I went to Iceland… in January.
Yes, that’s correct: January. And before you ask, yes, it was cold! But I would do it again in a heartbeat, for a few reasons.
1) It was so beautiful. I know there is something to be said for greenery and experiencing Iceland’s midnight sun, but don’t dismiss the winter as drab, or grey. It was anything but. The snow, the ice, and the overall blueness was astounding. Daylight hours are heavily diminished in Iceland during the winter, but the light that we did receive bathed the country in a beautiful glow. It was perfect for photography. The whole day was like an elongated dusk!
2) It really wasn’t that cold. I’m from northeast Ohio, right up on Lake Erie, so I know cold. It was actually warmer in Iceland than it was back home! And when it comes to renting a car and driving in inclement weather, well, we’re experts. After all, we don’t get snow days in Cleveland. 😉
3) It was a frugal option. I booked airfare and hotel in a combination flash deal through Icelandair in October, and I was floored by the pricing. It was a perfect short vacation for mid-winter.
4) It felt authentic. That isn’t to say that Iceland in the summer isn’t ‘authentic’ – but Reykjavik in January did not feel crowded or packed with tourists. The city buses were full of locals going about their business. We didn’t run into many tourists as we were driving the Ring Road to Vik, either. Even the guided tours were pleasant, and not a tourist swarm like one might expect.
The last reason why I decided to go to Iceland in January is because I am not a tropical person. I would choose to go to Iceland in the middle of winter over somewhere tropical every single time. Hot weather does not sit well with me for a myriad of reasons.
So, for those of you like me who thrive in the cold – embrace it! Visit some of the cold, beautiful places in the world!