The best time to travel to Iceland

Travel to Iceland guide

The best time to travel to Iceland

It is difficult to say the best time to travel to Iceland, as it depends on many factors. What are you interested in seeing, the budget, the weather, the comfort, etc. We already told you that there is no perfect season, we went in summer but we still have pending, for example, the northern lights and the ice caves! Below we analyze all the issues in detail, hopefully, it will help you.

The Weather In Iceland

In Iceland it is not as cold as you might think, it is not the north pole! Well, let’s refine it better. Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, average temperatures are higher than in other parts of the world at a similar latitude. This oceanic subpolar climate causes cool, short summers and relatively mild winters.

It is also true that there are variations depending on the area of ​​the island. In the south, slightly warmer temperatures are recorded, but with the disadvantage that the wind is usually notable. In the interior, the highlands of Iceland is the coldest area of ​​all, so hardly anyone lives.

You will hardly get rid of the strong storms, it is something common in all seasons. Suddenly the Sun turns into rain and a hurricane wind, and vice versa. To check the weather with maximum precision, we recommend the a website, which also tells you the weather alerts and the probability of seeing the northern lights at night.

Below we leave you all the information so that you can judge and analyze for yourself the temperature and rainfall of the island each month. Surely, like us, it helps you to determine the best time to travel to Iceland. However, don’t let something stop you that a good raincoat can combat!

Hours Of Sun In Iceland

Travel to Iceland tips

The latitude in which this country is located causes incredible solar instability. We went from only 4 hours of sunshine in winter in Iceland to 21 hours in summer! Depending on the time you go, can determine your trip a lot. In the following table, you can analyze when the Sun rises or sets in Reykjavik.

By the way, for photography lovers, the best time to travel to Iceland is in summer, basically because of the incredible light that this place offers. You can also enjoy the brutal Midnight Sun that occurs between June and July. If you are looking to photograph the Northern Lights, obviously summer is not for you!

4 Seasons

We are going to briefly describe how your getaway will be more or less if you have already decided when you want to go to Iceland, that is, the dates.

Iceland in summer

It is considered to start at the beginning of June and end at the end of August. It is the most chosen time to travel to Iceland, and consequently, the most expensive in terms of tourist prices.

This period allows you to get to know and enjoy the island as much as possible in a short period of time, that is, it has many pros and a few cons.

If you have not visited this country before, we believe that summer is the best time to travel to Iceland, especially the month of June because the Midnight Sun has to be unique in life! Another highly recommended time is at the end of August and the beginning of September, just like we did.

Iceland in autumn

It is a short season that only lasts in September and October. You can get to see the northern lights but, on the other hand, they are months of a lot of rain and wind. The temperature also drops rapidly as the days go by.

We believe that September is much more worthwhile than October, especially the first fortnight because the temperature is still pleasant, you can see snow perfectly, and if you are very, very, very lucky, the Northern Lights. Tourism is considerably lower compared to summer and you have a few hours of sunshine left to take advantage of.

Iceland in winter

The month of November is already considered winter in Iceland, and it ends in the month of March. This is determined by both the few hours of sunshine and the low temperature. December 21 is the shortest day of the year with barely four hours of daylight.

Your main concern will be the snow. If you have not previously driven on snowy roads, this may not be the best time to travel to Iceland. Although the roads are prepared, especially the main one, the Ring Road, you will need a 4×4 and chains, which increases the price of renting your vehicle on the trip.

Iceland in winter is characterized by high chances of seeing the Northern Lights and excursions to ice caves and glaciers. Another very favorable point is the number of tourists since they decrease considerably.

Iceland in spring

Spring, like autumn, is classified as a short season that lasts only the months of April and May.

You can enjoy the return of migratory birds to the island, such as puffins, the maximum splendor of the waterfalls due to the melting of ice, and the flowering of nature in general!

Honestly, we think that the month of May is one of the best times to travel to Iceland because there are few tourists, there are already direct flights from Spain, we have more than 16 hours of daylight, excursions to glaciers and driving through the roads are not difficult at all.

What Is The Best Time To Travel To Iceland? (FAQ)

Let’s hope that when you’re reading this you don’t have 100% defined when you want to go to Iceland, since as we have said, it is a country that varies extremely according to the season and will greatly determine your trip.

We have thought of writing down the main factors that we believe any adventurer who wants to visit this island considers. Hopefully, it will help you determine what is the best time to travel to Iceland for you, if not, leave us a comment and we will try to answer your questions.

Tour the highlands

You may want to venture further into Iceland and discover, for example, Landmannalaugar, as the Highlands are only open to the public from June to September. Remember that it is also necessary to rent a 4×4 to travel these unpaved roads. Honestly, for us, it was the best of the trip.

The incredible midnight sun

A unique phenomenon for which it is almost worth going to Iceland expressly. We also have it noted as pending! The Midnight Sun occurs between the end of June and the beginning of July when it is completely dark throughout the day. The lighting at 00 in the “night” has to be absolutely spectacular.

Thermal baths (Blue Lagoon)

There is no best time to travel to Iceland and bathe in hot springs or in the Blue Lagoon, basically because they are always open and the water remains at the same temperature because it is geothermal, it comes from inside the Earth. However, due to the thermal contrast and climatic stability, summer may be better.

number of tourists

When to go to Iceland with few tourists, a very common question, since it is a country that is in fashion and has become very crowded in recent years. The high season is in summer, especially June, July, and August. Our recommendation to “not queue” is that you go in September or May. And if you prefer winter you will still have fewer problems!

Enjoy the waterfalls and craters

The period of maximum splendor to enjoy the waterfalls is in spring, when the ice melts and increases the flow of the rivers and, therefore, the waterfalls. Likewise, don’t worry because they are all “in operation” every month of the year, even in winter, which must be spectacular to see surrounded by snow and ice.

The most famous craters close to the Ring Road, such as Kerid, Krafla, or Hverfjall, are accessible throughout the year unless a huge storm prevents it. We were able to see Krafla Crater with snow in September and we are still freaking out!

whale watching

First of all, we warn you that it is an experience that you must be very sure of if you want to do it. According to experts, the best time to travel to Iceland and see whales in the north of the island is in summer, especially in June and July. The rest of the year there are also tours but the odds are very low and the sea can be rough!

Conclusions – When To Go To Iceland

You will have noticed the month that we have constantly repeated in the analysis to know what is the best time to travel to Iceland, September. We think that the first fortnight is the ideal time because we can enjoy all the factors that we have previously mentioned except the northern lights and the ice caves.

Tourism begins to drop, as does the price, and we do not find crowds either. The temperature and climate in Iceland are still quite bearable and you may even have the pleasant surprise that one day it snows as it did for us.

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