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

Winter Wonderland Iceland
The most photographed mountain in Iceland, Kirkjufell’s name translates to ‘church mountain’. It was one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones, where it was called the ‘Arrowhead Mountain’.

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.

Winter Wonderland Iceland
A lighthouse offers beautiful vistas of Stykkishólmur, a harbour town that became an important trading post in the mid-16th century.

 

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.

Winter Wonderland Iceland
Iceland has one of the best road systems in the world, and all its real-time information can be found on road.

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.

Winter Wonderland Iceland
A lone house stands on a snow-white landscape blessed with sunshine and blue sea—solitude is the norm in the island country.

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.

Winter Wonderland Iceland
Notably more curious, intelligent, and independent than other horse breeds, the Icelandic horse is loved by tourists.

For my sojourn, I took a road trip to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland and a harbour town called Stykkishólmur.

Winter Wonderland Iceland
Driving in winter is not as wonderful as the landscapes are—it’s advisable to follow the guidelines given by car rental companies and to keep a watch on real-time weather updates.

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.

Winter Wonderland Iceland
Churches on surreal snow-laden lands acquire a divine charm in Icelandic winters.

In winter, these horses look all the more majestic as they develop a thick fur for protection from the cold.

Winter Wonderland Iceland
The stark, dramatic winter of Iceland can prove to be a romantic time for an adventurous couple.

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.

Winter Wonderland Iceland
Stykkishólmur is known for its restored and repurposed old houses.

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.

Winter Wonderland Iceland
Northern Lights seen from Lake Thingvallavatn.

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.

Related: Say Yes To these 7 Natural Thermal Pools Of Iceland!