Choosing The Best Time to Visit Iceland

Iceland changes according to the season. This leads many to wonder when they should visit Iceland? We are going to weigh the pros and cons so that you can have a clearer view.

A visitor enjoying Iceland in Winter, a great time to visit Iceland

blog authorBy Samuel Hogarth shield verificationVerified Expert

No matter your choice of season, visiting Iceland is always an adventure. The natural wonders of this Nordic nation are always available to the traveler, so bring your gear and let’s hit the road. Because Iceland is so remote from other countries you may want to take a bit longer than usual to plan out what will be the best season for you to visit.

Best season to visit Iceland

Each season in Iceland can have different opportunities for you to see the country. While many tourists will automatically just decide to visit during the warmest times of the year from June to August, this is by far the busiest time of year and you will be part of the many visitors looking forrental vehicles in Iceland, accommodation, and seats of the many tours available to you.

Here is a brief breakdown of what you can expect season by season.

Winter in Iceland – December to February

Winter is the slow season for tourism in Iceland, but don’t think that this wonderful country still does not have a lot to offer. Because the days are short and the nights are long, this is your best chance to seethe Northern Lightsin all their glory. You can pick your spot, kick back and watch the show as the lights dance across the sky in a majestic show.

You might also decide that taking into the warm, mineral-rich, hot baths at the Blue Lagoon is the thing for you. In the tranquil surrounds and a star-studded sky above, you can feel the stress leaving your body as you relax.

This is also the best time of year to go Snowmobiling if you like to explore off the beaten path or even explore an Ice Cave.


  • Hours of Daylight: 5 – 4.5
  • Average Low: -3ºC/27ºF
  • Average High: 2ºC/35ºF


  • Hours of Daylight: 4.5 – 7
  • Average Low: -3ºC/27ºF
  • Average High: 2ºC/35ºF


  • Hours of Daylight: 7 – 10
  • Average Low: -2ºC/28ºF
  • Average High: 3ºC/37ºF

Spring in Iceland – March to May

As the weather begins to break and the snows begin to melt, this is the shoulder season for tourists. It’s a great time to visit Iceland because there are fewer people and the prices of tours and accommodation are at lower prices.

woman enjoying rainy Iceland by a waterfall

You’ll notice the landscape of Iceland changing around this time. Its like Mother Natural breaths life back into the country and the lush green hues start to take over from the whites and greys of winter.

This is the season of rebirth with lambing season and also you can head to the beaches to see the return of the Puffins to Iceland.


  • Hours of Daylight: 10 – 13.5hrs
  • Average Low: -2ºC/28ºF
  • Average High: 3ºC/38ºF


  • Hours of Daylight: 13.5 – 16.75hrs
  • Average Low: 0.5ºC/33ºF
  • Average High: 5.5ºC/42ºF


  • Hours of Daylight: 16.75 – 20hrs
  • Average Low: 3.5ºC/39ºF
  • Average High: 9.5ºC/49ºF

Summer in Iceland – June to August

By far this is the most popular time to visit Iceland. The days are long and the weather is at its warmest. That being said you will also be rubbing shoulders with the other tourists that want to see the sights in Iceland during this time of year.

Because this is the most popular time to travel, you will want to prebook EVERYTHING for your trip early. This means, hotels,car rental in Iceland, and tours.

All activities and sightseeing adventures are up and running during this time of year. You can take inthe Golden Circleone day and then take a week or so to travel the famous Ring Road to circumnavigate the entire country. On that part of your trip, you will be able to see many of the iconic landscapes that make Iceland so unique.

Horseback riding can be done if you visit Iceland in summer too

See the Geysers, go volcano hiking, visit the Black Sand Beach, snorkel in the crystal clear waters between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates, visit the Blue Lagoon and yes, you can play Midnight Golf!

Midnight golf (yes, it’s a thing!), Visit Jokularson, Tour the Golden Circle, Road trips on the Ring Road, Go Horseriding, Visit the Black Sand Beaches,Go Waterfall Hopping, See The Geysers, Snorkel Between the Eurasian & American Tectonic Plates, The Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Myvatn Nature Bath and Nature Reserve, Kayaking, Volcano Hiking,See the Puffins(Until August).


  • Hours of Daylight: 20 – 21hrs
  • Average Low: 7ºC/44ºF
  • Average High: 12ºC/53ºF


  • Hours of Daylight: 21 – 18hrs
  • Average Low: 8ºC/47ºF
  • Average High: 13ºC/56ºF


  • Hours of Daylight: 18 – 14.5hrs
  • Average Low: 8ºC/47ºF
  • Average High: 13ºC/56ºF

Fall in Iceland – June to August

Fall in Iceland is incredible. The country is awash in colors as winter is heading this way. Reds, oranges, and yellows are all abundant and the green mosses are at their most vibrant. Soon the snows arrive and you can add the whites of winter to the spectrum.

Some consider September to early October to be the best season to visit Iceland. The prices have dropped for the high season of summer, the tourist flow has dropped off and you can find a lot more open space and solitude if that is what you are looking for.

As you head towards the end of the season, this is when you have a better chance of once again seeing the Northern Lights. I might mean a very late night or super early morning, but the view is truly spectacular.


  • Hours of Daylight: 14.5 – 11.5hrs
  • Average Low: 5ºC/41ºF
  • Average High: 10ºC/50ºF


  • Hours of Daylight: 11.5 – 8hrs
  • Average Low: 2ºC/36ºF
  • Average High: 7ºC/45ºF


  • Hours of Daylight: 8 – 5hrs
  • Average Low: -1.5ºC/29ºF
  • Average High: 3.5ºC/38ºF
fall image of the country a great time to visit Iceland

So, Why Visit Iceland?

This small Nordic country has a unique charm and feeling about it unlike any other country in the world. Even in the dead of winter you can take a dip in hot spring and feel the heat soaking into your bones.

Thanks toIceland's location, Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, each season has it’s own beauty and something to offer you. It’s no wonder that this was named one of the top places you must visit in your life by the Lonely Planet Travel Guide.

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