Iceland in Wintertime Vik Black Sand Beach JetSettingFools

Iceland in Wintertime: A photo essay

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We were in Iceland for less than 100 hours – 98 hours, to be exact. In that time, I managed to click the shutter on my camera more than 2000 times. I try to practice self-restraint, but with the beauty of Iceland in wintertime, I had zero willpower. I was in awe at every turn. City streets and amazing architecture {click, click}. Snow blanketed landscapes {click, click, click}. Thundering waterfalls and dangling icicles {click, click, clickity click}. Black sand beaches and silhouetted rock formations {click, click, click, click, click, click}. Powerful nature putting on a show {clickclickclickclickclickclick}.

The elements, however, presented a challenge – and, while visiting Iceland in wintertime, we had a stream of constantly changing weather conditions. At the top of Hallgrimskirkja Church bell tower, we experienced frigid-cold, gale force winds, making it impossible to steady the camera. On our South Coast tour, at the base of the waterfalls, the nearly frozen mist wreaked havoc on my lens. During our stop on the Golden Circle to see Strokkur Geyser, the steam rising from pools of geothermal water felt like heaven on my face, but completely drenched my camera. And, (in addition to my novice nighttime photography skills) the snow and wind played a big part in our photography debacle while chasing the Northern Lights.

Exposing my camera to the winter weather became a bit like having a toddler in tow. I was constantly wiping the lens, using my body to shelter the camera from wind/snow/mist and, for the rare moments when I wasn’t taking a photo, I was hugging it close to share my warmth. But, even in what seemed like a constant struggle, I managed to click away, capturing the white wonderland.

Although, white was not the true color I was photographing. Instead, hues of frosty blues dominated the color scheme. In order to enhance the pigment of the pallet, I experimented with black and white, introducing a sepia tone. The pale yellow adds a hint of warmth to the otherwise frozen scenes of Iceland in wintertime.

Iceland in Wintertime Snowy Tree-lined Road JetSetting Fools

A snowy, tree-lined lane.


Iceland in Wintertime Reykjavik City View from Hallgrimskirkja Church JetSettingFools

The city of Reykjavik from Hallgrimskirkja Church bell tower.


Iceland in Wintertime Snow covered bicycle JetSettingFools

A snow covered bicycle.


Iceland in Wintertime Strokkur Geyser JetSettingFools

Strokkur Geyser erupting.


Iceland in Wintertime Hallgrimskirkja Church JetSettingFools

The Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik.


Iceland in Wintertime Contrasting landscapes JetSettingFools

Late afternoon contrasting light.


Iceland in Wintertime Frikirkjan i Reykjavik Church JetSettingFools

Frikirkjan i Reykjavik Church across the frozen lake.


Iceland in Wintertime Thingvellir National Park JetSettingFools

The edge of the North American Tectonic Plate at Thingvellir National Park.


Iceland in Wintertime mountain in the clouds jetSettingFools

A cloud-covered mountain.


Iceland in Wintertime Vik Church JetSettingFpp;s

A church in Vik, Iceland.


Iceland in Wintertime Snowy Road JetSettingFools

Driving on a snowy road.


Iceland in Wintertime Colorful House in Rocky Village Reykjavik JetSettingFools

A colorful house in Rocky Villiage, Reykjavik.


Iceland in Wintertime Street View to Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik JetSettingFools

Street View to Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik.


Iceland in Wintertime Thingvellir JetSettingFools

Thingvellir National Park.


Iceland in Wintertime Skogafoss JetSettingFools

The majestic Skogafoss.


Iceland in Wintertime Icelandic Horses JetSettingFools

Icelandic Horses.


Iceland in Wintertime Vik Black Sand Beach JetSettingFools

The black sand beach at Vik, Iceland.


Iceland in Wintertime Swans on frozen Tjornin JetSettingFools

A swan ‘walks on water’ on Tjornin Lake in Reykjavik.


Iceland in Wintertime Reynisfjara Beach JetSettingFools

Reynisfjara Beach.


Iceland in Wintertime Gullfoss JetSettingFools



Iceland in Wintertime Reynisdrangar Basalt Rocks Vik JetSettingFools

Reynisdrangar – Basalt Rocks at Vik, Iceland.


Want to read more about our Iceland experience? We joined tours for the Golden Circle, the South Coast and the Northern Lights. And, don’t miss our posts on the Best Things to Eat in Reykjavik and Places to Drink Local Beer! Looking for an Iceland itinerary? Check out our 3–day Itinerary for Iceland!


Top Tips for your Trip to Iceland


Where To Stay

During our visit to Reykjavik, we stayed in this awesome Airbnb Apartment. ( Not already a member of Airbnb? Use this link to create an account and save money on your first stay!) We have found that staying in apartments is often less expensive than hotel rooms – with the added benefit of a kitchen and, usually, more space. Reykjavik holiday apartments can also be searched on FlipKey (which is part of TripAdvisor) or on VRBO – Vacation Rentals By Owner

However, for those who prefer staying in traditional accommodations, there are many Reykjavik hotels to choose from in – or close to – the city center. Check out these top-rated hotels (based on guest reviews!) for your upcoming trip: Kvosin Downtown Hotel, Canopy by Hilton and Hotel Lotus Reykjavik.  Or, find a deal on a hotel room by bidding on Priceline

Budget travelers may want to look at these Reykjavik hostels: Reykjavik Downtown Hostel, Loft Hostel and Falkinn Guesthouse. Travelers can also stay with locals for free with Couchsurfing. 


Flights to Iceland

Our preferred method of getting anywhere is by flying (we are JetSetting Fools, after all!) and when we do need to purchase plane tickets, we start our search for the best deals on airline tickets on Skyscanner or Flight Hub.


Before You Go

  • Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable walking shoes for the city. I (Sarah) have traveled with these shoes by Columbia and Skechers. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell and Sanuk.
  • We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos photos (that can later be beautifully compiled into a travel photo book). We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos, but can be a bit clunky) and a Canon PowerShot ELPH (which takes beautiful pictures, is slim and lightweight – and the new models are wifi enabled so you can share your trip pics to social media in real time!).
  • It’s easy to get turned around or lost in any new city! Be sure to have a good map and/or guidebook prior to arriving.  
  • We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.

Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for our complete packing list and other travel resources!


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We want to know: Have you been to Iceland in Wintertime? What were your impressions? Of our photos from Iceland in Wintertime, which do you like best? Tell us in the comments!

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Iceland in Wintertime

  Iceland in Wintertime 

Iceland in Wintertime
Iceland in Wintertime
Iceland in Wintertime
Iceland in Wintertime
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16 thoughts on “Iceland in Wintertime: A photo essay

  1. Deanna

    What wonderful pictures. Iceland has never been on my list of places to visit but you may have just changed that!! Great blog.

    • Thanks Deanna! I have to admit, it wasn’t really on my list for a long time….but then it was, and once I was there, I couldn’t believe it hadn’t been on my list the whole time. Such an amazing country!

  2. Gorgeous pics! In terms of taking a LOT of pics, I was exactly the same when I visited Iceland. There’s just so much to photograph! Both times I went was in September, but looking at these images I definitely need to go in the winter – although the weather was pretty bad at times when I was there. I spent all of 5 seconds on Vik beach because the wind and rain were just too harsh!

    • Thanks! Yeah, Iceland is too pretty not to take pictures 😉 The weather was crazy for us, too. It would be nice and clear one minute and then – in the blink of an eye – we were in the middle of a whiteout! We would like to visit in another season, too…just to see the difference 😉

  3. Patty

    The swans on Lake Tjornin and the Icelantic Horses are picturesque beauties! Thank you for including them with the scenic Iceland snow scenes!

  4. Cindy

    Your photos are transforming, make me feel like I am there. Squaw Peak in Phoenix looked like your contrasting shadowed mountain this winter & was clouded over at the top on several different days. I really like the black & whites which look vintage. Thanks for the photo tours.

  5. Anonymous

    Nice pics — made me shiver!!! My favs: The Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik (up close) and a snow covered bicycle.

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