The Icelandic stopover

Iceland is the most unique place I’ve ever been to. Winter is the least touristy time to visit, which means no crowds, cheap hotels and more fun things to do. However the days are very short, and the roads are icy. Here are some things to plan a winter trip to Iceland easier.


When you fly Icelandair across the Atlantic, you can stop over in Iceland at no additional airfare. More details on their website, but I found this a great deal. Also winters mean cheap flights. I got my SFO-KEF-CDG round trip for less than $350 in January 2019.


Days are short and it means sun only for few hours a day. This is what I saw even before 3PM.

Driving around

Roads in Iceland are not cleared off snow as frequently as most parts in the US, so the roads are more slippery than back home in the US. Also most rental cars we found were manual transmission.

Most locals tend to be very used to driving in the Icelandic snow, but remember to go slower as the snow is really slippery. Too many slip away from the road, and we drove by a fair share of scary accidents on the way.


Hallgrimskirkja – A 74.5m high church in Reykjavik, is one of the most famous tourist attraction.

Icelandic Street Food – Traditional Icelandic Lamb is a must-eat if you are in downtown Reykjavik.

Þingvellir National Park

My favorite part of visiting this National Park was the drive to the park. The color white as far as you can see. Snow covered fields, snow covered roads, snow covered everything. This truly felt like being on a different planet.

Þingvellir means “Assembly Plains”  – this park used to be the site of general assembly in Iceland

The park has free ranger led tours, which talk about the history of Iceland and the park, from the Vikings to hiking trails.

Experiencing this beautiful sunrise at 12 PM was another rememberable experience.


The uniqueness of Iceland was truly an experience of a lifetime, and I can’t wait to come again on a longer trip to truly experience more.