The best ski areas of Iceland

A sunny day in Oddskard ski area in the East of Iceland. PIC Denpo

A sunny day in Oddskard ski area in the East of Iceland. PIC Denpo

It might come as a surprise for a country known for snow and ice that there is really not much to choose from in Iceland for avid skiers. There are the occasional trips for the rich and famous whisked to remote mountains by helicopters but for us simple people we will have to make do with lesser options.

Should you bring ski or board equipment with you to Iceland you will almost without a doubt have to take another flight to find areas here with loads of snow and open lifts. There is a very decent ski area in Blafjoll mountains close to Reykjavik area but these last years this place has not been open too often. In some years even just one month over winter due to lack of snow.

Lack of snow and harsh winter weather makes skiing here quite the challenge

Same goes for another nice ski area in Skalafell mountain which is on the way to Thingvellir National Park. Here the problem has been lack of snow and lack of funds. The only lift is only operational once in awhile.

If these two are closed you will have to take flight to Isafjordur, Akureyri, Saudarkrokur or Eskifjordur to find enough snow, open lifts and nice slopes. The largest of those in Hlidarfjall close to Akureyri in the North. This is very popular and sometimes crowded but very nice slopes with fine views and good service. Not too far away in the village of Dalvik is also a small but decent ski area in a mountain called Boggvistadafjall. Yeah, try saying that out loud.

Another option in the North is to visit the town of Saudarkrok. Close by you will find Tindastol mountain with fine slopes and seldom very crowded.

Probably the second most popular ski area in Iceland might be Tungudalur near Isafjordur town in the Westfjords of Iceland. Here you will find three lifts operating and the slopes of high quality. Nearby Seljalandsdalur area is great for country-skiiing.

Your last good option in Iceland is the Oddskard in the East. This place offers fine views over the fjords of the East and the slopes are very good. There is also a tiny ski area, Stafdalur, near Seydisfjordur village.

The best time for a ski visit would be January or February when there is very good chance of enough snow in most of these places. In good years one is able to ski until well after Easter.

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