Iceland has several volcanoes, waterfalls, and geysers that form the Golden Circle. To guarantee the best time, visit during months that have: extended days, reduced crowds, and good weather.
So what is the best time to visit Iceland? The best time to visit Iceland is in May and the last two weeks of June and September. Fewer crowds guarantee the perfect view and good weather ensures passable roads.
Planning a vacation? Looking for an adventure? Here are 101 crazy things to do before you die.
- Best Time To See The Northern Lights
- Best Time For Whale Watching
- Best Time To Experience The Blue Lagoon
- Best Time To Save Money WIth Travel Deals
- Best Time To Avoid Crowds
- Iceland’s Three Travel Seasons
- Iceland Weather Month By Month
- Most Popular Events in Iceland
Best Time To See The Northern Lights
The best time to visit Iceland to see the Northern Lights is during October and November. The dark and cold nights in these months guarantee the view of the Northern Lights.
Aurora Borealis brings in a lot of cash to Iceland. It is also known as the Northern lights. It is a magnificent sight to delight. One can easily view the Northern lights while in Iceland. Iceland’s insignificant population, coupled with the significant gaps that exist between cities, make this possible.
Tourists flock to the town during late September. A unique darkness forms during this time. Precipitation also destroys the sweet view of the Northern lights. It’s no wonder that visitors come when cold weather is at its prime. Cold weather results in clear nights, avoid warm nights if you genuinely want to see this beauty.
Best Time For Whale Watching
Tourists fly there to see the whales between April and October. Peak sales happen during the summer period. In short, tourists flock from June to August. Whale watching occurs in these islands: Dalvik, Reykjavic, Husavic Akureyri and, Vestmannaeyjar.
Even if you visit during the winter, you can still view whales. Whale watching only happens at Grundarfjordur (which sits on the Snaefellsness Peninsula) during the winter period.
Best Time To Experience The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon attracts visitors from both neighboring and far away countries throughout the year. However, most sales occur from May to September. Sales figures peak in July and August.
Sales go down during the months of winter, especially during December. Here, different days come with various features. Tuesdays and Wednesdays excel at having the fewest number of people.
Note that the time of day that you choose to make your visit also matters. Many people prefer making the trip from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hence that’s the peak period of the day.
You can try visiting the Lagoon from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. as the crowd has reduced. The Lagoon closes at 10 p.m. Confirm with the Lagoons management as their closing hours’ change according to the time of the year.
Best Time To Save Money WIth Travel Deals
Those on a budget can travel in winter. During this time, both fare and accommodation charges are discounted. They then peak when the Christmas and New Year holidays approach. These prices also rise in the summer when services are stretched.
If you want good weather and reduced costs, then fly to Iceland in the shoulder period. The shoulder period occurs from September up to the second week of October.
Best Time To Avoid Crowds
No one likes crowded places. Avoid the high season altogether. I mean don’t travel to Iceland from the 2nd week of June to August. Visit in April and May. Records show that these months have reduced visitors. Another advantage of these months is that they have extended days and good weather.
Iceland’s Three Travel Seasons
The high season has characters such as astronomical prices, good weather, full sites, and fully booked accommodations.
The high season takes place during summer. It’s most active from the 2nd week of June to August. During this period, we have extended lengths of days than nights.
I mean to say that the sun doesn’t disappear during this time. The advantage is that tourists get to experience all the activities outside in the night.
The shoulder season occurs for a short while. It happens from the 2nd week of May up to the 2nd week of June. It also arises from September to the 2nd week of October.
Some of its characteristics include liquefying snow, reduced prices, availability of accommodation, and reduced tourists. These especially happen in late spring.
Other characteristics include cold temperatures that come accompanied by bright light. The trees also reflect light in different colors. These especially happen in early autumn.
Note that it’s in your best interest to arrive late when the fall is almost over. You’ll get to view the famous Northern Lights.
The low season in Iceland features nightlife activities, hot springs, and icy adventures. Over the years, individuals visiting during this time has increased.
On the bright side, low prices and fewer crowds still exist. Surprisingly, it’s not very cold, but there is darkness on all days. Daylight only covers a time shorter than six hours.
Only significant roads function during this time. The other streets won’t work; hence, most sites would be under lock.
Iceland Weather Month By Month
Many Icelanders hate this month due to the cold weather experienced. Instruments record 2˚C as the average high during this month. If you think this is terrible, then look at the average low. It stands at -3˚C.
The temperature experienced can be compared to that of New York. However, it’s a little bit milder than what you may think. The winds flowing through Iceland regularly get to gale level.
You don’t want this situation to find you unprepared. Get that heavy coat and sweater to help you fight the terrible cold.
Rain occurs recurrently during this month, especially near the island of Reykjavik. Low temperatures create a pleasant environment for the snow to pop up.
The hours of daytime last for a short period compared to those of night. Icelanders get 4 hours of sunlight each day. The sun rises at 11:19 a.m. and sets at 1544 hours.
However, when we approach the last week of January, things change. Here, Icelanders get about 7 hours of sunlight. In short, the sun rises at 10:10 a.m. and sets at 1712 hours. Note that the average precipitation stands at 55mm.
The first two months in Iceland look like identical twins. The weather experienced in the two months is almost the same. February stands out because it has more daylight hours than its brother January.
When you approach the final week of February, you’ll have 10 hours of daylight. In short, the sun rises at 8:38 a.m. and sets at 6:43 p.m. The precipitation experienced also lowers from 50 mm to 40 mm. It falls to the ground as either snow or rain.
It’s during this month that gardens can be visible. The snow covering the streets fade away, making them visible. A temperature of above 0˚C on almost every day makes this possible.
The roads and routes that previously seemed impassable start to function. Most attractions and sites also open their gates to tourists.
I repeat, this is an excellent time to visit Iceland as fewer crowds’ tour during this time. Dress appropriately. The right clothes keep you warm and guarantee the time of your life.
The temperatures in February compared to those experienced in the northern areas of the state.
Put a smile on that face as March means more sunlight. When the month ends, the hours of day exceed those of darkness. In short, by the end of March, we experience almost 14 hours of the day. A difference of approximately 4 hours exists from the previous month.
However, there’s still no significant change in temperature. Precipitation rates still stand at 40˚C. In short, if someone doesn’t open up his/her eyes, he/she may think that it’s still winter.
The number of days that it rains match those in which there’s sunlight. However, Reykjavik doesn’t follow this principle. One can still view snow precipitates hover around the mountains that surround the city.
Most roads and routes outside the city still have snow. Only powerful machines with impressive engines can move on these roads.
April sits in the hearts of Icelanders. The month marks the beginning of summer. The weather experienced this month doesn’t fit the beach weather description. Therefore, you cannot tag this month as the official summer month.
April has a mean high of almost 6˚C while its mean low temperature stands at 0˚C. The precipitation levels this month rise to 20mm. The precipitation falls to the ground like snow or rain. However, it comes in the form of showers regularly.
The hours that make up a day exceed those that make a night. A full day can last up to approximately 17 hours. The aside figures mark a considerable gain from the previous values. The sun wakes up at 6:46 a.m. and goes down at 8:19 p.m. to get these figures.
It’s wise to stay ahead of things. Fly into the green country with waterproof footwear. If you do this, the weather can’t get in your way. Have fun.
May beats all the other months to the best time to visit Iceland position. Some of its deluxe features include days that go for 20 plus hours, friendly prices and a few tourists.
However, the temperature can be a little frosty. The month has a mean high of 9˚C. In short, one can view the sun on most days. The probability of seeing rain lowers as the month goes on. Numbers don’t lie. The figures stand at 0.36 at the start and 0.29 at the end of the month.
No one can predict whether it pours or not in Iceland. The weather in that country can change at any given time. It’s a wise decision to be ready for anything.
The mean precipitation this month stands at 40 mm.
No month on the calendar can topple June for the long day award in Iceland. In this month, the sun can be seen at 2:42 hours and disappears at 2332 hours. The aside figures vary each day.
In the northern areas of Iceland, one cannot tell if the sun has set or not. It disappears and then appears quickly, only keen people can notice.
The mean high temperature of this month stands at 11˚C. The aside value escalates to 20˚C on other days. The availability of rain and wind in reduced quantities make it easy to engage in outdoor activities.
All these features come at a price. Anticipate competitive prices, huge crowds, and stretched accommodation services. Sales peak during this month as visitor levels top the chart.
July still ranks as one of the perfect times to fly to Iceland. Good weather shines throughout the month.
One can see the sun at 3:23 a.m. It then goes down at 2300 hours. The mean highs of the month stand at 13˚C. Surprisingly, the average lows hold at 11˚C. July could be the warmest month in Iceland.
Like other months before July, temperature levels can quickly escalate to dangerous figures. Hence the existence of hotter days.
The possibility of light showers still hangs from a thread. The mean precipitation for July stands at 20 mm.
Many hope and pray that summer lasts just a day longer. But, as we all know, the world is cruel. We all can’t get what we want. August marks the end of summer.
The temperature starts to reduce slowly. The mean high usually stands at 14˚C while the mean low sits at 6˚C. Rarely does the mean low figure go below 5˚C?
The probability of seeing rain is higher than in the last two previous months. Mean precipitation stands at 30 mm.
The first week of the month has summer features. However, as the month nears its end, a frosty feeling takes over. It happens during the night.
Clear nights also disappear. Don’t worry; you’ll get more sunlight to engage in fun activities. The sun will rise at 5 a.m. and set at 2130 hours.
The weather in September is generally pleasant. The big crowds that we see in the peak months disappear. Visitors who travel on a tight budget can take advantage of this as prices go down.
The number of hours in the day reduces. In the first week, this number reads 15. It decreased by up to 12 hours on the last day. Tourists should make the trip earlier in the month as its warmer. Temperatures can reach up to 13˚C.
The average high of this month stands at 9˚C while the mean low stands at 5˚C. Tourists should avoid coming with light clothing. Since the possibility of it raining sits at 50% plus. Snow falls also happen at times. I repeat, carry heavy clothing, and let’s fight lousy weather.
If you get lucky, you may see the lights. A phenomenon in the North. Hope for conditions to be right on your visit.
The mean precipitation level stands at 40 mm.
The change from summer to winter takes place during this month. Some of the occurrences include a decrease in temperatures and shortening in the hours of the day.
When October is over, winter-like activities take over in Iceland. The sun rises at 9:03 a.m. At 1718 hours the sun’s rays disappear. The mean temperature experienced stands at 6˚C. The mean precipitation rates stand at 30mm.
Bring heavy clothes as drizzle happens frequently. However, most roads and routes can still be accessed. Only remote roads hinder movement during this month. Prices at this time have gone down. The big crowds have also gone back to their countries.
In this month, most people no longer remember summer. Note that the weather can’t compare to that of January and December. It’s less dark and cold in November.
The mean high temperature in November stands at 3˚C. The mean low temperature can reach 0˚C at times. The sun rays shine for 6 hours in the day. The sun rises at 10:00 a.m. and sets at 1630 hours to attain these figures.
Tourists should fly early in the month. At this time, the weather’s milder and the sun more active.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s still icy in the country. Fog, rain, and snow still occur frequently. Note that all this depends on the sites you choose to visit.
Search for comfortability by dressing correctly. If you do this, you won’t have many problems. On the upside, fewer people can get in your way at this period.
As surprising as it may seem, this is a beautiful month fly in Iceland. The presence of both cold and darkness don’t do this month any justice. However, the presence of snow and alluring lights cut across this darkness.
The hours of the day reduced. No more clear nights, the midnight sun is no more. A famous phenomenon that occurs in December is “long blue.” It can be observed in the morning before the sun comes up.
The long blue acts as the new sunlight. The sun rays illuminate the sky before disappearing. It would inevitably rain and snow this month. The mean low in December stands at -1˚C. However, it’s rare for the temperature to reach below 0˚C.
Note that it’s not all that bad. If you visit, you won’t get to see large crowds. Prices at this time reach an all-time low. Lastly, you won’t struggle to get a place to crash.
The mean high temperature stands at 4˚C while the mean precipitation level is 40 mm.
Most Popular Events in Iceland
January’s Events & Festivals
New Year’s Day
It’s not only in Iceland that this holiday occurs. But it’s in all countries. It takes place during the first two days of the year.
On the 31st of December, most individuals stay up till late to witness entry to the New Year. They then revenge for the lost sleep on the first day of the year. In short, they sleep during that day.
On the second day, they shop for foods, clothes and, drinks.
The 6th of January
In Iceland, this day marks the end of Christmas. Icelanders celebrate by lighting bonfires, fireworks and, by singing their local songs.
Ancient Icelanders would mark this day by sacrificing their animals. The blood of the animals would be essential.
Nowadays the celebration takes place between the 19th and the 25th of January. It must be Friday. On this day people eat, dance, drink, and sing. Traditional foods would fill the air.
If you wish to attend this celebration, you’ll need to have an invitation from a local. You can also go to specific restaurants that offer this.
February’s Events & Festivals
It is similar to Halloween in the U.S. Children wear their preferred costumes, and perform for sweets.
The festival occurs on the 7th Wednesday. It must happen before Easter.
It happens on the 1st weekend of February. It was incepted to lift people’s spirits. It also acts as a light in the darkness that is winter.
On this day, lights fill the capital. These lights come coupled with events that highlight the country’s culture.
Other activities include shows, funny dances, and free entry to museums.
Food and Fun
The festival happens on the last days of February. Chefs from all over the world together and create impressive dishes. They meet in restaurants in Reykjavik.
These Chefs strictly use Iceland ingredients. Chefs go a step further and create unique menus. Competition among the Chefs takes place. It is televised for each Icelander to see.
March’s Events & Festivals
It happens on the 1st of March. It reminds Icelanders of the legalization of alcohol. Icelanders drink to their fills to get back the time lost. On this day, all clubs, restaurants and, pubs in the city of Reykjavik fill up.
As the name suggests, this is a music festival. It takes place for a total of three days. Icelandic artists perform different styles of music and older songs.
The event takes place on the 2nd week of March. It lasts for four days. Icelanders give us a glimpse of their furniture, architecture, and designs. Global companies such as Calvin Klein have once attended.
April’s Events & Festivals
The First Day of summer.
It happens on any day between the 19th and the 25th of April. It must take place on a Thursday.
It follows the ancient Iceland calendar where only two seasons exist. Every town in the country can have a celebration.
It’s regarded as a time to cool off by Icelanders. It marks the end of winter. Employees of most firms get five days off. Children also get to enjoy themselves as schools close for this holiday. In short, parents and children reunite.
Most locals close down their shops. Friends also get together and remember the good times.
May’s Events & Festivals
Rite of Spring
The event takes place in the early weeks of the month. Worldwide music is looked into, especially jazz.
It starts at the end of the 2nd week. It lasts for 16 consecutive days. Residents celebrate both global and national theater. They also look into art and dance.
June’s Events & Festivals
It’s one of the oldest festivals in Iceland. It happens in Hafnarfjordur in a village called Viking. It takes five consecutive days. It starts after the 1st two weeks of June.
Its climax is the market. Here people can get handmade goods. People also get to listen to stories, dance, and learn adventurous skills.
Iceland National Day
The festival happens on the 17th of June. It marks Iceland’s independence. I don’t doubt that it’s the most significant function in the summer. The city of Reykjavik fills with Icelanders.
They conduct parades, local dances, individual performances, and outdoor concerts. The events may last for hours.
All towns in Iceland do their separate celebrations.
Seafarer’s Day & Festival of the Sea
The above holiday occurs on the 1st week of June. It must happen on Saturday or Sunday. It’s a way of telling fishers thank you for the services they’ve done for the country. It’s also a way of paying respects to those lost at sea.
Those in the fishermen business celebrate by doing contests. Others party, cook seafood and enjoy themselves.
Summer Solstice and the Secret Solstice
Icelanders may not be used to this festival as it’s still new. It happens on the 21st of June. It takes place for four consecutive days. The event occurs specifically at 0000 hours.
Music still dominates this festival. Talented singers, DJs, skillful songwriters, and bands from all over the world go at it on stage.
Other celebrations also happen on this day. Icelanders also come together to see the sun disappear and reappear again.
July’s Events & Festivals
The event happens in Seydisfjordur. It is in East Iceland. LungA entails both music and art. The event takes place for seven consecutive days. The festival occurs after the end of the 1st two weeks of July.
Icelanders get to watch live performances from their favorite artists. People also get to see some incredible art pieces during these festivals.
The festival happens in the city of Reykjavik. It occurs in the last week of July. It happens preferably on Saturday or Sunday. A bank holiday is usually concurrent with this event.
The festival is all about music. The best bands in Iceland get to perform. Comedians also get a piece of the pie. They compete to crack people’s ribs.
A festival is incomplete without food. Both tourists and Icelanders enjoy sweet foods from the moving trucks.
August’s Events & Festivals
It happens on the 1st week of August, preferably on the weekend. Many people choose to go camping with their families. Many Icelanders decide to go to Westman. Here, they listen to bands.
It happens on the 2nd week of August, preferably on Saturday. People get to enjoy parties, concerts, and parades.
Lots of people come to the city as a sign of support to the gay community.
September’s Events & Festivals
The marathon happens on the 3rd week of the month. It’s likely to be on Saturday. Close to 15000 individuals from all over the world and Iceland attend.
All kinds of marathons take place. Kids and Adults also get to taste the action.
It’s also known as Culture Night. It starts when the above marathon ends immediately.
Numerous places play host to the event. Some well-known hosts include parks, streets, people’s homes, and in towns.
Reykjavik International Literary Festival
It is a very significant event all over Europe. It happens on the 1st week of September. Authors from all over the globe get invites.
It’s likely to happen in the city of Reykjavik. It goes on for almost four days.
Reykjavik International Film Festival
It occurs in the last weeks of September. The order of these event films. They collect films from countries all over the world.
People also get to shoot some of their movies in Reykjavik. Icelanders also get to learn about different artists.
October’s Events & Festivals
Illumination of the Imagine Peace Tower
The festival occurs on the 9th of October. Music fanatics know that this is Lennon’s birth month.
The illumination takes place in Videy Island. Icelanders must ride on a ferry to get to the island.
The event occurs at the end of the 2nd week of October. It takes place for three consecutive days. Music plays a part in this festival.
Icelanders get a chance to showcase their talents. Icelandic DJ’s also get an opportunity to go against each other. Some global artists also join the party and bring with them their sweet tunes.
The festival is generally new in the green country. However, it’s attracting many individuals. Surprisingly, even adults have a great time during this festival.
They compete in costume competitions that occur in bars or restaurants. Winners go home with great prizes.
November’s Events & Festivals
It’s a festival in honor of horror movies. The event takes place in Akranes. It takes about 42 minutes to get to this town from Reykjavik. Icelandic actors feature in these films. International actors also get a chance to prove themselves.
Directors get to screen more horror films at the end of the festival. People also get to the party.
December’s Events & Festivals
Christmas is a ubiquitous holiday for Christians around the globe. In Iceland, darkness fills the streets. Icelanders put up many lights to fight this. People host concerts to socialize. 13 Trolls also fill the streets of Reykjavik.
Surprisingly, it is Christmas Eve that is key and not on the 25th of December. Christians show up for mass and then have dinner with their families.
New Year’s Eve
Icelanders know how to party. Their Christmas Eve celebration is an event to delight. Fireworks illuminate the sky to get the party started. It is illegal to use fireworks except during this time.
People also light bonfires. Icelanders believe that in doing so, their troubles disappear. Quick tip, gaze at the skies at 2335 hours.
Alcohol sales skyrocket on this day. Songs also fill the air. The party doesn’t stop, pubs and bars go on till early morning. Get free hotdogs at 5 a.m.