Best time to Visit Iceland

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 24/04/2024

Land of fire and ice, Iceland is a captivating island nation that calls to the adventurer in all of us. But with dramatic landscapes that change with the seasons, picking the perfect time to visit can be tricky.

Do you dream of chasing the magical Northern Lights across the night sky? Or perhaps soaking in geothermal pools surrounded by snow-capped peaks is your idea of bliss? Worry not, fellow traveller!

This blog will be your guide to unlocking Iceland's secrets so you can experience its wonders at their peak. Let us explore and discover the best time of the year to go to Iceland based on your travel desires.

What is the Best Time to Visit Iceland?

If you are planning a trip to Iceland, the most popular time is during the summer months - May through August, when you can experience long days filled with sunshine. This is ideal for activities like hiking and sightseeing. However, be prepared for larger crowds and potentially higher prices.

For a quieter experience with a chance to see the Northern Lights, consider the shoulder seasons - September-April. This is also the best time to see Northern lights in Iceland. September still offers decent daylight hours, while October to April brings the possibility of witnessing the aurora borealis. Keep in mind that winter in Iceland means shorter days and some road closures.

Basically, Iceland's magic unfolds throughout the year, but the ideal time comes down to what you would like to experience there.

Which is the Best Season to Visit Iceland?

Iceland's breathtaking landscapes hold a unique charm throughout the year. But the ideal time for your visit hinges on the kind of experience you seek.

Here is a breakdown of the seasons to help you plan your Icelandic adventure.

Peak Season in Iceland

Summer months in Iceland, from June to August, explode with sunshine. Long days, some with the magical midnight sun phenomenon, provide ample opportunity for exploration. Hike scenic trails, marvel at glaciers, or go wildlife spotting for adorable puffins.

However, this peak season comes with a price – larger crowds and potentially higher travel costs.

Shoulder Season in Iceland

If you prefer a quieter experience with pleasant weather, consider the shoulder seasons – May and September. May boasts vibrant wildflowers and mild temperatures, while September offers glimpses of fall foliage.

Both months see a decrease in crowds and potentially more affordable accommodation. September nights even hold the possibility of witnessing the mesmerising Northern Lights. Be prepared for unpredictable weather with some rain and wind.

Low Season in Iceland

Winter, stretching from October to April, transforms Iceland into a wonderland. Witness the breathtaking Northern Lights dance across the dark night sky. Embrace the winter chill by soaking in geothermal pools surrounded by snow-capped peaks – a truly unique experience.

However, shorter days and potential road closures are realities of the low season. Some tours and activities might have limited availability during this time.

Also Read: Iceland Visa for Indians

Best Month to Visit Iceland - A Month-by-Month Guide to Visiting Iceland

Iceland, a land of stark contrasts and natural wonders, offers unique experiences throughout the year.

Here is a month-by-month guide to help you plan your visit.

January in Iceland

January marks the heart of winter in Iceland, where snow blankets the landscapes and creates a picturesque scene straight out of a fairytale. Despite the cold temperatures, this month offers a plethora of activities for adventurous souls.

You can embark on exhilarating glacier hikes, explore ice caves carved by nature's hand, or experience the thrill of snowmobiling across vast icy expanses.

Additionally, January is an excellent time for witnessing the dazzling display of the Northern Lights, with clear, dark skies providing optimal viewing conditions.

Average Temperature: -1°C to 4°C

Best Places to Visit:

  • Reykjavík for its vibrant culture and cosy cafes

  • The Blue Lagoon for a warm soak amidst the cold

  • Thingvellir National Park for stunning winter landscapes

Things to Experience:

  • The Northern Lights, best viewed on clear, dark nights

  • Snowmobiling on glaciers for an adrenaline rush

  • Traditional Icelandic cuisine to warm up the soul

February in Iceland

February in Iceland continues to embrace the winter wonderland atmosphere, with snowy landscapes and icy vistas dominating the scenery. One of the highlights of this month is the Thorrablot festival, a traditional Icelandic celebration of midwinter feasts.

For outdoor enthusiasts, February offers opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and even ice fishing on frozen lakes.

Average Temperature: -1°C to 4°C

Best Places to Visit:

  • Gullfoss Waterfall is especially beautiful when partially frozen

  • Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park for ice cave explorations

  • Húsavík for whale watching tours

Things to Experience:

  • Winter festivals celebrating Icelandic culture

  • Skiing and snowboarding in the north

  • Relaxing in geothermal hot springs scattered across the country

Iceland in March

As winter gradually loosens its grip, March heralds the arrival of spring in Iceland. While snow still blankets much of the countryside, signs of thawing begin to emerge, creating a magical transition between seasons.

March is an ideal time to witness the breathtaking spectacle of migrating birds returning to the island and spot playful seals along the coastlines.

Average Temperature: -1°C to 4°C

Best Places to Visit:

  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon to see icebergs up close

  • Snæfellsnes Peninsula for its diverse landscapes and Kirkjufell mountain

  • Akureyri, the ‘Capital of the North’

Things to Experience:

  • Ice fishing in remote lakes

  • Horseback riding on Icelandic horses

  • Visiting local breweries and tasting unique Icelandic beers

Iceland in April

April marks the onset of Iceland's vibrant spring season, with longer daylight hours and milder temperatures signalling the awakening of nature. This month offers a unique blend of winter activities and budding springtime adventures.

April also presents an excellent opportunity for whale watching as migrating whales begin to populate the coastal waters once again.

Average Temperature: 2°C to 7°C

Best Places to Visit:

  • The Golden Circle for geysers, waterfalls, and historical sites

  • Lake Mývatn for bird watching and natural baths

  • Reykjanes Peninsula for its lunar landscapes

Things to Experience:

  • Puffin watching as they return to the cliffs to nest

  • Hiking in the highlands as the snow begins to melt

  • Enjoying the first glimpses of the midnight sun towards the end of the month

Iceland in May

  • May brings forth the full bloom of spring in Iceland, transforming the landscapes into a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours. Wildflowers carpet the meadows, and cascading waterfalls roar with renewed vigour as the snow melts away.

  • May is perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and birdwatching in Iceland's pristine wilderness.

Average Temperature: 4°C to 10°C

Best Places to Visit:

  • Westfjords for dramatic fjords and untouched nature

  • Látrabjarg cliffs to see puffins and other seabirds

  • The town of Stykkishólmur for its charming architecture and maritime history

Things to Experience:

  • Sea kayaking among fjords and inlets

  • Visiting botanical gardens blooming with Arctic flowers

  • Whale watching as marine life becomes more active

Iceland in June

June heralds the arrival of the midnight sun in Iceland. Daylight stretches into the wee hours of the night, creating an enchanting atmosphere for exploration. This month marks the peak of summer, with endless opportunities for outdoor adventures under perpetual daylight.

It also offers the chance to partake in traditional Icelandic festivities, such as the National Day celebrations on June 17th, which are filled with music, parades, and cultural events.

Average Temperature: 8°C to 13°C

Best Places to Visit:

  • The Highlands for hiking and camping in the midnight sun

  • Siglufjörður for its herring history and picturesque setting

  • Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) for volcanic landscapes

Things to Experience:

  • National Day celebrations on June 17th

  • Midnight golf tournaments under the sun at midnight

  • River rafting on glacial rivers for thrilling adventures

Also Read: Iceland Citizenship for Indians

Iceland in July

July is synonymous with long sunny days and balmy temperatures in Iceland, making it the perfect time for outdoor pursuits and exploration. This month offers a wealth of opportunities for hiking in Iceland's pristine wilderness, with trails leading to majestic waterfalls, volcanic craters, and panoramic viewpoints.

Average Temperature: 10°C to 15°C

Best Places to Visit:

  • Landmannalaugar for its colourful rhyolite mountains and hot springs

  • The town of Akranes for its lighthouses and coastal beauty

  • Vík í Mýrdal for its black sand beaches and basalt columns

Things to Experience:

  • Hiking to hot springs and bathing in natural pools

  • Exploring lava fields and volcanic craters

  • Attending music festivals that showcase local and international talent

Iceland in August

  • August marks the end of summer in Iceland, with mild temperatures and lingering daylight hours offering the perfect conditions for outdoor adventures. This month is ideal for exploring Iceland's rugged highlands, where majestic landscapes of towering mountains, volcanic deserts, and glacier-carved valleys await.

  • August also presents the opportunity to witness the annual sheep roundups, where farmers gather their flocks from the mountains in a traditional spectacle of Icelandic culture.

Average Temperature: 9°C to 14°C

Best Places to Visit:

  • Thorsmork Nature Reserve for its exceptional hiking trails

  • The East Fjords for quaint villages and scenic drives

  • Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe

Things to Experience:

  • Berry picking in the wild

  • Horse riding tours through diverse terrains

  • Enjoying the last of the long days before autumn sets in

Iceland in September

As summer transitions into autumn, September paints the landscapes of Iceland with hues of gold, amber, and crimson. This month offers a tranquil atmosphere for exploration, with fewer crowds and cooler temperatures ideal for outdoor activities.

This month also marks the beginning of the Northern Lights season, with darkening skies providing opportunities for witnessing nature's most captivating light show.

Average Temperature: 7°C to 12°C

Best Places to Visit:

  • The Northern Lights begin to make their appearance

  • Asbyrgi Canyon for its horseshoe shape and folklore

  • The town of Höfn for its lobster festival

Things to Experience:

  • Hiking as the autumn colours start to show

  • Taking part in the annual sheep round-up, Réttir

  • Enjoying the quieter tourist spots as the high season winds down

Iceland in October

  • October in Iceland brings crisp autumn days and the gradual onset of winter's chill, creating a magical ambience for exploration. This month offers a blend of autumnal colours and winter activities, with landscapes adorned in shades of orange, red, and yellow.

  • October also presents the opportunity to witness the Northern Lights, with longer nights and clear skies providing optimal viewing conditions.

Average Temperature: 3°C to 8°C

Best Places to Visit:

  • The Westman Islands for birdwatching and volcanic history

  • The town of Hveragerði for its geothermal park and hot river

  • The Snæfellsjökull Glacier for its mystical appeal

Things to Experience:

  • Soaking in hot tubs as the weather cools

  • Exploring museums and cultural sites in Reykjavík

  • Witnessing the dramatic change in weather as winter approaches

Iceland in November

  • November marks the transition into Iceland's winter season, with temperatures dropping and snow dusting the landscapes in a blanket of white. This month offers the chance to experience traditional Icelandic culture, with cosy evenings spent by the fire sampling hearty local cuisine and listening to folklore tales.

  • November is also an excellent time to soak in geothermal hot springs, such as the Secret Lagoon or Reykjadalur hot springs, which are surrounded by snowy landscapes and steamy waters.

Average Temperature: 1°C to 5°C

Best Places to Visit:

  • The Icelandic Phallological Museum for a unique experience

  • The town of Borgarnes for its settlement history

  • The Reykjanes Geopark for its geothermal activity

Things to Experience:

  • Relaxing in a sauna followed by a dip in the cold sea

  • Tasting traditional Icelandic dishes during Þorrablót festival

  • Observing the changing ice formations on glaciers

Iceland in December

  • December in Iceland is synonymous with festive cheer and winter wonder, as the country comes alive with holiday celebrations and seasonal festivities. This month offers the chance to experience the magic of a traditional Icelandic Christmas, with twinkling lights adorning streets, markets brimming with handmade gifts, and the aroma of freshly baked gingerbread filling the air.

  • December also presents optimal conditions for witnessing the Northern Lights, with long dark nights and clear skies offering the perfect backdrop for nature's most spectacular light show.

Average Temperature: -1°C to 4°C

Best Places to Visit:

  • Reykjavík for its Christmas markets and festive atmosphere

  • The town of Selfoss for its Yule Lads and holiday traditions

  • Skógafoss Waterfall for its frozen beauty

Things to Experience:

  • Celebrating New Year’s Eve with bonfires and fireworks

  • Ice skating in downtown Reykjavík

  • Enjoying traditional Christmas buffets with Icelandic specialties

Why Travel Insurance is Advisable for Your Icelandic Adventure?

Iceland's magic beckons, but unforeseen situations can disrupt your dream trip. Imagine injuring yourself during a thrilling glacier walk or needing medical attention – unexpected medical bills can quickly turn your adventure sour.

Tata AIG travelling insurance offers a variety of coverage options designed to fit your specific needs. Invest in peace of mind and secure your Icelandic adventure with us. Medical care in Iceland, while excellent, can be expensive for visitors. Travel health insurance safeguards you financially in case of emergencies, doctor visits, or medications.

Flight cancellations, missed flights, and lost baggage and documents are some of the woes that can disrupt your journey to scenic Iceland. But with the right travel policy in place, you can be at peace.

Explore our comprehensive travel health insurance options to pick the right travel insurance cost based on your budget before you embark on your unforgettable journey!


Iceland's captivating landscapes offer a unique experience throughout the year. Whether you crave the thrill of winter activities and the mesmerising Northern Lights or the long days and vibrant colours of summer, there is a perfect time for your visit.

Keep this guide handy while packing your bags for Iceland. Also, remember that Iceland's beauty transcends the seasons; hence do not forget to acquire the right travel insurance policy with the right coverage from Tata AIG.

Happy travelling!


I am on a tight budget. When is the cheapest time to visit Iceland?

April and October fall into the shoulder season, offering a balance between affordability and pleasant weather. In April, you might even catch the tail-end of the Northern Lights.

Is travel insurance mandatory for an Iceland trip from India?

To travel to Iceland from India, you will need a valid Schengen visa. Therefore, valid travel insurance with a minimum coverage of €30,000 for medical emergencies is a mandatory requirement for obtaining a Schengen visa, which allows entry into Iceland and other Schengen Area countries.

Share This Article
Facebook Feeds
Recent Tweets
Share This Article
Facebook Feeds
Recent Tweets

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

Tata AIG Also Offers Insurance for the below products

Travel Insurance

Car Insurance

Two Wheeler Insurance

Health Insurance