Due to the equinox, December in Iceland is the darkest months of the year, and also the coldest. The days in December have very limited daylight, just a few hours a day. The 21st of December, which is winter solstice here in the Northern part of the world, is the shortest. These long hours of darkness combined with snow cover and the spectacular Northern Lights set a very romantic mood and one conducive for music. The temperatures here in December range from -1 to +4 degrees Celsius (30-39 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperatures are not unbearable as one might think, just make sure you are warmly dressed and you will have much great fun. Due to the short duration of daytime, the whole day is just beautiful. The sun never reaches a high position in the sky. It therefore just creates a warm glow that spreads across the country. The soft light creates a perfect atmosphere for taking pictures.
One should dress in layers of clothes when taking trips across the country, although winter in Iceland is not insanely cold, at least not way too colder than other winter destinations across the world. Owing to the position of Iceland right in line with the Gulf Stream, it remains quite warm in spite of its latitude.
The Christmas season in December is a huge thing for the locals here in Iceland and everyone at this time is in a jovial mood. During this time the whole city of Reykjavic is lit up with Christmas lights spread all over. If you walk around, you will find hidden Santa Clauses around the city. A “Christmas ice skating plaza” is usually set up every year right at the heart of the city. This event helps set a mood for the festive season. It can be an ideal place to visit to get you into a festive and touring mood.
New Year’s Eve is a crazy night here at Iceland’s capital Reykjavic and around the country. Icelander’s celebrate this day like no other. The night sky is usually characterized by lots of fireworks. The ban on fireworks is even lifted for days before this day to let people purchase explosives mostly just for the 31st of December. New Year’s Eve is simply the biggest party night of the whole year.
December is definitely one of the best months of the year, and especially here in Iceland. Imagine the absolutely cold winter days, and white snow all over. It can be really exciting to swim during winter. Iceland has hundreds of volcanic hot springs which can be used for hot water bathing during this cold season. You’ll only be freezing during that short period of changing and jumping into the water, but then you can simmer in the water for so long you wouldn’t even want to get out. There are both public and private pools across Reykjavic, the public ones being cheaper.
The Northern Lights are usually one of the biggest reasons for visiting Iceland, and also the most unpredictable and elusive attractions in Iceland. It creates a display of bright dancing lights which range in color from white pink, green and purple. These lights are visible in magnetic Polar Regions. December is around the best times of the year to sight the Northern Lights. During this month Iceland experiences full dark nights, and darkness is practically the most important factor to have so as to see the Northern Lights. They are ideally seen when the sky is clear, with preferably no precipitation.
Since one cannot be really sure of when they’ll be able to see the Northern Lights, it would be advisable to plan other activities while hunting the Northern Lights, simultaneously. There are numerous places to visit and a lot of activities to undertake in the city of Reykjavic. The Reykjavic art museum houses a vast collection of classic and modern art, all dedicated to famous artists of the land. The National museum has an array that takes you through the history of the country from the ancient times to the present. You can engage yourself in glacier walks and hikes. Though this is a yearlong activity here in Iceland (done any time of the year), it’s a magical experience one should really consider. Another popular activity skiing. This includes cross country skiing and alpine skiing. Other such activities include swimming and surfing.
Iceland has one of the most magical landscapes and the winter conditions only make this more stunningly beautiful. Very far spread ice fields stretching beyond where the eye can see, glaciers so blue with snow at the top and blue ice bergs add to this beauty.