Best time to visit Iceland
So, you’ve seen the pictures that look like scenes from another planet and maybe a few films that look like CGI but turn out to have been filmed in Iceland. You probably know that Iceland is your next dream destination, so the only question left is when to visit.
Don’t worry, we’ll get to the bottom of it with you, by highlighting the best of every season so you can choose for yourself.
Visit Iceland in winter
This is obviously our darkest hour, that time of year from November to February where the nights seem endless and the weather is somewhat unpredictable. This is also our most magical hour. Keep in mind that Icelanders are champions at keeping it cozy so during these winter months, you’ll see just how far we’ll go when it comes to candlelit dinners and fairy string lights in trees. Speaking of lights, this is prime time for the northern lights. With an abundance of darkness, all you need is clear skies and some activity to marvel up at the natural wonder that is the northern lights. They are always unique, unforgettable and truly extraordinary.
Pros: Northern lights galore
Cons: Short windows of daylight for sightseeing
Visit Iceland in summer
This will undoubtedly be every Icelander’s favorite season. The days are literally endless over the summer, which means that you better have blackout curtains at your accommodation or you’re in for some sleepless nights. It also means you can basically go sightseeing in the middle of the night and party in daylight until the wee hours of the morning. This is of course high tourist season so most services, tours and accommodation will be open and available. And then there’s the wildlife, the mild weather and the overall laid-back cheerful atmosphere of summer. The only drawback in our opinion would be that this is the one time of year that you won’t be seeing any northern lights in Iceland. That’s not because they’re not there, it’s because the sun won’t set for you to see them.
Pros: 24-hour sightseeing options
Cons: Blackout curtains are a must
Visit Iceland in spring or fall
The same principles apply to both spring and fall in Iceland. You’ll be spared the extremes. This is a pro and a con of course since you’ll get moderate temperatures and moderate daylight. You might enjoy smaller crowds and less tourists as well as lots of available services. The biggest perk would be the fact that you can see the northern lights and drive around the island without many road closures that you might have to keep an eye out for in winter.
Pros: Smaller crowds and milder weather
Cons: You’ll miss out on those characteristic extremes of Iceland
When is the best time to visit Iceland?
Icelanders love their summers but deep down we also adore our winters. The two seasons are extremely different and if you can’t fit two trips to your travel plan in the next few years, try to get a little bit of both and visit in spring or fall. You will miss out on the extremes that make Iceland so special, but you’ll get a little peek at both worlds.
Bottom line: We’re confident Iceland can charm you any time of the year.