Complete Guide to Iceland Weather in December
Updated: Jan 24
It is true that December days in Iceland might be cold and dark. Yet, they’re lit up by the crisp snow and twinkling festive lights, including the Northern Lights themselves!
Wondering what to expect in terms of Iceland weather in December? Here’s all you need to know about the average weather and temperature in Iceland during December. Make sure you’re fully prepared to witness this wonderful winter wonderland.
Looking to enjoy incredible winter activities in Iceland? Get prepared to witness a wonderful winter wonderland. With our comprehensive guide to Iceland weather in December, you've got all you need!
Iceland Weather in December: What to Expect
Weather in Iceland is famously changeable; you might be able to experience all four seasons in one day! However, during the winter month of December, you’re more than likely to experience harsh winds and cold. The winds in particular make the air feel colder.
Snow falls across the country during December. It carpets Iceland’s spectacular landscapes in a glistening white blanket. Amazing for photography, you’ll often find thick snow across Iceland’s rural areas, as well as a snowy layer covering the capital of Reykjavik.
Iceland Temperature in December
The average temperature in Iceland in December might not actually be as cold as you expect, with average lows of -2 °C and average highs of 4 °C, or around 28 °F to 39 °F.
There is actually a big difference in temperature between Northern and Southern Iceland. During December, temperatures regularly drop to -20 °C in the colder and less populated North of Iceland. Whereas, they stay around 0 °C in Southern Iceland.
Daylight Hours in Iceland in December
December's days in Iceland are short, with only around four hours of sunlight per day from 12 noon to 4pm. There aren’t true polar nights in Iceland because the sun does rise above the horizon each day; a polar night means 24 hours of darkness. There’s no denying that Iceland’s winter nights are very long, though!
These long, dark nights provide plenty of chances to spot the Northern Lights in Iceland. Head away from the city to experience this dazzling light show dance across the December skies above Iceland.
Reykjavík Weather in December
Situated in southwest Iceland, the capital city of Reykjavík has a subarctic climate. This leads to average December temperatures in Reykjavík ranging from -2 °C or 28 °F to around 3 °C or 38 °F. Due to the North Atlantic Current, temperatures don’t usually drop below -15°C.
Reykjavík weather in December consists of many overcast and cloudy days, with some snow and rainfall. So, it’s fair to say you won’t see much sunlight. It rains for an average of 16 days during December in the Icelandic capital.
Reykjavík can be very windy during December due to its coastal location. The speed of these winds tends to increase at night, with the wind temperature also dropping to its lowest during the night hours.
How to Protect Yourself from the Cold in Iceland During December
You’ll need to wrap up warm to protect yourself from the chilly December weather in Iceland. We recommend planning your Iceland packing list to include several layers to keep yourself warm. Using layers is the best way to keep your body heat in, especially by using a thermal base layer. A thermal top and thermal leggings, covered with pants, a fleece top, and a jumper will serve you well.
A raincoat is a must to shield yourself from the often wet Iceland weather in December. If possible, bring a puffy coat that’s windproof and waterproof. You can also layer your coats by bringing one thick puffy coat for warmth and one windproof raincoat for an outer protective layer. Don’t forget your hat, gloves, and scarf as well!
Enjoy the Winter Wonderland of Iceland During December!
If you’ve always dreamed of a snowy Christmas getaway, Iceland during December is just the place for you. Traverse glaciers, explore ice caves, and experience the magical Northern Lights during your trip to the Land of Ice and Fire in December. Get ahead with planning your ultimate winter road trip by reserving your campervan in Iceland ready for the adventure of a lifetime!