Iceland in December

Iceland has been on my list for a long, long time so to finally make the trip happen feels like a dream! I always knew I wanted to visit Iceland once in the winter and again in the summer. My expectations for December were low because of the short days but I couldn’t have been happier with our decision. I have our full four-day Iceland itinerary at the bottom, but here are a few of my highlights!

Sky Lagoon

I’m not exaggerating when I say Sky Lagoon is one of my Top Three Experiences of all time. It was that beautiful and that much fun. Blue Lagoon was closed when we were visiting or we would’ve done both, but I’m not sure how anything could top this experience.

Sky Lagoon is literally an infinity geothermal pool on the ocean. We signed up to do the “Ritual” as well which includes a cold plunge, sauna, scrub and steam room – it was divine. But just hanging in the geothermal pools was incredible on its own. You grab drinks at the bar and we got to enjoy an extended sunset over the ocean. 

Longest Sunrise & Sunsets

I had no idea what to expect when it comes to the famously short days in Iceland in December. To be honest, I didn’t think I would enjoy the darkness so we only did a four day trip. And while it’s true the late sunrise is very odd and when it’s dark, it’s dark

However, the light you do get is the most spectacular extended twilight you’ve ever seen. A typical sunrise gives you a few glorious minutes of color but in Iceland the muted pinks and purples lingered for well over an hour. It was truly one of my favorite parts of the entire trip and I would go back in December in a heartbeat just to experience it again. 

Black Sand Beach

I had seen pictures of the Black Sand Beaches of Iceland and have visited quite a few others around the world, but these took my breath away. We rented a car and drove down the coast for one of the most breathtaking drives and made it to Vik for the famous Black Sand Beaches. 

Highly recommend visiting around sunrise or sunset to watch the changing colors with the stunning backdrop.

Chasing the Northern Lights…

The main reason for our trip in December was to try and see the Northern Lights and sadly, though not for lack of trying, we didn’t get to see the elusive Auroras. One night we went out with a guide and they do give you free retries but the forecast was too low the following night we didn’t want to risk it. Instead, we stayed outside of town, bundled up and spent a few hours at midnight laying in the grass waiting for the colors. While we missed the lights we saw the most incredible view of the stars and counted 13 shooting stars as the Geminid Meteor Shower was hitting its peak.

Walking Food Tour

I had pretty low expectations for the food in Iceland and while I wouldn’t normally do a walking tour, both me and my friend had heard great things about the food tours in Reykjavik. They were right – we loved it! We met fun people from all over the world as we poppped around to 5 different restaurants trying local dishes. We fell in love with Arctic Char – the more delicious cousin to Salmon. Fish & Chips were also incredible!

One of the biggest questions I get is about the pricing and yes, the food and drinks were more expensive but when you factor in not-tipping – it’s really not all that different from drinks and dinner in Denver.

Also, Chrismas Beer is a thing and it’s glorious. 

Four Day Itinerary

Iceland is a very easy flight from Denver since it’s direct, which makes a shorter itenerary possible – but we both agreed we wish we’d had one or two more days.

Day 1: Explore Reykjavik
Flight lands at 6am
Rainbow Street
Walking Food Tour
Christmas Markets
Explore Restaurants/Bars

Day 2: Excursion Day!
Breakfast in Reykjavik
Whale Museum
Sky Lagoon
Dinner with Espresso Martinis to stay awake for the Northern Lights Tour at 9pm

Day 3: Coastal Drive
Rent a Car
Explore Watersfalls
Black Sand Beaches
Stay in Vik, hot tub hoping for Northern Lights

Day 4: Final Day
Head back to Reykjavik
Stop at Dyrholaey Lighthouse
Flight home at 5pm

Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

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Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

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