When's the Best Time to Visit Iceland?

18 May 2016

Iceland, the magical island of fire, ice and woolly jumpers has distinct seasons, but is an enchanting place to visit all year round. In the mild summer months you can sightsee from morning until night as the sun never really sets between late May and July.

In winter you can expect around 4-5 hours of daylight, but with the added bonus of being able to spot the Northern Light dance across the sky. The shoulder seasons (which bridge the peak and off-peak times) are a great time to score a deal and autumn offers a packed cultural calendar.

The weather can be unpredictable and you can often encounter all four seasons in one day so pack layers, waterproofs, hiking boots and swimming gear (the thermal pools stay open come rain, shine or snow).

Spring: Score a bargain before the summer crowds hit the island. Temperatures vary from 1 to 9°C between March and May and popular activities include whale watching, fishing and golf.


A photo posted by Camille Giove (@camillegiove) on

Summer: The average temperature is around 13°C. In June and July the sun rises just after 3am and sets between 11:30pm and midnight. Expect to see crowds throughout the peak summer months.

Autumn: September marks the start of the Northern Lights season and the autumnal colours can provide a stunning backdrop to Iceland's otherworldly landscapes. Top cultural events including the Airwaves music festival take place between September and November.


A photo posted by M A I T H Y (@vothyca) on

Winter: Temperatures hover around 1°C and you'll find snow on the ground in many places (the snow-covered lava fields are a spectacular sight). In January, the sun rises at around 11:30am and sets just before 4pm. Popular winter activities include Northern Lights-spotting, snowmobiling and skiing.

3 Hotels We Love in Reykjavik 

Hlemmur Square

Trendy budget hotel on Reykjavik's main shopping street and just three blocks from the waterfront. Bedrooms are on the fifth floor, with great city views.

Click here for rates and availability.

Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina

Deluxe property by the Old Harbour in downtown Reykjavik. City-centre museums and restaurants are within walking distance and there’s a small gym and even a climbing wall on site.

Click here for rates and availability.

CenterHotel Thingholt

Stylish boutique hotel close to Reykjavik’s main shopping street, with a fine-dining restaurant, a gym and spa.

Click here for rates and availability.

This post was written by guest blogger Rachel Erdos

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