When people are planning there trip to Iceland the first question they often ask is, “should I go in May or September?”, “should I go to Iceland in October or November?” So when is the best time to visit Iceland?
There is only one answer to this questions!
What is your main goal visiting Iceland?
Depending on your goals, what time is the optimal for your visit to Iceland? To be able to decide when the best time is for you to visit Iceland you need to know how things go around the year. Each month is like a one of twelve seasons as the weather, brightness, road condition, tourist traffic, services and more changes from month to month.
One point about weather in Iceland. It´s tends go around in 3 to 6 week phases and does not always follow the seasons. So it can be warm and rainy for few weeks during the winter. On the other hand, it can be blue skies and cold or cold and blizzards every other day.
One of Iceland Northern Lights HQ least favorite months, but the month can have it charm if the weather is favorable.
Daylight: 4 hours and 22 minutes (11:19 to 15:42)
It´s the northern lights high season and it´s winter. The weather is very unpredictable, can be warm, rainy or cold with blizzard and every thing between.
If you want to see the country and nature during winter time this is not the best time due to short days and very unpredictable weather. Consider February or Mars.
Days are getting longer, but sill less than a regular working hours.
Daylight: 7 hours and 03 minutes (10:09 to 17:13).
If you like outdoors sport like skiing this is the high season that will last into April. You can even ski after dark as the ski areas have their trails lit up when it gets dark.
The northern lights season is still on.
Daylight: 10 hours and 13 minutes (08:33 to 18:47)
Spring equinox is mars 20th.
It´s still winter. Weather wise this month can be really good or really bad like in January and February.
Late April is the end of the northern lights season.
Daylight: 13 hours and 35 minutes (06:44 to 20:20)
First day of summer is April 21th.
The end of the northern lights season is in early April.
One of Iceland Northern Lights HQ favorite months.
Daylight: 16 hours and 54 minutes (04:58 to 21:453)
First of all you will get snow in the mountains, the summer is on it´s way and every day getting longer and longer.
May is often sunny, but can be could and windy as well.
The tourism season is kicking in.
Daylight: 20 hours and 09 minutes (03:22 to 23:31)
Summer solstice – the longest day of the year: June 20th. Daylight 21 hours and 08 minutes (02:55 to 00:03)
The roads to the highland start to open up late June, it depends how much snow is in the highlands and the weather in the spring.
The best info for the road condition can be found here.
It´s the high season in tourism, a lot of people in many of the popular tourism attraction.
Daylight: 20 hours and 48 minutes (03:06 to 23:55)
But keep in mind, if you are traveling on your own car you can control at what time of the day you visit the popular places, early in the morning or late in the evening. Passing the bus traffic.
The biggest travel weekend for Icelander´s is around comer’s day first weekend in August with a lot of traffic all around the country.
Daylight: 17 hours and 54 minutes (04:35 to 22:29)
In good weather the twilights can be really beautiful.
Late August around 20th to be exact is the first change to see the northern lights in the upcoming fall and winter.
The autumn is settling in and you can see nature prepare for winter with many beautiful colors.
Daylight: 14 hours and 30 minutes (06:11 to 20:41)
Autumn equinox is September 22th
The tourism high season is over, but there are still many on the roads.
Natures theme color in October is, black and brown.
Daylight: 11 hours and 17 minutes (07:37 to 18:58)
First day of winter is October 22th.
This month is often time really wet and windy.
Real transition from autumn to winter.
Daylight: 7 hours and 56 minutes (09:12 to 17:09)
The weather is really unpredictable and this is not the best month to drive the ring road.
Many travelers get in trouble trying to drive between towns way to late in the evening or during the night and get stuck in snow. Remember to check the road condition. Roads are not serviced after 9 pm to 6 am. So if there is snow and windy the roads get blocked really fast.
It is the best time to hunt the northern lights. Normally you can see the northern lights after 6 a clock in the evening and through the night to 5 am.
Daylight: 04 hours and 59 minutes (10:47 to 15:46)
Winter solstice – the shortest day of the year: December 21th. Daylight 04 hours and 07 minutes (11:22 to 15:29)
Many restaurants will close during the holidays, specially Des 24th and 25th, but this old habit of Icelanders is changing due to increased tourism especially in Reykjavík. So just be prepared for that.
Ok being in Reykjavik for new year evening is a new and breathtaking experience, the city goes wild with fire works, something that you will not see in many other places. Find a place where you have good view over the city.
What you want to see and experience during your stay in Iceland will help you to determine when to visit Iceland.