So when is the best time to travel to Iceland?
- If you want to avoid crowds, it might be best to plan your trip during Spring or Winter so that you get a chance to fully embrace Iceland in its most serene state. The weather is also at its coldest and most temperamental which makes driving more difficult if the roads are icy. Be aware though that Winter has limited hours of daylight, it does not take away from the experience overall.
- If you're not too concerned about how busy it gets or the seasonal operations then any season would do just fine! Autumn and Summer have the advantage of more daylight hours to enjoy the country, but have trended to be the countries peak seasons for tourism. So although this is not a tropical island, it does attract more tourists during the warmer weather. There are many fantastic things to do in Iceland all year; however, there are pros and cons for each season, that offer a wide range of activities for everyone to enjoy! Having these four drastically different seasons, Iceland's weather, like other destinations, fluctuates regularly, and there are various factors to consider when determining the ideal time to visit. So be comfortable in what your physical limitations are. Icelanders recommend that you should go when something piques your attention the strongest and do your research ahead so you are not caught by surprise on your arrival.
December * January * February * March
Iceland is well-known for its spectacular natural scenery. There's no better time to explore this region than in the long winter, regardless of the limited daylight. This time of the year is an excellent time to visit if you want to see the land in a less-visited state. Instead of worrying about getting sunburn on your holiday, winter in Iceland is a period of uninterrupted activities and events to enjoy. You can travel on snowy roads and stay in a comfortable lodgings surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
December and January are ideal months to go hiking or snowmobiling with friends or family members for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Other winter activities include ice caving, glacier snowmobiling (February-April), ice hotel visits (December-March), or if you happen to love fishing, then ice-fishing might be your activity of choice! Some simply choose touring Reykjavik, Iceland's capital city to visit museums, watch movies, go shopping for survival gear, etc. The best way to brave winter conditions is having proper clothing and food with you at all times! Historically, around this period, travelers desire to witness the majesty of the Aurora Borealis in person. Between September-April, the Northern Lights can be seen, with this natural phenomena is visible practically every night during this time period, making venturing out at night much easier because you don't have to wait until it's completely dark to see them. Because the weather is unpredictable, this provides for a thrilling adventure. Immersing yourself in Icelandic culture by attending the exciting holiday celebrations of Christmas and New Year's Eve is like no other experience. You will be able to witness dramatic displays such as the national fireworks competition between townships on New Year's Eve, as well as festivals hosted by various groups where you may sample traditional Nordic delicacies while listening to live folk music.
April * May
Icelanders love the spring season as the weather is sunnier and warmer. The days are longer which means more time for outdoor activities such as fishing, camping and hiking.
This makes Iceland a perfect destination for a holiday in Spring with explorations of the country's natural wonders being most rewarding during this time of year. The days are getting longer: during this time, the sun rises at 8am and sets after 11pm. This is due to the sun being at its lowest latitude as it round the equator. There are around 5 hours of daylight each day, making this season ideal for exploring Iceland's scenic highways and mountain roads. A nice bonus is that the country's natural attractions often come alive in bright green colors. Lighthouses, geysers, glaciers - all these unique treasures can be seen at their best when visited around this period. There is also less rainfall than usual, making this season excellent for exploring Iceland's breathtaking highways and mountain roads.
Spring in Iceland is an excellent time to go hiking, see the country's pristine landscapes, see some of the year's firsts, eat wonderful seasonal berries, and drink natural spring water right from the ground. Lots of green: now that the early snowfall has melted, lush vegetation can be seen sprouting up across the countryside, and trees are beginning to bud their leaves out again. Blueberries, raspberries, rhubarb, and gooseberry bushes, among other native species, are patiently awaiting harvest!
If you plan to go whale watching, then November- April is the time of year when whales come into the coasts of Iceland to give birth and raise their babies! It is also one of the most popular times for whale watching with about 900 hump whales living in its waters. Whale watching tours are available all over the country but the largest number depart from the capital Reykjavik.
After spending time in Iceland during Spring, it is likely that you will soon be planning your next trip back to this thrilling destination!
SUMMER June * July * August
As the days get longer and warmer, many travelers plan for a trip to Iceland during the summer months. The sunny weather and extended daylight hours can be especially rewarding if you are attracted to beautiful nature and stunning geological phenomena such as glaciers, volcanoes and waterfalls. It's also when Icelanders enjoy their short break from work and become tourists themselves, making it a little more crowded for visitors. Summer in Iceland is not only warm but sometimes hot . Though it doesn't actually rain that much – on average about 58 days a year – it can be fairly windy, so remember to bring windproof clothing! In summer you will see vast areas of beautiful golden or bright green plains as well as large areas of black lava rock with fresh green moss growing on them - they look almost surreal. The country has wild, untamed nature that provides endless possibilities for outdoor activities in gorgeous natural areas with glaciers, geysers, mountains, black sand beaches and more. Not only that but it is incomparably beautiful everywhere you look; the whole landscape feels like an open air museum without any buildings or roads disrupting its harmony! The nature in Iceland is most beautiful during summertime which makes traveling during this time very rewarding! June-August offers these experiences of hiking across glaciers, snorkeling between tectonic plates, soaking in Icelandic hot springs, paddling a kayak among icebergs or walking between craters. Celebrations in the summertime include the Midnight Sun - June 22nd is the first day that Iceland has 18 hours of daylight and that continues through July where this time period lasts until Aug 19th . It starts getting darker again on Aug 20th , but the days are still long. This is a great time to visit Reykjavík as well since it's light all night and you can see the sky full of stars! Summer Solstice - When the sun never sets during summer, Icelanders tend to celebrate this day quite a bit. It falls on either June 21st or 22nd every year when we get more than 24 hours of daylight . Whether you're in Reykjavik for the celebrations or want to spend your summer solstice elsewhere in Iceland, you will not be disappointed by how much sunlight there is that day!
August * September * October * November
This is perhaps Iceland's most popular time for tourists, but it is also the country's peak season as well as the time when visitors seem to be more abundant around accommodations and restaurants. In the autumn, the leaves begin to fade from vibrant green into blazing yellow and spectacular shades of red and orange. The landscape of Iceland is illuminated with this color palette. The lakes and rivers reflect the golden-reddish color of the trees and mountains and they create a really pretty contrast to the evergreen vegetation all over Iceland.
The weather can also be quite comfortable: it's not too cold or too hot during these months, making it an optimal time for hiking, horseback riding, and kayaking. Autumn has historically been the best time of year for travelling to Iceland, due to its steady weather conditions. This also includes the chance to see the Northern Lights over Iceland at their prime level since bright nights happen around this time of year too. This will be visible on most clear nights between September and March.
If planning your trip around specific events or for certain activities then obviously these dates need consideration on how travelers want to spend their time on this magical island.