By Megan Millisky
November may seem like an odd time to visit Reykjavik, Iceland. It’s dark much of the time and it can be quite cold. But contrary to what many think, it’s a good time to travel there! This is the time of year when the Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, are most visible. It is one of the most incredible phenomena in the world. But that’s not all - you can also visit an ice cave or even go snorkeling! Here are the 10 coolest things you can do on your November venture to Reykjavik.
1. Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
This natural phenomenon occurs most frequently in November! There are many services that offer sightseeing tours of the Northern Lights. Since it's hard to know in advance when and where the Lights will appear, it's best to leave it to your guides. They will figure out which locations will give you the best chance to catch a glimpse and snap some photos. This is one of the few places in the world to see this fascinating natural wonder.
2. Visit Ice Caves
The most popular thing to do in November is to take an unforgettable trip to an ice cave. This is a guided activity - instructors provide equipment like helmets and crampons. There are many different caves to visit. Popular sites include such as Vatnajökull glacier or Langjökull glacier.
Address: Vatnajokull, Iceland
3. Iceland Airwaves
November 6-9, escape the cold and enjoy one of Reykjavik’s biggest concerts! Featuring dozens of contemporary artists from around the world, this show doesn’t disappoint. Tickets sell out fast, so plan in advance. Venues to be announced.
Address: Reykjavík, Iceland
4. The Blue Lagoon Hot Springs
Visiting natural hot springs is an immersive experience (literally!) and ingrained in Icelandic culture. Through November, take advantage of the hot springs at the Blue Lagoon. It's become a popular place in recent years, so be sure to book far in advance! You can get full spa services, enjoy restaurants, and absorb all the beauty of this natural wonder.
Address: 44MJ+V9 Reykjavík, Iceland
5. Snorkeling and Diving in Silfra
This is only for the most adventurous of travelers. November is a recommended time to snorkel or dive in Silfra, Iceland (about 50 minutes from Reykjavik by car). It may seem crazy to snorkel in the winter, but because The Silfra Fissure is between two tectonic plates, it stays the same temperature year-round. Your guides will provide equipment and teach you how to navigate the water.
Address: 7V4M+47 Thingvellir, Iceland
6. The Golden Circle
Explore The Golden Circle on your own or with one of many tours. It’s a 186-mile stretch through three Reykjavikian sites: Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Þingvellir National Park. The Geysir is currently inactive but has a neighboring geyser that spouts off every five to ten minutes. Gullfoss is a beautiful 105-foot, two-tier waterfall. Þingvellir National Park has gorgeous mountains and volcanic ranges to explore. It is also the site where Iceland’s Parliament formed. The Golden Circle is great to visit in November and is considered a must-see in Reykjavik.
Address: varies by tour operator
7. Christmas Market at Ellidavatnsbaer
Get your holiday shopping done early, and get unique gifts for everyone on your list. Weekends from November 25-December 17, shop, eat, and enjoy live music. There will be Christmas trees for sale as well! The event is held at Heiðmörk National Forest.
Address: 367M+XW Kópavogur, Iceland
8. Snowmobiling on Langjökull, Iceland
As you might expect, winter is an ideal time to go snowmobiling. You’ll learn to drive a snowmobile then drive across Europe’s second-largest glacier. Don’t miss this exciting adventure, which takes place through November.
Address: Langjökull, Iceland