witnessing this spectacular show.
Your driver will also be your expert guide who can provide much knowledge and background information about Aurora Borealis, the otherworldly miracle you’ll encounter from above.
This makes Iceland in December a very sought-after destination because everyone wants to catch sight of this sensational show to make memories that will last long after the festivities!
The hunt for the Northern Lights begins with an evening pick-up from your hotel or a nearby pick up point in one of our Super Trucks. We wave goodbye to the Capital and head off to the countryside in search of Aurora Borealis!
Our out-of-the-way locations will give you front row seats for this magical and mesmerising show, and you may even catch a glimpse of Old St. Nic and his reindeer on the horizon in Iceland in December too!
Season Greetings from the Glacier Hike and Ice Climbing
The combined Glacier Hiking and Climbing Tour to Sólheimajökull Glacier from rocking Reykjavik is certainly a tour you’ll want to try out in Iceland in December!
Sólheimajökull, part of the Myrdalsjokull ice cap, is a glacier snout, sensational block of ice. Once you set foot on it, it’ll be like you’ve just stepped into a mirrored myriad of a mythical reality.
Years of ice shelf movements have created sinkholes, crevasses, and ice formations and exploring these will make the tour even more adventurous.
You can wrap yourself up like a Christmas pudding, hike across the gifted glaciers and climb the ice walls on this jolly journey which will really get you into the spirit of the season.
The magical thing about this tour is that it offers you an opportunity to travel to places that not many have, so it’ll be an extra special excursion for you.
Our guides will find the perfect ice wall for you to attempt your first climb, even for beginners, and it will be an awesome experience with everyone getting into the seasonal spirit.
The Glacier Hiking and Ice Climbing Tour is one of the most exciting things to do in Iceland in December, just like all your Christmas dreams come at once!
Other things to do in Iceland in December
The Christmas Country
Baby it’s cold outside! Although many of the roads into central Iceland in December will be closed, those that do manage to sleigh-ride in will have a heap of holiday-making fun!
Reykjavik rings out with festive fun in Iceland in December, with entertainment, activities, and many tours which are still available. Festive traditions take over the towns as all Christmas tree lights are lit up on the 4th Sunday before Christmas eve!
The Great Oslo Christmas tree illuminations in Austurvöllur is very popular among families and friends and if you’re there, you’ll even see the Icelandic Yule Lads. 13 brothers dressed in Santa suits, who really get into the spirit of the Yuletide culture.
To fully get yourself into the Christmas craze, you should head down to Hafnarfjörður in Reykjavik which, heavily involved with folklore and tradition, turns the whole town into a fairy-tale Christmas village in Iceland in December!
As well as this, Árbæjarsafn Open Air Museum, part of the greater Reykjavík City Museum, is open on weekends in Iceland in December and offers tourists a chance to look at the turf houses and old churches of Iceland so that they can gain an insight into ways that Christmas was traditionally celebrated in the country.
Image courtesy of Imagine Peace Tower
Restaurants also serve a traditional Icelandic Christmas dinner. Public houses join in with the jolly season of goodwill, hosting Christmas-themed concerts and shows.
As well as this, retail shops are dressed in tinsel, lights and holly, and are open until 10pm from the 15th of December, so you’ll have plenty of time to grab those last-minute gifts!
Icelanders celebrate the special day from the 24th of December at 6pm so, as everyone wants to get home to spend special time with their loved ones, shops, restaurants, and even some tours, are shut between the 24th to the 26th of December.
If you’re visiting Iceland in December, the Winter Solstice, which takes place on December the 21st, is also a great event because the Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey Island is illuminated until December the 31st, just before even more celebrations kick off!
Iceland in December is always a merry time to visit and make many joyful and jolly memories!
Celebrate the New Year in the Nordic
Visiting Iceland in December is also one of the best times because you get to celebrate the New Year in Nordic style!
Thousands of Icelanders take part in one of the biggest street party, firework festivals of the year! Locals buy loads of fireworks and set them off in random places in the run-up to midnight, meaning the skies are filled with spectacular displays for hours upon hours!
The unpredictability of the display does pose certain risks, so it’s best to purchase protective glasses and party safely into the New Year.
As well as this, on New Years eve, Reykjavik has a 10-kilometre dash which the locals dress in characteristic costumes and making it a hugely popular event. The race begins and ends in Harpa and follows a scenic course through roaring Reykjavik.
With so many things to do on New Years eve and in Iceland in December, you’ll be certain that the Arctic is the place to be!
Love and Romance in Iceland in December
Iceland in December is a popular month for love, romance, and passionate elopes! With the sprinkling of snow, the festive fairy-lights, and the widespread goodwill among all visitors and locals, the country becomes a Nordic Nirvana that brings couples from all over the globe to get in on the merriment of the season.
The cities are at their most scenic, and the countryside is at its most courteous.
So, whether you’re walking down the snowy, lamplit streets hand in hand, or snuggling up in front of an open fire in a cosy café, the love of the season and for one another will light up your hearts and the skies, as beautiful as the Northern Lights!
Iceland in December is one of the most wonderful months to visit because, not only are the festive celebrations and the New Year parties in full flow, but the country is coloured in charismatic colours, twinkling lights, and splashed with snow!
Iceland is at it’s most amorous in December and your love of the landscapes will transcend for your love of one another.
It may be frosty, but with such a feeling of excitement for all the events and adventures on offer, you’ll feel like a child again and any chill will quickly be replaced with fun-filled thrills!
Iceland in December is an incredible time to visit, so cancel any other plans, and head on over to the Icelandic Winter Wonderland!