Best time to visit Iceland

When is the best time to visit Iceland? Many travellers, who would like to visit the island at the polar circle, ask themselves this question. Most travel guides recommend the summer months from the middle of June up to the end of August. But it is also always mentioned that Iceland is an attractive destination at other seasons, too. But each travel time has its pros and cons. In order to be able to decide for yourself, some notes are to be specified below in regard to the different travel times.

Main season (summer)

The main season in Iceland begins around 20th June and goes approximately to 20th August. Please find below some pros and cons of this travel time:

  • During June, July and August it’s most warm and the weather is mild and comfortable.
  • There are bright summer day, espacially by the end of June the sun is above the horizon nearly the whole night.
  • From the beginning of July all high land routes are opened. Also the huts in the highlands are opened, however they must be booked in advance.
  • More trips are offered by tour operators and also most of the museums are opened daily.
  • Airlines offer more flights to Iceland.
  • The prices of tour operators and partly the local prices in shops are higher during the summer.
  • Some people may have sleeping problems due to the midnight sun and bright nights.
  • Visitors must book ahead into most places.
  • The country is very crowded by tourist. If you seek remoteness and calmness, this could be the wrong season to you.

Spring

Due to the northern latitude spring in Iceland begins later than in Central Europe or North America. But also this travel time from the beginning of April to approximately the middle of June should be considered when arranging a journey to Iceland.

  • The days are already longer. There is enough daylight in April and by the end of May or the beginning of June it doesn’t get dark at all.
  • During the early season the prices are lower than in the summer months., e.g for accomodation.
  • Flowers are in bloom.
  • The sights and tourist attractions are not too crowded.
  • The variety of the tourist offers are reduced.
  • The highland routes are not opened for traffic.

Winter

In the months from November to March it is also possible to visit Iceland:

  • Anreise und Aufenthalt sind in den Wintermonaten vergleichsweise günstig.
  • Es bieten sich einige Wintersportaktivitäten an. Zudem ist es vor allem für diejenigen interessant, die das Land bereits im Sommer kennen gelernt haben und die Landschaft nun einmal im Schnee erleben möchten.
  • Because it’s the off-season, the flights to Iceland and the local prices are less expensive in winter.
  • For those, who have already visited Iceland in summer, it could be interesting to experience the snow-covered landscapes.
  • It is the best time to witness the Polar Lights in the sky.
  • The days are short and the activities with daylight are limited. But please note that in February there is more daylight than you’d expect.
  • The opening times in museums and other exhibitions are shorter.
  • Airlines have reduced flight schedules.

Autumn

Finally we take a look at the autumn for those who think about visiting Iceland after the main season or later:

  • The inrushes of tourists leave the country at the beginning of September and it becomes less crowded.
  • The travel prices of the tour operators and the local prices are less expensive.
  • Starting from end of August the summer days are rapidly passing by. Longer nights and shorter days are a true sign that winter is near.
  • Starting by the end of September, polar lights can be seen.
  • The roads through the highlands start to close around September.
  • The weather often is dismal.
  • The variety of the tourist offers are reduced.
  • Flights to Iceland are much cheaper, but the flight schedules of the airlines are reduced.

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