Bright Idea to Visit Iceland in Darkness of Winter

Vala Hafstað

Increasingly, tourists find it a bright idea to visit Iceland during the darkest days of winter. Christmas and New Year’s Eve are popular times to visit. Diverse recreation is offered for tourists during the holidays, and numerous restaurants stay open, Morgunblaðið reports.

At the travel service company Wake up Reykjavík, December is the busiest month of the year. The company offers various tours in the capital city, including a beer tour, where guests learn about Icelandic beer and beer making.  Other popular options are a bar crawl and a food tour, where guests walk from one restaurant to another, states co-owner Daníel  Pétursson.

“We also have a New Year’s Eve party for 400 people,” he adds. “There will be Icelandic drinks on offer, good music, a show, and the whole package.”

At Gray Line, bookings for the holidays look promising as well. Þórir Garðarsson, board chairman, states that the schedule remains the same as other days of the year, except for the afternoon on Christmas Eve, when no tours are scheduled. Service resumes on Christmas Day.

There are four Golden Circle trips a day, in addition to northern lights trips at night. Special tours are offered on New Year’s Eve – to bonfires and to observe the fireworks.

Bookings are good for the holiday season at Into the Glacier. This is a busy time for the company, but CEO Sigurður Skarphéðinsson expects demand to be somewhat less than last year, due to the bankruptcy of WOW air in the spring, which has led to a reduction in the supply of flights to Iceland.

His company offers traditional mountain truck tours, as well as snowmobile tours. Weather is the only unknown factor. Tours to Langjökull glacier are occasionally cancelled due to weather at this time of year.

Director General of Tourism Skarphéðinn Berg Steinarsson states there are mainly two groups of tourists that visit the country at this time of year: on the one hand, there are those who come to experience the ambiance around bonfires, fireworks, and such around New Year’s Eve; and on the other hand, there are students, for example Asian ones, who are studying in the UK and elsewhere.

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