The best month to visit Iceland won’t be the same for every type of traveler. For those of you seeking the Northern Lights, you’ll want to ensure the greatest chances with longer nights. But those of you wanting to traipse across all of Iceland will need longer days and clear roads for road trips and sightseeing.
There are festivals to attend, holidays to enjoy, and so much more to consider when you’re deciding the best time of year to visit Iceland.
Whatever you’re hoping to do on your Iceland trip, we’re happy to help you plan.
At Your Friend in Reykjavik, we aim to get more travelers visiting Iceland and enjoying all the wonders of our home country. From our Reykjavik Food Lovers Tour to all of our Iceland tours that traverse the country, we like to show off the cultural, natural, and historical gems of Iceland.
If you’d like to join us, we’d be honored to show you around! Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about our tours and experiences.
What is the best time of year to visit Iceland?
Our goal is to help you plan the best Iceland trip for you. So we’ve already written monthly guides to dive deep into what you can do in Iceland most months of the year.
Take a look and see what local gems you can enjoy!
Learn More About When to Visit Iceland:
Of course, these are all listed according to the Gregorian calendar, but the old Icelandic calendar is still in use here!
Traditions are important here in Iceland, so we do encourage you to learn some of our unique folklore and history during your visit. That’s something we’re very passionate about sharing on our own walking tours in Reykjavik, as well as through all our free content here on the blog!
Now let’s talk about the best time to visit based on what you might be seeking in Iceland…
When to Visit Iceland for the Best Weather
Visitors always ask us what will the weather be like! Concerned about the temperatures and the number of daylight hours for your trip? Our guide to the weather in Iceland offers a completely comprehensive overview by month.
Generally, the summer months offer your best chance for sunshine in Iceland. This is, after all, the Land of the Midnight Sun! With the summer solstice in June, you can experience around 21 hours of daylight at this time of year.
July and August are the busiest months of the year for tourism, so expect prices to be higher for things like accommodations and bookings to be required well in advance.
Summer is best for whale watching and other wildlife spotting. It’s also prime time for hiking, road trips, and waterfall viewing. Summer is also our prime festival season!
With such long daylight hours, summer is not the best time to visit Iceland for the Northern Lights. But you can actually see them towards the end of August! More on this below.
While we can fairly safely say that summer offers the best weather in Iceland, our homeland is also infamous for its incredibly volatile weather.
In fact, we made this handy guide for visitors to know the real seasons in Iceland:
What is the best month to see the Northern Lights in Iceland?
The Northern Lights are quite a popular draw for visitors to Iceland, with good reason!
We’re famous for having incredibly long winter nights, being so close to the Arctic Circle. So your chances of seeing this phenomenon are vastly increased if you visit Iceland in the winter.
However, as mentioned above, you can actually see the Northern Lights in Iceland even as early as the end of August.
Of course, we can never guarantee spotting natural phenomena and wildlife. But if you’re looking for the best time to travel to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, we’d recommend September through March.
March and even into April can still provide opportunities to see the Aurora Borealis while also enjoying longer days for more sightseeing.
In fact, we recommend you visit Iceland around the equinoxes in March or September. Some of the best Northern Lights viewing happens then as there is often more activity around those times of the year.
We think another one of the best times to travel to Iceland is December. You can take part in all our fun festive events and also enjoy the opportunity to see the Northern Lights during our long nights.
What is the cheapest month to visit Iceland?
Iceland isn’t known for being a super cheap backpacker destination. But visiting at less busy times can mean lower costs on flights, accommodations, and even tours and activities.
January and November tend to be very quiet tourist months in Iceland, which often means you can get the best deals!
As a bonus, you’ll have a much more local experience if you’re not surrounded by loads of tourists. Enjoy eating and drinking at some of the best restaurants in Reykjavik when they’re mostly filled with only locals.
And don’t forget to partake in one of our favorite pastimes and enjoy the best cafes in Reykjavik while you’re here. We drink a mind-boggling amount of coffee per capita, so do as the locals do!
We think it’s safe to say that – whatever month you visit Iceland – you’ll have plenty to do and see! If you have any follow-up questions, we’re always happy to help you plan your Iceland trip. Please feel free to get in touch with us.