When to visit Iceland

Iceland is a spectacular country to visit at any time of year as each season offers new adventures such as hiking the highlands and paddleboarding the fjords during the summer or (nordic) skiing and dog sledding during winter. Additionally certain places, such as the Highlands are only accessible during the summer months whilst the Northern Lights are only visible outside the summer months.

If you’re looking for long days and short nights, plan your trip to Iceland during the summer. A midnight walk to a waterfall in daylight is a lovely experience and a great way to beat the crowds. Those in search of the Aurora Borealis should visit Iceland between late September and late March. Visit our Travel Essentials section for more information on catching those spectacular but elusive Northern Lights. Christmas and New Year is a wonderful time to visit Iceland but we highly recommend booking 9 months in advance where possible. The same applies for the summer holiday time.

We recommend visiting during the shoulder seasons when there are fewer visitors and prices are lower. The autumn and spring are a great time to visit. The weather in Iceland is erratic and changeable so even in summer and winter you may not experience the weather you will be expecting and hence why we recommend visiting at any time of year. The highlands of Iceland and the Westfjords are only accessible during the summer months. Hotels on the islands are often only open during the summer months too. There are certain activities you can only do during winter, and spring and autumn to a degree, such as dog sledding, ice climbing, hunting for the Northern Lights, skiing and snowshoeing to name but a few! We would only ever recommend embarking on a ‘self-drive’ trip around Iceland during the summer. However, the best way to truly experience Iceland is with a private guide who will show you the best spots, guide you across trickier spots that you shouldn’t attempt alone but also give you your independence whenever desired. They will also take pleasure in regaling the history, geology and folklore of this magical island.