In November, it’s winter in Iceland. Iceland covered in snow is a winter wonderland. The unique terrain of Iceland is filled with wonderful waterfalls, glaciers, rivers and lagoon glaciers. The cold winters provide ample conditions to keep these formations in their best shape. Other spectacular sights include the northern lights.
This winter period is characterized by short days and long nights. For instance this year, the shortest day will be 30th November, with only five hours out of the twenty four hours having daylight. The longest day you could see during this winter period is November 1st, with only eight hours of light a day. This period is characterized with a gradual decrease in temperature. The average temperature is 4 degrees Celsius. The highest temperature, experienced on the longest day (1st November), only reaches slightly above 5 degrees Celsius. The lowest temperatures are at the end of the month with an average low of about three degrees Celsius. The temperatures here sometimes drop to zero or below but hey, that is what you are signing up when you decide to visit Iceland.
During this month Iceland receives an average of about 80mm of precipitation and an average of around 10 days of rainfall in form of sleet, snow of rain. Visitors are advised to stay in the warm, cozy comfort of the various hotels spread across Iceland, including some in the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik.
The weather should not scare you; winter is a great time to be in Iceland. The first instances of snow fall are usually experienced during this time of the year. You can bathe in the natural hot springs and geothermal pool like the famous Blue Lagoon. This time of the year is a perfect time to go bathing in the natural hot springs for a number of reasons. One of these is because there is still not so much snow on the roads, thus they are still good for driving. Also, it would feel very nice to bathe in the warm waters during cold weather.
The biggest music festival in Iceland, the Iceland Airwaves is on in November. For three full days and nights, every entertainment venue, clubs and bars are filled with tones of musicians from Iceland and from the world over. The darkness provides a most conducive scene for music.
This time of the year is also a very ideal time to see the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights are one of the biggest attractions that draw visitors to island. They are formed as a result of the collision between electrically charged particles from the sun and gaseous particles in the earth’s atmosphere displaying colorful dancing lights. They display in various colors including pink, green, purple and white. This occurs often and though not easily visible from the ground, Iceland is one of the places where they are best seen. The long nights in November guarantee long durations of darkness. Darkness is the most important factor to seeing the North Lights, which can be really elusive and unpredictable.
Although cold, November is great for surfing. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the waves. This is a perfect activity for those wishing to spend time in a hardcore manner. Surfboards can be bought or hired, depending on how one wishes, together with surfing gear.
While in Iceland you can enjoy the seasonal Icelandic food which for ages has remained a mystery to the world. The capital, Reykjavik offers a wide selection of restaurants to choose from, all from which you can enjoy cultural Icelandic food. With the cold weather, you could really enjoy the traditional seafood and lamb soup. To enjoy this better you can join the Reykjavik Food Walk.
Generally, Iceland is a very beautiful country, from stunning lava fields, snow covered mountains, a great number of breathtaking waterfalls, the stout Viking horses whose population could outdo the country’s human population to the White Sea foam at the black sand beach at Vic. The horses here are cute and friendly and are even cuter during winter due to the thick fur they develop to protect them from harsh weather.
Walking into the ice caves is an experience to remember. They are safer during winter than summer since they can’t melt and collapse. Trips to the glaciers should be booked really early since this is the most popular booked event in Iceland.
Less people visit Iceland in winter than they do in summer. This means fewer tourists, which translates to cheaper hotels and car hiring prices. It is highly recommend to drive a 4WD car in winter.