Iceland. It's a land of ice. And snow. And wind. And rain. And sunshine. And horses that look like their hair has been better conditioned than my own... and yes, it's next off our bucket list.
When we first started discussing the idea of heading to Iceland in late winter, our friends of course thought we were crazy. We live in Canada already, where a large majority of us ACT like we don't mind the cold (don't be a wimp!), but hibernate a lot in the winter months (eh, we can survive off this one apple left for a few more days... no need to get to the grocery store, right?). We were quick to tell them it's (generally) warmer there than it is here in the winter. In which case, they obviously didn't believe us because it's the LAND OF ICE. Duh!
We still decided to take the polar bear plunge of traveling, and book Iceland as our next trip off the bucket list in the wintertime ... here's why you should go to Iceland in the winter:
It is less expensive during the winter months. Believe it or not, a large majority of people seem to have our friends' position above... which drives down the prices, because it drives down demand. We were able to book our flights direct from Toronto to Reykjavik for around $587 each, round trip on Icelandair. Obviously the closer you get to the travel date, the higher the price typically gets... so book early. Hotels aren't the cheapest in Iceland, but we were able to find rooms with no problems. That can be a challenge during the very busy summer months. There really is no winning with food in Iceland, so budget accordingly with that.
The Northern Lights. We know. We know. There are never any guarantees with this, however we are in Iceland for nine days, and are hoping that that will strengthen our chances. Fact is, it is very difficult to photograph the northern lights in the summertime because Iceland is the land of the midnight sun. We've booked accommodation at the remote Hotel Budir to hopefully assist us with this, but even if not- the beautiful remote landscape of this area will just be breathtaking. We also have a car the entire time so we can easily leave Reykjavik in the evenings to see what we can capture.
A Decent Daytime/Nighttime Balance. As photographers we do need some daylight to capture the landscapes. Early winter, the days are too short, and going into summer- the days are long, which means a less chance of capturing those difficult northern lights. In late winter we should have the perfect balance and beautiful lighting.
The Icelandic Winter Landscape. There isn't quite anywhere in the world like Iceland, and we want to capture in the winter. We do plan to do a second trip at some point in our lives to see the beauty country in the summertime- but there is something about capturing the raw beauty of Iceland under Ice that just intrigues us.
An Array of Icelandic Winter Activities. Icelandic people know how to keep going through the cold months, and we're excited to experience the Reykjavik nightlife as well as participate in some of their fun winter festivals. For a full list, visit Iceland Naturally.
As we're cleaning all our winter gear and getting ready for this exciting trip- let us know any tips/ideas/suggestions you have about our trip to Iceland! By the way for any travel bloggers out there who have gone before, are the hotdogs really as amazing as everyone claims? Or is just the opportunity for a very inexpensive lunch in the land of very expensive food? Let us know!
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Gregory and Laura Brinkmann are travel, lifestyle and wedding photographers based out of Ontario, Canada who adore traveling. Please follow this blog for more tips, ideas, and advice... and sometimes just some silliness.