Iceland is a amazing charming country with stunning views 24/7. With a country as versatile as this the real question is when is the best time to go to be able to do all of the activities you want.
It is impossible to see the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun in one trip! So depending on what you want to do during your trip will determine what time of year to go. The best time to Visit Iceland to see the Northern Lights is in the dark Winter months.
When is the Best Time to Visit Iceland?
The best time to visit completely depends on what you want to do during your trip. The best time to Visit Iceland to see the Northern Lights is during the Winter months. If you want to travel to remote parts of Iceland, summer is the best time to go as a lot of the main roads are closed in Winter due to the bad weather.
Low seasons for Visiting Iceland
Although Iceland is very popular throughout the year, the winter months are the quietest and the cheapest flight times. Although Iceland is a beautiful country in Winter it must be respected, plan your day ahead according to the weather forecast and speak to the friendly locals to ask for advice. Keep in mind that Iceland is a very Northern Island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Therefore, during the winter months the days are shorter, the weather is brutally cold and ever changing.
Just because Winter weather is colder doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit!!
I LOVED going in Winter, staying in cozy log cabins, sipping hot chocolate, being the only people at some main tourist destinations!
If you want to visit in Winter I recommend going in February, as the days gradually get longer throughout the month & there is still a good chance you can spot the Northern lights if the weather permits it.
During February Reykjavik hosts the Winter Lights Festival. This is an annual event celebrating the rise of the sun out of the long dark winter months. The festival provides free inside and outdoor activities for both locals and tourists. Outdoor activities include a lit walking path, which winds down backstreets from Hallsgrimskirkja church to the harbour by Harpa. All major museums and thermal pools participate on specific nights of the festival. This is perfect if you want to see & do a lot in Reykjavik for free. Other tips to make your trip to Iceland Cheaper can be found here.
During the Winter Light Festival accommodation in Reykjavik can be slightly more expensive. If you rent a car it can be super easy to reach amazing alternative accommodation outside of Reykjavik.
When visiting Iceland in Winter don’t make your trip all about the Northern lights! Check ‘Aurora’ app (Apple link, android link) and speak to locals to find to find the upcoming forecast and if it doesn’t look good don’t stay awake all night! Go and enjoy the unique space like terrine and sites Iceland has to offer as it is like no where else on Earth!
Other benefits of a winter trip include the option to ski/snowboard down the side of a volcano. The slopes look over Reykjavik and the ocean, shown in the picture below. Dive.is also offer cheaper rates to explore Silfra.
High season for Visiting Iceland
Summer, Summer, Summer
If you are planning on visiting during the Summer, make sure you plan your trip well in advance and book your accommodation! As the best places ALWAYS sell out.