Winter in Iceland

A travel journal by Linda Sheader

February 8 – 15, 2013

Why visit Iceland in winter? In February, my other friends in Colorado dream about traveling to Hawaii or Mexico or the Bahamas. They wonder why my husband, Joseph, and I would choose Iceland instead. We love to travel to wintry landscapes and have always wanted to see the aurora borealis, the elusive northern lights. We tried to glimpse them in winter 2012 when we visited the Alaska Interior, but the lights eluded us. When we learned that the visible band of aurora is frequently over the entire island of Iceland, we decided to give it a try.

The harbor at Grundarfjörður, Iceland

Although the aurora favored us twice during our visit (and one more time from the plane), we discovered that there are many more reasons to visit this magnificent country in the winter. First, it is much more economical than in the summer, as many businesses offer off-season discounts. Unless a winter gale decides to scream across the North Atlantic, one can expect sunny days and clear frosty nights, mixed with misty rain. In the winter, one can visit with locals, drive without crowds, eat super-fresh seafood, and see pods of wild orcas feast on herring. We left Iceland after only nine winter days, but it will never leave us.

Image 10
A famous sculpture in Reykjavík, inspired by Viking longships

Travel Journal Themes

Click a link below to read more about our travels

Part 1 – Íslenska (Language)

Part 2 – Dýralíf (Animal Life)

Part 3 – Saga (History)

Part 4 – Eldfjöll (Volcanoes)

Part 5 – Ljósin (Lights)

4 thoughts on “Winter in Iceland”

  1. You have helped me travel virtually to Iceland. I feel like I’ve experienced the Light and the Dark of the place. I know these people and am charmed by their horses, their rocks, the way they leave ruins to be remembered and the compelling signs and sagas. You have enriched me with stories of another place. Thank you for traveling in my stead and tempting me to go there as well!


  2. Hello Linda, this is Arlen, Joe’s friend from North Carolina. I’m so glad Joe sent me the link to this journal. Being of proud Scandinavian heritage (though Norwegian and Swedish not Icelandic, but as we’re all descendants of Vikings, who cares, right?), visiting Iceland has long been on my bucket list. And now, your writings here have made me long to check that item off of it in a big way! I think it is probably not true, and if it were, there would be no way to prove it, but my grandfather, who emigrated to the US from Norway, swore to his dying day that he was a direct descendant of Erik the Red and Leif Eriksson. That would, of course, make me one as well. So I feel like I have a personal stake in this Iceland thing. 🙂

    I so thoroughly enjoyed reading this journal. You have done an outstanding job here. You are a very proficient and engaging writer, and with the resources you have provided in the end notes, anyone could plan a first rate trip to Iceland. (I know I plan to use your resources when I plan my trip.) I think you may have a budding second career as a travel writer. 🙂

    Friður til þín,


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