If you want to enjoy the Northern Lights, September-November is the time for you. It is also the best time to see whales as they make their way through Iceland’s cold waters.
The ideal time when to visit Iceland depends on what you want to do & see and how crowd-tolerant you are. Let’s take a look at the different seasons in more detail:
Summer is the peak season when you’ll find long days to explore Iceland’s waterfalls, epic drives, hot springs, and more. It’s also the best time to visit Iceland for northern lights spotting as there is less light pollution.
For those who avoid crowds, consider visiting before school vacations start in early July. The weather is warm and sunny, with fewer tourists than later in the month.
The fall months of May, September, and October offer mild temperatures and less tourism than the high season. They’re also ideal for those who want to avoid the winter cold but enjoy all Iceland offers.
In mid-winter, daylight is scarce (around four hours), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a trip to Iceland! The country offers a magical experience for visitors who love to see snowy landscapes and the dancing northern lights.
Iceland’s Ring Road is a trip you can do year-round, but we recommend planning it during the summer or shoulder seasons for more comfort and better road conditions. Driving the full route takes around a week, so give yourself plenty of time, and don’t rush!
While Iceland’s iconic landscape of ethereal glaciers and rugged fjords is open year-round, many activities are best enjoyed at specific times. Some attractions, like hot springs and the Northern Lights, are more spectacular at certain times, while other natural phenomena have a peak season.
As winter approaches, the days grow shorter, and snow blankets the landscape. The cold temperatures and icy conditions bring an extra element of excitement for skiers and snowboarders. It is a good time for winter sports, with events and festivals held during Easter and Ski Week in Isafjordur. It’s also the time of year when migratory birds return, and nature begins to come back to life as the irresistible puffins begin nesting from late April through August.
The shoulder seasons of May, September, and October offer an ideal combination of mild weather, fewer crowds, and interesting activities. Bird watching is at its prime from mid-May to early June, and whale-watching tours operate from May through September.
Choosing the perfect time to visit Iceland is all about what you want out of your trip and how much flexibility you have with your schedule. Most travellers are found in July and August, so it’s a popular time to see some of the country’s top attractions. However, it’s also when the prices are at their peak.
In spring, the snow melts, and the beautiful landscape of Iceland comes to life. You can still experience the incredible Northern Lights and see baby puffins returning to their nests.
However, you should be prepared for all conditions despite the warmer weather. Like any other season, the weather can change quickly in Iceland. It can rain or snow on the same day. A light jacket and a pair of good hiking shoes are essential.
Unlike summer, it is less crowded during the spring, and you can get the most out of your time there. You can also find cheaper accommodations, tours, car rentals, and flights.
During this season, it is recommended to visit popular attractions, such as Jökulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. It is also the best time for those who want to go hiking and experience some of the more remote trails in Skaftafell National Park.
However, driving on F-Roads in Iceland during the spring is not recommended, as they might be closed due to snow. In addition, you won’t be able to do some winter-only activities, such as visiting the Highlands and exploring the Ice Caves. So, if you plan on doing those things, choose another season.
Iceland’s off-season is from May through October, and the shoulder season extends into April and September. During this time, you’ll find fewer crowds and can enjoy activities such as whale watching or northern lights hunting.
Iceland is a beautiful place to visit year-round, but each season brings unique charms. Spring and fall are milder and greener, with a good chance of seeing puffins or other arctic birds. The Northern Lights are also a sight to behold, and the longer daylight hours are perfect for photography.
The summer months of July and August offer the best weather but are the peak of the high season. If you’re willing to brave the crowds and high prices, summer is a great time to see the highlights of Iceland.
The shoulder season of May through September offers less crowds and lower prices. However, you’ll still need to pack various clothing for the varied conditions Iceland can offer during this time. The Northern Lights are more visible this time of year, and the sultry, warm weather can be invigorating. You can also make the most of Iceland’s famous hot springs during this time, including Reykjavik’s public pools and hundreds of secret “hot pot” spots that tap directly into the island’s geothermal energy.