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The last decade witnessed the ethereal and not to mention highly Instagrammable landscapes of rugged fjords and ancient glaciers of Iceland gaining popularity amongst guests from across the world. If you have been planning to book your flights to Iceland, isn’t it a lot better if you can find out the best time to visit Iceland first?
After all, the time you choose for visiting Iceland determines what you will be able to see and experience in this gorgeous country. Some famous attractions like the Hot Springs are accessible throughout the year, but other attractions like the Northern Lights can only be viewed during a specific time.
So let’s find out more about exploring Iceland during specific seasons of the year…and what to expect during that time!
Journey To The Land Of Fire And Ice: What Is The Best Time To Visit Iceland?
Before answering, when is the best time to visit Iceland? Let’s clear one thing out in the beginning! There’s literally no wrong time for traveling to Iceland. Yes, the weather conditions can vary, and that too significantly throughout the other months of the year.
While a Summer in Iceland will allow you to witness the Midnight Sun, the winter brings the legendary Northern Lights with it. On the other hand, summer can be touristy, and if you are not a big fan of crowds, you can consider visiting Iceland during the off-season.
Iceland does experience four different seasons, but sometimes, it might not feel like so – the weather keeps changing from time to time. This practically highlights how Iceland’s weather is prone to frequent changes throughout the year and eventually surprises! If you thought Iceland is literally frozen throughout the year, then guess what, you were wrong!
Finding out the best time of year to visit Iceland also depends on what you want to experience – for instance, do you want to witness the Northern Lights, go on beautiful ice cave tours, and enjoy the magical Christmas season of Iceland? Then you must be prepared for chilly winter and unforgettable experiences.
- Peak Season: June – August
- Shoulder Season: September – March
- Low Season: April – May
Best Time To Visit Iceland For Hot Springs:
One of the essential parts of the local Icelandic culture is their famous hot baths. These baths are not just renowned from a social point of view but also provide several wellness benefits. The capital city of Iceland, Reykjavík, has so many public pools that stay open throughout the year and look quite refreshing during the winter.
But the island is also famous for several “hot pots,” that directly tap into geothermal activity right below its lava-ridden surfaces. In this context, the cofounder of Midgard Adventure and the famous Icelandic mountaineer Sigurdur Bjarni Sveinsson said,
“Check them out during the month of September or, even better, the first half of October, when they’re all still accessible by mountain road, but the crowds of tourists have significantly died down.”
If you want to check out one of the most famous spas in the world, Blue Lagoon, then the best time to visit Iceland for you would be during the lean season when the crowds start thinning!
Best Times To Visit Iceland For Northern Lights:
The Northern Lights can be one of the best experiences of a lifetime. So if that is on your bucket list, finding the best time to visit Iceland for the northern lights is perhaps the best way to plan your trip to this gorgeous island.
For spotting the Aurora Borealis, you need three factors to blend well together. You need darkness, a rise in solar activities, and clear conditions to come together for the aurora borealis to happen! Viewings can often turn out to be elusive, almost like witnessing curtains of neon-colored winds.
Since the Icelandic weather is too erratic, it is best to plan your journey to Iceland solely in and around the Northern Lights for your best shot at viewing the same. Your best shot? To schedule a trip during the time Iceland experiences extended nights between the middle of October and March.
Best Time To Visit Iceland For Ideal Weather:
July and August are the warmest months in Iceland, and as a result, it has become one of the most popular times to visit this beautiful country. And then there’s June with its iconic 24 hours of sunlight – June is equally busy as the other summer months.
After all, the best time to visit Iceland has a lot to do with the ideal weather and the subsequent tourist attractions of the time. However, even during this time of the year, you can encounter intense winds, rain, and essential lousy weather. The fickle climate of Iceland ensures that tourists can experience four different seasons on a single day.
Additionally, the land of fire and ice stays comparatively warm in early October – children return to school during that time, and the crowd lessens. Moreover, there’s enough daylight for doing some sightseeing. You can also plan a trip in the last weeks of September, in that case.
Finding Out The Best Time To Visit Iceland: Worst Times To Visit Iceland
Yes, just like determining the best time to visit Iceland is critical for planning any trip to this beautiful land, it is also essential to know when you must avoid traveling to Iceland. The mistake we make is seeking information about ‘Iceland best time to visit.’
But we should also check out the worst times, and sometimes even the cheapest times of the year for visiting Iceland. So without wasting any more time, let’s find out about the worst times to visit Iceland in a year.
No Worst Time…Say What!
Thanks to Iceland’s abundance of natural phenomena and beautiful landscapes, there’s no worst time to plan a trip to Iceland. Fans of Northern Lights visit the country during the dark wintry months, while fans of the Midnight Sun visit the country during Summer.
Of course, some travelers choose to benefit from the moderate weather conditions of both Fall and Spring. This makes it clear that the best time to visit Iceland truly depends upon what you want to experience.
But If You Hate……..Crowds?
If you were hoping to avoid the onslaught of overexcited tourists, it’s best to avoid the warm months of the Summer, such as July and August. These months are known for getting the most number of visitors in Iceland every year. Popular tourist spots such as the Jökulsárlón, The Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle, and even the South Coast are all overcrowded.
But in case you do end up in Iceland during this time, you can always spend time checking out the more remote parts of Iceland, such as the Eastern part of Iceland or the Westfjords. East Iceland is also known for its own beautiful fjords, waterfalls, and vistas.
What Does The World Have To Say About Visiting Iceland? Reviews From Tourists!
Check out a few tourist reviews mentioned below for a better understanding of the quality of tourism in Iceland mentioned below.
Review By Esther W On Trip Advisor:
“Our private tour guide, Speedy was amazing. He was helpful, courteous. Very knowledgeable and well versed with the history of Iceland and all the natural highlights of the tour. He did not only talk about the volcano but explained. Also he got out with us and helped us on the rocks and take pictures of us. He was so much a part of our family and we really enjoyed having him with us. Thank you for giving us a wonderful and amazing time in Reykjavík and Iceland.”
Review By Christine Barranca On Trip Advisor:
“We were a family of three and were very happy with this tour and the company operating it. They were responsive and accommodating from the first moment we contacted them. The day before accidentally our tour was canceled and they were on it immediately, rectified it, and we were back on track in a couple of hours. Freddy was wonderful at organizing the details and his communication was stellar, making sure everything went smoothly.”
Review By J Stead On Trip Advisor:
“I did this tour plus the golden circle and blue lagoon all organised prior to my holiday with Tourism Iceland. This made life so much easier with no extra money put on trips. South Tour wonderful , lots interesting places loved the Bosch sand beach and the waterfall you can walk behind. Great tour guide too. Don’t miss this adventure and the blue lagoon a must too!”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Check out the most commonly asked questions about the best time to visit Iceland mentioned below.
The best time for viewing the Northern Lights in Iceland starts in September and continues till March the following year. During this time, Iceland experiences the Winter Solstice, making it the best time for spotting the Northern Lights.
The cheapest months you can consider visiting Iceland are from January through May. During this time, Iceland receives less number of crowds and relatively fewer tourists. Everything, from car rentals to accommodation and even flight tickets, will be relatively cheaper.
The ideal number of days perfect for visiting Iceland is anytime between 8 to 12 days – it’s the right number of days for exploring various regions. In addition, you can drive on the Ring Road and that too in a complete circle to witness the diversity of Iceland.
March is perhaps the best time to visit Iceland. However, this is technically off-season in Iceland, you will be able to enjoy cheap rates on everything you need to travel – from accommodation to flight tickets, but at the same time, it can also turn out to be unsafe since Iceland is not crowded during this time – so it’s best to be safe during this time.
Exploring Iceland: Once In A Lifetime Kinda Experience
Finding out what is the best time to visit Iceland is perhaps one of the most vital pieces of information you need before you can book your flights and accommodation. Figure out what you want to witness and, more importantly, what you want to experience.
And it’s not just about what you want to experience – you also have to note that if ideal climatic conditions make you the most comfortable, it’s always better to choose comfort over anything else. In the meantime, don’t forget to share your thoughts about visiting Iceland and experiences, in case you have already visited this country, in the comments section below.