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Best Time and Season to Visit Iceland: Complete Guide

Team AckoJan 25, 2023

The name is a misnomer, but Iceland isn't an ice land! In this article, you can find the best time and months to travel to Iceland. Watch the Northern Lights, explore the fjords, and hike through Iceland's beautiful landscapes. Best known for the breathtaking natural Northern Lights phenomenon, Iceland has so much to offer travellers. If you're travelling from India, you'll be pleased to know that Iceland is known for being a country that has no mosquitoes!

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Best Time to Visit Iceland 

The best time to visit Iceland from India is during the Icelandic summer, which runs from June to August. These months are an ideal time to visit this magnificent country. One of the rarest countries in the world where the sun never sets for several days in a row, Iceland is home to unique natural miracles!

Best Season to Visit Iceland

July to August comprises Iceland’s peak season, which can be the best season to visit Iceland. Before you decide to set off on your Icelandic adventure, read ahead to learn more about each travel season.

Peak Season 

Iceland's summer falls between July and August, making it the best time to visit the country, and also its peak season. Summer is the best time to visit Iceland from India for its pristine waters, spellbinding night sky, and thermal lagoons. If you want to witness endless daylight, visit in June!

Shoulder Season 

Spring and autumn are Iceland's shoulder season. The shoulder seasons are from May to June, and again from September to October. Unlike peak and off-seasons, shoulder season travel gives you a chance to explore Iceland at a leisurely pace, without having to give up exciting activities like during the low season. 

Low or Off Season

Winter in Iceland is also the off-season, between November and March. These are the coldest months of the year. Travelling to Iceland in the off-season gives you a chance to explore natural wonders and marvels without the hustle and bustle of crowded summers. 

Best Month to Visit Iceland

Read ahead to know details about the best time to visit Iceland.

Iceland in January 

When you're travelling from India, you may find Iceland's winters much colder than Indian ones. Expect more than a breeze; January gets the strongest winds, which makes winter colder than it is. You'll also get snow in January, making it the perfect time to enjoy snowy activities like skiing and snowmobiling.

  • Average Temperature 

    • -1°C (31°F)

  • Events 

    • Prettandin, post-Christmas bonfire festival 

    • Dark Music Days (Myrkir Músíkdagar) in Reykjavik 

  • Explore 

    • Natural ice caves 

    • Snowmobile across Iceland 

    • Northern Lights

  • Reasons to visit in January 

    • You can marvel at days that only get up to 6 hours of sunshine 

    • Ideal time to enjoy skiing and other activities and to soak up cultural events 

Iceland in February

It's still winter in February, when you can see the Northern Lights and explore beautiful Reykjavík. Although this is a relatively chilly time, you can relish Iceland's pristine winter and natural landscapes including the hot springs, and snorkelling among tectonic plates in Silfra. 

  • Average Temperature 

    • 2°C (30°F)

  • Events 

    • Thorrablot, Icelandic Viking age midwinter festival 

  • Explore 

    • Go snorkelling among the tectonic plates, Silfra

    • Hot springs

  • Reasons to visit in February 

    • Witness days that get around only 4-6 hours of daylight! 

    • The weather is perfect for winter sports and events 

    • Perfect month to witness the Northern lights 

Iceland in March

Winters in Iceland are long, stretching all the way to March. Expect cold weather, and possibly snow or ice. March still has very windy weather, so make sure you take your warm clothes, boots, and gloves wherever you go. As the sun starts peeking out with the weather warming up, you will get more daylight, averaging around 8 hours. 

  • Temperature 

    • 3°C (38°F)

  • Explore

    • Visit Golden Circle 

    • Northern Lights 

  • Events 

    • Food and Fun Festival, Reykjavík

    •  South Coast Tour across Iceland 

  • Why should you visit this month

    • As winter slowly turns into spring, the days get more sunshine

    • Plenty of events as the weather warms up

    • Low season offers affordable accommodation, flights and tour bookings

Iceland in April

Expect warmer temperatures, but be sure to bring your winter and rain gear during the wettest month of the year. You may be able to spot puffins with their famous rainbow-coloured beaks!

  • Temperature 

    • 3°C/39°F

  • Events  

    • Eve Funfest Festival, Reykjavík 

    • AK Extreme Snowboarding Festival 

    • Children's Culture Festival 

    • First Day of Summer 

  • Explore 

    • Blue Lagoon 

    • See puffin sites in the Dyrholaey peninsula on the south coast

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Spring is here, and the days get more sunlight hours, averaging around 10 to 12 per day 

    • Witness the first signs of greenery as trees, foliage and plants come back to life after the icy winters

Iceland in May

Technically, Iceland claims to have only 2 seasons, summer and winter. May is when Iceland's summer begins peaking. The weather becomes pleasant in May, when you can explore the great outdoors comfortably.

  • Temperature 

    • 9°C (48°F)

  • Events 

    • Reykjavík Art Festival 

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Warmer weather that is pleasant for enjoying warm weather activities

    • Endless daylight without sunsets for days on end! 

Iceland in June

During Icelandic summers, the nights are crystal clear, and perfect for stargazing. In June, the sun never sets, and you can catch the "Midnight Sun" in Akureyri and Grimsey Island. June is the best month to visit Iceland, where the sun never sets in summer. 

  • Temperature 

    • 12°C (54°F)

  • Events

    • June 17th, Independence Day 

    • June 21st

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Pleasant and warm weather in June

    • Experience the Midnight Sun phenomenon, when the sun doesn't set for days

Iceland in July

Summer starts peaking this month, and you will be able to enjoy the pleasant Icelandic weather with plenty of outdoor activities. This is the best time to travel to Iceland for adventure-seeking travellers. 

  • Temperature 

    • 14°C (57°F) 

  • Events

    • Folk Festival 

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Peak season with many activities 

    • The weather has warmed up and is suitable for outdoor activities 

Iceland in August

Considered the peak of summer, August is still pleasant. If you enjoy hiking, you can trek through the pristine and magnificent Icelandic hills and mountains. Expect rain on most days, so be sure to bring your rain gear along with you. 

  • Temperature 

    • 13°C (55°F) 

  • Events

    • Þjóðhátíð í Eyjum festival in Westman Islands, first weekend of August

    • Menningarnótt is Culture Night, occurs in mid-August

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Perfect summer days, with average sunlight hours 

    • The ideal time for hiking and trekking across Iceland 

Iceland in September

Autumn comes with September, offering you breathtaking views of the landscape as summer gives way to autumn. The days are warm, and nights are romantic with the Northern Lights as the backdrop. 

  • Temperature 

    • 10°C (50°F) 

  • Events

    • Reykjavík Literary Festival 

    • Start of the Northern Lights 

    • Literary Festival 

  • Why you should travel this month

    • Pleasant, warm weather both during the day and at night 

    • Shoulder season is less crowded, and you can find the best deals on flights and accommodation 

Iceland in October

Autumn is officially here when October rolls around. Expect beautiful autumn hues of reds, oranges and yellows as you explore Icelandic landscapes. With summer gone, and sunsets back, the daylight hours start getting shorter. 

  • Temperature 

    • 7°C (44°F)

  • Events 

    • Reykjavík International Film Festival

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Cooler weather makes a stunning backdrop for picture-perfect moments 

    • Expect sunlight hours to wane, plan outdoor activities earlier in the day

Iceland in November 

The best time of the year to visit Iceland is in November. However, if you're travelling from India, you'll be surprised by how cold the region can be, so pack extra warm. You can beat the peak season crowds and experience the magic of the rainbow Northern Lights!

  • Temperature 

    • 4°C (39°F)

  • Events 

    • Iceland Airwaves Music Festival 

    • Secret Solstice Event 

    • Imagine Peace Tower 

  • Explore 

    • Ice caving 

    • Whale watching 

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Off-season makes it ideal for leisurely outdoor exploration 

    • See the Northern Lights sans crowds

Iceland in December

It's the most magical time of the year in Iceland! Iceland is a winter wonderland postcard, with snow capped mountains, clear skies for stargazing, and holiday cheer in the air. 

  • Temperature

    • 2°C (36°F)

  • Events 

    • Yol/Yule, Icelandic Christmas 

    • New Year's Eve Celebrations 

  • Why should you visit this month

    • Snowy days - marvel at, and in, a white wonderland 

    • Holiday time, Christmas festive season

Cheapest Time to Visit Iceland

Iceland's low season, from November to March is also winter in Iceland. Winter may be the cheapest time to visit Iceland, if you prefer travelling off the beaten track. 

Expensive Time to Visit Iceland

The most expensive time to visit Iceland is also its best time. The Icelandic summers are a tourist favourite, and run from June to September. Pleasant weather in summer makes it the preferred time for tourists to travel to this Nordic country.  Flights to Iceland, along with accommodation, dining, and sightseeing are expensive during this peak season. Book ahead to ensure you get your preferred tour and sightseeing spots, and to avoid higher prices. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s a list of common questions and answers about the best time to travel to Iceland.

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What is the best time to visit Iceland for northern lights?

You can see the spellbinding Northern Lights at night in Northern Iceland's clear skies, between August and April. 

Which time is the best for whale watching in Iceland? 

The summer months of June, July, and August are perfect for spotting up to 20 species of whales including humpback whales, orca, and even blue whales!

How many days in Iceland is enough to cover major tourist spots?

We recommend planning a trip of around 3-5 days for you to be able to explore Iceland's natural beauty and magic such as the Northern Lights and glaciers. 

When should I visit the Blue Lagoon? 

Visit the breathtaking warm turquoise waters of the Blue Lagoon on a summer evening to enjoy the midnight sun in summer, or a Northern Lights night in winter. 

Where can I go glacier hiking? 

The best time to go glacier hiking in Iceland is in summer, although this is an activity that can be enjoyed year round. 

Is it expensive to travel to Iceland?

On average, flying from most cities in India to Reykjavík will cost anywhere from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1,00,000 per person. 

When is the best time for a honeymoon in Iceland? 

You can plan a romantic honeymoon to Iceland in December. Bask in the glow of the Northern Lights at night, and get some one on one time with your spouse, cosy in an Icelandic hot spring!

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Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.

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