Iceland in February – Become a Real Viking
Iceland is by default an amazing country, but some of you might think it’s too cold during the winter. Especially in February, when the wind is extremely harsh, snow storms are present way too often and you can see the sun just for a few hours.
I am here to tell you exactly what I’ve done in the Country of Fire and Ice and how you can enjoy it, no matter if you are a cold weather fan or not, starting with what clothes you might need, what you can see in Reykjavik, how to prepare for a road trip and what are your chances to see the Aurora Borealis.
Iceland in February is magical and you need to be well-equipped before starting your adventure, so read along!
How to Dress?
You will obviously need winter clothes but the secret is to wear a lot of layers. I had 2 t-shirts, a sweater, my jacket and usually 2 pairs of pants. Gloves, hat and scarf are a must. Make sure they are thermal and because one time it was so cold that my hands froze, even that I was wearing 2 pairs of gloves.
You may not need sky pants if your trip doesn’t involve getting out of Reykjavik, but they can be helpful when it’s really windy.
1. First things first, you might wonder how long is the sun on the sky in February. The sunrise is around 10:30 and the sunset is around 18:00, making almost 7 and half hours of daylight. Don’t let yourself be discouraged by this though, but take it as an advantage because you will have the time to prepare in order to see a beautiful sunrise. The secret spot to seeing it is close to the Sun Voyager sculpture. Both sunset and sunrise are magnificent here.
2. Let’s get to more serious stuff and maybe the reason most tourists are heading to Iceland: the Northern Lights. We all know about their existence but what are they exactly? They are charged particles from the sun that intersects the magnetic field of the Earth.
They are a beautiful natural phenomenon and they are present during winter so you’ll have a high chance of seeing them. I was lucky enough to see them 4 times during my trip. Of course, there are a lot of factors that influence their appearance that you might want to take into consideration, for example, the sky needs to be clear, the moon not very shiny and the KP index need to be more than 3. Here, you can find the official Aurora Forecast.
In order to see them, you can try going to the Grotta Lighthouse, drive outside of the city yourself or book a tour.
3. Another breathtaking experience that you might enjoy in Reykjavík is whale watching. There is a lot of fish around Iceland and they are prone to swimming around for this reason. There is a high chance of seeing them if you book a boat tour at the Old Harbour. Get dressed or prepare to be frozen because of the wind!
4. Night life in Reykjavík is amazing: you can find a lot of bars to just have a drink or you can go dancing, feel free to enjoy!
5. The pools in the city are an amazing way to relax and the locals love them. They are very popular and in great conditions. If you are lucky, maybe you’ll get the chance to see Aurora while being in the pool.
There are two possibilities here, you can either rent a car and go yourself or book tours. Both are amazing choices but driving yourself is more fun, especially if you are with the right people. I’ve done 2 of those, one was to Vík and the other one was around the Golden Circle. Both of them are very popular and will leave you speechless.
1. Road Trip to Vík
Pay attention to the weather! This is the most important thing. When we started our drive, we got into a bad snow storm, saw 2 buses on the side of the road waiting for help. The wind is very strong, we had to turn left in order to drive straight and it was scary! But one thing I learned about Iceland, if you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes. It’s still unpredictable, though, in 5 minutes it can either get better or worse, you never know. It’s a surprise.
If you drive yourself, the best thing is that you can stop on the way, anywhere. We stopped to see the Icelandic horses, which are exactly like cats. They are very fluffy and just love to be cuddled and hugged.
On the way you can see several waterfalls, a glacier – you can even hike on it, the black sand beach and the DC plane wreck. Take a look and be amazed!
2. The Golden Circle
The second road trip was around the famous Golden Circle. You’ll find the Þingvellir National Park, where you may want to spend some time. If you are adventurous enough, you can try snorkeling between the tectonic plates. Imagine that you will be nowhere and in two places in the same time! I was too cold to try it and didn’t have enough time, but it’s totally safe, as they are still organizing it even in the winter!
Another stop you may want to make is at the Geysir Area. Wait just for a few minutes and you will witness exploding geysers, but pay attention that the water is boiling, so don’t just respect the limits imposed by the site and you will be safe.
If you feel like going to the pool at the end of your trip, find the Secret Lagoon on the way back. The thermal water is amazing and relaxing after a day of driving around and the best thing about this, you will find two elf houses here.
Ready to Experience the Viking Life?
After reading this small guide, you have an insight about Iceland and what you can expect here.
Prepare warm clothes, go whale watching, see Aurora Borealis, make road trips, enjoy the pools in the capital, go out dancing!
Have you been in Iceland? What was your favorite activity to try here? What else would you recommend? I would love to read your stories in the comment section!