December Darkness in Iceland

December Darkness in Iceland

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Winter snow on Kirkjufell Mountain

Are you coming to Iceland in December? Read about the ever changing light and conditions here from a photographer's perspective!

Even though December is the darkest month in Iceland this month is all about light. During winter time days get shorter in Iceland with less light because of the country´s high latitude. That means that the longest day in the middle of December is only 5 hours of light maximum. Sunrise is around 11 AM and sunset between 3 and 4 PM.

Sounds strange but this is what we Icelanders are used to and nothing is more normal than going to work in total darkness and arriving home in total darkness as well.  

Snow on Grábrók Crater

Now you might think because of the dark and cold December its not wise to travel up here this time of year but that is not quite true. My opinion December is amazing month to visit Iceland even though you don't know what kind of a weather you might get.

Yes, weather in Iceland is unpredictable and you could face blizzard, sleet, rain, snow or even storm. Even so December is a magical time to visit this island up in the North and for me as a photographer a favourite month in terms of light. The light is extremely soft where sunrise and sunset almost meet each other giving you the best soft colours you could wish for.  

Reynisfjara Beach and Reynisdrangar

Nature is often frozen and covered with snow giving one some epic winter wonderland experience and golden photographs. If you travel into the country this time of year everything is much more quiet and peaceful with few people on the roads and nature is more silent, tucked in its winter coat.  

Reynisfjara beach from Dyrhólaey

Since days are short with little light you might get a bonus though. When nights are crisp with clear sky there might be a possibility to capture the otherworldly Northern Lights or Aurora borealis that illuminates the sky twirling colourfully above in the night sky.

Seeing this epic phenomenon shimmering over your head is a wonderful experience and if you are interested in photography this is something you really want to capture.  

Northern Lights in winter

Not only nature gives you wonderful light in December but also the city and and little villages in the country are lit up with Christmas lights and candles giving a wonderful feeling and atmosphere.  

If you decide to come and visit us this time of year don't think too much about weather and cold. Just dive in and bring all the layers you can possibly find along with extra good boots and outdoor waterproof clothing and your journey will be nothing but fun.

Winter Hiking on Reynisfjara

See also:

Winter Self Drive Tours

Winter Package Tours

Ice Cave Tours (only available in winter)

The Unpredictable Winter Weather in Iceland 

Winter Activities in Iceland

Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Northern Lights | ​2 Day Tour

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