Iceland is a spectacular country known the world over for its natural beauty. The stark contrasts of fire and ice are what give this country its unique flair. From its sweeping landscapes and plunging waterfalls to the fiery volcanoes and icy glaciers, there is no shortage of things to do in Iceland. Once you’ve unearthed the country’s marvels, when you travel to Iceland becomes a question of when rather than if. While trying to figure out the best time to visit Iceland, there are a few things to know. Each season has its particular benefits, so once you’ve weighed the options available you can start planning your Iceland vacation.

Iceland map with Reykjavik pinned while trying to figure out best time to visit

When is the best time to visit Iceland? – Benefits of Going in the Summer

First of all, let’s define what we mean by summer in Iceland. The summer months in the small Nordic country tend to be June, July and August. The summer is when the weather is most pleasant, and in general, June is the warmest month in Iceland with temperatures reaching up to 15 °C (60 °F). With that in mind, you’ll still want to pack for multiple seasons just in case. Iceland’s weather is unpredictable, even in the summer. There have even been snowstorms in June! Summer is also the time of year to see the Midnight Sun in Iceland. Never ending days give you more time to explore and get the most out of your Icelandic adventure. Summer is also the perfect time to experience Iceland’s many festivals such as the Secret Solstice Midnight Sun Music Festival in Reykjavik, the Dalvik Fish Festival and the LungA Art Festival in Seyðisfjörður.

Iceland Weather in Summer: Average High is 13 °C (56 °F)
Iceland Weather in Summer: Average Low is 8 °C (47 °F)

Godafoss waterfall at sunset in summer - one of the best times to visit Iceland

When is the best time to visit Iceland? – Benefits of Going in the Winter

Visiting Iceland in winter is completely different experience than touring the country in the summer. 24-hour sunshine and warm temperatures give way to chilly days and nights along with the night sky lit up with the nocturnal phenomenon known as the Northern Lights. While winter is considered the low season for many travel destinations, it’s a quite popular time to go to Iceland. One of the benefits of going to Iceland in the winter is that you can visit the country’s ice caves, which are not accessible during the warmer months. Expect the ground to be blanketed with snow during this period, and while it will be cold, it’s not as severe as you think. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 0 °C (32 °F) in the country’s capital of Reykjavik.

Iceland Weather in Winter: Average High is 3 °C (37 °F)
Iceland Weather in Winter: Average Low is -3 °C (27 °F)

Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon in Iceland when visiting in winter

When is the best time to visit Iceland? – Benefits of Going in the Shoulder Season

The best time to see the spectacular Aurora Borealis light show is probably September and October as well as February and March. Some of the factors that affect the strength of the lights include how dark the night sky is, how clear it is and how cold the atmosphere is. Shoulder season is a wonderful time to visit Iceland not only because you can avoid the harsh temperatures of winter but also find cheaper flights and accommodation. Should you choose to come in the late spring, you can also see puffins returning home to nest or even go on a whale watching excursion.

Iceland Weather in Fall and Spring: Average High is between 3 and 9.5 °C (28-39 °F)
Iceland Weather in Fall and Spring: Average Low is between -2 and 3.5 °C (38-49 °F)

When is the best time to visit Iceland?

Whatever time of year you decide to come to Iceland, it’s sure to be an incredible experience!

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