Greetings, fellow travellers in Iceland!
Here are some recommendations for you when visiting Iceland during February.
Iceland is still, in all likelihood, very cold this time of year. A wool sweater, a thermal down jacket, warm mittens, nice scarf, wool hat – the works. Boots that can brave snow, sleet and rain are also advised.
From late January to late February, Iceland celebrates a month called Thorri, from the ancient Icelandic calendar. Quite a few Icelanders take the opportunity to feast on traditional fare, viking style, that is likely to make the stomach of foreign visitors churn. While you can taste these foods at your own peril, you can still raise a glass of Brennivín, the famous local liqueur, to your host’s health by saying “Skál!” [scowl]. They will love you for that. Really.
In the perpetual twilight of Icelandic winter, things can take on an eerie vibe. This makes downtown Reykjavík a truly entertaining walkabout (don’t worry, it’s a safe little city to walk around). One spot that benefits greatly from the dimly lit days of February is the Einar Jónsson Museum Sculpture Garden, right next to the iconic Hallgrímskirkja cathedral. The museum house itself is pure design porn for architecture enthusiasts (it was the artist’s home during his lifetime) but walking around in the sculpture garden is the truly fun bit. Entry is free.
A way to fend off the darkness is to inspect the local music scene and the best place to pick up a CD or an LP is the 12 tónar record store in Skólavörðustígur shopping street. Top notch selection in beautiful old two storey house with knowledgeable staff to boot. Browse, inquire, have a listen and then pick something nice to take along.
Film enthusiasts should definitely check out the annual Stockfish Film Festival, a small non-profit festival event that places independent and arthouse films from around world under the spotlight, offering Q&A sessions with international filmmakers and more.
For barflies and booze aficionados alike, the annual Reykjavík Bar Summit in February is a festival of mixology, revolving around plenty of masterful cocktails in more the 30 downtown bars and a bartender competition.