Practical info
9 February 2018

Survival tips for the Icelandic winter

Going to Iceland isn’t like going to, say, the North Pole. But, you still might get snowed in, cold or bored in the darkness. Don’t get us wrong; you don’t need survival gear to visit Iceland. So, leave your machete, fire starter kit and a makeshift fishing line from dental floss at home, please. People will laugh at you (and you might get arrested for carrying a machete.) Here’s what you can do instead:

Try the Muller exercise system to get warm

This system is over 90 years old and was the basis of Icelandic school gym classes for years. In an age where we are always trying to find new ways to keep fit, it is sometimes good to go back to the basics. You don’t need to go to the gym for these exercises, and they will help you wake up and feel refreshed.

Muller exercises for the Icelandic winter

Image from Sveinn Þorgeirsson

 

Warm up in the swimming pools

No matter which little town you visit in Iceland, chances are you´ll find a heated outdoor swimming pool. In the larger towns, you´ll find several. Icelanders love to go for a swim, no matter how bad the weather is. Some of them go just to lounge in the hot tubs and chat with their neighbors, but most people swim a few laps as well. Many of the pools are open in the evening, so if it’s dark already and you’re cold and bored, you should go swimming.

Iceland swimming pools

Image from Icelandmag

Bring a book in case you get snowed in

A book or a Kindle is great for when you can barely go outside because of bad weather. If you visit a bookstore in Iceland, you can probably find a good crime novel by Icelandic authors, translated into English. Most of them capture the eeriness of Iceland very well.

Grab some hot chocolate at a café

This is probably the coziest winter activity we can think of for Iceland. Sitting peacefully in a café, warming up your red cheeks, watching the snow fall outside the window and sipping on hot chocolate with whipped cream is such a special feeling. It’s the perfect pit stop, especially if you’re in downtown Reykjavík.

Iceland survival tips