Christmas Vacation In Iceland

If you’re looking for a unique and festive Christmas vacation destination, look no further than Iceland! This Nordic island nation is renowned for its stunning natural scenery and its Christmas traditions. From snow-capped mountains to glistening glaciers, Iceland is a winter wonderland that’s sure to get you into the holiday spirit. And what could be more festive than witnessing the country’s famous Northern Lights?

During your Christmas vacation in Iceland, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experience the country’s traditional culture. Make sure to visit Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital city, where you can explore historic sites like the Hallgrímskirkja church and learn about Icelandic folklore at the Árbær open-air museum. Of course, no trip to Iceland would be complete without seeing its natural wonders. A must-see is Thingvellir National Park, where you can walk between continental plates at the site of the world’s first parliament. With so much to see and do, Iceland is the perfect place to spend your Christmas vacation! We will base our discussion today on – Christmas Vacation In Iceland. But, other resources which you can find on our website include some frequently asked questions such as: iceland christmas itinerary and christmas in reykjavik

Christmas Vacation In Iceland

Are you looking for a unique Christmas vacation this year? If so, consider spending it in Iceland! This country is full of festive cheer and beautiful scenery, making it the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Not sure what there is to do in Iceland during Christmas? Read on for our guide to the best things to see and do during your Christmas vacation in Iceland. From visiting Santa’s workshop to exploring the Northern Lights, you’re sure to have a memorable trip!

Christmas in Iceland

Christmas in Iceland is a truly magical time. The country is blanketed in snow and the festive atmosphere is everywhere. Icelanders love to celebrate Christmas and there are many traditional activities and events that take place during the holiday season.

One of the most popular things to do during Christmas in Iceland is to go on a reindeer safari. These safaris take place in the northern part of the country, where you can see real reindeer in their natural habitat. It’s a great way to get into the festive spirit and learn more about these amazing animals.

Another popular activity during Christmas in Iceland is to visit one of the many natural hot springs. There are over 130 hot springs in Iceland, so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you. Soaking in a hot spring is a great way to relax after a busy day of sightseeing or shopping.

If you’re looking for some festive fun, make sure to check out Reykjavik’s Christmas market. This market is held every year from mid-November until Christmas Eve and features over 100 stalls selling everything from handmade gifts to traditional Icelandic food. It’s the perfect place to pick up some unique presents for your loved ones back home.

New Year’s Eve in Iceland

If you are looking for a unique New Year’s Eve celebration, look no further than Iceland! Although not as well-known as other European capitals, Reykjavik knows how to party when December 31st rolls around. Here are some of the best ways to ring in the new year in Iceland:

1. Join the crowds at Austurvöllur Square: This is the main square in downtown Reykjavik and it is where most of the New Year’s Eve festivities take place. If you want to be in the middle of the action, this is the place to be. There will be live music, dancing, and plenty of people-watching.

2. Watch the fireworks from Skuggahverfi: For a more low-key celebration, head over to Skuggahverfi (the Old Harbor) to watch the fireworks. This is a beautiful spot to see Reykjavik’s skyline illuminated by fireworks at midnight.

3. Go on a New Year’s Eve tour: If you want to experience something truly unique, go on one of the many New Year’s Eve tours offered in Iceland. These tours take you outside of Reykjavik to witness the incredible natural phenomena that occur on this special night. From witnessing the Northern Lights to soaking in a hot spring under the stars, there is no shortage of memorable experiences to be had on a New Year’s Eve tour in Iceland.


Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, is a must-visit during Christmas time. The city is filled with charming cafés and shops, and the holiday atmosphere is sure to put you in the spirit. Be sure to check out the famous Reykjavik Christmas Market, where you can find unique gifts and traditional Icelandic food. And don’t forget to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine while strolling through the streets—it’s the perfect way to stay warm while taking in the festive sights!

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are one of the most stunning natural phenomena in the world, and Iceland is one of the best places to see them. During the winter, the nights are long and dark, making them the perfect time to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis.

There are many ways to experience the Northern Lights in Iceland. One popular option is to go on a guided tour, where you’ll be taken to some of the best viewing spots in the country. Alternatively, you can head out on your own and try to find a good spot away from light pollution. Either way, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

If you’re lucky enough to see the Northern Lights during your trip to Iceland, be sure to take plenty of photos and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Icelandic Cuisine

If you’re looking for a unique culinary experience this Christmas, then look no further than Iceland! Icelandic cuisine is characterized by its use of fresh, local ingredients and traditional cooking methods.

One of the most popular Icelandic dishes is þorramatur, or “Thorri food.” This traditional winter dish is a variety of smoked, cured, and pickled meats and fish. Another popular dish is kjötsúpa, a hearty lamb soup that is often served with rye bread.

For those with a sweet tooth, Iceland has plenty to offer as well. Popular desserts include skyr cake (a type of cheesecake made with skyr, a traditional Icelandic yogurt), Þristur (a type of rolled pastry filled with fruit), and kleinur (a type of fried pastry).

So why not add some Icelandic flair to your Christmas dinner this year? Your taste buds will thank you!

Geothermal Spas

What better way to relax after a long day of exploring than by soaking in a geothermal spa? Iceland is home to some of the best spas in the world, and there are plenty to choose from.

The most popular geothermal spa in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon, which is located just outside of Reykjavik. The lagoon is fed by water from the nearby geothermal power plant, and the minerals in the water are said to be beneficial for the skin. The lagoon is also incredibly picturesque, with its bright blue water and white silica mud lining the bottom.

If you’re looking for a more intimate setting, there are many smaller spas dotted around the country. Many hotels and guesthouses will have their own private hot springs that you can use, or you can visit public baths such as those found in Myvatn or Laugarvatn.

Soaking in a geothermal spa is the perfect way to relax after a long day of exploring Iceland’s stunning scenery.

All in all, spending your Christmas vacation in Iceland is an experience you’ll never forget. From the magical landscape to the festive spirit of the locals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So if you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the holidays this year, be sure to add Iceland to your list!


Iceland’s winter wonderland landscapes and the magical Northern Lights will enchant the mind of every traveler. Reindeer wander down from the mountains, the fur of the Arctic foxes changes into its winter white, and the Icelandic horses put on their soft, thick winter coats as well.

Under the white blanket of snow, which is painted by the surreal colors of the low-lying winter sun, the colorful Icelandic houses, oceanside hamlets, and fabulous landscapes look like a festive postcard or a scene from a fairytale.

Wintry Icelandic landscape in December


There is a great variety of tours and things to do during the holiday season in Iceland. Life doesn’t stop because of the holidays. On the contrary, there are dozens of options waiting for travelers to choose how they want to soak up the Icelandic winter!


Naturally, witnessing the Northern Lights is at the top of everyone’s bucket list – especially those who decide to visit Iceland in December. This is truly the very best month of the year to see the aurora! The daylight periods are as short as 4–5 hours, which means that you have 19–20 hours of darkness during which the Northern Lights can appear at any time. Even at 9:00 in the morning or 5:00 in the afternoon, the Northern Lights could make a surprise appearance.

Even though if they’re strong enough, you’ll have a good chance of seeing the lights even in the city, a guided Northern Lights tour offers more than you might think.

Beautiful scene from dowtown Reykjavik with aurora borealis in the sky above – Reykjavik City hall is the building on the far left and to the right of city hall is Althingi

First, the same light show will be much more intense if you watch it from a dark place where there’s no light pollution. Often, the auroras aren’t strong enough to outshine the city lights. This same aurora will look spectacular if you watch it from a dark place.

Also, clouds often cover the sky. If this happens, you won’t be able to see the lights at all, no matter how strong they are. Guided tours, however, can take you out of the cloudy area and drive you to a place where the clouds have cleared or where there’s a big opening in the cloud cover so that you can see what’s going on behind them.

Northern Lights in a Super Jeep‎

Guided Northern Lights tours come in many different forms such as minibus tours, adventurous Superjeep tours, boat tours, and so on. Here are some of the best options that we highly recommend trying:

  • Superjeep or a Minibus Northern Lights tour
  • Northern Lights boat tour
  • A combination with lava caving or snowmobiling
  • South Coast or Golden Circle Sightseeing & Northern Lights tour
  • Glacier hike, South Coast & Northern Lights tour
  • Golden Circle sightseeing, bathing in the Secret Lagoon & Northern Lights tour

Admiring the Northern Lights


Come explore the matchless beauty of the Icelandic countryside! If you’d like to see as much of the country as you can, we highly recommend going on sightseeing road trips and seeing the natural attractions that make Iceland so incredibly famous.

Even if you’ve been to Iceland before and have seen some places in the summertime, you’ll be surprised by how different they look in their winter outfits. The light conditions are completely different as the sun paints the skies and the snow pastel-pink through the entire daylight period. The waterfalls are frozen, the black beaches are partly covered with white snow, and the wintry landscape, in general, is just miraculous.

Don’t bother with the difficulties of driving on winter roads. Join a guided tour and enjoy the views to the fullest! Your tour guide will tell you stories and anecdotes about Icelandic Christmas traditions and all the interesting aspects of Iceland.

Skogafoss waterfall in winter


Iceland’s most epic tour route, the Golden Circle, awaits visitors all year round. The route covers 185 mi. (300 km) and circumnavigates three of Iceland’s most famous natural attractions:

  • Thingvellir National Park: The location where the continental plates drift apart and where the world’s first democratic parliament was founded a millennium ago.
  • Gullfoss Waterfall: One of the most powerful cascades in Iceland, this is a giant and highly impressive waterfall.
  • Geysir Geothermal Area: This legendary area is filled with fierce hot springs and frequently erupting geysers.

These sights look truly spectacular in wintertime and the landscape between the stops is simply stunning!

The rift valley in Thingvellir in winter

You can complete this trip in various ways. For the most fun, choose a Superjeep and opt for an extra stop to go snowmobiling on Iceland’s second-largest glacier, Langjökull. You might even see a natural ice cave!

Or you can choose a much warmer option. Why not go swimming in a geothermal hot spring after your amazing road trip?

You can even combine your Golden Circle tour with a Northern Lights tour. There are so many different options to choose from! These are the bests:

  • Golden Circle tour with extra stops (Superior tour)
  • Express afternoon tour
  • Golden Circle + Kerid Crater combined with a visit to the the Blue Lagoon
  • Golden Circle sightseeing combined with snowmobiling, horse riding, lava caving, snoerkeling or the Northern Lights

The Secret Lagoon, Iceland’s largest geothermal pool from an aerial view in the wintertime


Many say that the South Coast has the most picturesque landscapes in all of Iceland by far. It’s hard to disagree! This scenic area offers thrilling sights at every kilometer. In fact, Iceland’s most famous waterfalls and black volcanic beaches are all located here. They coexist with the crown jewels of all the natural attractions: the beautiful Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and the Diamond beach!

Traveling along the South Coast comes highly recommended all year round. In wintertime, however, this area is an entirely different world. A beautiful snow blanket covers the land and the frozen waterfalls sparkle like crystals under the winter sun. The whole landscape seems like a scene taken from a movie! Find the selection of the best South Coast tours here. These are we recommend the most:

  • Sightseeing tour in a minibus
  • South Coast tour combined with a glacier hike and the Northern Lights
  • An extended South Coast that takes you all the way to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon & the Diamond Beach

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Seljalandsfoss waterfall in the wintertime


Iceland’s wintry wilderness offers unlimited options for exciting outdoor activities and snowmobiling is one of the best you can choose! Gliding through the endless snowfields with a roaring engine between your legs could easily be the most amazing adventure you have ever had!

Snowmobiling on the surface of a glacier that is thousands of years old and hundreds of meters thick is something that you’ll never forget for sure. Moreover, midway through your adventure, you can visit a majestic natural ice cave! This will allow you to get a whole new perspective on glaciers and is, of course, a great chance to snap a couple of photos.

There are plenty of exciting snowmobiling tours that you can choose from. Here are our favorites

  • Glacier snowmobile and ice cave tour (with or without Reykjavik transfer option)
  • Snowmobiling, Golcen Circle sightseeing & Northern Lights tour
  • Snowmobiling & geothermal bathing in the Secret Lagoon

Our snowmobile base camp on Langjokull glacier


If you’re already in Iceland, why not celebrate the end of the year doing something totally crazy and memorable? Treat yourself to the most amazing adventure you’ve ever had and go snorkeling between the tectonic plates!

Don’t worry! This adventure only sounds crazy. In reality, it isn’t extreme at all. Even though you can expect the water to be very cold, you’ll be wearing a safe, floatable drysuit. This means that your body won’t feel anything from the cold and, apart from your hands and your face, you’ll stay completely dry and warm.

Snorkeling in the world’s clearest freshwater along a rift between the tectonic plates in the deepest Arctic winter is something that not many people can say that they’ve done. This is the experience of a lifetime!

You can even combine your snorkeling tour with other activities. Here are the best tips:

  • Snorkeling tour from Reykjavik or from Thingvellir
  • Horse riding & Snorkeling tour
  • Snorkeling & Golden Circle sightseeing tour

The visibility under the water exceeds 328 ft (100 m)


As you probably know, Iceland is a glacier paradise. Eleven percent of its total land area is covered by glaciers and the largest ice cap in Europe is located here. These amazingly picturesque glaciers offer truly spectacular landscapes. Their surface is rugged and beautifully blue, decorated with hair-raising ice sculptures, deep crevasses, and massive icefalls. Walking on a glacier is a completely surreal experience!

There are safe and easy guided glacier hiking tours that will take you up to these ancient ice formations. In wintertime, some of these tours even take you into hidden ice caves!

The Best Glacier Hikes on Sólheimajökull Glacier (Near Vík)

Glacier Hikes on Vatnajökull (From Skaftafell)

Hikers on Falljokull, an outlet glacier of Vatnajokull


December is the most ideal time for ice cave explorations in Iceland! These astonishing blue glacial ice caves are found inside the glaciers and are almost always inaccessible during the spring, summer, and autumn periods.

Ice caves are formed during the warm season by the power of meltwater as it travels through the crevasse channels of a glacier. When the cold season comes, the caves that the water left behind freeze completely, becoming stable and safe enough to visit.

Thanks to the special physical characteristics of glacial ice, these ice caves are colored insanely blue. They are so clear and transparent that you can see meters into the body of the ice. In many cases, you can even see the layers of ash from ancient volcanic eruptions trapped in the crystal-clear ice. Icelandic ice caves offer a surreal atmosphere that simply can’t be experienced anywhere else in the world!

During the Christmas period, there are plenty of ice caves that you can visit in Iceland, located on different glaciers.

Katla Ice cave in the winter of 2018

Vatnajökull Glacier (From Skaftafell)

Myrdalsjokull Glacier (From Vík)

Katla: An ice cave under the volcano (with an optional return transfer from and to Reykjavik)

Langjökull Glacier (from Gullfoss)

The Crystal ice cave on Vatnajökull glacier in 2019 winter


Icelandic horses are adorably short, good-tempered, and intelligent – but they’re not ponies! They’ve become really popular on the international scene for being easy-going and are considered one of the friendliest horse breeds in the world. Therefore, anyone can easily ride an Icelandic horse without having had any previous experience.

Riding a horse is a very authentic way to explore the Icelandic landscape. In wintertime, these cuties are very furry and love to play in the snow. If you love animals and pretty views, then this the ideal activity for you!

There are plenty of exciting horseriding tour options. Here are some we recommend:

  • 1-or 2-hour horse Riding tour near Reykjavík
  • A South Coast Sightseeing tour combined with a horse riding activity
  • Horse riding on the Black sand beach at Vík
  • Horse riding combined with snorkeling, lava caving or a Northern Lights tour

Horse riding in the snowy Icelandic landscape


The land of fire and ice not only offers ice caves but also offers spectacular lava caves! These subterranean geological wonders were formed during volcanic eruptions and remain stable and safe enough to visit. Expect vivid colors, fascinating rock sculptures, beautiful lava flow formations, and a host of other things that will inspire awe and wonder in equal measures.

In wintertime, sparkling icicles grow from the ceiling while ice sculptures rise from the ground like natural festive decorations!

There are plenty of lava caves in Iceland, some of them quite close to Reykjavík. You can also combine this activity with other tours such as horse riding, snorkeling, or a Golden Circle tour.

  • Caving tour with a transfer option from Reykjavik
  • Lava caving combined with Golden Circle sightseeing, Northern Lights tours, snorkeling, ATV or Blu Lagoon tours

Lava cave in winter


Due to the shortage of daylight hours during the Christmas season, we highly recommend giving yourself plenty of time in Iceland. If you’d like to make the most of your stay, the best thing to do is to join a multi-day tour.

You can save both time and money as you won’t have to plan everything out for yourself. Multi-day tours with accommodation included are often cheaper than doing day tours while staying in Reykjavík.

The best winter multi-day offers include the South Coast, the Golden Circle, and, of course, the Northern Lights! For those who prefer more off-the-beaten-track destinations, we’d recommend a Snaefellsnes Peninsula road trip or an adventurous Superjeep ride to the snowy Icelandic Highlands where you can even soak in a natural hot spring while admiring the Northern Lights!

Snowy Icelandic landscape in December

For those who have plenty of time in Iceland and would like to see as much of the country as possible, the Around Iceland or the Ring Road tours may be the best option.

With such a great selection available, we’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for! These are the most popular options:

  • 2-Day Snaefellsnes Peninsula Tour and the Northern Lights
  • 2-Day South Coast, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, the Northern Lights and ice cave exploreation
  • 3-Day Kerlingarfjoll & Northern Lights Winter Paradise Tour
  • 3-Day South Coast. Golden Circle & ice cave tour
  • 4-Day Snaefellsnes, North Iceland & Northern Lights tour
  • 5-Day Winter Package
  • 6 days around Iceland Tour

Whichever tour or activity you choose, you won’t be disappointed, that’s for sure! We wish you a memorable trip and a magical Christmas holiday in Iceland!

Leave a Comment