If you are planning to visit Iceland in February, then get excited, because I have the guide for everything you’re going to need to know about planning your trip to Iceland during this beautiful month.
Hello, Team Iceland, welcome back to your place for ALL things Iceland planning. I’m Jeannie – your virtual tour guide, and I’m here to help you plan the best trip ever.
Today we’re talking about all of the February things, daylight, weather, festivals, so let’s get into it.
Daylight hours in February
As I said in the January video, the most important thing to consider is how many daylight hours you have during the month that you’re visiting. So in February, the hours are starting to become a lot more normal.
eather in Iceland
In terms of weather for February, still cold, and still snowy. Standard. The temperature is anywhere from between negative two up to four degrees Celsius slash 28 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit, for my American friends. February tends to be a very stormy month, so you’re talking snowstorms, wind storms, and sometimes both of those storms together. You know, sometimes it feels like the whole building’s about to blow over, and the windows are rattling, and that’s just winter in Iceland. But if you want to even more about this, check out my weather in winter post.
Now in terms of sightseeing and what’s available and not available during February, easily accessible areas include Reykjavik, the Golden Circle, and south Iceland. Areas that have medium difficulty include east and north Iceland, and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. So while you can get to all of those areas during winter, during February, I always advise to be really, really careful through east and north Iceland, and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, because sometimes those roads aren’t as well maintained, so, again, you guys, major caution. Please, all of the time, winter is a very, very unique month, as far as sightseeing.
Areas that are not accessible during this time include the highlands, so Landmannalaugar, þórsmörk, any of those areas that are more interior. The west fjords are really, really challenging, and because a lot of the areas are connected by mountain passes, sometimes the roads are completely closed. So this area of Iceland is really challenging to visit during February. I actually don’t recommend to add it to your itinerary unless you are very experienced with winter driving, and/or you’ve been to Iceland several times and you have a good handle on driving, and the road conditions, and everything like that.
Now my biggest tip for traveling to Iceland in February includes packing crampons or Yaktrax in your suitcase. So crampons or Yaktrax are just an item that goes around the bottom of your boot, and it just provides so much extra grip and protection when you’re walking. I’m talking about walking through Reykjavik, walking into tourist attractions, walking around the waterfalls, you want these things to be protecting you. I promise will be the best investment that you will make for your trip.
For all of the things that I recommend to pack for your February trip to Iceland, make sure to check out the video that I’ve made for winter packing, as well.
Driving and road conditions
All right, so let’s talk about driving in February in Iceland. February is the month, a few years ago, that I drove to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula by myself, and I was in a two-wheel-drive car, and I have driven many a winter road in Iceland, so I was like, “Hey, I’m going to do this thing by myself. No big deal.” I got about halfway through, and as I was rounding the tip coming to the southern part of the peninsula, this was around 3:00 in the afternoon, and it was the scariest thing that I’ve ever experienced in my life. The north was fine. I was having no problems in the north, but in the south, the roads were so icy. I’m not talking like a little slippery. I’m talking about like caked on ice, right. And then the wind came. Then my little car, which is why I always recommend four-wheel drive, was literally sliding with the wind on this layer of ice. It was by far the scariest driving experience I’ve ever had in my life. For this reason, I always say driving in the winter can be, can be, terrifying in Iceland.
So I’m just not trying to sugarcoat it, right. There are people that can travel to Iceland in the winter and have no problems. Flawless roads, flawless weather. Great. On the other hand, you can be the person that has a crazy experience, crazy weather, crazy roads, and I’m talking to you. I’m telling you that it can be dangerous, the weather changes all the time, it can be very slippery, so you gotta be careful driving, people. And I wouldn’t over plan these long days with a lot of driving for that reason.
Lastly for driving, my biggest trip is to always rent a four-wheel drive for February. It’s so important, you guys. You don’t want to get stuck. You just want to have a really reliable vehicle. I don’t think that the two-wheel drive is the safest way to go. And always, always, always checking Road.is before you even head out on your day to see the road conditions and if there are any road closures.
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Events + Festivals
Woo! All right. So, last but not least are the festivals in February. You guys, these are so unique. I’m so excited to share these with you. The first thing that happens in the beginning of February is called Winter Lights Festival. Because of the dark, dark days of winter, Reykjavik puts on this big, beautiful festival for multiple days where they have lights all over the city. Hallgrimskirkja has a light show on it, Harpa is extra lit up, and just different areas around Reykjavik. Just so, so fun, so make sure to look out for that.
Moving on to the fun, unique days. February 12th in Iceland is known as Cream Puff Day. I love it. No, seriously, Icelanders have a day dedicated to cream puffs. If you walk in any workplace, there will be multiple boxes of cream puffs laid out. And they have different toppings, and fillings, and flavors, and it’s just so fun. I mean, that’s the thing to do. So hop into one of the bakeries on that day, because you can definitely find cream puffs everywhere.
And the day after that is February 13th, which translates to Bursting Day. On this day is when you eat all the salted meat and peas that you can consume. Traditionally, this revolves around the Lent calendar, so where before you would fast, you would feast. So this is kind of like that, but still today that tradition holds.
The next thing that happens is February 14th, which is known as Oskudagur. It’s when all of the kids dress up, and they go from house to house, and they have to sing a song if they want to receive a treat. So very similar to the American Halloween, but if you see kids walking around with costumes on February 14th, then that’s what’s going on.
Icelanders don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day. That’s definitely more of an American holiday, but each year I see a little bit more of that influence coming in, so you might see some Valentine’s Day-ish things around, but it’s just not the thing to do on February 14th.
Okay, you guys, that is your February roundup, and all of the things that you’re going to need to know to plan a February trip to Iceland. I hoped you guys loved this information, and if you found it helpful, make sure to subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already, because every single week I’m here with another Iceland planning video. I’ll see you next week.