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Why I Need to Visit Iceland in Winter. A Bucket List Destination.

I want to go to Iceland. I mean I really, really want to go to Iceland.

Apparently so do a lot of other people. Iceland’s Tourism industry has increased by 20% each year for the last five years, and in 2016 it was even higher. Tourism is what rescued Iceland after the 2008 Financial Crisis, but with the good always comes the not so good. I didn’t want to say bad.

It is a wait and see situation at the moment, to see how Iceland handles the massive increase in visitors each year. With a population of 320, 000 and visitors at 2,000,000 the issues become a little more obvious, infrastructure and accommodation to name just a couple.

I understand the pull of Iceland, but the downside is that where you would once had the luxury of space and freedom to travel around unhindered, now you are jostling elbows with the next tourist trying to take the perfect picture.

And I don’t gel so well with crowds. In fact, I am quite disturbed by them. And don’t even get me started on rude tourists who have little regard for the country they are visiting and the people that live there.

Anyway, that’s another post. Oh wait, I already wrote it! You can read Why you should always be a Traveller and not just a Tourist here.

Iceland is expensive, so I will need to budget accordingly.

We will not be driving (at least not on this trip) so that will mean jumping on more tours than I would like (I am not a great fan of tours) and that will drive the cost up.

On the chance, I book tours I prefer smaller, more personalised ones. They are more expensive but are a better experience.

 

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Iceland is on my bucket list and I really want to travel there in winter. Find out why I would prefer to brave the cold. #iceland #bucketlistdestination #reykjavik #icelandic

 

 

When to Travel

I have decided to visit Iceland in the cooler months. Shhh don’t tell my partner, I haven’t told him yet. I am considering late October to early November.

Being an Aussie and from the east coast, the coldest winter day is around 17 °C during the day and down to 8 °C overnight.

It can drop lower, very briefly, but you get the picture that I do not live in a cold climate.

Good old Google tells me that I can expect temperatures ranging from 2 °C to -7 °C at that time of the year, with an average of 9 rainy days and five snow days. Yep, I will need to be prepared. For the both of us!

You may be forgiven for thinking that I am a little crazy. But there are a couple of reasons I would like to visit Iceland as the temperature is plummeting.

Let’s start with fewer visitors. I mentioned earlier that I do not like crowds and I would like to explore this beautiful country without having to fight for my place.

And it fits in with other travel I am organising this year, so it makes perfect sense to add Iceland to the itinerary.

Going at that time of the year also means fewer daylight hours. Oh well, I guess I will just have to find a warm fire and relax with a glass of red. I think I can cope with that.

Because it will be low season, prices will be lower. Bonus!

And there are certain things you can only see and do when the weather is colder.

And last but not least, I am so over the sweltering summer we are experiencing in Australia that I am dreaming of being cold.

I realise I will probably be over the cold in the first five minutes, but I am willing to give it a go. And it gives me an excuse to go shopping for cold climate weather.

 

Iceland is on my bucket list and I really want to travel there in winter. Find out why I would prefer to brave the cold. #iceland #bucketlist #icelandic #glacier #waterfallImage courtesy Pixabay

 

Must See Winter Sights

Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are something that has been on my bucket list for a long time. I don’t mind where I see them. I also understand that even though we are planning on a 10-day stay, we may not see them.

But for the best chance to see the Northern Lights in Iceland you need to visit between September to April.

I will keep my fingers crossed for clear nights. Because I haven’t decided if we will hire a car then joining a tour led by experts will be on the agenda. These ones look good.

 

 

Iceland is on my bucket list and I really want to travel there in winter. Find out why I would prefer to brave the cold. #iceland #bucketlist #icelandic #glacier #waterfall

 

You might also enjoy: Slovenia, Travel Guide

 

Reykjavik

One post I read said not to bother visiting Reykjavik. But I’m not sure that I would take notice of that. Small cities are my favourite kind of city (except for New York) and I love that I can walk around without having to rely on public transport. I loved Ljubljana in Slovenia.

We will also need to work while we are away, so finding an excellent little café to work from would be good, and from everything that I have read, we have a better chance of finding one in Reykjavik. Of course, we will need to sample everything on the menu while we are there. Food, work, travel sounds like the perfect combination to me.

So I fully intend on having great conversations, exploring on foot, sampling local cuisine and finding out about what makes this place tick. And making sure we take in the following places:

 

I am keen to explore Iceland and to avoid the growing crowds Winter will be my preferred time to visit. #iceland #bucketlist #icelandic #glacier #waterfallReykjavik. Image courtesy Pixabay

 

I am keen to explore Iceland and to avoid the growing crowds Winter will be my preferred time to visit. #iceland #bucketlist #icelandic #glacier #waterfallImage courtesy Pixabay

 

 

Golden Circle Tour

A Golden Circle Day Tour will be on the agenda so that we can visit the Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss Falls and Thingvellir National Park.

 

 

I am keen to explore Iceland and to avoid the growing crowds Winter will be my preferred time to visit. #iceland #bucketlist #icelandic #glacier #waterfallImage courtesy Pixabay

 

I am keen to explore Iceland and to avoid the growing crowds Winter will be my preferred time to visit. #iceland #bucketlist #icelandic #glacier #waterfallImage courtesy Pixabay

 

South Coast

I will be researching tours to take us to along the South Coast of Iceland visiting Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skogofoss, the Eyjafjallajokull glacier which has a volcano underneath it, the culprit for the far-reaching travel disruptions in 2010 when it erupted!

I want to see the dramatic Reynisfjara black sand beach, Skaftafell Nature Reserve and visit Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

Then, of course, we will visit an ice cave in the Vatnajokull National Park, if our timing is right.

And I wouldn’t mind trying Snowmobiling!

 

I am keen to explore Iceland and to avoid the growing crowds Winter will be my preferred time to visit. #iceland #bucketlist #icelandic #glacier #waterfallReynisfjara black sand beach. Image courtesy Pixabay

 

I am keen to explore Iceland and to avoid the growing crowds Winter will be my preferred time to visit. #iceland #bucketlist #icelandic #glacier #waterfallJokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Image courtesy Pixabay

 

The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon? I am yet to be convinced. I want authentic experiences not overly touristy ones, so I am still on the fence about this one. Perhaps jet lag might convince me when I am falling off the plane upon arrival and need to revive myself.

Having said that I believe it has become so popular that you have to book in advance.

 

Authentic Goods

I am going to buy a Lopapeysa.  A traditional Icelandic wool sweater, because I suspect that after a day or so, I will be willing to pay ANYTHING and wear anything to be just that bit warmer.

 

I am keen to explore Iceland and to avoid the growing crowds Winter will be my preferred time to visit. #iceland #bucketlist #icelandic #glacier #waterfallImage courtesy Pixabay

 

I am keen to explore Iceland and to avoid the growing crowds Winter will be my preferred time to visit. #iceland #bucketlist #icelandic #glacier #waterfall

 

 

To be frank with you, I would rather explore on my own and discover these sights at my leisure.

I am using this trip as a taster of Iceland. If I love it, which I hope I will, then I would like to come back in the warmer months, to find the gems only found at that time of the year.

And by then I might be brave enough to drive myself around.

Because at the moment I feel that to land in a foreign country with jet lag and jump in a car to drive on the opposite side of the road to what I am used to in wet and icy conditions, doesn’t sound safe. Call me a coward if you must.

So Iceland, show me what you’ve got and I promise to come back.

 

Comments

Have you been to Iceland? I would love to hear your recommendations, just put them in the comments below. Thank you!

 

Cindy x

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Hi there! I'm Cindy the founder of Travel Charm. About 6 years ago I learnt to overcome anxiety to follow my travel dreams. And I haven't looked back! I would love to help you plan your travel so you can start living your dreams instead of just thinking about them.

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Cindy Reid

Cindy is the founder of Travel Charm and her exclusive Travel Club. She is passionate about travel and planning and loves nothing more than helping travellers plan their best trips and fulfil their travel dreams.

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