Iceland’s winters may look intimidating, but they come with an assortment of adventures. Inderjit Singh took a road trip to soak up the wintry wonderland in its full glory. By Inderjit Singh
Despite the latitude and the name, Iceland actually has relatively mild winters. Temperatures are on the higher side here compared to New York and Amsterdam when they are ravaged by winter’s wrath.
Icelandic winter is, in fact, dreamy. From a snow-white blanket on the ground to the colourful dance of the aurora borealis in the sky, the landscape flaunts an otherworldly garb.
Tourists flock here in the cold season only to see the Northern Lights, but this island country offers so many more adventures—skating on frozen ponds, riding Icelandic horses, hiking and snowmobiling on glaciers, ice-cave tours, whale watching, dog sledding, and dips in geothermal pools.
A road trip is the best way to witness the many charms of this extreme wonderland. For self-driving trips, 4×4 cars are mandatory in winter. Or you can book a 4×4 tour with a local travel agency.
For my sojourn, I took a road trip to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland and a harbour town called Stykkishólmur.
Driving on icy roads with snow-laden landscapes all around was a magical experience. I was also clearly enamoured with Icelandic horses. Any Iceland trip is incomplete without an encounter with these wonderful animals.
In winter, these horses look all the more majestic as they develop a thick fur for protection from the cold.
Snæfellsnes Peninsula offers dramatic landscapes, and one can visit several beautiful fishing villages on the route. Iceland also has many churches amid surreal settings. It’s easy to find one—all you have to do is look for the word kirkja (church) at the end of a name.
In fact, one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland is called Kirkjufell, which translates to ‘church mountain’. I believe it is one of the most beautiful mountains on the planet.
Game of Thrones fans know this one as the Arrowhead Mountain that Jon Snow and his team seek out beyond The Wall in search of a wight to bring back to Westeros. I was quite content with bringing back pictures.