What's the best time to visit Iceland?

The Best Time to Visit Iceland

Planning a trip to Iceland is an exciting endeavor, but choosing the right time to visit can significantly impact your experience. Whether you're drawn by the allure of the Northern Lights, the enchanting Midnight Sun, or the captivating landscapes, Iceland offers a myriad of experiences year-round. After reading this you'll know the best month to visit Iceland if you want to experience hot springs, good weather, the winter lights, and all the best seasons for you to travel to Iceland. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the various seasons, weather conditions, and activities to help you decide on the perfect time for your Icelandic adventure. You can find amazing prices on high-rated flights and hotels to Iceland at Skyscanner.

Understanding Iceland's Seasons

Iceland's climate is characterized by its variability, influenced by its high latitude and proximity to the Arctic Circle. Understanding the distinct seasons will aid in determining the best time to visit. The best time to go to Iceland whether it's in winter or summer will be completely different. Summer is the best for weather and you can enjoy swimming pools and hot springs. Winter is the best time for the northern lights and many people travel to Iceland solely because they want to see the northern lights. Winter weather is much colder and winter nights and winter driving makes that very apparent.

Spring Months: March to May

As winter relinquishes its grip and nature awakens from its slumber, Iceland comes alive with the vibrant hues of spring.

Weather: During spring, Iceland experiences a transition from the cold of winter to the milder temperatures of summer. While temperatures may still be brisk, especially in the early months, signs of life begin to emerge as the landscape gradually transforms.

Daylight: As spring progresses, daylight hours increase, offering ample opportunities for exploration and adventure. While not as extensive as the endless daylight of summer, the lengthening days provide more time to discover Iceland's breathtaking landscapes.

Activities: Spring is a delightful time to witness Iceland's natural beauty in transition. From observing the cascading waterfalls flowing with renewed vigor to spotting migratory birds returning to their nesting grounds, there's a sense of renewal and rejuvenation in the air.

Highlights: Explore the stunning landscapes of the South Coast, where majestic waterfalls such as Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss await. Embark on a road trip along the famous Ring Road, stopping to marvel at volcanic landscapes, serene fjords, and charming coastal villages.

Summer Months: June to August

Weather: The summer months in Iceland, from June to August, boast the warmest temperatures of the year, with averages ranging from 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F). The weather is generally mild and conducive to outdoor activities.

Daylight: One of the most remarkable aspects of summer in Iceland is the Midnight Sun phenomenon. In June, the country experiences almost 24 hours of daylight, providing ample time for exploration and adventure.

Activities: Summer is prime time for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking in the highlands of Iceland to traversing the famous Golden Circle and Ring Road routes, the possibilities are endless. Additionally, this season is perfect for experiencing Iceland's vibrant culture through various festivals and events, including the renowned Iceland Airwaves music festival. Summer is best if you want to hike in Iceland or take tours in Iceland. You'll need to visit Reykjavik as it is the capital and largest city of Iceland and is best for exploring Icelandic culture. Summer is the peak season because the weather in Iceland is warmest and it's the best time to visit the many amazing waterfalls which are sights to see.

Highlights: Don't miss the chance to relax in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, embark on a whale-watching excursion from Reykjavík, or marvel at the stunning landscapes along the South Coast.

Fall Months: September to November

As summer fades into memory and the days grow shorter, Iceland's fall season paints the landscape with a tapestry of golden hues.

Weather: Fall in Iceland brings cooler temperatures and the occasional onset of rain and wind. However, the crisp air and vibrant colors of autumn foliage create a picturesque backdrop for exploration.

Daylight: With the approach of winter, daylight hours gradually diminish during the fall months. While the days may be shorter compared to summer, there's still ample time to discover Iceland's natural wonders and cultural treasures.

Activities: Fall offers a unique blend of experiences, from witnessing the mesmerizing dance of the Northern Lights to savoring the flavors of seasonal cuisine at local eateries. Outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and horseback riding are still enjoyable during this time. September or October is when you'll notice the weather to cool down and September is the best time to see all that Iceland has to offer before it gets too cold.

Highlights: Take a leisurely stroll through Reykjavík's charming streets, where cozy cafes, boutique shops, and cultural landmarks await. Explore the rugged beauty of the Icelandic highlands, where dramatic landscapes and hidden gems beckon adventurous souls.

Winter Months: November to February

Weather: Winter in Iceland is characterized by cold temperatures, often hovering around freezing or below. However, the weather conditions contribute to the magical atmosphere of the season. Visiting Iceland in winter the average temperature is freezing.

Daylight: Unlike the endless daylight of summer, winter days in Iceland are short, with only a few hours of daylight. This limited daylight offers a unique opportunity for witnessing the mesmerizing Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.

Activities: Winter presents a host of thrilling activities, including Northern Lights tours, ice cave explorations, and glacier hiking adventures. The tranquil beauty of Iceland's winter landscapes is truly captivating. Planning a trip to see the Aurora Borealis also known as the northern lights is an eye-opening experience. The natural Phenomena only happens during certain times of the year and winter is when you're most likely to see them occur.

Highlights: Delve into the mesmerizing world of ice caves and glacier lagoons, embark on a journey to the remote North Iceland for a chance to see the Northern Lights dancing across the sky, or soak in the warm waters of geothermal pools under the crisp winter skies.

Shoulder Months: May, September, and March

For those seeking a balance between favorable weather conditions and fewer crowds, the shoulder months of May, September, and March offer an ideal compromise.

Weather: During these months, Iceland experiences milder temperatures compared to the extremes of summer and winter. While weather conditions can still be unpredictable, there's a good chance of experiencing pleasant weather for outdoor activities.

Daylight: The daylight hours during the shoulder months provide ample time for exploration, although not as extensive as during the peak of summer.

Activities: Whether you're hiking in the Icelandic highlands, exploring the charming streets of Reykjavík, or embarking on tours to discover the country's natural wonders, the shoulder months offer a delightful mix of experiences.

Highlights: Take advantage of the quieter tourist season to immerse yourself in Iceland's breathtaking landscapes, visit iconic attractions like the Blue Lagoon, and perhaps catch a glimpse of puffins nesting along the coastline.

Planning Your Visit

When planning a trip to Iceland, several factors should be considered to ensure an unforgettable experience.

Interest and Preferences: Consider your interests and preferences when choosing the best time to visit. Whether you're fascinated by the Northern Lights, eager to explore Iceland's diverse landscapes, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, there's a perfect time for every traveler.

Weather Conditions: While Iceland's weather can be unpredictable, researching historical weather data and forecasts can help you prepare accordingly. Pack appropriate clothing and gear to stay comfortable regardless of the season.

Activity Availability: Certain activities and attractions may be seasonal, so be sure to check availability and plan your itinerary accordingly. Whether you're keen on whale watching, hiking, or immersing yourself in Iceland's rich cultural scene, there's something for everyone year-round.

Consider Crowds: Peak tourist seasons, such as summer, tend to draw larger crowds, while shoulder seasons offer a more tranquil experience. Determine your tolerance for crowds and plan accordingly.


In conclusion, there's no definitive answer to the question of the best time to visit Iceland, as it ultimately depends on your interests, preferences, and travel goals. Whether you're drawn to the ethereal beauty of the Northern Lights, the endless daylight of summer, or the serene landscapes of winter, Iceland offers a wealth of experiences year-round. By considering factors such as weather conditions, daylight hours, and activity availability, you can plan the perfect Icelandic adventure tailored to your preferences. So, pack your bags, prepare for adventure, and embark on an unforgettable journey to the land of fire and ice.