December Tours

Best December Tours in Iceland

Explore Iceland's largest selection of December tours and vacation packages. Enjoy popular winter experiences during the month of December.
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Visiting Iceland in December

December in Iceland is a month of stark contrasts and unique beauty, where the winter chill is offset by the warmth of holiday festivities and the breathtaking natural scenery. With only a few hours of daylight, the landscapes are often illuminated in a twilight glow, providing a mystical backdrop for all outdoor adventures.

It's a time when the northern lights can frequently be seen, weather permitting, offering a celestial display that draws visitors from around the world. Despite the cold, the geothermal pools scattered across the country provide a steamy oasis that visitors can enjoy, even in the heart of winter.

Traveling to Iceland during this time presents an opportunity to witness the island's winter transformation. Snow and ice add an extra layer of beauty to Iceland's already dramatic waterfalls, mountains, and lava fields.

The limited daylight hours encourage a slower pace of travel, making it a perfect time for those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture and relax amidst the stunning scenery.

Cultural experiences abound in December, from Christmas markets and concerts to the New Year's Eve celebrations that light up the sky. The holiday season brings a cozy, festive atmosphere to the cities and towns with twinkling lights and decorations. Traditional Icelandic Christmas foods and community spirit make it a joyous time to visit.

The capital city, Reykjavik, becomes a hub of activity, while the countryside offers peaceful retreats where one can enjoy the snowy vistas in solitude. Visiting Iceland in December is for those seeking adventure and a taste of Icelandic winter magic.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best December day tour in Iceland?

One of the best December day tours in Iceland is a three-hour ice cave tour in the Vatnajokull glacier, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars by over 1,300 travelers. This excursion costs approximately 150 USD. An area of outstanding natural beauty awaits, so travelers should get in fast to book this easy-level ice-caving experience.
Another best-rated December day tour in Iceland is a small group tour of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a spectacular part of Iceland known for its wildlife and diverse natural beauty. This excursion is rated an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars by over 460 reviewers. The tour costs around 136 USD for the 11-hour day trip.
A third example of a popular December day tour in Iceland is this three-hour Skaftafell glacier hiking excursion. This tour is perfect for adventure lovers and covers awe-inspiring landscapes, rated 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 480 travelers. It costs approximately 90 USD.

What is the cheapest December day tour in Iceland?

One of the cheapest December day tours in Iceland is a one-hour guided tour of Vidgelmir lava cave, the longest lava tube in Iceland. It has a wooden walkway throughout, making it suitable for all ages. This tour costs around 54 USD and is rated an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars by over 110 travelers.
Another cheap December day tour in Iceland is a three-hour hiking tour on the Solheimajokull glacier, a South Coast ice cap. This excursion costs approximately 107 USD and is rated an excellent 4.9 out of 5 stars by over 190 travelers. Get ready for adventure in this easy-level trip full of stunning ice formations and deep blue crevasses.
A third choice of the most affordable December day tour is a small-group Golden Circle trip that includes a visit to a dairy farm for locally sourced ice cream. This tour costs about 97 USD and is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars by over 430 reviewers.

What is the best December vacation package in Iceland?

One of the best December vacation packages in Iceland is a three-day northern lights holiday highlighting the Golden Circle and the South Coast, rated an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars by over 900 travelers. The excursion costs around 967 USD.
Another popular December vacation package in Iceland is this five-day northern lights winter trip, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars by over 480 travelers. This package costs around 1,031 USD.
Alternatively, this top-rated December tour package in Iceland is an eight-day complete Ring Road trip, rated an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars by over 320 travelers. You’ll traverse the whole country and get seven chances to see the aurora borealis. This package costs around 2,544 USD.

What is the cheapest December vacation package in Iceland?

One of the cheapest December vacation packages in Iceland is a five-day self-drive tour that covers the Golden Circle and Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Your accommodation and itinerary will be planned for you, making this tour perfect for those who like to drive at their own pace. This package costs around 525 USD and is rated an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars by over 120 travelers.
Another cheap December vacation package in Iceland is a six-day South Coast road trip. Price starts at approximately 734 USD and is rated an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars by over 130 travelers.
Another example of an affordable December vacation package in Iceland is a two-day South Coast ice cave tour where you’ll witness the incredible blue ice cave and Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. This package costs about 595 USD and is rated an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars by over 380 travelers.
You can also embark on this two-day budget-friendly northern lights and ice-caving tour with glacier hiking, which brings you to a different Vatnajokull ice cave. It costs around 645 USD and has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 40 travelers.

Is it worth it to visit Iceland in December?

Yes, it's worth it to visit Iceland in December. The mid-winter months, including December, usually offer the best chance to see the northern lights in their full glory.
Travelers can also enjoy a magical Christmas wonderland experience and be impressed by New Year's Eve fireworks displays.
There are also many incredible December tours in Iceland. From day trips to multi-day packages, this is one of the best times of the year to experience activities such as ice caving. Try a top-rated ice cave and super jeep tour of the Vatnajokull glacier, costing around 215 USD. Other December activities in Iceland include snowmobiling, dog sledding tours, and glacier hiking.

What are the best activities to do in Iceland during December?

Some popular activities to do in Iceland during December include:
1. Northern lights hunting, as the long nights in December provide an excellent opportunity to see the aurora in the sky.
2. Visiting ice caves, many of which are only accessible during the winter months.
3. Exploring the Golden Circle, which includes Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall.
4. Relaxing in geothermal pools and hot springs, such as the Blue Lagoon, Sky Lagoon, Hvammsvik Hot Springs, or local swimming pools nationwide.
5. Snowmobiling tours or glacier hiking on one of Iceland's many glaciers.
6. Attending Christmas markets, concerts, and other winter events in Reykjavik and around Iceland.

Can you see the northern lights in December in Iceland?

Yes, you can definitely see the northern lights in December in Iceland. The nights of the winter period provide the only time you can experience the aurora borealis phenomenon here. Although viewings are never guaranteed, December has the longest, darkest nights and often good visibility in the skies, making your chances more likely.
Many December tours in Iceland focus on finding the northern lights, and when traveling as part of a vacation package, they could appear any evening.
This two-hour northern lights boat trip from Reykjavik may allow you to watch an aurora display from the seas, while on this 15-day winter self-drive package around the whole country in-depth, you’ll have 14 opportunities to hunt for them.

Can I go whale watching in December in Iceland?

Yes, you can go whale watching in December in Iceland. This three-hour boat trip from Reykjavik into the bountiful waters of Faxafloi Bay, for example, runs throughout the year.
There are fewer sightings of humpback whales in winter as they migrate, but there are still plenty of minke whales, dolphins, porpoises, and even the great blue whale if you're lucky.
Most whale-watching tours are less crowded in December. Just pack some warm clothes when sailing in the chilly Atlantic Ocean!

What time does it get dark in Iceland in December?

December is the darkest month of the year in Iceland, with an average of about five hours of daylight. The sun rises around 11:00 and sets around 15:00 or 16:00. This makes December a prime time to see the northern lights as the viewing conditions are dark, making the aurora borealis light up the sky.

Is Iceland worth visiting in winter?

Yes, Iceland is a great place to visit in the wintertime. You might be worried that it is too cold, but the average temperatures are only marginally colder than in Western Europe. With fewer visitors over the cooler months, a winter vacation in Iceland offers a superb opportunity to escape the crowds. There are plenty of attractions in Iceland, arguably at their best in winter.
Winter is an excellent time to observe the beauty of the northern lights and explore the ice caves. Other exciting winter activities include exhilarating snowmobile tours and unique dog sledding tours. It's also a great time to soak in natural thermal baths nationwide.

Can you go to the Blue Lagoon in December?

Yes, the Blue Lagoon is open year-round, and the darkness and snow in December make it a must-do activity during this month. If you're lucky and conditions are right, there's even the possibility to see the northern lights while soaking in the natural geothermal water at the Blue Lagoon.

Can I drive in Iceland in December?

Yes, you can certainly drive in Iceland in December as long you take the necessary precautions. During December in Iceland, you can expect snow, sleet, and possibly ice on the road. Also, remember that the days are short, so you can expect to drive in some dark conditions.
Car rentals provide all cars with special tires during winter. In cities and towns of Iceland, the local authorities are usually quick to salt or sand the roads if they become icy. However, out in the countryside, drivers are expected to take full precautions and drive safely.
Check road conditions before heading out on your journey, and stay safe!

What clothes should I wear in Iceland in December?

As December is one of the coldest months of the year in Iceland, we recommend packing plenty of warm clothes or buying them locally on arrival.
A must-have is a waterproof winter jacket if you plan to go on an excursion outside the city. It's also a good idea to bring warm headgear, a scarf, wool socks and waterproof gloves. Sturdy winter boots with good grip are also necessary if hiking is on the agenda.
Before heading out for a long and adventurous day, it's always good to check the weather to know what to expect.

What are the weather conditions like in Iceland during December?

December in Iceland typically brings cold temperatures, ranging from 30-39 F (-1-4 C), with a chance of snow, ice, and freezing rain.
Daylight hours are limited, with only about four to five hours at the winter solstice (around December 21). Be prepared for quickly changing weather conditions, and dress in warm, waterproof layers.

Are there any special events or festivals in Iceland during December?

December is a festive month in Iceland, with Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations being the highlights.
You can enjoy Christmas markets in Reykjavik and other towns, attend concerts, and experience Icelandic Christmas traditions, such as the rambunctious Yule Lads and the Christmas Cat.
New Year's Eve in Iceland is known for its impressive fireworks displays, bonfires, and lively celebrations.

Can I explore the Golden Circle in December?

Yes, you can explore the Golden Circle during December. However, weather conditions can be unpredictable, and road closures may occur due to snow or ice. It's a good idea to check the weather forecast and road conditions before embarking on your excursion and consider booking a Golden Circle tour with a professional driver familiar with the conditions.

What are the chances of flight cancellations or delays in Iceland during December due to weather?

The likelihood of flight cancellations or delays in Iceland during December is higher than in other months due to the unpredictable winter weather, including heavy snowfall and strong winds.
However, Iceland's main airports, especially Keflavik International Airport, are well-equipped to deal with adverse conditions, and disruptions are usually efficiently managed.
It's always advisable to check your flight status before departure and consider travel insurance that covers such delays.

What are the unique photography opportunities in Iceland during December?

December offers some of the most unique photography opportunities in Iceland, from the ethereal glow of the northern lights dancing across the night sky to the sunrise and sunset painting the snow-capped landscapes in soft pastel colors due to the extended twilight hours.
Frozen waterfalls, snow-covered lava fields, and ice caves present extraordinary scenes for amateur and professional photographers.

Are geothermal pools other than the Blue Lagoon accessible in December?

Yes, many geothermal pools besides the Blue Lagoon remain open and accessible in December, including the Secret Lagoon in Fludir and the Myvatn Nature Baths.
These hot springs offer a warm respite from the cold and are less crowded during the winter months, providing a more serene experience. Always check ahead for opening hours and any weather-related closures.

What are some traditional Icelandic foods to try during the December holiday season?

During the December holiday season, you should try traditional Icelandic foods such as hangikjot (smoked lamb), laufabraud (decorative fried bread), and kleinur (a doughnut-like pastry). There's also the Christmas buffet known as 'jolahladbord' filled with various Icelandic delicacies. The festive season is a great time to indulge in these unique Icelandic culinary experiences.

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