The best time to travel to Iceland when the weather is good is during the summer; this is the peak of Iceland’s travel season, so expect crowds, or visit in late spring or early autumn, when crowds of tourists are fewest.
When is the best time to travel to Iceland?
- Best time to see the Northern Lights: Many people come to Iceland in the hope of seeing the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis.It is an ideal place to do so, as the country’s small population and long distances between cities make it easier to escape light pollution, even if you are in or near Reykjavík. There are a number of conditions required for them to be visible, including guaranteed darkness, so the best time to see them is from the end of September to the end of March, when it is completely dark.(Though sometimes you can see lights from mid-August to mid-April.) Another important factor is the weather: cool, clear nights are better for aurora views, because warmer nights often bring rain or clouds. solar flares in the sun or solar wind are also required. when all these conditions are met, you will have the best chance of seeing the colorful dancing lights.As there is less rainfall in October and November, along with dark and cold nights, these months tend to bring the highest chances of seeing.
- The best time for sightseeing: Iceland is famous for its many spectacular waterfalls, geysers and volcanoes.That means going in the weeks that frame the end of the high season, around the last week of May until mid June, or anytime in September.
- Best time for whale watching: in general, the best time for whale watching in Iceland is from April to October.The high season is in the summer months: June, July and August, with tours available from Reykjavik, the Vestmannaeyjar islands off the south coast, Husavik Akureyri and Dalvik.In the winter months, whale watchers are provided with thermal suits, so it is quite comfortable to watch the killer whales following the herring in the waters of the area.
- The best time for good weather: the best time for optimal weather in Iceland is during the high season, especially in July and August, when the average temperatures are around 13°C, although temperatures can reach 15°C or even 20°C. If you want to avoid rain, the lowest amount of rain occurs in May and June, and temperatures are usually 11°C.
- The best time to visit Blue Lagoon: Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular attractions all year round, although the biggest crowds tend to be there between May and September, with a peak in July and August.the winter months are typically the quietest, particularly December and January, outside the holiday period.», «Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the least crowded days of the week, but more important than the day is the time of day you visit. Peak hours are in the morning, from about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and lunchtime is usually the busiest time of the day. By 3 or 4 p.m., the crowds are much smaller and you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy a swim. January 1 to May 25 and August 21 to October 1; 11 p.m. May 26 to June 29; midnight June 30 to August 20 and October 2 to December 31.
- Best time to save money: airfares and accommodation in Iceland are usually the cheapest during the winter months, outside the Christmas and New Year holidays.If you are expecting a combination of lower overall costs and better weather, go during the high season: mid-May to mid-June or September to mid-October.
- Best time to avoid crowds: if you are expecting a more relaxed experience without crowds, avoid going to Iceland in the high season, from mid-June to August.When visiting in April or May, September or October, you will find fewer tourists, but the days will be long enough to enjoy tourism and possibly decent weather.the least number of visitors comes between November and March, but that is also when inclement weather and short, dark days can affect your plans.
Travel Seasons to Iceland
- High Season (mid-June to August): Iceland’s high season falls during the peak of summer, when days are very long (the sun never sets completely on the longest day of the year), allowing visitors to enjoy the wide variety of outdoor activities Midnight Sun AdventuresThis is also the best opportunity for a pleasant climate, but expect to find denser crowds of tourists at popular attractions, higher prices and greater difficulty in finding accommodation.
- Medium season (mid-May to mid-June, September to mid-October): Iceland does not have much of a mid-season, with most visitors arriving during the peak of summer.In late spring, visitors can expect snow to melt, fewer tourists, a greater variety of accommodation available and sometimes lower prices.in early autumn, temperatures can be cool and refreshing with golden light and changing colours in the trees.there will be fewer travellers and some lower prices.the later in the autumn you arrive, the more likely you are to see the Northern Lights.
- Low season (mid-October to mid-May): An increasing number of visitors travel to Iceland during the low season to enjoy hot springs, winter adventures and nightlife, but this is a good time to avoid the crowds of tourists and enjoy better rates and availability of accommodation, car rental and air tickets.Winter temperatures in Iceland are surprisingly moderate, usually hovering around freezing point, although days are usually dark, with only four to six hours of daylight.most of the main roads are ploughed, but mountain roads and inland routes will be impassable, and many attractions are closed, especially outside Reykjavik.
Climate in Iceland by month
- Climate in Iceland in January: January is the coldest month in Iceland, with a maximum average of 2°C and a minimum average of -3°C. When you consider that the temperatures are similar to those in New York City, they are probably milder than you had imagined. However, the winds often reach gale force, and when that happens, it feels very cold. It often rains, especially in and around Reykjavik, and this month (along with February) has the best chance of snowing.The days are short, with approximately four hours of sunlight in early January; sunrise is at 11:19 a.m. and sunset at 3:44 p.m. on the 1st, although at the end of the month, which extends to about seven hours, the sun rises at 10:10 a.m. and sets at 5:12 p.m. (Average maximum temperature: 2 ° C. Average rainfall: 55 mm.)
- Icelandic weather in February: February is similar to January in terms of temperature, but you will have more hours of light to enjoy the landscape. At the end of the month, there are 10 hours of sunlight, with sunrise at 8:38 a.m. and sunset at 6:43 p.m. There is also a little less precipitation, with an average of 40 mm falling as rain or snow. Instead of snow-covered streets, you can even see lush gardens, with temperatures fluctuating slightly above zero on most days. Most of the attractions and roads in southwest Iceland will be open, except for the major storms that can blow, and most will be wonderfully clear of crowds.Dress appropriately and stay warm, with temperatures comparable to winter weather in the northern reaches of the US (average maximum temperature: 2°C. Average rainfall: 40 mm.)
- Icelandic weather in March: March brings even more daylight, with more sunshine than darkness throughout the day at the end of the month.from March 31, the length of the day increases to 13 hours and 26 minutes, a gain of three hours and 16 minutes in a single month.However, temperatures have not changed much yet, and the amount of precipitation is the same as in February, which means it will still feel like winter.rainy days are as common as sunny days, although in the city of Reykjavik, most of the snow is likely to be seen on the surrounding mountains rather than on the ground.many roads, outside the capital area and the south-west region, will still be impassable without a four-wheel drive vehicle.(Average maximum temperature: 2°C. Average rainfall: 40 mm.)
- Iceland’s climate in April: while not exactly beach weather, April unofficially marks the beginning of «summer» in Iceland.Temperatures rise, with an average maximum of 5°C and minimums at freezing point. Precipitation drops considerably, to half of what it was in February and March to 20mm, which can come in the form of snow, but more often falls as rain, especially in the lowlands.’, «By the end of April, the length of the day had increased to 16 hours and 44 minutes, another significant gain over the previous month, with sunrise at 6:46 a.m. and sunset at 8:19 p.m. As it really shouldn’t matter when you visit Iceland, bring plenty of layers and waterproof shoes so you can handle whatever the weather has to offer (Average maximum temperature: 5°C. Average rainfall: 20mm.)
- Icelandic weather in May: May is often a fabulous time to be in Iceland, with long days of more than 20 hours, fewer tourists and lower prices.In Reykjavik, the likelihood of a rainy day throughout the month decreases rapidly, starting at 36% on the first day and ending at 29%.that said, the climate in Iceland is always subject to extreme changes and can be quite unpredictable, so it is best to be prepared for the unexpected.In the interior, mountainous areas of the country, there is still the possibility of snow (average maximum temperature: 9°C. Average rainfall: 40 mm.)
- Icelandic weather in June: June is the longest day of the year, while the hours of sunrise and sunset change throughout the month, the sun rises on average at 2:42 a.m. and sets at 11:32 p.m. In the far north of Iceland, the sun barely sets before it reappears. Temperatures are also rising, with an average high of 11°C, and it is not uncommon for temperatures to reach 15 or even 20°C. There is also less wind and less rain, which makes it easier to enjoy all those outdoor adventures. Of course, this brings the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices, and book your accommodation well in advance.)
- Icelandic weather in July: As mentioned, July is another of the most popular times of the year to visit Iceland. The weather is often pleasant, although it is never too hot, and the days are still long, with an average sunset around 11 pm, and the sunrise, early at 3:23 am, July has the warmest temperatures in Iceland, with average highs of 13 ° C and lows of 11 ° C. Of course, as in June, temperatures can rise a little more than that and you could end up with many warmer days.while you may experience some light rain, average rainfall is still minimal.)
- Icelandic weather in August: Summer in Iceland is short, so expect temperatures to gradually decrease this month, although August is still one of the hottest and driest times of the year. There is a slightly higher chance of rain than in June or July, with an average of 30 mm of rainfall. At the beginning of the month, you are more likely to experience summer days, but as August progresses towards September, temperatures drop and a chill sets in, especially at night.The days of the Midnight Sun are gone, though you’ll still have plenty of light to explore, with the sun rising around 5 a.m. and the sun setting just before 9:30 p.m. (Average maximum temperature: 13 ° C. Average rainfall: 30 mm.)
- Icelandic weather in September: while days are not so long in September (almost 15 hours of light on day 1, decreasing to 11 hours and 35 minutes on day 30), temperatures are often pleasant, crowds have disappeared and prices start to rise. On average, the high oscillates around 9°C and can drop to 5°C. There is a greater chance of rain, and even a possibility of snow, so be prepared by bringing many layers and a variety of clothing.you may even get the northern lights, which you can usually see, when conditions are right, from late September to late March.(Average maximum temperature: 9°C. Average rainfall: 40mm.)
- Icelandic weather in October: at the end of October, it starts to feel like winter in Iceland. This month is a time of transition; the colours of autumn are in full swing, temperatures are gradually decreasing and days are getting shorter. On October 31st, the sun does not rise until 9:03 a.m, and it sets at 5:18 p.m. The average temperature is a brisk 4°C and drizzle is quite common, so plan for wet and cool weather. On the positive side, with the exception of some of the more remote areas of the country, most of Iceland remains accessible to tourists, and there are also far fewer crowds and reduced prices.)
- Iceland’s weather in November: summer is now a distant memory, and while it is not as dark and cold as in December and January, temperatures drop to an average of about 3°C, with freezing minimums and the sun shining only about six hours or so, rising a little before 10 am and settling down around 4:30 pm. Of course, the earlier in the month you arrive, the warmer the weather and the more natural light you will have.Although it is likely to be very cold, with frequent days of light rain, snow and/or fog, depending on the specific destinations you visit, provided you dress appropriately, most of the time you will be comfortable and will find plenty to do with fewer crowds to deal with.(Average maximum temperature: 5 ° C. Average rainfall: 30 mm.)
- Icelandic weather in December: December in Iceland is cold and dark, but it is also one of the most beautiful months to be in the country, with snow covering the landscape and dazzling holiday lights helping to illuminate the darkness.While you won’t see much natural light, when you do, it will have a surreal, iridescent quality, unlike anywhere else; this is known as the «long blue,» the blue light that persists before the sun finally rises. When it rises, it brushes the sky and then quickly descends again. It is almost guaranteed that you will experience snow, rain, or a combination of both, although the temperature rarely falls far below freezing, averaging a low -1°C. The weather also keeps many tourists away, so you’re likely to find lower rates and more available accommodation.