Iceland is a land of extremes, a place where nature and natural phenomes dictate the daily course of life.
Located close to the Arctic Circle, Iceland climate is characterised by very moody weather which makes you change your plans in a second.
To answer your questions about when is the best time to visit Iceland we first have to talk about the weather in each season and what are you interested to do when visit Iceland.
Each season and each month has its own beauty and fascinate tourists. You just have to know what you want to see and which activities you want to do when go to Iceland.
Let me give you an example, to be clearer. If you want to see Northern Lights, you will not visit Iceland in summer but choose instead the best time of year to see northern lights in iceland.
It is the same if you want to see puffins. You will not visit Iceland in winter if you want to see these cute creatures.
I will tell you some words about each season and what you could do, just to help you decide when is best for you to visit Iceland.
Spring in Iceland
Spring months are from mid-March to the end of June.
During spring the days become longer and warmer, the snow is melting and nature is waking after the long winter sleep.
The weather is still moody and can change suddenly, but overall is one of the best periods to visit Iceland.
There might be many days with rain and wind, but overall the days are sunny and the temperatures are moderate.
Pack with you a raincoat and a fleece because you will need them, for sure! Waterproof shoes are a must too!
The country is not crowded so you can enjoy your time spend around and more than that, the prices are more than reasonable. At least if we compare prices from the ones in summer, when everything explodes!
If you wonder when is the best time to visit Iceland and to drive the Ring Road, well, spring is!
You can hire a camp or book accommodations at hotels and drive along the 1300 kilometres! It will be an incredible tour! You will have the chance to see all Iceland wonders.
Spring is also the best season to see puffins, many tour companies organise puffins watching tours.
Whales are back and waiting to be admired!
So, why don’t you book a whale watching tour from Reykjavik?!
If you are an outdoor activity lover we recommend you to try kayaking or horseback riding, or why not dive at Silfra. Silfra is the place where two tectonic plates meet: European and American.
The Flexible TRAVEL insurance COVERS 150 activities you love + more
Whether you prefer to do summer and water activities or winter and snow activities, you should have a travel insurance.
Just think about any activity you wish to do on your holiday and this travel insurance will cover it. Don't take my word for it, check and see for yourself!
Summer in Iceland
The summer season lasts from July to August.
During these two months, there are almost 24 hours of light and the temperatures are between 7 to 13 degrees Celsius.
This is the peak season in Iceland! Everywhere are tourists and all the attractions are full of people.
The prices are really high and you hardly can find a free room at a hotel or guesthouse.
If you plan to visit Iceland during summer you’d better book everything in advance: car, hotels, tours, everything!
There is a limited offer of cars to rent and rooms available! Booking in advance guarantees you a good quality-price ratio!
Get the best price for your car rental today
So, my answer to the question when is the best time to visit Iceland is not summer, for sure! Because it is very expensive and crowded!
The good part is that in summer you can do everything you want! You can go whale watching, see the Geysers, drive the Ring Road and Golden Circle, visit black beaches or see the puffins.
An increased number of hours with light means more hours for visiting Iceland attractions.
Autumn in Iceland
September to November are autumn months. Iceland in autumn is incredible!
The colours of autumn embrace the landscape in a unique way!
Icelandic fields are coloured in yellow, red and orange.
The entire island is preparing for winter. The days become shorter and colder. Take with you gloves and scarfs! You’ll need it!
The daily temperatures are between 0 to 7 degrees with lots of sudden changes in weather. In just one day you could have all the four seasons.
Be prepared to change and adapt your trip according to weather changes.
If you are lucky enough and choose the best time of year to see aurora borealis in iceland, you might spot Northern Lights.
Other activities for these seasons are: swimming in natural pools, dive at Silfra or drive along the Ring Road and Golden Circle.
How to choose the best time for northern lights in Iceland:
- Best time to see northern lights in iceland
- The Northern lights Iceland Ultimate Guide for 2020
- When is the best time of year for Northern Lights in Iceland
- 5 Best places to see Northern Lights in Iceland Travel Guide
When is the best time to visit Iceland? Is winter?
From December to March is winter time in Iceland. The days are very short; there are about 3 hours of light in December.
And it is cold, too. Usually, the temperatures are between -3 to 3 degrees Celsius. Pack with you thermal clothes! You will need them!
Because of weather conditions, the roads are mostly closed so it is impossible to drive the Ring Road. If you are lucky enough you can drive the Golden Circle.
But you should not be upset! You might have the unique opportunity to spot Aurora Borealis.
Actually, the most common and recommended activity during winter is to chase Northern Lights. So hire a car and prepared yourself for lifetime adventure!
Have a unique experience by exploring the area in your own rented car
Whether you prefer day trips from your hotel or a tour around the country, car rental is the best way for creating your own experience and live your dream vacation
Iceland is beautiful in each season. Each day is unique and has its own beauty!
Choose your ideal period to travel in Iceland depending on what are you interested to do!
Logistical tips and tricks for your trip
Book your accommodation
We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.
You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.
Don't forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, COVID, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.
We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.
Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.
We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.
Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.
We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.
Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.
Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.