Christmas markets are known from the Late Middle Ages in the German-speaking part of Europe according to Wikipedia and traditionally take place during the four weeks of Advent. They are often held in the town square and offer food, drink and seasonal items in open-air stalls, sometimes with traditional singing and dancing. In Iceland, Christmas markets have been gaining ground in recent years around the country. We covered Christmas markets in Reykjavík and surroundings in another post. Below, we highlight the Xmas markets in the rest of Iceland.
Roughly 7 km from Egilsstaðir in East Iceland, the annual Christmas market called Jólakötturinn (Christmas Cat) takes place on 10 December from 11:00 to 16:00. The market offers Christmas trees and products from the forest, potential gifts, handcrafted items and Icelandic Christmas food.
At Skjólbrekka by Lake Mývatn, there is an annual Christmas market on 3 December from 12 to 17 o’clock with handcrafted items and food from North Iceland, such as smoked meat, ice cream and decorations. The local women’s club will be selling coffee and waffles. On the same day from 11 to 14, the Yule Lads will visit Dimmuborgir and the annual Yule Lads bath will take place in Mývatn Nature Baths at 16:00.
The Red Cross in Selfoss hosts a Christmas market on 3 December from 12 to 16 at Eyravegur 23. There will be waffles and hot cocoa and a tombola.
On 3 December, there is also a market in Flúðir (47 km from Selfoss) with music, crafts, cocoa and waffles.
In the community centre of Hrunamannahreppur, there is a market on 3 December from 14 to 16 with waffles, cocoa and live performance with Christmas songs.
Iceland’s main airport in Keflavík is in this region and the municipality of Reykjanesbær is hosting its annual Advent Garden (Aðventugarðurinn) this year, starting on 3 December at 13:00 with Advent walk until 14:00. The Yule Lads will greet attendees between 14:00 to 15:30 and light the Christmas tree at 14:30, followed by theatre acts from Keflavík Theatre Company (Leikfélag Keflavíkur), showing an act from Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter (in Icelandic). The agenda on stage will start with the local brass band from 14:00 to 14:30 and the aforementioned Ronia will take the stage at 16:00. On Sunday, 4 December, the Yule Lads will show up again between 14 and 15:30 and their mother Grýla will be there from 15:00 to 16:00. She is an ugly troll lady from the mountains (but do not tell her that we described her like that). On stage, there will be a band (Kósýbandið, which would translate to The Cozy Band) playing at 17:00. The Advent Garden will be open from 14 to 18 on Saturdays and Sundays in December and on 23 December from 18:00 to 21:00. Here you can also find Christmas huts (booths) with various Christmas items for sale.
Kjósarhreppur is only 16 km from Reykjavík and has a market on 3 December from 12 to 16 where people can cut their own Christmas tree by Fossá from 11 to 15. Smoked lamb, beef and beautiful crafts will be on offer.
Akranes holds a traditional Christmas market in the town square on Kirkjubraut 4 which will be open on December 10th to 11th and 17th and 18th from 13:00 to 18:00. It will also be open on 23 December from 13 to 22. If the weather is not favourable, this market has the advantage of being indoors in spacious business premises.
In Hvanneyri close to Borgarnes in West Iceland, a Christmas market takes place on 11 December from 14 to 17, where the women’s club sells cakes and there will be booths for handicrafts and regional food products. The geothermal spa Krauma is close by as well if you want to relax before or after the market.
Are you staying in Iceland for the holidays? Take a look at some popular tours for Christmas and New Year.