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Best Time to Visit Iceland

When is the Best Time to Visit Iceland?

Kristen
by Kristen Gilbert

January 04, 2017

3 minute read

When is the best time to visit Iceland? The short answer is that there is no “best time.” No matter what time of year it is, there’s always something fantastic happening there, it all depends on what kind of adventure you’re looking for!

What to expect and when

NorthernLights Thingvellir Iceland

December to February are the coldest months when temperatures can reach as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 Celsius). There’s no need to avoid traveling, but make sure you bring enough thermal layers to keep you warm.

The Northern Lights are particularly strong around the equinoxes, making February to March and September to October the best times to see them, although they are also visible from September to April.

Late November through December and January are very dark times, which is great for those who want to see the Northern Lights, but not a good time for photographers and nature explorers.

The months of June and July, however, are the perfect time for photographers and outdoor adventurers to visit since the weather is warm (in Iceland that means around 57 degrees Fahrenheit, 13 degrees Celsius) and the sun is out at this time. Be aware that this is the time when Iceland experiences midnight sun, so expect to have a hard time sleeping for a day or two until you adjust.

Orca whale watchers will want to visit in February and March to go on a whale watching boat tour.

Springtime Superlatives

Djupalonssandur Beach Iceland

Springtime in Iceland is pretty great. The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and the summer time crowds and price hikes have not yet arrived. The roads that may not have been passable in the winter will be open for the most part, but keep in mind you’ll still need a 4x4 to get around.

Summertime Sights to See

SkogafossIceland

Long summer days, midnight sun, nicer weather and beautiful lush green scenery are among the big benefits of visiting Iceland in summer. The downside is that it’s also tourist season and that means higher prices and lots more people. If that doesn’t bother you, summer is a lovely time to visit.

Autumn Attractions

Skogafoss Iceland

Iceland is absolutely breathtaking in the fall. The light is golden and the trees change color. It’s got all the coziness you’re looking for at this time of year. The weather can be particularly stormy and unpredictable at this time of year, so pay attention to weather advisories before heading out on a nature trek.

Winter Wonders

NorthernLightsIceland

If you love the quiet beauty of a blanket of fresh snow, then Iceland in winter is for you! It’s pretty cold, but the beautiful light from both the sunrise and sunset bouncing off the snow as well as the northern lights more than make up for that. Dress for the weather and you’ll be just fine.

It’s often said that you can experience all four seasons in a single day in Iceland, so no matter what time of year you choose to go, be sure you’re prepared with lots of layers and gear to protect you from whatever mother nature throws your way in this glorious place.

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