Tropical beaches and balmy weather are all very well. But it has all been done before hasn’t it? If you are looking for a slightly more unique honeymoon destination then Iceland could be an excellent choice. With its sublime landscapes and incredible natural wonders you won’t quickly forget a honeymoon in Iceland. Picture yourselves touring the remote corners of the island in your own rental campervan with no one else for miles around. Soaking in natural hot springs in the wilderness, gazing at the Northern Lights and dining at a top restaurant in Reykjavik. All the ingredients are there for a truly memorable and romantic trip.
In this article we will take you through some of our most romantic Iceland vacation ideas. Summer and winter offer such different experiences of Iceland. So we will separate the two seasons and give you the highlights of each.
Summer honeymoon in Iceland
The summer months are the high season and this is when the majority of people choose to visit Iceland. June, July and August are the most settled months when it comes to the weather in Iceland. At this time of year visitors also experience the phenomena of the Midnight Sun. Around the summer solstice at the end of June there are almost 24 hours of daylight in Iceland. But that doesn’t mean that there is full daylight. The sun dips low and there will be many incredible sunsets to enjoy. Gazing at beautiful landscapes soaked in the golden hues of a sunset sky is pretty romantic. So that’s a good start already!
Just the two of you, the open road and no real agenda to stick to. One of the best ways to enjoy Iceland in summer is to get out into the great outdoors as much as possible. There is no better way to do this than by hiring a motorhome and exploring independently. You might choose to drive the full Iceland Ring Road on your road trip. Or perhaps you’ll take your time around the Golden Circle and the South Coast. Adventurous couples might hire a 4 x 4 campervan in Iceland and drive across the highlands or into the more remote corners.
Wherever you choose you to roam you will see sight after incredible sight. From cascading waterfalls such as the incredible Gullfoss Waterfall to black sand beaches and volcanoes. There really is no end to the wonders of Iceland.
Active couples who like to get out into nature should definitely plan some hiking on their trip. There are all sorts of hikes to enjoy from easy day walks to multi day treks. One other lovely thing about camping in Iceland is that you get to wake up in some incredible places. Many of the campgrounds are in or near Iceland’s national parks. So you will have plenty of opportunity to hike out from your campervan for the day. You can prepare packed lunches then cook dinner on the camp stove. There is something special about being out in the fresh air all day and not going anywhere near shops or towns.
The landscapes of Iceland are so varied and interesting. You might choose to hike the hidden trails of the Unesco World Heritage Site of Þingvellir National Park. Or wind your way through dramatic canyons, coastal paths and fjords. Or even stride out across lava fields where geysers shoot into the sky. Wherever you wonder there will be something surprising to see.
Whale watching and wildlife
There aren’t many animals that can survive the harsh conditions of Iceland. But one creature that you will find here in abundance is the whale. These giants of the ocean abound in the waters around Iceland year round. But they are especially busy in the summer months. Iceland provides sheltered bays in the wild North Atlantic Ocean where the whales can feed and raise their young. North Iceland is the prime place for whale watching tours and the town of Húsavík especially.
You can also see dolphins playing in the waters here alongside Blue Whales and Minke Whales. You can often also combine whale watching boat trips with excursions to see puffins. Puffins nest in summer along the island’s steep coastal cliffs and rocky sea outcrops. These busy and characterful inhabitants of the island are really fun to watch.
If you enjoy horse riding then seeing the countryside from the saddle is another wonderful experience. Icelandic horses are well known for being sturdy creatures with good temperaments. These small hardy animals are particular to Iceland. They are beloved of the Icelandic people who have more than a hundred words to describe their different coloured coats.
Seeing the landscapes unfold on horseback is a lovely way to explore and there are horse-riding tours available throughout the country. Both experienced riders and beginners can enjoy this activity and there will be an Icelandic horse to suit any rider.
An absolute must on any trip to Iceland whether in summer or winter is soaking in the natural hot springs. Visiting hot springs and pools is a popular activity in Iceland. And with all the geothermal activity in the country there are lots to choose between. From geothermal rivers in national parks, to remote natural thermal pools to slick manmade spas like the Blue Lagoon. There is a hot spring for every occasion and there is never one too far away. In fact a great way to start your honeymoon is to head straight from the airport to the Blue Lagoon. Keflavik International Airport is just a twenty-minute drive from this most famous of Iceland’s thermal hot springs.
Winter honeymoon in Iceland
The winter months in Iceland offer a completely different experience of the country. Snow is pretty much guaranteed and the landscapes are transformed under a blanket of white. Glinting glaciers, icy beaches and snow-dusted mountains create the most mesmerising and magical views. There are far fewer daylight hours to see them in though! That’s not to say that there will ever be full darkness over 24 hours in Iceland. Even on the shortest days of mid-winter there will be 3-4 hours of daylight and another two of twilight. In fact on clear days the golden light of the low sun makes it an incredibly beautiful time of year. This really is a very romantic time to visit Iceland.
Exploring a winter wonderland
There are all sorts of ways to enjoy the outdoors in winter. From glacier hiking or zipping around on snowmobiles to ice caving underneath the glowing blue glacial ice. You might join some 4x4 day tours into the wilderness or go skiing or snowboarding on floodlit slopes. There are also plenty of hikes that you can enjoy in the winter months. Especially in South Iceland where the conditions are a little less harsh than in the north.
In actual fact the winter in Iceland is not as cold as you might think. In lower coastal areas in the south there is an average temperature of zero degrees Celsius. If you do need to warm up in winter then head to a hot spring pool. There is nothing quite like luxuriating in warm waters while gazing out across snowy vistas.
Finding the Northern Lights
Perhaps the ultimate winter activity in Iceland is finding the Northern Lights. These incredible dancing lights decorate the night sky in the most amazing colours throughout the winter months. There is no knowing exactly when the Aurora Borealis will appear though. It all depends on solar activity and visibility. Both are tricky to predict.
If you are visiting in winter you will have many opportunities to see them though. The campsites in Iceland are usually well away from the light pollution created by urban areas. Being away from light pollution and getting out on a clear night are likely to up your chances of experiencing the lights. One great way to see them is to hire a specially converted camper van with a skylight. Picture you and your love snuggled up in bed, rum-laced hot chocolate in hand looking out at the stars and the lights. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that!
You can also hire a campervan for winter road trips as well as summer. You will just need to stick to shorter day trips and not try to do too much. You can easily explore the Golden Circle and the South Coast of Iceland in winter. Or head to the Snæfellsnes peninsula in west Iceland. These shorter trips are quite manageable if the Iceland weather behaves itself. Many of the campgrounds in the south stay open year round too. You will also enjoy much quitter roads and fewer other visitors at the big sights.
Reykjavik is one of the most fun and sophisticated of Scandinavia’s capital cities. On your honeymoon in Iceland you should definitely spend at least a couple of nights experiencing its delights. Book yourselves into a flash hotel and splash out. There are stylish bars and high-end restaurants aplenty here so you can really spoil yourselves.
Arts and culture enthusiasts will enjoy a cutting edge arts scene and some excellent museums. Pick up a Reykjavik City Card and explore to your heart’s content. You might also check for any shows, performances or festivals going on when you visit. These are all excellent ways to get into the life of this unique city. Of course Reykjavik can be enjoyed year round. But there is something special about visiting it in the winter season when there are far fewer tourists.
So there you have our guide to the romantic side of Iceland. It really is a unique destination and an extra special place to celebrate your love together. Winter or summer or somewhere in-between you are certain to have a honeymoon to remember.