Ski or Trek? Choose the Best Time to Visit Iceland

Despite what many think, Iceland experiences four distinct seasons – and each one offers its own set of experiences to enjoy.


Photo © iStock/krzych-34


Beginning in April, spring breathes life back into the country, and longer days help to melt snow to reveal verdant green fields. Though most of the country is safely accessible, sunny days can quickly turn to rain or even snow. Temperatures hover between 32-50°F (0-10°C).  

This is a great time to explore popular spots around the south coast and Golden Circle circuit without the summer crowds.

Spring lupines. Photo credit: iStock


June signals the start of the Icelandic summer, bringing with it the most stable weather and long, sunny days. Temperatures can reach up to 68°F (20°C), but spells of misty rains can also bring it back down to a chilly 50°F (10°C).

Summer is best for exploring the furthest reaches of the country, including the uninhabited highlands which are inaccessible for the rest of the year.

Heading to Iceland?

Get our FREE Insider's Guide & discover why this tiny island is big on adventures!


Summer vanishes at the end of August, and the landscape turns to hues of gold, brown, and orange. Storms batter the countryside, leaving behind a crispness in the air, and temperatures linger between 32-50°F (0-10°C).

This is one of the best times to catch the northern lights dancing over Iceland’s surreal landscapes, especially at Kirkjufell Mountain or Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

Aurora Borealis over Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Photo credit: iStock


Stretching from November until March, the dark winter months are the stormiest, bringing with them snow and ice that close smaller roads and possibly parts of the main route as well. However, temperatures are remarkably mild with the average just below 32°F (0°C), actually warmer than New York.

The freezing temperatures offer the best opportunities to experience the electric-blue ice caves beneath the behemoth glacier Vatnajökull.

Want to know more about Iceland? Check out our podcast. We chat about where to capture the best photos in Iceland, how to speak like a Viking (almost), and how a social policy got the country to the World Cup.

Related articles

Travel Insurance

Simple and flexible travel insurance

You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.

Get a quote

No Comments

Add a Comment

Latest articles