Top Winter activities in Iceland

Iceland is a veritable adventure playground in Winter. There’s nothing like experiencing the Northern Lights, finding yourself in the midst of snow-covered lava fields and volcanoes and snowmobiling your way around them. If you cannot resist the combination of nature and adventure, look no further than the Land of Fire and Ice.

Go on an ice cave tour

Enter the fascinating glassy blue world of Iceland’s caves. For this, we really recommend going to Vatnajokull in Southeast Iceland, one of the biggest glaciers in Europe by volume and Langjokull, an otherworldly man-made ice tunnel that starts at the base of Iceland’s second-largest glacier. To get there, you will usually be taken by monster trucks across the snowy plains to the glacier – a thrilling start to your icy subterranean expedition.

Retreat to the exclusive Deplar Farm where adventure awaits    

If you’re looking for unadulterated luxury and an off-the-beaten-track escape, Deplar Farm is the exclusive experience to tick all boxes. Sitting inconspicuously at the foot of the Troll Peninsula Mountains, this converted-sheep farm offers 3,000 acres of unspoilt wilderness, which you can enjoy with a multitude of experiences like cross-country skiing and heli-skiing, snowmobiling, helicopter tours and horse riding. Did we also mention that the Fljoy Valley, in which it’s located, has one of the highest average snowfalls in the world? It’s the perfect winter wonderland…

Go horse-riding on the south coast

Iceland is the best place for horse-riding, especially for families with young children. That’s because Icelandic horses are unique for having a special gait called tolting, ensuring a smooth and bump-free riding experience. The South Coast is one of our favourite places for exploring the Icelandic countryside and geothermal moonscapes by horseback. Special tours for all ages and for families are available.

Go snowmobiling along the Eyjafjallajokull volcano

Grab your balaclava, lace up your boots and get ready to whizz across the summit of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in a snowmobile. This exhilarating ride is a sure-fire way to get your heart pumping faster while drinking in the show-stopping beauty of the south coast all the way to Ingolfsfjall. If you’re lucky and the weather conditions are good, you’ll even get to see the Westman Islands stretching out in front of you in the distance.

Set off by ATV on a secret trail to Gullfoss 

If you think you’ve experienced all that Gullfoss – Iceland’s golden waterfall – has to offer then think again. This exclusive ATV adventure will allow you to go down a secret trail to one of Iceland’s most treasured sites, where you can beat the crowds and see the falls from a different vantage point, allowing you to experience its sheer power as it tumbles down a dramatic drop measuring 105 feet.

Thomas Ryves is Marketing Director at Exsus Travel. Exsus Travel specialises in creating the very best luxury tailor-made holidays, honeymoons and family adventures in over 80 destinations worldwide.

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Comments (21)

  1. Dave says:

    If you are heading for Iceland – Winter’s the time to do it. Maximum snow and ice for those adrenaline buzz activities. Go for it!

  2. Rob says:

    You’ve got to admire the Icelandic Tourism Industry. They have created highly desirable activities in what is a highly challenging environment. It is a real achievement to reduce fine travel when so many people’s idea of a holiday is a beach in the Tropics. It’s been a great marketing effort: cresting the product and then selling it.

  3. I love Iceland! And woah, your photo of the ice cave looks so beautiful. I’d love to go back again and check that place out. What ice cave tour do you recommend?

    • Thomas Ryves says:

      Hi Katie, great to hear that you are so keen to return to Iceland. We really recommend the Vatnajokull tour in Southeast Iceland (it’s one of the biggest in Europe!). Langjokull is man-made but equally as impressive and makes for an unforgettable, otherworldly experience.

  4. Would you say winter is the best time to visit Iceland? I’m planning on going there next year (hopefully) and checking when would be the best time to go.

    • Thomas Ryves says:

      Hi Johanes, it depends what you are after. Is it snow-covered landscapes illuminated by the Northern Lights or prolonged daylight hours to enjoy rugged green hiking trails and see puffins? If it’s the former we suggest going from December to March and for the latter, we recommend going from June to September.

  5. Will says:

    There’s something of Game of Thrones about the Vatnajokull Glaciier in Southeast Iceland, very definitely otherworldly. I like the idea of the monster trucks too. An awesome start and finish to an amazing adventure.

  6. Helen says:

    And if you have read this week’s Luxury Travel News you will probably have noticed that Iceland is also one of the World’s safest locations.

    Looks like we’re all going to be clambering on board for that flight to Iceland.

  7. wow love your pictures :D did you happen to capture any magical lights there

    • Thomas Ryves says:

      Hi Robert, it’s not guaranteed of course but yes, we have seen the arresting Northern Lights a number of times – and it was pretty spectacular.

  8. Brad M. says:

    I was thinking of the same thing! I’m probably watching too much Game of Thrones. It makes me claustrophobic though like the ice is closing in on you along with the cold.

  9. Freya says:

    Wow, it looks absolutely magical under all that snow. I visited Iceland in summer a few years back and have been keen to return ever since – looks like an Icelandic winter might be the way to go. Is it possible to still follow the ring road at this time of year or does this also get swamped in snow?

    • Thomas Ryves says:

      Hi Freya, we absolutely recommend visiting Iceland in winter – there is something so magical about the snow-covered lava fields, the Northern Lights ablaze in the sky and the otherworldly ice caves. The ring road makes for a spectacular winter drive although it is best to avoid the roads on the east and west coast leading up to the north of Iceland, as these can often close due to weather. If you want to explore the north, you can fly from Reykjavik to Akureyri in only 45 minutes. We recommend driving from the capital along the south coast, going no further than the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. If you’d like some more tips and advice on driving around Iceland in winter, we’d be happy to talk you through it.

  10. Catherine R. Valerio says:

    Woah.!! Wonderful pictures. Seems so adventurous. Love the idea of visiting and exploring Vatnajokull.

  11. Sara Smith says:

    snowmobiling is one of the best things I found out
    amazing. how can someone find horse-riding amazing in such a cold?:)

  12. Emma Watson says:

    This is so cool! The Ice Cave looks like a Wonder to me! I would really love to visit this place.

  13. Really loved your post! snowmobiling is one of the best things. I am very excited to travel to these places. especially for horse riding on the south coast

  14. Amanda B. says:

    I love Iceland!
    And Your photographs are so beautiful. can you recommend me any place in Iceland where I can see magical lights at night.

    • Thomas Ryves says:

      Hi Amanda, Where to start? Iceland has a multitude of places from which to see the Northern Lights in all its glory but our favourites are Deplar Farm (an exclusive retreat in the mountains where you can lie back and watch the Northern Lights from a heated outdoor pool – with floats on your wrists and ankles) and the countryside in the south of the country away from the light pollution of the towns, where you can go on private tours with our expert guides to find the best spots. The glacier lagoon is one of our favourites where you can see the aurora reflect on the waters.

  15. I would really love to visit this place. Have you ever seen magical light there?

    • Thomas Ryves says:

      Hi Robert, although it’s never guaranteed, our European Specialists have witnessed the incredible spectacle of the Northern Lights a few times and have been left in awe by the beauty of it. They would love to talk through all the places you can see them and when is best to go with you.

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