Winter wonderlands are many people’s dream of how to spend the
festive season and new year's eve, ideal for those who love nothing
more than wrapping up warm and being in front of a roaring fire
while the snow falls.
Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik is fast becoming a very popular destination for the festive season, it may only have a small population of around 130,000 but this is bolstered dramatically by the tourist trade attracted to the city in winter.
The city is famed for its weekend nightlife, where the place really comes alive around midnight and can go on until 4.30am. If you’ve come to enjoy the night life, then head to Laugavegur where you’ll find many of the bars and clubs.
For those with the Northern Lights on their bucket list, there are tours from Reyjavik to see the Aurora borealis or you could just walk to Grotta light house or Oskjuhlío hill where it’s a little darker and clearer and your chances of seeing this stunning wonders of the world are increased.
You can partake in some great hiking trails and take in the stunning landscapes that Iceland has to offer including icefields, glaciers, black sand beaches and then get your swimmers on and go for a dip in one of the many geothermal pools and spas
Reykjavik doesn’t do anything official but that’s not to say that
the city will be buzzing come New Years Eve.
Starting from around 8pm there will be plenty of bonfires around the city and fireworks from the locals who, after watching the traditional Aramotaskaup on TV at 10.30pm for an hour, (so the streets pretty much clear for this time), get themselves in a celebratory mood and don’t even wait for midnight before setting off their stash of fireworks. The whole night sky will be bursting with colour and is a truly memorable experience to bring in the new year.
Head to Aegissioa, as this is one of the more popular and larger bonfires that locals and tourists attend.
Fylkir bonfire at Rauoavatn lake is another one of the larger bonfires with lovely fireworkds over the lake. (great for the budding photographers!)
To get a great view of the fireworks in the city, many people gravitate towards Hallgrimskirkja church on Skolavoroustígur High Street.
If you want panoramic views over Reykjavik then make a beeline for Perlan Oskjuhlío hill, it’s a little further out and remote, but there will be a good crowd of people here to watch the stunning fireworks display.
The clubs are open very late on New Years Eve, but make sure you’ve got a ticket for entry.
Alcohol in Iceland is very expensive, so you might want to have drinks at home/hotel room etc to save on some money!
The restaurants in Reykjavik don’t always open on New Years Eve, so it’s best to contact them in advance to make sure they are actually open and to make your reservations, supply and demand means that they’ll get booked quite quickly:
Great live webcam of Hallgrimskirkja Church
Another one is over Tjorn
Choose from a wonderful selection of hotels and apartment hotels
in the Reykjavik area, remember to book in advance to make sure
you’ve actually got somewhere to stay:
Black Pearl - Reykjavik Finest Apartments
Reykjavik4you Apartments Hotel
Kvosin Downtown Hotel
Alda Hotel Reykjavik
Skuggi Hotel by Keahotels
You can search for deals at all of these venues, plus other local hotels here.