With most countries starting to experience spring by March, in Iceland March is still is still a winter season. Though during March the days are a bit longer and it’s much brighter and warmer with less darkness during the days. With the winter coming to an end, most of the winter activities still take place. It’s also a very quiet time in Iceland with less crowded places. This gives you ample time and space to explore the Icelandic winter landscape and the cultural endowment of the country. It is even a good time to make an impromptu visit and stop overs outside the capital city.
It being still the winter season, it’s important to pack warm clothing and appropriate gears for snow hiking, horse riding, snorkelling and diving and excursions in the country. It’s also important to make early plans and bookings to almost all of the activities you are intending to participate in to avoid instances where you miss out on very exciting experiences since they are all fully booked. Also if you are planning to drive yourself round the country, one is advised to rent four wheel drive vehicles or jeeps to be able to transverse most of the snow filled roads. Also while making your drive-through; it’s advised that you don’t go off roads as you might get stuck. Lastly, if you are planning to visit Iceland during the Easter week which sometimes fall in the month of March, it is good to note that Iceland is a religious country with a one state religion, the Lutheran State Church, this means that all religious holidays are public holidays in Iceland and as such most places will be closed down during that period.
There are so many things to do and places to go during the winter season in Iceland. Just like January and February, the Northern Lights Tours is still conducted. March is the last time you will probably get the chance to easily see and enjoy the Northern Lights. It is important to note that the Light tours sometimes run till mid-April. It being still a cold month, ice caves tours are still conducted and it’s still an exciting activity to do in March. The ice caves are so magical and good places to take great photos. There is also Lava Caving Tours.
These are very exciting and mind-blowing tours as most of the lava tubes are covered in ice as a result of the cool temperatures. In the tubes you get to see icicles dangling from the ceiling of the caves and some crystal-like formations on the ground making the caves look something out of a fairy-tale. It always feels like waking into Elsa’s ice place in the movie Frozen. One can also plan to go whale watching. Of all the winter season, March is a great time to go whale watching as during March, most of the whales that had hibernated to their summer breeding grounds are returning to Iceland. Humpback and Minke whales are easily spotted in March. Exotic breeds of whales can be seen emerging from the deep seas to the surface. Whale watching can only be done in three places, the capital of the North, Akureyri, the Snaefellsness and the capital city of Iceland. Due to volatile weather conditions, the excursion is done using big ships and cruise ships. Other activities one can plan for includes horse riding in the snow, snorkelling and diving and hiking in the glaciers.
Having different festivals at different at times is one of Iceland’s main characteristics. March is no exception. The following are some of the look forward to in the month of March; The Food and Fun Festival. This occurs in the first weekend of March. Chefs from all over the world collaborate with local chefs and restaurants to come up with new Icelandic cuisines using only local ingredients. The events are judged by experts. There is always so much food and drinks and fun activities. It is an all-family activity. Battle of the Bands otherwise known as Icelandic Music Experiment is also one event you wouldn’t want to miss. It is a competition of upcoming Icelandic bands of Iceland’s youths who showcase all theirs songs publicly before a winner is selected. There is also the Reykjavik Folk Festival. It is a 3-day festival showcasing Icelandic folk music. This is a popular genre in Iceland. The event takes place at the Kex Hostel.
For fashion lovers, there is the Reykjavik Fashion Festival showing up-coming fashion designers work. The designer’s collections should be inspired by the country’s nature. The festival takes place for several days at the Harpa Concert Hall. Lastly, there is the Moustache March which is like the beard movement of September in most countries. During that period, most males let their beards to grow to raise awareness of men’s health.
There is so much to see in terms of the landscapes and other naturals sceneries. Though due to the weather conditions, some places are inaccessible. The following are some of the things to see; the Icelandic Ring Road. This road fully encircles the whole country. The route which is counter clockwise takes one through the south coast, across the northern region and down to the west. The Golden circle is one of the country’s most popular tourist trails. The trail will bring you to three most famous sites; the Pingvellir National park – the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Icelandic mainland, the Geysir Geothermal Area and the Gullfoss Waterfall. If the weather allows, it might be possible to explore the Westfjords. Though there will be snow blocking most of the roads, one is still able to navigate through many of the coastal routes to see the settlements and the Dynajandi waterfall.
With longer days and summer at the corner, March is indeed a good time to visit Iceland and get to enjoy the snow filled landscapes and much more activities and festivals.