A view of an iceberg - a frozen lake, the iceberg is in the back and it's blue-greenish

Iceland, you icy beauty with green eyes!

What is the best gift for a round anniversary? I would say, a trip to Iceland hoping to catch a night sky glowing greenish with aurora borealis!

At least this is what I’ve done. Traveling to Iceland in the winter time, in February and of course I’d love to share my recommendations for an exciting trip with predictable risks.

What to expect

Stunning landscapes. Mountains, snow deserts, waterfalls, glaciers, silence and endless freedom, as well as feeling incredibly small in the face of nature.

Safe winter roadtrip

To the south by 4×4 equipped with warm clothes, appropriate to the polar conditions. You’d need:
thermal underwear, wind breaking and water resistant jacket, winter cap and gloves, and hiking boots.The weather could change very rapidly from sunny to a snow storm or heavy rain. Moreover in the beginning of 2024 Iceland entered a new volcano age, which according to the scientists would last for the next 800 years. So local people recommend to download the “Safe Travel” app which contains all the weather conditions and the changing volcano moods.

No roaming, no cash, flask bottle and food reserves

Iceland had an agreement with all the EU-member states, so if you are living in one of those, you can travel with your ID and use your mobile internet as usual. As Iceland is very advanced regarding cashless payment, you actually don’t need any cash. The supermarket prices are comparable to those in Germany, but eating out is quite expensive, especially if you enjoy a beer or a glass of wine. You can calculate with round about 90 EUR for a simple dinner for two.

A portrait of a woman with a winter hat holding a bottle of rum

That means:
Bring a bottle of your preferred alcohol from the duty free shop at the airport and enjoy this instead! Bring your flask, fill it up and put it in your hiking backpack. It’s important to know that Iceland has a high taxation on alcohol. So if you order two beers at a bar/restaurant, you’d already have emptied a bottle of a very good Jamaican rum, bought at the duty free.

And last but not least: bring some food cans from your country, f.e. tuna to make your frugal menu of rice and pasta a little more varied.


…is definitely worth a visit! But don’t expect a super exciting place. It’s a small charming town with beautiful architecture, a stunning promenade and a fantastic bar culture.

Games of thrones backdrop: Þingvellir natural reserve

What a GoT feeling! Black volcanic rocks, snowy landscape, frozen lakes. The white walkers don’t seem to be far away.


Down under to Vic

On the way to the biggest glacier in Europe: Vatnajökull. It is located in the south-east of the island, covering more than 8% of the country. With a size of 8,100 km², it is the largest glacier in Europe. The average thickness of the ice is 400 m, and it goes up to 1,000 m. It’s stunning to walk over this ice giant, seeing all the nuances of blue, gray and white.

What to try

If you dare: Hákarl

The Icelandic national dish, known as the fermented (rotten) shark that stinks like hell. First-timers are advised to pinch their nose while taking the first bite, as the smell of ammonia is much stronger than the taste. And that is why Icelandic people are drinking a strong local spirit. Of course you need to kill your taste sensors first so you don’t tipp over. If you’d get unconscious, people would simply stick the Hákarl under your nose. Very practical!

Party at an Icelandic bar

Believe or not, Icelandic people know how to party! We’ve been to a very famous live music bar in Reykjavik, that looks like a library. What a brilliant idea to place a stage in between all the book shelves! Everynight there are bands playing 3 hours of good live music. You enter, start sipping your (very expensive) beer slowly, warming up. 20 minutes later the whole club is on fire like it’s no tomorrow. Awesome!

A bar with a lot of people on the right and a stage in between book shelves on the left
The Hús máls og menningar bar

Driving through the white infinity

The landscape is so diverse that you’ve just seen something amazing and the next moment something even more beautiful is popping out. Our way from Þingvellir to Selfoss was leading us through a virgine snow desert with a spectacular view to the mountains. We couldn’t help ourselves to stop and just sprint through this untouched snow savanna. And start dancing on a thick layer of ice, balancing around.

Relaxing in hot springs

Imagine, it’s -2 degree outside and you are just chilling in a 40 degrees hot spring. Of course your head is covered with a thick winter cap and you are sipping your duty free rum. For an unique experience I would recommend NOT to visit the most famous touristic spots like Blue Lagoon, but search for small thermal baths or for an accommodation with a private thermal bath. This is where we’ve stayed at. Chilling inside, warm and cosy, having a drink and all of sudden the sky started dancing in green waves. We felt so lucky and grateful to see the aurora just like that. A little warning though: Always try the water before stepping or jumping into the thermal bath, because you can burn yourself very badly. Some thermal baths have raising temperatures so you need to be careful.

Sunset in a snowy landscape
Sunset around the hot spring area

Shopping diamonds

In the southern(east) part of the island you’ll find some of the most iconic Icelandic beaches. The so called Black Beach is a black volcanic beach with uniquely shaped rocks and wild waves. Further east you’ll discover the so called Diamond Beach, where another giant iceberg is reuniting with the Arctic ocean. Huge ice blocks and crystals are shining bright like diamonds in the sun along the black volcanic beach. I’ve never seen anything like this before! Deep in the icy ocean a couple of seals are fooling around before enjoying a peaceful sunny nap on the iceberg. You can watch them forever sipping your hot tee.

A huge ice cube at a black, volcanic beach, shining like a diamond in the sun
You can spend a couple of hours enjoying the beauty of the glacier and the diamonds

And frankly, visiting once Iceland, you are under the spell of this landscape forever, longing to come back. It’s best to fly with Iceland air as you will enjoy a couple of drinks free of charge.

Wishing you a stunning road trip around the island!

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