What is the best time of year to visit Iceland?

We visited Iceland back in 2019 and fell in love with the country.

In great news for those looking to travel again, now that restrictions are easing, Iceland is on the green list for entering England, meaning you won’t have to quarantine when you return.

But, when is the best time to visit Iceland?

It depends on what you want to get out of your visit and what you want to see.

Northern Lights

The Northern Lights was the one that we wanted to see most and the peak viewing season for them is always September through to March when the nights are longest in Iceland.

The perfect time to see the lights is during the two equinox events during the year, as there is an equal time between day and night and there is generally periods of high geomagnetic electrical disturbance so an increased chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

The next equinox is on 22nd September 2021, or 20th March 2022. September is the perfect month to visit as the weather in Iceland is stable with average highs of 10℃ and lows just 4℃ lower at 6℃.

It is worth bearing in mind that winters in Iceland can be brutal. If you are planning to tour the country, Iceland is at its iciest, coldest and darkest and winter road closures will make access to some areas difficult.

Puffins

Puffins can be seen in Iceland from early April until September each year.

If seeing the Northern Lights does not interest you, summer is one of the best times to visit Iceland as the midnight sun, warmer temperatures and fun festivals make it a holiday to remember.

Whale Watching

May to September is the best time to visit Iceland if you want to go whale watching and spot Humpback’s and Orca’s, although June to August is best as that is when the sea is calmer and you have more chance of them breaking the surface.

Whale watching

Waterfalls

Iceland is home to some truly spectacular waterfalls, including Gullfoss Waterfall on the Hvítá river and the highest, second most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss in Jökulsárgljúfur, Vatnajökull National Park.

They are pretty spectacular all year around, although are most powerful after a spell of warmer weather as the glaciers that feed them are melting more quickly, so late summer is best.

Scenery

Raw, rugged and extreme, the sheer force of nature is the dominant feature on the Icelandic landscape and the prime time to visit Iceland is between June and August, as the longer days will give you more time to explore all its delights.

Sun God Iceland

In Summary

We visited Iceland in October and had an amazing time. It was mild enough for the whole family to enjoy it and we got to see some amazing sights.

Black-Beach-Iceland

We would love to return and this time will be aiming for September in the hope that we can go whale watching, see the puffins and enjoy a northern lights display.

Have you visited Iceland?

Disclaimer: Post written in collaboration with Travel Scoop. All thoughts and opinions are my own

5 thoughts on “What is the best time of year to visit Iceland?”

  1. I have wanted to visit Iceland for such a long time. The Northern lights are on my list and I am interested that you can see puffins all the way to Sept there. Will think about these things when we eventually visit.

    Reply
  2. We went on our honeymoon to Iceland. It was also in October. We didn’t see the Northern Lights, but we did catch the end of whale watching season. And the waterfalls were spectacular.

    Reply
  3. I soooo what to go to Iceland and see the lights. Honestly, I wasn’t sure when was best to go until reading this. Sounds like September would be best.

    Reply

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