When is the best time to visit Iceland? Generally, you can visit Iceland any time of the year depending on different factors most of them concerning the climate and seasonal attractions but any time is a good time in Iceland. When it comes to what one can see and do, Iceland is not seasonal because even in the darkest winters you can do as many fun things and have wonderful experiences but in a very different way as you would during the day.
People tend to be scared of flying to Iceland during the winter because they think they will freeze to death on reaching there. That is why when someone hears the name Iceland, the first thing that they will think of is how there must be a lot of ice. This might not be a wrong impression, but Iceland is not just a land of arctic temperatures and shining glaciers. It might be located just below the Arctic Circle, but its winter temperatures are surprisingly often warmer than those in New York are, which just a 5 hours plane ride from Iceland is. People here enjoy a much milder climate than what you might think its name suggests, mostly because of the Gulf Stream flowing on the South and West of Iceland that brings the warmth all the way from the Caribbean.
Iceland is located right on top of the earth’s hot spots one of the reasons for the warmth there; it is a country of occasional earthquakes, incredible geothermal activities, full of mud pools, volcanoes, hot springs, and geysers. It is among the few places on earth where you will see two tectonic plates meeting on the earth's surface because the tectonic surfaces usually meet but beneath the sea. Iceland offers something special in every season, something worth visiting. So the best and right time to go to Iceland depends on what you want to see or do on your visit.
Iceland is full of dramatic magical natural wonders that will give you a reason to be enchanted while visiting this little island country. With time Iceland will be divided into two by the American and Eurasian plates, this divide runs straight into the middle of Iceland and is very visible especially at the Pingvellir national park where visitors and the local [people normally go snorkelling or diving between the two continents. The frequent volcanic eruptions and occasional minor earthquakes in Iceland surprisingly become an attraction instead of a scary ordeal. This is because it is not a threat to the people; the eruptions are in fact very incredibly beautiful to watch giving you the golden chance of witnessing the strong forces of nature in action.
Autumn in Iceland is full of golden light, colourful sights of trees and crazy storms on the southern part of the country adding to the luxury brought in by the darkness and the stunning atmosphere of sunrays matching everything else. It is one of the best times to visit Iceland because of the low prices and lack of crowds, fewer people are usually traveling at this time, and therefore there are lesser visitors as when compared to summer. Additionally it is because this is the season when the serene colour of nature comes out slowly sinking into a peaceful hibernation. Autumn is the season when the countryside runs several events including the popular Iceland Airwaves where visitors are invited to witness and participate in. Although the weather is pretty unpredictable at times just like any other time of the year because of the mixed mild Atlantic air with the cold arctic air from the north, you simply have to follow any weather advice, and traveling conditions then your autumn visit to Iceland will be as awesome as you expected.
Accommodation and travel is not as expensive because the tour, hotel rates usually drop to 30% to 40%, and air flights are more affordable. Even in autumn, you can catch the Northern Lights especially if you are staying at Hotel Ranga, best known for its location that makes it the best spot. Other fun activities one can engage in during this season are whale and seal watching and visiting the black sand beaches of Iceland located on the desolate side of the island country with open spaces of rich green flanked by unblemished coastlines of the red and black sands all against a background of ominous mountains and hills.
Iceland in winter is a winter wonderland, transformed by the glaciers with beautiful sunsets, parties are usually all over the place during the long nights because of the Christmas season. Even in Iceland they celebrate normal Christmas despite the fields and mountains usually being filled with snow and the caves shaped beautifully with the ice formations. The capital, Reykjavik, is usually active and heart-warming especially during the Christmas season. It is custom each weekend starting late November the neighbouring town hosts a decorative Christmas Village with trinket stalls, costumed elves and carolling choirs and on the New Year’s Eve most guest, tourists travel to the city just to participate in the Bacchanalian celebrations. During the winter season in Iceland is when you can see and do extraordinary things that you cannot possibly do during any other seasons. If you are that kind of person that is obsessed with shapes and forms, during winter the pink, orange and yellow sunsets and sunrises will get you all worked up and be stunned at every point over the Northern Lights phenomena.
One of the best places in the whole world to witness the Northern Lights wonder is Iceland, the mystic green lights dancing in the skies on a cold, clear winter night will give you the best view. You could call the Northern Lights magic, but this phenomenon of aurora borealis can be explained scientifically to be caused by the upper atmosphere being blitzed by highly charged electrons from the solar wind.
A borealis might just begin with a brightly hued fog sneaking across the night sky changing shape to form a solid green and red twirl that stretches out from one horizon to the other then suddenly breaks into masses of daggers of light piercing downwards until they seem like you could actually reach and touch. It is nature at its most magical moment. While there, you can decide to go on a hunt for the best nightly sightings of the natural lights instead of having to test your luck and waiting for them to appear during one of the evening dips in one of the numerous geothermal pools.
Spring in Iceland is when the days get longer and the air filled with smells of new and exciting things. Here Spring is almost like 5 minutes between winter and summer and absolutely lovely. There is a joke that “if you don’t like the weather in Iceland wait for five minutes” that is because you never know when that weather will change it could as well be after just five minutes. With the long bright days, your travels will be more easy and faster during spring. The botanical gardens are much more beautiful in spring than they are in summer with colourful flowers booming with bees and butterfly, the smell of the spring air is definitely fresher than you would think of. You can pack up your bags and go for long adventurous hikes in the country’s most accessible hiking destinations, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula located on the West Coast with views of the monster glacier at its tips.
Spring in Iceland is less crowded with affordable tours and accommodation; it is not the same as summer. Spring presents the normal state of Iceland where visitors can visit any place because of the decent weather with low prices at least 20% to 30% off. For those who would love to spend their spring in Iceland somewhere calm, peaceful and with no intrusion, the East Fjords is the best destination famously known for being calm, quiet and with a grand scenery but receiving few visitors.
It is the high season when people mostly visit Iceland, and if it is your first time going to Iceland, this is the ideal time for you. Iceland summers are usually milder and days longer and the early summers never experience complete darkness because the sun regularly stays low to the horizon creating an constant play of shadows and colours.
The summer is the best time to visit Iceland for the campers and for anyone who has never seen the midnight sun, something that might fool you to spend outdoors past your bedtime. There is a greener and lush scenery, the ideal atmosphere to keep your cameras rolling. One of the best places to arrange summer whale watching cruises while just within the interior is the wilds of Jokulsargljufur National Park, which offers excellent hiking along deep river ravines to Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss. Many festivals are celebrated in Reykjavik during the summer season including the Reykjavik Art festival, Midnight Sun Run, Reykjavik Gay Pride, International Viking Festival plus many more. Events that will get you worked up by the end of the day because of the prolonged daytime. There usually are very many visitors during this time, a good thing and the best time to meet new people and make new friends.
This is also the time when the glaciers are glistening with beauty from the rays of the sun, visitors can go horseback riding and galloping around enjoying the smell of the green valleys and more so, the weather in summer is not very unpredictable like other seasons therefore suitable for outdoor activities. For those that would love to stay in the waters for the long hours of daytime, there are as many pools as you can get in every corner of where you are in Iceland. One thing to note however is that during the other seasons, the prices for accommodation will be much lower because it is usually off-season but a greater contrast can be seen in the summer landscapes. When visiting Iceland for the first time most visitors get their first taste of the island country at Reykjavik interacting with over half of the population there. It is small but it has stylish bars, restaurants, shops with a wild nightlife especially during the light summer nights when the city never sleeps. Most off-season visitors use Reykjavik as a home base and syndicate the city culture and the nightlife with activities like visiting spas and snowmobiling.
Iceland also is known for its Avant-garde design and creative energy; the beautiful island country will offer you plenty of inspiration in its natural wonders and dramatic landscapes. The most bulbous examples include the Harpa, a stunning conference center and concert hall with a glass block portico dazzling and changing colour on the Reykjavik Harbour. The Harpa was designed to evoke a glacier’s interplay with light; the façade is the home of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Iceland opera hosting performances for the annual music festival that lures some of the world’s top musicians of the moment, the Iceland Airwaves. The country’s biggest tourist attraction outside of the capital, Lake Myvatn is the island of Grimsey, which is the only part of the Icelandic territory within the Arctic Circle. The lake is the much-loved nesting place for various duck species and other freshwater birds surrounded by an exciting production of the volcanic activity.
Every season in Iceland is usually perfect for something; Iceland brings about the best in every passing season. It is therefore now easier for you to determine which time is suitable for you to go touring. It will depend on what kind of activities you want to engage in, any particular events you would like to witness, attend or even participate in; then you can go ahead to identify which season they bloom and start making early preparations. Every season in Iceland is the best time to visit.