As is to be expected, Iceland can get pretty chilly in the winter months (October to March), forcing residents and visitors alike to find ingenious ways of beating the cold. Thankfully, we have some handy tips when it comes to keeping toasty. Read on for our top tips on how to stay warm in Iceland this winter.
The ‘Great Frost Winter’ of 1918 sported the coldest temperatures on record in Iceland, coming in at a brisk -38°C. While temperatures such as these are certainly uncommon, there’s no denying just how cold Iceland can feel on a mere temperate day, especially when considering its high-wind speeds and fickle weather.
This week has promised bitter weather across the country, so without further ado, let us look together at the most effective means of staying protected from the cold.
Visit A Geothermal Pool
Icelanders love their pools. They love them for the opportunities they provide to socialise, relax and, of course, keep warm.
Visiting the pools can be a daily experience for those who relish the chance to escape the harsh climate of winter, choosing instead to bask in geothermally heated water, the steam rising lucidly around them.
There are several geothermally heated pools around Reykjavík city and almost every town in the country has their own swimming pool.
most popular geothermal pools, however, can be found in the world-famous Blue Lagoon Spa, located on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Surrounded by truly staggering scenery, this fantastic oasis boasts steaming azure water and healing silica mud, the latter of which is incredibly beneficial for skin conditions.
Naturally, there are other pool complexes in Iceland that provide the same service, albeit for less money and with fewer crowds, including Mývatn Nature Baths, Fontana Spa and the Secret Lagoon.
Wear Thermal Layers
Undoubtedly the most common piece of advice that Guide to Iceland provides is to wear thermal layers. If we’ve said it once, we’ll say it again… and again… and again…
Wearing thermal layers is recommended as much in the summer as it the winter thanks to Iceland’s temperamental weather, but it is assuredly more important during the winter when the snow falls and the temperature plummets.
Avoid jeans as best you can, given that they hold water, and also pack a hefty pair of hiking boots to grip against the ice.
Aside from wearing layer upon layer, it is also wise to pack an extra pair of clothing should the outfit you’re wearing get wet.
Get Steamy In A Holiday Cabin
There are hundreds of holiday cabins in Iceland perfect for unwinding in the presence of frostbitten nature. One of the best websites dedicated to finding you the perfect rural accommodation is Bungalo.com thanks to its ever-expanding listings and a wide range of eclectic properties.
If you happen to be visiting Iceland with your partner, these cabins can make for a romantic home-away-from-home, leaving you in solitude to enjoy both nature, and one another, without disturbance.
Naturally, the best way of keeping warm together is to descend beneath the covers and get… a little physical. If not under the duvets, then many cabins also come with their own private jacuzzis. Bathing—or fondling—in a hot tub, with the potential for the Northern Lights to dance overhead, is one of the most alluring activities on offer in a holiday cabin.
Visit the Eastfjords
Alright, so this one is a little deceptive given that the Eastfjords gets pretty cold itself, but there is no escaping the fact that it is the sunniest region in Iceland. And if there’s one thing the great fire god in the sky does for us, its warm the bones.
The east is the country’s least visited region due to its distance from Keflavík International Airport, meaning that visitors often overlook it during their travels. This is a mistake; the east boasts some of the most beautiful and unique attractions that can be found in the whole of Iceland.
For one, consider Lake Lagarfljót, home to the mystical and mysterious Lagarfljót Wyrm (otherwise known as Iceland’s Loch Ness monster). On the banks of this picturesque water body sits the country’s largest national forest, Hallormsstaðaskógur, a favourite camping and foraging site for locals and visitors alike.
Other attractions worthy of your time in the Eastfjords include the 128-metre high waterfall, Hengifoss, the pyramid-shaped mountain Búlandstindur and the dramatic, shoreside mountain Vestrahorn.
Eat Icelandic Meat Soup
We couldn’t offer up a top tips article without mentioning food now, could we? Fortuitously, Icelandic meat soup is as beloved for its innate ability to warm the soul as it is its delicious taste.
Quite simply, a winter’s trip to Iceland is not complete without sampling this delicacy, known in Icelandic as Kjötsúpa. It is is the perfect seasonal comfort food.
As is to be expected, each family has their variations on the recipe. The basics, however, consist of a variety of ‘soup herbs’ (sliced parsnip, leek and carrots), ground black pepper, potatoes, cabbage and diced lamb.
Rice and oats can also be added to complement the soup’s hearty feel. The whole meal is best served with a side of classic rye bread.
Go To A Glacier
So this might seem like strange advice, but in fact, taking a tour on one of Iceland’s many glaciers is harder work than it looks. Of course, glaciers are cold, but ascending them requires a level of fitness that’s bound to break a sweat at one point or another.
And what better way to exercise is there than blending it with some epic and seasonally authentic sightseeing?
There are a wealth of glacier hiking tours where you can explore the fascinating and awe-inspiring ice sheets on foot, but it is also possible to explore these ice giants on a snowmobile. The adrenaline pumping in your veins is sure to keep you warm.
Find Glacier Tours here
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