Iceland is most frequently visited during summer as the weather is warm enough to relish outdoor activities. The roads through the interior are open during this season, but bringing a car to tour around the island is recommended.
It’s also the season of the midnight sun when the sky barely sets.
June is one of the best months to visit Iceland for those who love music and art, as many festivals and cultural events are happening throughout the month. The Secret Solstice festival is a must-see for music lovers, which brings together local and international artists in unusual venues around Reykjavik.
The days are long and bright in June, the start of Iceland’s summer, with the sun barely setting over the horizon at night. It’s a great time to take advantage of this and go hiking or camping to see the stunning landscapes and wildlife.
You can also enjoy some waterfalls in June, as the spring snowmelt leads to plenty of water flow. Another popular activity is visiting the Westman Islands to spot puffins – their numbers are at their highest this season.
July is one of the most popular months to visit Iceland as summer begins to heat up. It offers much, from warm weather and stunning natural sights to a full catalog of thrilling outdoor excursions.
With 19 hours of daylight per day, you’ll have plenty of time to explore Reykjavik and its surroundings, take a Golden Circle Road trip or even venture into the highlands without needing a four-wheel drive. This is also a great time to hike because the trails will be open, including those of the famous Laugavegur trail and into the inaccessible Highlands.
The contrasting landscapes of Iceland have made it a popular travel destination. The country’s long summer days open up access to the entire island, and you can hike along glaciers, soak in hot springs, scuba dive between two tectonic plates, gaze in awe at exploding volcanoes, or experience the buzz of one of Europe’s most vibrant cities.
As the end of August approaches, daylight decreases, and you’ll start seeing fewer tourists at popular sites. This means that you can have the waterfalls to yourself if you want.
You can also explore on a private tour or with other like-minded travelers on a small group adventure. This way, you can visit even more remote areas of Iceland, including the highlands, which are closed for much of the winter.
The summer tourist crowds have dispersed in September, and Iceland feels more “normal” for visitors. You’ll find fewer people on hiking trails, and you can enjoy the island’s natural beauty without the hassle of crowds.
You can also catch the Northern Lights, as the Autumn equinox is a great time to see them. And if you don’t make it on the night of the equinox, the sky is still dark enough to catch the lights on any other evening.
Experience the best of Iceland in September with a custom tour from our local experts. Connect with Andres to plan your trip and get the insider tips and tricks only an Iceland expert can provide.
In Iceland, October signals the changeover from summer to fall. Although the days are shorter, they are still sufficient for a full schedule of sightseeing and activities.
The famous Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and nearby Diamond Beach are still a must, but there are fewer crowds to contend with. Take a guided tour to see the lagoon’s massive icebergs or stroll along the black sand beach.
This shoulder season month also means that many roads and routes that close each winter are still open for travel, allowing you to drive around the island freely. Plus, there are ample opportunities to relax in geothermal pools or experience the Northern Lights. Horse riding is also viable, as Icelandic horses are well-adapted to the country’s climate.
November is a great month to explore Iceland’s glaciers, mountains, and towering volcanoes without the peak season crowds. It’s also an ideal time to see the Northern Lights if you’re lucky with weather conditions.
Summer is the peak travel season in Iceland, so prices are higher, and attractions are busier. However, with almost 24 hours of daylight (thanks to Iceland’s proximity to the Arctic Circle), it’s an incredible experience. Plan to visit popular sights early or late in the day to avoid crowds.
Puffins make Iceland their home from May to August, and seeing their adorable babies is a must. You’ll also find the streets come alive with music and cultural festivals.
With a blanket of snow, glistening icicles, and festive season lights, it’s no surprise that Christmas in Iceland is one of the country’s most magical times. You also will find a different crowds of tourists than you would during summer, making it a more peaceful and authentic experience.
The Imagine Peace Tower illuminates the dark winter days, a light installation dedicated to John Lennon that Yoko Ono has lit up each year on December 21st. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the spirit of Christmas with locals and experience their unique traditions, such as Laufabraud (leaf bread), giving gifts, and Jolakaka.
Due to the Gulf Stream, Iceland experiences milder winters than other countries at the same latitude. However, the weather is still changeable – so a waterproof coat and many layers are essential.