Best time of year to visit Iceland: step by step guide

Iceland is such a wonderful country and has many beautiful places to explore! No matter when you will choose to visit Iceland, there is always something to do and a lot of things to experience.

Best time of year to visit Iceland

Before buying your tickets to Iceland, you should figure it out why you want to visit this magnificent place. Is it for Northern Lights? For seeing the puffins? Or for exploring the country?

best time to visit Iceland summer
best time to visit Iceland summer

I hope you realize that you cannot have them all! For example, summer is a great time to explore the country, while winter is best for seeing Northern Lights! Spring is a good time to go if you want to see puffins, while autumn is a good option for those looking to drive along the Ring Road, explore the country and avoid the crowds.

Now, let’s discuss each season and its strong and weak points! I guess this is the best way I can do to help you decide when the best time to visit Iceland for you is!

Summer

Summer is considered to be peak season. This means many tourists, higher prices, lower quality of services and limited resources when we are looking to book a hotel, a car or a campervan.

Me, personally, I always avoid peak season, mainly because of crowds and high prices.

It is true that summer is the best time of year to visit Iceland if you want to experience the midnight sun and see the green face of Iceland. This is peak season and is the time of year when thousands of tourists come to Iceland.

Iceland Summer Best time to visit Iceland in 2020
Iceland Summer Best time for visiting Iceland in 2020

The prices are higher in this season and if you don’t book your accommodation and your car in advance you might have to pay much more for the same thing.

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The scenery is amazing and there are almost 20 hours of light per day so you have enough time to explore the country!

Spring and autumn

Spring and autumn are the shoulder season. What does this mean? It means that the crowds have gone, the prices are back to normal and you can enjoy your time spend in this wonderful country and get a good sense of how locals live.

The days are still long enough and warm and the weather is OK. The temperatures are mostly positive, with a few exceptions during the night, when it might go to negative values.

Best time of year to visit Iceland autumn
Best time to visit Iceland autumn

A golden rule when speaking about travelling in shoulder season is to keep an eye on the local weather site and on the road conditions site. These two websites are updated constantly and reflect reality. When on the website appear a close road, then it is close for real. Don’t you even think to go there!
In my opinion, these two seasons are the best time of year to visit Iceland because of the prices, the crowds and the weather conditions!

And you know what?! If you travel to Iceland around the equinox and if you are lucky, you might see the Northern Lights on the Icelandic sky. It is one of a kind experience!

Winter

If you are interested in seeing the Northern Lights and you don’t want to explore the country and travel along the Ring Road, then winter is the perfect season for you.

The days are very short, with about 5 hours of light per day, the weather is very unpredictable and the Ring Road is closed almost all the time.

Best time of year to visit Iceland winter
Best time to visit Iceland winter

Book accommodation in Reykjavik and from there do daily trips in the nearby area. It is too risky to travel across the country and most of the roads are closed!

We chose to stay at Midgardur-by-Center-Hotels , a beautiful hotel located very close to the city’s top attractions. Everything was just walking distance from our hotel. We walked around and explore the area! We didn’t need a car! And the services and the hotel facilities are really great! We were very happy with what we get!

I know I said this before but this is how I feel: the best time of year to visit Iceland is in shoulder season! We did so and it was just great! We drove along the Ring Road and we also saw the Northern Lights! I mean…what else could you wish for?!

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