Are you planning to travel to Iceland in September? Your Friend in Reykjavik is excited to welcome you to the Land of Fire and Ice!
September is a beautiful time to visit Iceland, and we’ll make sure your trip gets off on the right foot!
Joining a walking tour in Reykjavik with one of our local guides is a great way to find your bearings in our capital city, not to mention the perfect introduction to our culture and history.
Scroll down to find out more about why you should visit Iceland in September. And if you have any questions for us in the meantime, please get in touch.
Sample Some September Festivals in Iceland
You can find a wide range of festivals in Iceland in September. Around the first weekend of the month, usually, you can head down Reykjanes Peninsula to Reykjanesbær for the Night of Lights.
The “night” is a fantastic fireworks display, but there are days (and other nights) of music, arts, and family fun. This is a brilliant way to experience the culture of Iceland in early September.
Movie buffs can enjoy the glitz and glamor of independent films at the Reykjavik Film Festival, usually scheduled from the end of September to the beginning of October.
If you’re up for some college-level partying and live music, check out Októberfest at the University of Iceland.
If music festivals are your thing and you’re not 100% set on a September visit, check out our previous blog about the best music festivals in Iceland.
Can You See the Northern Lights in Iceland in September?
Yes! Your chances of catching the aurora are especially high during the autumn equinox, which occurs around 21 to 24 September every year.
Unsurprisingly, this is one of the most popular experiences in Iceland in late September.
You may think you would get a better light show during the long winter nights, but it’s all about the earth’s tilt.
Without getting too sciencey — during an equinox, the earth is at an ideal angle for catching the solar winds that create the spectacular aurora borealis.
Even if you don’t make it for the actual night, you can still see some fantastic light shows!
Do you want to learn more about the Northern Lights?
For an extra memorable experience, you can book a night in a bubble! The Bubble Hotel in Iceland allows you to sleep in nature and see the Northern Lights!
Discover more about seeing the Northern Lights in Reykjavik in 2023.
Best Things to Do and Best Places to Visit in Iceland in September
September offers some truly unique experiences when visiting Iceland.
It is your last chance of the year to see the Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve in Iceland’s highlands.
The reserve typically closes in the middle of the month. If you’re a nature lover, be sure to plan a trip to Iceland in early September.
You can expect to take incredible photos of colorful reds, blues, yellows, and greens from the minerals in the geothermal pools.
Migratory whales leave Iceland’s waters around October, so consider joining a whale-watching tour in Reykjavik or other whale hot spots and make the most of peak viewing opportunities.
David Sancho 大衛, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
If you want to get more interactive with nature, join in on Réttir, the annual round-up of Icelandic sheep, and discover how important our fleecy four-legged friends are.
Read our guide to Haustmánuður – the sheep round-up month to learn more!
September is also an excellent time to pick caraway seeds that grow wild all around Iceland. A great place to pick it in Reykjavík is Viðey Island.
The island was settled in the 10th century and a monastery was built there in the early 13th century. This was in operation until the Reformation in the 16th century.
Later, in the middle of the 18th century, it became the home of the first Icelandic treasurer. His name was Skúli Magnússon, and he’s often called the father of Reykjavík.
He made many agricultural trials, one of which was to grow caraway. Viðey is also the home of the Imagine Peace Tower by Yoko Ono and Milestones by sculptor Richard Serra.
Sadly, you will not be able to see the Imagine Peace Tower lit while on your travels in Iceland in September. It is only illuminated between 9 October and 8 December (John Lennon’s birthday and day of death) and a few other days.
Generally speaking, the winter weather sets in from October onwards. These harsh conditions result in road closures, especially on higher ground.
So September is a great opportunity to hit the road and explore the incredible natural wonders before you have to wait for spring to roll around again.
Best Things to Do in Reykjavik in September
If you find yourself in Reykjavik in September, you’ll have no end of things to do. The weather is still great for taking a dip at Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach or one of the many public pools in Reykjavik.
They are all heated with geothermal water and also have steam baths and saunas if it’s a bit too chilly for you.
Or if you fancy something stronger, head into one of the best bars in Reykjavik — there are plenty to choose from!
Want some helpful tips on where to go and what to do? A Reykjavik walking tour with us is always a good start!
What to Eat During Your Visit to Reykjavik in September?
We want you to enjoy all our Icelandic foods whatever month you visit us! But as the weather turns a little colder, maybe you’ll enjoy the comfort of our hearty lamb stew, Kjötsúpa.
Or grab a Pylsa (Icelandic hot dog) to enjoy on the go as you explore the city.
And you can always satisfy your sweet tooth with a Bragðarefur, ice cream with your favorite candy mixed in.
Join our Reykjavik Food Tour and we’ll show you all the terrific flavors Iceland has to offer.
Hiking in Iceland in September
As touched on above, September is possibly the last month of the year to enjoy open access to most hiking routes in Iceland. So if you want to get out in the great outdoors, don’t leave it any later!
The hiking opportunities are as varied as they are incredible. Just some of the options include:
- Hiking Vatnajökull’s outlet glaciers
- Hiking on Solheimajokull
- Hiking in Þingvellir National Park
- Hiking in Heiðmörk Nature Reserve
- Hiking in Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve
Weather in Iceland in September
We are still holding onto summer in September, and the weather sometimes helps out.
The average temperature is usually around 8°C (46°F) but sometimes can get as high as 14°C (57°F).
There may be some rain, nothing too stormy, but it’s always good to come prepared when packing!
As we head into autumn, the days are getting shorter, but we still average around 12 hours of daylight, with more at the beginning of the month and less towards the end.
And with autumn, we start seeing the leaves change color as they prepare for winter.
Þingvellir National Park is a local favorite for seeing the changing of the leaves. The tectonic plates, ravines, and Þingvellir Lake are a sight to see. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Christine Zenino, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Learn More About When to Visit Iceland:
What to Pack to Visit Iceland in September
Even if you aren’t planning on hiking and camping, you still want to pack warm clothes for your trip to Iceland.
An all-weather jacket is always a good idea, as well as a hat, scarf, and gloves. If you are going hiking, we highly recommend waterproof pants and footwear.
And don’t forget your bathing suit for a geothermal dip and, of course, your camera to record the fantastic time you’ll have!
Travel to Iceland in September and Let Your Friend in Reykjavik Show You Around
Now that you’ve decided to visit Iceland in September, what is the next step? Well, get in touch with Your Friend in Reykjavik!
Our Reykjavik Walking Tours are a fantastic introduction to Iceland, and all our guides love sharing their tips and insights on how to enjoy your visit.
We can even organize a private walking tour in Reykjavik for a more personalized experience.