Iceland – The Extraordinary Winter Wonderland


I had always heard that it is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world, which made me curious, and I can’t hide the fact that it is, of all the places I have visited, my favorite.

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Iceland Google maps image
Road Trip Itinerary – Google maps image

The trip consisted of 10 days of road trip, through the Ring Road and Golden Circle, with occasional detours to visit specific places, totaling almost 3,000 km, in the middle of winter.

It should be noted that traveling in winter in Iceland is very different from traveling in summer, that no matter how much you want to travel there, nature rules, and taking unnecessary risks is inconsequential.

Everything you will read in this text refers to my travel experience, in which several times plans had to be adapted to weather conditions and, consequently, road conditions.

In Iceland, always have a plan B for your route (and sometimes C and D), even if the alternative plan is to stay where you are and wait for better conditions to continue on your way, as I did. Nothing justifies putting your life at risk just to put another “pin” on the map!

From Reykjavík to Northwest

The flight landed at the international airport in the middle of the afternoon. A gigantic blizzard was falling, accompanied by hail that did not allow one to see an inch in front of one’s nose.

After picking up the rental car, the destination was the accommodation in Reykjavík. I confess that on that day I did not even see the colors of the houses, such was the intensity of the snowfall.

The next day, the destination was the Snæfellsnes peninsula, located West of the island. The first stop would have been at Ytri Tunga to see the colony of seals that live there, but the snow storm did not allow this detour, so we had to go to Búðakirkja, the famous black church that we so often see in photographs.

Búðakirkja – Black Church

After a stop there for the usual photographic records, and because the road around the peninsula, going around the foot of the volcano, was closed due to bad weather, the option was to cross that territory through the mountain and head straight north. 

I honestly don’t even know how to describe those lousy 15 km of mountain, which seemed more like 150 km with the world ending. I’ll tell you that I did a stretch of road near a ravine, in the opposite direction, with the high beams on and honking like a madwoman, in case someone had come in front of me.

After putting my nerves to the test on that mountain traverse, one of the country’s most iconic spots followed: Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss. The setting for several film productions and television series, it is also one of Iceland’s most photographed locations.

The conical mountain and the waterfall are the main protagonists of this place, where everything seems to be put in the right place by nature and gain a very own magic covered in snow and ice.

Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss

At the end of the day, the destination was Stykkishólmur, a small fishing town in the North of the peninsula, where the accommodation was located. It remained to replenish our energy to head further North to Holmavik the next day.

Stykkishólmur harbour

But the next day dawned with a monumental storm, with snow and wind gusts of 120 km per hour and the local app recording road closures (there are apps for everything).

Basically, there was no chance of getting out of Stykkishólmur to anywhere. In Iceland, you learn to be patient and resilient, and you learn above all that there are no perfect trips.

And so it was, if staying there was the only option, then let the day be enjoyed as much as possible.

There was not much to see, except the port area with a few pubs, the famous house from the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, a lighthouse where you can climb to get a different perspective of the city and a church with superb views.

Still, the sun was out in the afternoon, and it was possible to wander around the city.

Driving North to Akureyri

Having to give up Holmavik in order not to mortgage the rest of the trip, the next day the focus was on heading to the “Northern capital”, Akureyri.

On the way, the goal was to stop in Hvammstangi to see the colony of seals that live there.

In the city there is an interpretive nature center, the Icelandic Seal Center, where it is possible to learn more about the characteristics of these animals.

When I asked the employee about where I should go on the coast to see the seals, the answer was: “now it’s tide time, and they have gone out to sea to hunt, you have to wait for the tide to change!”

As I told you at the beginning of the text, nature is sovereign, and I had no idea about these seal routines.

If you want to see the animals there, make sure you go at the right tide time, they will not have gone out for lunch!

The road to Akureyri

The solution was not to wait for the seals, but to continue to Akureyri, to get there while it was still daylight.

Among fjords and large lakes, the landscape was absolutely overwhelming, it was almost like being inside a surrealist painting.

It is impressive that in a relatively small country the landscape is so diverse and colossal as to remind us of our small role as humans occupying a place on the planet.


Akureyri, although being the “capital of the North” and the second-largest city in the country, is relatively small and familiar.

A special feature of Akureyri is that the traffic lights are red in the shape of a heart, a demonstration of a tolerant and inclusive city.

With a central area, where most of the points of interest and also the restaurants are concentrated, visiting the church and the Cultural and Conference Center, as well as strolling along the coast and enjoying the fjords, was the choice of things to do.

Crossing North – From West to East

From there we continued our journey through the most inhospitable part of the country, the North, from west to east, with the first stop at Goðafoss.

It is known as the waterfall of the gods, and while not the most spectacular of the known waterfalls, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. The hiking trails that take you around the waterfall on both banks allow you to enjoy the fabulous views.

Not far away, by Lake Myvatn, it was time to enter a world of volcanoes and place one’s feet on each tectonic plate. Thus, at a distance of a step and as if by magic, we are in two different continents.

That whole area is rich in geothermal landscape, and it is absolutely surreal to arrive at a place where the earth bubbles up in little mud puddles as far as the eye can see.

There you realize that the planet is alive, even though so often humans forget this.

Credits: Rita Fernandes

The rest of the way to the fjords on the East side was done quietly, in a landscape marked by the blue sky and the white snow that covered the entire landscape, among volcanoes and without seeing a soul.

Exploring the East coast

And it is when you pass through the last tunnel to access the fjords on this side of the country that the landscape changes radically. Nothing that had been seen so far resembled the East side.

After several days with snow everywhere, we reach a landscape where the undergrowth and greenery are very expressive.

As this side of the country is not very focused on tourism and accommodation is scarce, the option was to stay in Reyðarfjörður.

A small village that has grown up around the fjord, where peace reigns and everyone knows each other.


Early the next day, the destination was the south of the country. The roads that connect the East to the South are often gravel roads, and the endless meandering “in-fiord, out-fiord” is quite exhausting.

But the “why don’t they make roads straight, or viaducts, or bridges?”, were silenced by the force of nature with the beginning of the presence of the arms of the largest glacier in Europe.

Upon arrival in Stokksness with the goal of seeing Vertrahorn (in my opinion, one of the most epic places in Iceland), the welcome was given by a group of Icelandic horses that was walking around there. Icelandic horses are something extraordinary.

Friendly, photogenic, sociable, playful, and so very, very cute that you want to bring one home! The weather did not help the mountain photos because it was very foggy.

Problems inherent to those who travel in winter. Did I mention that there are no perfect trips?


Exploring South

And then, after a few more kilometers, it was the turn of Jökulsárlón, the glacier lagoon, to leave me speechless. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

Despite the hurricane wind and the number of tourists, this place blew me away like few others can do.

It is completely magical to see that imposing million-year-old glacier and the icebergs floating in the lagoon, slowly drifting with the current, on their way to what is known as the Diamond Beach.

Credits: Rita Fernandes

On the way to Vík, where that day’s accommodation was, I was supposed to stop at Fjaðrárgljúfur, a well-known gorge with stunning views, a paradise for photography.

It turned out that it was closed to the public at that time. And why? Because most tourists do not respect the fragile ecosystem of the place, they leave the marked paths to take pictures and put nature at risk.

And if there is one thing Icelanders cherish and respect, it is nature. As such, and so that the flora of the place could recover from human stupidity, the gorge was closed to the public.

All that was left was to go to the lodging near Vík, to wake up the next day in the most epic setting ever, on what is considered one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world.

I had set the alarm clock for 6:00 a.m., I wanted to photograph the sunrise at that place that had been on my wish list for a long time. I woke up, opened the window and outside an astronomical blizzard was falling.

There was no idyllic sunrise, but I didn’t care. I put on my snow boots, put on my rubber jacket and went to the beach to photograph. No one was there, it was still too early for the tourist groups to arrive.

It was with snow up to my soul, soaked to the bone, that I was photographing my dream place. And I was happy, so happy in that monochromatic and wild landscape, which makes us feel small before the immensity of nature.

Credits: Rita Fernandes

It was then time to head west. The whole south of Iceland is much more touristy than the rest of the country. Quite accessible from the capital, everywhere there are busloads of tourists visiting the main attractions, the waterfalls.

It is also in this area that we see more road accidents, the result of excessive speed of those driving on black ice combined with the poor visibility that is so often experienced.

It was time to visit Skógafoss, the most scenic waterfall in southern Iceland. At 60 meters high and almost 30 meters wide, it can be visited either at ground level or by climbing the slope.

And if you are lucky, in between snowfalls and hailstorms, when the sun peeks out a rainbow appears to complete the picture. I can say I was lucky!


Next on the list was Seljalandsfoss, the most unusual and photographed waterfall in the country, because it is possible to walk behind the water curtain. 

Note that if you do this, you will get soaked, and you should take extra clothes. As it was a modest 5ºC and a freezing wind, the option was not to get sick and, as such, skip the walk.

To visit this waterfall, you have to pay for parking. If you are lucky, you can find someone who didn’t spend all the time in the park and offer you the ticket… guess who was lucky?!

Credits: Rita Fernandes

Close by, you can also visit Gljufrabui, a waterfall that falls into a hole in the mountain. Absolutely spectacular, but always with huge queues. Just like Seljalandsfoss, you will get soaked.

It was time to move on to the lodge, this time at a remote farm, to try my luck at seeing an aurora borealis. The forecasts were favorable and if not that night, it would hardly be, because then the destination was the capital.

And it was in Beindalsholt that the spectacle of nature took place. After an intense snowfall, the sky cleared and allowed the Northern Lights to be seen. No adjective is enough to describe this miracle of nature. It was 40 minutes of emotions.

I clapped, I laughed, I cried with joy, I called my family, I took pictures. I fulfilled a dream, in fact, I fulfilled “THE” dream!

Northern lights

The Golden Circle

The last days were saved to go through the Golden Circle, the popular route that includes the most visited attractions in the country. This is the area where Gullfoss is located, the waterfall with 2 landings, which attracts tourists in all seasons for its beauty and grandeur.

Strokkur, the father geyser of all geysers in the world, located in a geothermal area, which “explodes” every 3 to 5 minutes and reaches a height of 80 meters. And finally, Þingvellir, a World Heritage Site since 2004, for being the site of the first parliament in Europe (established in 930 AD).

Besides the historical heritage, the National Park also contains classified landscape.

Gullfoss waterfall

Before returning, we still had to visit Reykjavík, the country’s capital. Not exactly a metropolis, it is a city of considerable size by Icelandic standards, but still manages to maintain a family atmosphere allied to a cosmopolitan city.

There are countless streets in the capital where you can find galleries and urban art, giving the city a modern and relaxed atmosphere.

Among the most visited places are the Hallgrímskirkja cathedral, the Harpa concert and congress center, and the Perlan observatory, with permanent exhibitions focusing on Iceland’s nature. What impressed me most in these three buildings was the architecture completely inspired by the natural elements present in the country.

Basically, and despite the polar cold, what I liked most about Reykjavík was wandering the streets with colorful sidewalks, houses and roofs, said to break the monotony of the gray and snowy days.


It was then time to go back. I confess that I came back disappointed, for me, I would have stayed there longer. Those who know me find it strange how a “summer person” like me fell in love with the land of ice. Some things cannot be explained!

They say that there is always the day when you arrive in a place, and you feel that you are part of it, that you are at home, and Iceland stole my heart. I will go back there one of these summers to see the green side of the white scenery.

But if you ask me if, even though it was an extremely hard and demanding trip, I would do it again… the answer is: Without blinking!


Mapa da road trip

A viagem consistiu em 10 dias de road trip, pela Ring Road e Golden Circle, com desvios pontuais para visitar lugares específicos, num total de quase 3.000 kms, em pleno inverno.

De notar que viajar durante o inverno na Islândia é muito diferente de viajar no verão, que por mais que se queira viajar ali a natureza é soberana e que correr riscos desnecessários é inconsequente.

Tudo o que vão ler neste texto refere-se à minha experiência de viagem, na qual várias vezes os planos tiveram que ser adaptados às condições meteorológicas e, consequentemente, às condições das estradas.

Na Islândia tenham sempre um plano B para o vosso roteiro (e por vezes C e D), mesmo que o plano alternativo seja ficarem onde estão e aguardarem por melhores condições para prosseguir caminho, tal como aconteceu comigo. Nada justifica porem a vossa vida em risco só para colocarem mais um “pin” no mapa!

De Reykjavík para noroeste

O voo aterrou no aeroporto internacional a meio da tarde. Caía um nevão gigantesco, acompanhado de granizo que não deixava ver um palmo à frente do nariz.

Depois de ir buscar o carro de aluguer, o destino era o alojamento em Reykjavik. Confesso que naquele dia não vi sequer as cores das casas tal era a intensidade da queda de neve.

No dia seguinte o destino foi a península de Snæfellsnes, localizada a oeste da ilha. A primeira paragem seria em Ytri Tunga para ver a colónia de focas que ali habita, mas a tempestade de neve que se fazia sentir não permitiu este desvio e, como tal, restava seguir para Búðakirkja, a famosa igreja preta que tantas vezes vemos em fotografias.


Depois de uma paragem por ali para os registos fotográficos da praxe, e porque a estrada que contornava a península, dando a volta ao sopé do vulcão, estava cortada devido ao mau tempo, a opção foi atravessar aquele território pela montanha e rumar diretamente para norte. 

Honestamente nem sei como vos descrever aqueles míseros 15 kms de montanha, que mais pareceram 150 km com o mundo a acabar. Digo-vos que fiz um troço de estrada junto a uma ravina, em sentido contrário, com os máximos ligados e a buzinar que nem uma louca, não fosse aparecer alguém de frente.

Depois de por à prova os nervos naquela travessia de montanha, seguia-se um dos pontos mais icónicos do país: Kirkjufell e Kirkjufellsfoss. Cenário de várias produções cinematográficas e séries televisivas, é também um dos locais mais fotografados da Islândia.

A montanha cónica e a queda de água são os protagonistas principais deste local, onde tudo parece colocado no sítio certo pela natureza e ganham uma magia muito própria cobertas de neve e de gelo.

Kirkjufell e Kirkjufellsfoss

No final do dia o destino foi Stykkishólmur, pequena cidade piscatória a norte da península, onde se localizava o alojamento. Restava repor energias para rumar mais a norte até Holmavik no dia seguinte.

Porto de Stykkishólmur

Mas o dia seguinte amanheceu com uma tempestade monumental, com neve e rajadas de vento de 120 kms hora e registo de estradas cortadas na app local (ali há apps para tudo).

Basicamente não havia hipótese de sair de Stykkishólmur para onde quer que fosse. Na Islândia aprende-se a ser paciente e resiliente, e aprende-se acima de tudo que não há viagens perfeitas. E assim foi, se ficar ali era a única opção, então que o dia fosse aproveitado dentro do possível.

Sem muito para ver, à exceção da zona do porto com uns pubs, a famosa casa do filme “A vida secreta de Walter Mitty”, um farol onde é possível subir para ter uma perspetiva diferente da cidade e uma igreja com vistas soberbas, era o que havia.

Ainda assim, o sol foi dando um ar da sua graça pela tarde e permitiu deambular pela cidade.

Em direção a Norte – AKureyri

Tendo que abdicar de Holmavik para não hipotecar o resto da viagem, no dia seguinte o foco era seguir para a “capital do Norte”, Akureyri. Pelo caminho o objetivo era parar em Hvammstangi para ver a colónia de focas que ali habita.

Na cidade existe um centro interpretativo da natureza, o Icelandic Seal Center, onde é possível ficar a conhecer mais aprofundadamente as características destes animais.

Quando questionei a funcionária sobre o local onde devia dirigir-me na costa para ver as focas, a resposta foi: “agora é hora da maré e elas foram para o mar caçar, tem que esperar que a maré mude!”.

Como vos disse no início do texto, a natureza é soberana e eu não fazia ideia destas rotinas das focas. Caso queiram ver ali os animais, certifiquem-se que vão na hora de maré correta, não vão elas ter saído para o almoço!

A estrada para o Norte

A solução não passava por esperar pelas focas, mas sim, seguir até Akureyri, para lá chegar ainda com a luz do dia. Por entre fiordes e grandes lagos a paisagem ia-se revelando absolutamente avassaladora, é quase como estar dentro de um quadro surrealista.

É impressionante que num país relativamente pequeno a paisagem seja tão diversificada e colossal ao ponto de nos remeter ao nosso pequeno papel de humanos que ocupam um lugar no planeta.


Akureyri, ainda que sendo a “capital do Norte” e a segunda maior cidade do país, é relativamente pequena e familiar. Tem como especial característica os semáforos terem a luz vermelha em formato de coração, numa demostração de cidade tolerante e inclusiva.

Com uma zona central, onde se concentra a maioria dos pontos de interesse e também a oferta de restauração, visitar a igreja e o Centro Cultural e de Conferências, bem como passear na zona costeira e apreciar os fiordes, foi a opção de coisas para fazer.

De Oeste para Este – atravessar o Norte

Dali seguia-se a viagem pela zona mais inóspita do país, o Norte, de Oeste para Este, com a primeira paragem em Goðafoss. É conhecida como a cascata dos deuses e não sendo a mais espetacular de entre as conhecidas, é sem dúvida uma das mais bonitas.

Os percursos pedestres que permitem percorrer a cascata em ambas as margens possibilitam desfrutar das vistas fabulosas.

Ali não muito longe, junto ao lago Myvatn, foi tempo de entrar num mundo de vulcões e colocar os pés um em cada placa tectónica. Assim, à distância de um passo e como que por magia, estamos em 2 continentes diferentes.

Toda aquela área é rica em paisagem geotermal e é absolutamente surreal chegar a um lugar onde a terra borbulha em pequenas poças de lama até onde a vista alcança. Ali percebe-se que o planeta está vivo, ainda que tantas vezes o ser humano se esqueça disso.

Créditos: Rita Fernandes

O restante caminho até aos fiordes do lado Este foi feito tranquilamente, numa paisagem marcada pelo azul do céu e o branco da neve que cobria toda a paisagem, por entre vulcões e sem ver uma alma.

Explorar a costa Este

E é quando se passa o último túnel para aceder aos fiordes deste lado do país que a paisagem muda radicalmente. Nada do que havia sido visto até aqui se assemelhava com o lado Este.

Depois de vários dias com neve por todo o lado, eis que se chega a uma paisagem onde a vegetação rasteira e o verde têm bastante expressão. Como este lado do país não é muito virado para o turismo e as ofertas de alojamento são reduzidas, a opção foi um alojamento em Reyðarfjörður.

Uma povoação pequena que cresceu aconchegada pelo fiorde, onde a paz reina e todos se conhecem.


No dia seguinte, bem cedo, o destino era o sul do país. As estradas que ligam o lado Este ao Sul são muitas vezes de gravilha e o “entra-fiorde, sai-fiorde”, num serpentear interminável é bastante exaustivo.

Mas os desabafos ao estilo: “mas porque é que não fazem estradas a direito, ou viadutos, ou pontes?”, eram calados pela força da natureza com o começo da presença dos braços do maior glaciar da Europa.

Na chegada a Stokksness com o objetivo de ver Vertrahorn (na minha opinião, um dos lugares mais épicos da Islândia), a receção foi feita por um grupo de cavalos islandeses que por ali andava. Os cavalos islandeses são qualquer coisa de extraordinário.

Simpáticos, fotogénicos, sociáveis, brincalhões e tão, mas tão fofinhos que apetece trazer um para casa! Já o tempo não ajudou às fotografias da montanha porque a nebulosidade era bastante.

Problemas inerentes a quem viaja no inverno. Já vos disse que não há viagens perfeitas?


Explorar o Sul

E eis que, percorridos mais uns quilómetros, era a vez de Jökulsárlón, a lagoa dos glaciares, me deixar sem palavras. Foi das coisas mais bonitas que vi na vida. Apesar do vento ciclónico que se fazia sentir e do número de turistas que por ali andava, este lugar arrebatou-me como poucos conseguem fazer.

É completamente mágico ver aquele glaciar imponente com milhões de anos e os icebergues a flutuarem na lagoa, lentamente, ao sabor da corrente, a encaminharem-se para aquela que é conhecida como a Praia dos Diamantes.

Créditos: Rita Fernandes

A caminho de Vík, onde ficava o alojamento daquele dia, era suposto ter parado em Fjaðrárgljúfur, um conhecido desfiladeiro com vistas estrondosas, paraíso da fotografia.

Acontece que estava fechado ao público naquela altura. E porquê? Porque a maioria dos turistas não respeita o ecossistema frágil do local, saem dos percursos demarcados para tirarem fotografias e colocam em risco a natureza. E se há coisa que os islandeses prezam e respeitam é a natureza.

Como tal, e para que a flora do local pudesse recuperar da estupidez humana, o desfiladeiro estava fechado ao público.

Restava assim ir até ao alojamento perto de Vík, para no dia seguinte acordar no cenário mais épico de sempre, naquela que é considerada uma das 10 praias mais bonitas do mundo.

Tinha programado o despertador para as 06h00 da manhã, queria fotografar o nascer do sol naquele lugar que fazia parte da minha lista de desejos há muito tempo.

Acordei, abri a janela e lá fora caía um nevão astronómico. Não havia o nascer do sol idílico, mas eu quis lá saber. Calcei as botas da neve, vesti o casaco de borracha e fui para a praia fotografar.

Não estava lá ninguém, ainda era demasiado cedo para os grupos de turistas chegarem.

Foi com neve até à alma, encharcada até aos ossos, que estive a fotografar o meu lugar de sonho. E fui feliz, tão feliz naquela paisagem monocromática e agreste, que nos faz sentir pequenos diante da imensidão da natureza.

Créditos: Rita Fernandes

Era então altura de seguir caminho para Oeste. Todo o sul da Islândia é muito mais turístico do que o restante do país. Bastante acessível a partir da capital, por todo o lado há autocarros de turistas que visitam as principais atrações, as quedas de água.

É também nesta zona que se veem mais acidentes rodoviários, fruto de velocidade excessiva de quem conduz em gelo negro aliada à pouca visibilidade que tantas vezes se faz sentir.

É hora de visitar Skógafoss, a mais cénica das quedas de água no Sul da Islândia. Com 60 metros de altura e quase 30 de largura, possibilita a visita quer ao nível do solo, quer subindo a encosta.

E se tiverem sorte, por entre nevões e queda de granizo, quando o sol espreita aparece o arco-íris para completar o quadro. Posso dizer que tive sorte!


Seguia-se na lista Seljalandsfoss, a cascata mais invulgar e fotografada do país, por ser possível caminhar atrás da cortina de água. 

De notar que se o fizerem vão ficar encharcados e convém levarem roupa extra. Como estavam uns módicos 5ºC e um vento gélido de cortar, a opção foi não ficar doente e como tal, dispensar a passagem. Para visitar esta cascata tem que se pagar estacionamento.

Se tiverem sorte encontram alguém que não gastou o tempo todo de parque e vos ofereça o ticket… adivinhem quem teve sorte?!

Créditos: Rita Fernandes

Ali bem perto podem também visitar Gljufrabui, uma cascata que cai dentro de um buraco na montanha. Absolutamente espetacular, mas sempre com filas enormes. À semelhança de Seljalandsfoss, vão ficar encharcados.

Era altura de seguir para o alojamento, desta vez numa quinta remota, para tentar a sorte de ver uma aurora boreal. As previsões eram favoráveis e se não fosse naquela noite, dificilmente seria, porque depois o destino era a capital.

E foi em Beindalsholt que o espetáculo da natureza se deu. Depois de uma intensa queda de neve, o céu limpou e permitiu ver as luzes do Norte.

Nenhum adjetivo é suficiente para descrever este milagre da natureza. Foram 40 minutos de emoções. Bati palmas, ri, chorei de alegria, liguei à família, fotografei. Cumpri um sonho, aliás, cumpri “O” sonho!

Aurora boreal

O Golden Circle

Os últimos dias foram guardados para percorrer o Golden Circle, o popular roteiro que inclui as atrações mais visitadas no país.

É nesta zona que se localiza Gullfoss, a cascata com 2 patamares, que atrai turistas em todas as estações pela sua beleza e imponência. Strokkur, o geyser pai de todos os geysers do mundo, localizado numa área geotermal, que “explode” a cada 3 a 5 minutos e chega a uma altura de 80 metros.

E, por fim, Þingvellir, património da humanidade desde 2004, por ter sido palco do primeiro parlamento na Europa (estabelecido no ano de 930 d.C). Para além do património histórico, o Parque Nacional contém também paisagem classificada.


Antes de regressar, ainda faltava visitar Reykjavík, a capital do país. Não sendo propriamente uma metrópole, é uma cidade com uma dimensão bastante considerável para os padrões islandeses, mas ainda assim, consegue manter um ambiente familiar aliado a uma urbe cosmopolita.

São inúmeras as ruas da capital onde se encontram galerias e arte urbana, conferindo à cidade um ambiente moderno e descontraído.

Dos locais mais visitados destacam-se a catedral Hallgrímskirkja, o centro de concertos e de congressos Harpa, e o observatório Perlan, com exposições permanentes centradas na natureza da Islândia.

Aquilo que mais me impressionou nestes 3 edifícios foi a arquitetura completamente inspirada nos elementos naturais presentes no país.

No fundo, e apesar do frio polar que se fazia sentir, aquilo de que gostei mais em Reykjavík foi de deambular pelas ruas de passeios, casas e telhados coloridos, dizem que para quebrar a monotonia dos dias cinzentos e com neve.


Era então hora de voltar. Confesso que voltei contrariada, por mim tinha lá ficado mais tempo. Quem me conhece acha estranho como é que uma “pessoa de verão” como eu, se apaixonou pelo país do gelo. Há coisas que não se explicam!

Dizem que há sempre o dia em que chegamos a um lugar e sentimos que fazemos parte dele, que estamos em casa e a Islândia roubou-me o coração. Hei de lá voltar num verão destes para ver o lado verde dos cenários brancos.

Mas se me perguntarem se, apesar de ter sido uma viagem extremamente dura e exigente, voltaria a fazê-la de novo… a resposta é: Sem pestanejar!

Clica na imagem para obter 5% de desconto em qualquer seguro de viagem IATI

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27 thoughts on “Iceland – The Extraordinary Winter Wonderland”

  1. Pingback: 10 Days In Iceland – How much does it REALLY cost?

  2. Have enjoyed reading your articles. Great photography and you manage to give off a real sense of each place. Particularly interesting for me, as you have been to a bunch of places I’d like to see one day, Madeira, Iceland, Mexico etc. Keep up the good work and thanks for following Leighton Travels. There is a strong travel community here on WordPress 🙂

  3. Pingback: 10 Essencial Itens to Pack for Iceland

    1. September is already the shoulder season. You have a high chance to see the northern lights. I’m sure you’ll still have a good amount of daylight hours to enjoy your trip, just do a good planning and you’ll work it out

  4. Pingback: 10 Days In Iceland – How much does it REALLY cost? »

  5. Pingback: 10 Essencial Itens to Pack for Iceland »

  6. Pingback: TRAVEL APPS – To plan your trip and use while traveling »

  7. Had to chuckle when you said that you missed seeing the seals because they were out to lunch! Just proving that nature is king in the world.
    You definitely saw a lot more than I did when I was there a few years ago. I can understand your joy on seeing the Northern Lights – I was there for 3 days and they never appeared at all. Am so jealous that you got to see them.
    Superb photos here too – even though there were blizzards and winds you got some magnificent pics of the countryside.

    1. Seeing the northern lights was definitely a dream come true. You have to go back there to see it… although the northern lights are like seals, you never know when they will appear ahahah thanks for reading Barry

    1. It was a very hard journey but I would do it all over again. Iceland is an extraordinary country of unparalleled beauty. Making the trip in winter was a huge challenge, but it allowed me to have a very different view from what we are used to. Thank you for reading

  8. thedctraveler9b7e4f7d4d

    This is like the exact road trip I want to do (though I think I want to go in summer) – do you feel like 10 days was enough?? I love your honesty while driving! High beams and honking like crazy sound like something I would totally do! Lake Myvatn sounds so interesting to visit with the earth bubbles. So cool!

    1. If the trip is well structured, 10 days are sufficient, especially in the summer. You won’t encounter any major obstacles that will make the trip take longer than it should. Although in Iceland everything is always an adventure and an unknown. Thanks for reading

  9. You’ve convinced me that I am brave enough to face the cold (I’m Canadian after all!) the time of year to go is winter. Winter wonderland indeed! It looks even more stunning. And, of course to be able to see the northern lights is a bucketlist kind of trip! I adore that the traffic lights in Akureyriare in the shape of a heart.

  10. Oh wow! Such an incredible adventure. I thought about renting a car to drive around the island when I was there over Christmas a few years ago, but I wasn’t as brave as you. But part of me wishes I had after your description of it. Lake Myvatn sounds really cool. Beautiful photos!

  11. I just visited Iceland for the first time this year and fell in love. It was may, the weather was nice enough but still chilly and cloudy sometimes, but the sun was up most of the day (and night). Now I’m desperate to visit at the opposite side of the year, but was curious how it really was. So this post definitely helped. The pictures look fantastic with the snow, and like you said it’s always good to have back up plans in Iceland as things can change quickly. More power to you for the nerves of steel driving in those winter conditions. Looks like it was 100% worth it

  12. I love winter and I’d love to visit during the winter months to see the northern lights. I’m so glad you got to see them. Since I travel alone I’d join a tour as it sounds like the driving can get treacherous.

    1. Totally agree, for those traveling solo the best option is to go for a tour to see the northern lights. I was lucky enough to stay in a place where the accommodation was lost in the countryside and I coud see the lights from my window 🙂

  13. Your article brought back lovely memories of my time in Iceland. I travelled in the summer so the landscapes were more colourful but the mountains were all snow-capped. I would love to go back in Winter and see the waterfalls again. Your picture of Skógafoss waterfall with the rainbow is so pretty!

    1. I would also like to go back to Iceland, this time in summer to see the difference in the landscape. It is undoubtedly a country that transforms depending on the season. When the sun shines the rainbow always appears in Skogafoss, it is a dreamy sight!

  14. This was such a beautiful road trip for you! I loved how you didn’t let bad weather conditions and closings deter you from seeing all that Iceland has to offer! Traveling requires flexibility and adaptability, and this post shows just how you can still make the most out of a trip while being flexible.

    1. Yes, traveling in Iceland requires planning, but having the flexibility to realize that plans don’t always go as you expect. There are no perfect trips, but we have to know how to make the best of every moment and enjoy it.

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