It stands to reason, really. It lies just south of the Arctic Circle and winters see it blanketed in snow. The interior is famous for it’s mountains and volcanoes. It's actually called 'Iceland' for heaven's sake - surely it has ski resorts? Well, of course it does.
We count ten permanent ski fields across the island. However, after some extensive on-the-slopes research, Different Snow have decided to only hone in on those which we feel can justify the trip and therefore we are very much focused on a region in Northern Iceland, around the country’s lesser-known second city – Akureyri. It is an area of dramatic coastal landscapes with a distinct local culture and flavour. Up here on the Troll Peninsula you’ll find the best skiing in Iceland.
Reykjavik serves to be a wonderful stop over en route, which we’ll happily arrange. Indeed, a winter holiday to Iceland should never be just about the skiing as there are snowmobile safaris, super-jeep excursions, whale watching, natural hot springs and the often-present northern lights dancing above. Not your average ski holiday!
Language will never be a problem and a genuine and utterly sincerely welcome is assured. The other good news (for us!) is that following the global economic crisis and the banking crash, Iceland is no longer eye-wateringly expensive.
Being so far north, the ski season can extend from Mid-November through until May - that’s right, the snow conditions remain favourable well into Spring. With a gun put to our head, we’d zero in on February and March as the months with the best conditions. But you could and should consider Northern Iceland for a full six months of the year.
Different Snow feature the mountainous region in Northern Iceland surrounding Eyjafjördur Fjord. This is where you’ll find the Troll Peninsula and the best skiing in Iceland. There are five ski-pass linked floodlit ski resorts up here, and whether you are a nervous novice or gnarly Pepsi-Max type extreme adventurer, we’ll be able to create a tailor-made itinerary to suit.
Each of the ski fields is accessible from Akureyri - Iceland’s second city. This is how it works; we base you in town, organise a single lift pass which covers the region, take care of any other services you may need (ski hire, lessons, backcountry guides…etc), book excursions if you so desire (whale-watching, hot springs...etc) and then provide you with a hire car and all the information you need to explore – all the while under the care of our local partners. Life rarely gets much better for a (fellow) ski nut!
Each of the different ski fields enjoys its own niche in the region’s magnificent landscape. Some are larger than others (indeed, some are just a single ropeway), some only open in afternoons during the mid-week and none are terribly sophisticated. It’s largely what you make of it.
There are boundless opportunities for backcountry skiing on the Troll Peninsula, this is also Iceland’s centre for ski touring, cat-skiing and heli-skiing operations. Fresh tracks are easily found throughout the season. Also, this being Scandinavia, well prepared cross-country trails can be found leading….everywhere.
There are also a handful of ski fields near Reykjavik and over in the extreme East of the country, though we eschew these in favour of the North.
Tap on the resorts below to find out more:
The only route in or out of Iceland is through Keflavík International Airport, which is 25-miles west of the capital Reykjavík. As is always the case, airfares depend on demand and demand depends on season - the summer is expensive. However, prices drop for the ‘low season’ - i.e. November to Easter (excluding Christmas and New Year). Yay!
The cheapest deals from the UK tend to be with either Icelandair, who fly from London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow, or with wonderfully named Icelandic-owned ‘WOW’, who have daily flights from Gatwick. Then you’ve got the Squeezy Jet option, who have a service from Gatwick, Luton, Manchester, Bristol, Belfast and Edinburgh. British Airways fly thrice weekly from Heathrow.