The Best Things to Do in Reykjavik in Winter

The Best Things to Do in Reykjavik in Winter

Best Winter Attractions Near Reykjavik

Blue Lagoon, a geothermal pool in Iceland, in winter.

Reykjavik certainly has lots of attractions worth exploring, but you don’t have to restrict yourself to winter tours in the city. The city is located within easy access of a range of some of Iceland’s most famous natural attractions.

The Blue Lagoon is Iceland’s most popular geothermal spa, famous for its steamy blue waters and beautiful surrounding landscapes. The water heats up to a temperature of 100 F (38 C), and the waters are rich in sulfur and silica which it’s thought may have beneficial properties.

The Blue Lagoon is close to central Reykjavik, around 31 miles (50 kilometers) from the city. However, you may opt for a Blue Lagoon transfer to avoid the hassle of driving yourself.


The Reykjanes peninsula in Southwest Iceland during winter.

Alternatively, go on a day tour to Reykjanes. The Reykjanes peninsula, where the Blue Lagoon is located, is the first attraction people see upon landing in Iceland because Keflavik International Airport is just a few miles away. The endless lava fields covered in green and gray moss provide a picturesque landscape many guests come to see.

A day trip to the Golden Circle is another way to explore some of Iceland’s most famous landmarks. It’s a 190-mile route of Iceland’s most visited attractions, Thingvellir National Park, the two-tiered Gullfoss waterfall, and the bubbling pools at the Geysir geothermal area. A Golden Circle tour is a great way to explore these spectacular places while learning more about Iceland’s cultural history.

The South Coast of Iceland is home to some of the country’s most gorgeous waterfalls, glacier lagoons, black sand beaches, and epic hiking trails. Your first stop should be at Seljalandsfoss or Skogafoss, two of the best-known waterfalls in Iceland.

Seljalandsfoss is one of the few waterfalls you can walk behind and has the most breathtaking views, especially on a sunny day. Just don’t forget to bring your waterproofs!


Skogafoss waterfall in South Iceland.

Then proceed to Skogafoss waterfall, another underrated experience. You can pull up to it, right from the Ring Road itself. The waterfall is also accessible through the Skoga trail, starting at Skogafoss and following the Skoga River for around five miles (eight kilometers). 

The shorter South Coast tour will take you down to Reynisfjara and back. A longer South Coast tour is a great way to discover other regions of the South Coast, like Jokulsarlon and Reynisfjara beach. Both tours have transfers from Reykjavik, so you don’t need to worry about getting there by yourself.

Jokulsarlon is a must-see to all visiting Iceland. The ice lagoon is offset with a stunning black stone beach. You can watch the free-flowing icebergs as they drift through the lagoon, which is a unique color thanks to the mesh of fresh and saltwater. You can see the seals near the mouth of the lagoon, catching fish.

Located on Iceland’s western coast, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula boasts the most dramatic landscapes, glacier, waterfalls, and fishing villages. It’s also referred to as Iceland in miniature due to its spectacular scenery and culture. It’s a great place to go on a solo trip or take a Snaefellsnes tour if visiting the area as a group. 

Reykjavik city center and the trees on the outskirts of the city in winter.

Reykjavik is a fantastic city to visit during winter as there is so much to see and do which isn’t necessarily weather-dependent. Whether you want to catch a glimpse of the famous aurora borealis, enjoy the festivities over Christmas, or discover some cultural activities, there’s something in the city for everyone.