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Don’t let the snow put you off coming over the winter! If anything, it’s simply another reason to come and visit.
Seeing Iceland with snow seems like it´s wearing it’s natural gown. The waterfalls all take on a life of their own with metre long icicles adorning their sides, whilst the hot baths are at their most exciting when you’re in the midst of a blizzard. The simplest of hiking trails will make you feel like a polar explorer and the lakes form icy plateaus, offering an incredible sense of space and opportunities to go ice-fishing. The Northern Lights are out in their full splendour and the Whale Museum doubles up as the world´s most northerly pitch and putt.
The only limitation is that some of the mountain roads will be closed. But this shouldn’t stop you from getting to most of the highlights in The Diamond Circle. Plus, even if it does, this just provides the perfect excuse to take a tour in a super jeep or go …
The main restaurants and hotels remain open over the winter, and even whale watching trips continue til November. See the list of opening hours to see which restaurants, museums and shops are open. Most of the time, the weather is mild, and even when not, it’s a whole lotta fun. In short, there is still lots of things to see and do in the winter in Húsavík. Whatever the time of year, Northeast Iceland is the trip of a lifetime.
With 2014-15 being the peak of a ten year cycle, the chance and quality of the Northern Lights is currently second to none. Dazzlingly weird, if you get to see them, don’t expect it to look exactly like the photos, as often they are more subdued colours to the eye than they are to the camera. Regardless, what makes them truly spectacular is the way they move. Shimmering across the sky, these swirling masses of peculiarity are formed by ion particles from the Sun’s solar wind hitting the Earth’s atmosphere. Special tours that take you to the ideal place each night without cloud cover are available through Fjallasýn.
Photo: Francesco Perini
Snow sports are a popular winter activity in Húsavík. Excellent cross-country skiing terrain can be found to the East, around the area of Lake Botnsvatn. Or for beginners and children, there is an easy slope behind the museum, only 0.7km long, with a ski lift. Open in the afternoons if there is enough snow on the slopes over the winter months. The top of Húsavík Mountain is also a popular destination for snowboarders and snowmobiling.
Elsewhere, tours in Flateyjarskagi can take you snowmobiling, out in snow cats, or arctic heli-skiing.
Whilst a local tour company, North Sailing, offers a “Ski to the Sea” tour, combining boat trips with skiing, enabling passengers to set foot on remote bays and coves unreachable by cars. Food is provided on board the ship, part of the trip involves anchoring at Flatey Island and the final day takes people on a trip north to visit the Arctic Circle at Grimsey.
At Lake Mývatn learn about the old christmas folk tales with the Yule Lads at Dimmuborgir, or more innovatively, why not go ice bowling or take a spin, go-karting on ice. Mývatn is also popular for cross country skiing with a competition called Orkugangan held every year in April.
Húsavík Ski Slope – (+354) 464-1912 or (+354) 464-1873