Discovering the Best Time to Visit Iceland: Weather, Northern Lights, Outdoor Activities and Crowds

Discovering the Best Time to Visit Iceland: Weather, Northern Lights, Outdoor Activities and Crowds

Iceland is a unique and stunning country, known for its otherworldly landscapes, hot springs, and Northern Lights. However, due to its location close to the Arctic Circle, Iceland's weather can be unpredictable and change rapidly. Therefore, it is essential to know the best time to visit Iceland to make the most of your trip. In this article, we will discuss the best time to visit Iceland based on various factors such as weather, activities, and crowd levels.


Iceland's weather is notoriously unpredictable, and it can change rapidly from sunshine to snowfall. However, the weather in Iceland is relatively mild compared to other countries at the same latitude due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. The summer months from June to August are the warmest, with average temperatures ranging from 10 to 13°C (50 to 55°F). The winter months from November to March are the coldest, with temperatures ranging from -1 to 4°C (30 to 40°F). The shoulder seasons of April to May and September to October offer more moderate temperatures with fewer crowds.

Northern Lights

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, is one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world. Iceland is an excellent place to witness this magical display of lights, especially during the winter months when the nights are long and dark. The best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland is from September to March when the sky is clear, and the aurora activity is high. However, it is important to note that the Northern Lights are unpredictable and can be affected by cloud cover and solar activity.

Outdoor Activities

Iceland offers a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, glacier trekking, and whale watching. The best time to enjoy these activities depends on the season. During the summer months from June to August, the weather is milder, and the days are longer, making it ideal for outdoor activities. However, this is also the peak tourist season, and popular attractions can get crowded. The winter months from November to March offer a unique experience with activities such as ice cave exploration and snowmobiling. It is important to note that some activities may be weather-dependent and may not be available during certain times of the year.


Iceland's popularity as a tourist destination has grown significantly in recent years, and crowds can be an issue, especially during the summer months. If you want to avoid the crowds, it is best to visit Iceland during the shoulder seasons of April to May and September to October. During these months, the weather is still mild, and there are fewer tourists, making it an ideal time to enjoy Iceland's attractions without the crowds.

In conclusion, the best time to visit Iceland depends on what you want to do and see. If you are interested in the Northern Lights, visiting during the winter months is recommended. For outdoor activities, the summer months offer milder weather, while the winter months offer unique experiences. If you want to avoid crowds, the shoulder seasons of April to May and September to October are the best times to visit Iceland. Regardless of when you visit, Iceland's stunning natural beauty and unique culture are sure to leave a lasting impression.

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