Iceland Weather And Best Time To Visit Iceland
Iceland is also lovingly called the ‘land of fire and ice,’ for it is home to active and passive volcanoes as well as ice caves and Europe’s largest, coldest glaciers. On one side hot springs and geysers erupt from deep inside its underbelly, and on the other Northern Lights blink out of the darkened winter sky.
So really the best time to visit Iceland will depend on what weather you want to enjoy - summer or winter, and what activities you want to pursue - hikes and explorations or northern lights? Here we have a little guide complied to detail every season in Iceland and what each entails.
Spring (March to May)
Spring in Iceland is cooler than other European countries, obviously. Even though there is major thawing of snow, and the water currents begin to circulate in the rivers and lakes, the temperature remains between 7-10°C. Birds flock back and the colours of nature are somehow brighter than they ever seemed. On 1st March ‘Day of Beer’ is celebrated and this ushers in an era of tourism - with puffin watching tours, hiking tours, golf games and nature baths opening up for one and all. Horseback riding, diving between tectonic plates, kayaking, fishing and more is on the plate for summer.
Summer (June to August)
The summer season brings with it white nights as the sun starts to ascend the horizon and elongating the length of the day, until days almost never end and nights never come. July is termed as the warmest month of the year, with temperature remaining between 15-20°C. This time is also coveted for the sight of the midnight sun, to visit Blue Lagoon and its hot lakes with mineral springs, go horse-riding and hiking and fishing as well.
Beware, this is the peak tourist season and you might find inflated rates and crowd.
Autumn (September to November)
September is a transition month between summer and autumn in Iceland, with the sunlight decreasing gradually, giving way to the dark nights that host Northern Lights. With the sun low on the horizon, the daylight hours barely stretch to 5 per day and all the outdoor summer tours and activities become cheap. What is breathtaking about Iceland at this time is the volcanic ash that is seen right underneath the layer of ice on mountains.
Winter (December to February)
Winter is another tourist season because of the mighty Northern Lights. With its very short days and extreme cold, winter may not be very coveted for most, but those looking for sure shot sights of aurora borealis come during the end of December and January. Darker the night, easier to locate the lights. Winter Solstice (21st December) is the best time or the ‘golden hour’ for sighting the lights. Aside from this, you can stay in igloos, go snowmobile riding, walk on glaciers and frozen fjords and also enjoy the treks on volcanic mountains.