Northern lights, snow, frozen waterfalls. There are many reasons to enjoy Iceland in wintertime. One reason stands out: skiing. Iceland is a world-class destination for skiing enthusiasts. With vertical descents of up to 1,500m, and thousands of peaks and slopes, Iceland is a paradise for skiers and mountaineers. And good news for beginners, there are almost no trees. Happy skiing!
Bláfjöll is a popular ski area, conveniently situated just half an hour outside of Reykjavík. It’s the largest ski resort in Iceland, with runs of varying difficulty levels covering a total of 15km. The slopes are wide and well-maintained. The longest is 2.5km and has an elevation difference of 240m. The most difficult is 700m long and has an elevation difference of 200m. With a ski rental and a ski school located on-site, you will find everything you need!
Depending on the weather and snow conditions, the season runs from January through May. Keep an eye on Bláfjöll’s website to follow regular updates about opening times.
Skiing in Reykjavík
Let’s say you’re standing in the city centre on a beautiful winter’s day when you get the sudden urge for feeling the wind rush around you as you glide down over the fresh snow of a mountain slope. In most other European capitals that would be a far-off dream. In Reykjavík, you can hop in a car and 25 minutes later, you’re strapping on your skis or snowboard! You don’t even have to have your own equipment, as everything can be rented on the spot.
Iceland is not the only country you can go skiing in. There are other countries with higher mountains and bigger ski resorts. But skiing in Iceland is a unique experience, one that you’re not likely to experience anywhere else. The Bláfjöll mountains, even though they’re only a few minutes away from Reykjavík, are a magnificent example of Iceland’s wild and beautiful nature. On the way there, you’ll see the vast forestless landscapes of Iceland stretch before you. If you go cross-country skiing, there’s a good chance your trail will lead you past volcanic craters and other rock formations characteristic of the young volcanic island. Standing at the top of the mountain, you’ll have the incomparable view over the city of Reykjavík on one side and volcanoes Eyjafjallajökull and Hekla on the other.
Iceland’s majestic landscape is truly stunning, but if you’re there at night (which, at winter, stretches long into the day as well) you might even be lucky enough to see the famous northern lights. The slopes are open long into the evening, so you’ll have plenty of time for nighttime skiing down the floodlit slopes. Skiing under the famous aurora borealis is sure to be the best memory of a trip to Iceland you’re likely to have.