Iceland in December (Travel Guide for an Icelandic Christmas)


If you enjoy traveling and seeing the Northern Lights, Iceland is the spot you want to be. This country provides the most amazing holiday memories like no other. 

The country offers more than just a breathtaking view, there are plenty of tours and activities and delicious food available in December in Iceland.

Read on below to find out all there is to know about visiting Iceland during the festive month. 

Iceland weather in December

The climate in Iceland is very pleasant during December, for those with warm clothes, as it is cold and dry. December is Iceland’s darkest month and the temperatures range between -1°C and 4°C. 

Since Iceland is so close to the Arctic Circle, the days are the shortest during this time and the nights are long and beautiful. You can expect Iceland daylight hours to last for only 4 hours from 12 pm to 4 pm, and if you’re lucky you could get a couple of extra hours.

4 Experiences To Have In Iceland In December.

Here are some of the best things to do when visiting Iceland during this month.

  1. See the Northern Lights

    December is the perfect time to experience the spectacularly vivid Aurora Borealis, also known as Northern Lights. Thanks to the little sunshine experienced, there is plenty of time to see the lights on the dark black sky beautifully and plainly. Grótta Lighthouse or Klambratún Park in Reykjavik is the perfect place to watch the Aurora Borealis.

  2. Dive into the Blue Lagoon

    It’s not a surprise that Iceland has some of the most beautiful hot springs in the world with the most famous being the Blue Lagoon. It’s based in Grindavík about 20 minutes from Keflavík Airport and 50 minutes from Reykjavík.

    The water temperature ranges from 37°C to 40°C, which is more than sufficient to keep you warm during the cold weather. The lagoon is open for 14 hours a day from 8:00 a.m. till 10:00 p.m.

    The reason why the Blue lagoon’s water has a milky blue shade – giving it its name – is because of its high silica content concentration. This just enhances the beauty of the lagoon.

  3. See the Gullfoss waterfall

    If you’re searching for a spectacular and popular sight to delight your eyes and ears, then Blaskogabyggd’s Gullfoss waterfall is the location you want to be in December.

    The waterfall is beautiful, and what makes it even more special and fun is that you see the waterfall from above instead of below. Which allows you to have a nice wide view.

    Gullfoss is one of the Golden Circle’s three landmarks. Nearby, there are cafes where you can order caffeinated drinks that make the entire experience more enjoyable.

  4. Explore The VATNAJOKULL Ice Cave

Vatnajokull glacier is the largest ice cap in Iceland known to produce the best ice caves. Exploring the ice caves is a truly magical activity for the eyes to witness the true beauty of the blue crystals within the caves which is worthy of an Instagram post. 

Make sure you wear the warmest clothes because the weather in the caves isn’t any warmer than outside.

Top 4 Tours in Iceland in December

Here are some of the best tours to do when visiting Iceland that you will truly enjoy doing during this month.

  1. Snowmobiling on glaciers

    Why don’t you race your lungs out on the Langjökull Glacier with friends and family? Once you taste the fun of snowmobiling, it’ll be on your annual bucket list. 

    For beginners, it might be the most adventurous thing you’ve done on the ice, but the pros call it a winter sport. The tour is normally 4 hours long, depending on the parking you choose and the prices start at $80.

    Check out this tour on Get Your Guide

  2. Reykjavik food walk

    Rated number 1 tour in Reykjavik on TripAdvisor, with more than 2668  5-star ratings, surely there is something wonderful about this food walk. If you want to satisfy your taste buds with some Iceland local dishes, then we recommend this tour for you.

    A food enthusiast will guide you to 4-6 special Icelandic restaurants where you will have a chance to try out some Icelandic mouth-watering cuisines.

    Check out this tour on Get Your Guide

  3. Whale Spotting

    Get closer to these enormous marine creatures that weigh more than 30 000 kg. There are tours available that will take you out on the water and position you perfectly to spot these massive mammals. You are more likely to encounter two types of whales – the minke and humpback.

    The tour prices for whale spotting start at $90 and lasts between 2-5 hours

    Check out this tour on Get Your Guide

  4. Golden Circle

    This tour is best if you want to witness Iceland’s beautiful natural wonders. You will have a chance to visit Iceland Popular sights which are Gullfoss, Geysir and the National Park Thingvellir all at once.

    The 6-day tour is good for those who like to take their time to absorb the beautiful nature. The tour starts at $640, which sometimes may include transport and accommodation

How to Enjoy An Iceland Christmas

Most people love Christmastime, and Icelanders are no difference. Make sure you’re ready to hear the Icelandic yuletide greeting “Gleðileg jól”, which simply says Merry Christmas. 

A lot of Christmas trees are lit all over the country, providing colourful lights at night to enjoy. During the festive season, Icelandic people are even more friendly. 

Another highlight is the abundance of Christmas markets where you can go and buyfood and gifts. There are also plenty of tours and festivals to enjoy.

New Years Eve in Iceland

Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Iceland is something worthy of consideration. The night gets quite exciting in Reykjavik. Only for a few days, the fireworks ban is set aside. 

People spend a lot of money on fireworks, often overspending just a bit, all to light up the sky with stunning bright lights. 

There are a lot of elite New Year’s Eve parties in Reykjavik, so prepare to be tired the next day – in the best way possible.

To Sum It All Up 

If you’re looking for a country that’s full of fun activities to do then we’d suggest you travel to Iceland in December. 

From whale watching, ice cave exploring to snowmobiling on glaciers, the fun never ends. And when you’re tired, you can relax and eat some of their heart-warming cuisines while watching the northern lights shine bright in the sky. It’s a cold, lovely country full of happy people. 

To avoid disappointment, book all your tours, hotels and flights in advance because December attracts a lot of visitors from all over the world.


Matt Davison
Matt has done marketing for travel and tourism for over a decade. His first love is SEO, with entrepreneurship hotter on its heels than a girlfriend. When he is not looking up flights back to his next destination, you can find him in the garden, making excuses to walk Rusty, strategizing with the team and tinkering on sites until the early morning.