Trip to Iceland in January

I am not a proponent of people going to Iceland when it is especially cold, wet, and dark. But the airfare is cheap, and I think some Americans don't realize just how different Iceland can be between the winter and the summer. Like the person asking my advice the other day on where to go in Iceland in January, with a rental car. It will be their first time there! Gack, they had of course already bought the ticket, so what am I supposed to say? Just stay in Reykjavík and use tour buses if you absolutely must leave the city, I guess. There is some safety in numbers, and in having a local guide, someone who knows very well what Iceland can be like, and can protect you. 

I learned my lesson though, living there. There were days and days in January and February when I did not leave the house, when the snow was blown up half way up my door, and it was so windy on the roads it was impossible to drive. I was living there alone, in my own apartment, and it was frankly scary. But I put on a very brave face on facebook and on this blog, afterall, this was the adventure I had been looking forward to my whole life.

The weather can of course be mercurial in Iceland even in the summer. But I think it is wise to not choose deliberately to go there when the odds are especially high that things will turn out badly.

Some might accuse me though of being too picky, and too much of a fairweather friend. Afterall, the summer and winter are two halves of a whole, and you can't realistically expect to keep them separate.

But I personally have no plans to go to Iceland in the dead of winter. 


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