The best time to travel to Iceland depends on the purpose of your journey, not just the temperature. The climate is mildest from May to September, but the winter months are perfect for enjoying the northern lights.
When to travel to Iceland
When planning your trip to the land of ice, it’s not only the climate you should keep in mind, but also the tourist season. Below, we look at the different seasons of the year so that you can find out which is the best time to travel to Iceland.
Visit Iceland in the spring
If you have not yet decided when to travel to Iceland, you will enjoy good temperatures during April and May, although there can still be some snowfall. Flowers begin to bloom and the migrating birds return to the country in the spring.
Spring temperatures fluctuate between 0ºC and 10ºC depending on the area you visit. This is still the perfect time to see the northern lights, with the added advantage of better temperatures than in the winter.
Additionally, as it is not the high tourist season, you will be able to find accommodation more easily and at better prices. You will have a greater number of excursions available and flights will be cheaper. Because of this, we could say that spring is one of the best times to travel to Iceland.
Travel to Iceland in the summer
Summer is the preferred time to visit Iceland for the majority of tourists. The temperature is very pleasant and the famous phenomenon known as the midnight sun takes place. Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that, as the summer is high tourist season, both the flights and accommodation will be more expensive.
You may encounter areas of the country that are closed due to the thaw. The advantage of travelling in Iceland during the summer is that you will have the most daylight hours. This is because there are many more hours, precisely 24 more hours of daylight. Make sure you pack an eye mask as, otherwise, you may not be able to get to sleep at night.
For photography lovers, the Icelandic summer is a paradise which provides spectacular transitions of light and colour at daybreak and dusk. It is, without a doubt, the best season for taking photographs of the incredible Icelandic natural environment. And as there are more daylight hours, you can make the most of the time to visit more areas of the country.
Alternatively, summer continues to be the best season to travel to Iceland for many, as there are many open-air music festivals. You can camp as well as go to the valley of Landmannalaugar, which is closed in winter.
Traveling to Iceland in autumn
From the end of August to the end of October you can travel to Iceland without any problem. During this time, the best month is September, when you will not only enjoy good weather but also find better accommodation offers at better prices.
You will also have the opportunity to see some northern lights and to see the first snowfalls. You will enjoy a temperature which is very similar to that of springtime, which means you will have access to many excursions and remote areas of the land of ice.
To make it even more interesting, you should know that the colours of autumn in Iceland offer you a unique spectacle. If this wasn’t enough, September is the month with the least rainfall throughout the country. Without a shadow of a doubt, this month is the best time to travel to Iceland by far.
Traveling in winter
If you are not averse to the cold, winter is the perfect time to travel to Iceland, as this is the most probable time to see the northern lights. From the end of August to the month of April you will be able to see this spectacle of lights from 10:00pm to midnight.
Perhaps the greatest inconvenience of travelling in the winter to this frozen country is finding yourself in snowstorms. This is a risk that you should be aware of if you want to live the Icelandic experience first-hand.
On the other hand, depending on the area, Iceland is less cold than you may imagine. In Reykjavik, average winter temperatures are between 1 and 2 degrees centigrade. On occasions, they can fall as low as -10ºC in the coldest months. If you visit the north, for example, in the town of Akureyri, you will find temperatures of 0ºC and abundant snow.
The Icelandic fjords located in the western area of the country, as well as many of the northern towns, may become cut off during the winter. Nonetheless, the average Icelandic winter temperature is less cold than New York. Because of this, winter may be the best time to travel to Iceland, as you will be able to visit the spectacular ice caves and the glaciers that you would not be able to see in the summer.
Now that you know what each season in Iceland brings, start preparing for your trip and discover a country that you will want to return to again and again.