It is difficult to choose the right time to go to Iceland, because each month and each season has its charm. The month of December is one of the most obscure in Iceland. There are very few “daytime” hours but there is a warm feeling with Icelanders busy preparing for the Christmas holidays. December oscillates between two atmospheres, both dark and luminous at the same time.
Temperature and conditions
Temperatures for the month of December average around 0 ° C. It is the lack of brightness that seems to thwart Icelanders and travelers! In winter, roads and trails that lead to the highlands are inaccessible, and only road number one is always open – only in principle however, because sometimes a section of this road closes for a few hours if there is too much snow or a storm.
Don’t worry though, the activities in winter remain numerous, and the landscape covered with white gives Icelandic towns and villages a charming air. Snow scooters, sled dogs, excursions to the northern lights, walks in the city or in the countryside and discovery of the cultural life are all possible choices at this time of year. If you like skiing, it is also a very good time to come to Iceland!
We can not repeat it enough: go to the pool! It is a wonderful way to experience the joys of bathing and to get acquainted with the Icelandic way of life. Can we imagine a better life than basking in a bath at 40 ° C, surrounded by snow and darkness? If you prefer a more luxurious experience, the Blue Lagoon or the Mývatn baths are a good idea to have a good time while bathing.
December in Iceland
Christmas preparations are in full swing in December; Decorations are everywhere (including cemeteries), Christmas markets, Christmas concerts, special events. Icelandic cities are bustling with festive activities for the whole family. From the 15th of December, all the shops remain open until 10pm, and sometimes 11pm on 23rd December – go through the streets of the Icelandic capital that evening if you want to see the crowds! In Dimmuborgir, in the north of Iceland, you can visit the Icelandic Christmas Fathers (there are thirteen), every weekend in December.
Starting from December 1st in Reykjavík, ice-skating is possible in Ingólfstorg in the city centre. Visit the Christmas wonderland at the town hall, or discover the Icelandic traditions at the Árbær Museum, the Botanical Gardens or the Zoo. This year, Sigur Rós will perform four exceptional concerts in Harpa, and will organize other events for six days between Christmas and New Year.
Whether you are in town or in the country, New Year’s Eve is a real show! Icelanders buy dozens of fireworks that they fire from their garden or from the street all night until about midnight. To prepare for this crazy evening, you can run the ten-kilometre run of New Year’s Eve during the day.
December is also an ideal month to discover the Northern Lights. They can be admired in Iceland from September to April. Check out our article on the Northern Lights to familiarize yourself with the best conditions for observing and photographing them.
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