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An Arctic Traveler’s Guide to the Best Time to Visit Iceland

Landscape of Iceland with Godafoss waterfall

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The best time to visit Iceland depends on why you want to go to Iceland. Are you hoping for endless hours of daylight and a chance to see the Highlands? Or do you want to experience an Arctic winter and the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights?

There are so many reasons to visit Iceland, but unfortunately, there is no specific month where you can truly see all of the island. I’m pretty sure that’s how they get you to come back.

Landscape of Iceland with Godafoss waterfall

Excellent marketing strategy, Iceland! I have visited Iceland three times with a fourth trip on the horizon, and I’m sharing all my thoughts on what you can expect on a month-to-month basis so you can start planning your Icelandic adventure.

A Month-To-Month Guide To Visiting Iceland

This table should help you figure out when you want to visit Iceland. As you can see, there isn’t much overlap between some of Iceland’s most popular attractions.

Trust me, I wish I could watch puffins and the Aurora Borealis, but Mother Nature disagrees. Rude.

Snow Sunlight Northern Lights Puffins Highland Hikes Crowds
January Yes Low Good No No Short Average
February Yes Moderate Great No No Short Average
March Maybe Good Great No No Short Average
April Maybe Good Good Maybe No Some Least
May Maybe Great Maybe Great No Some Least
June No Great No Great Maybe All High
July No Great No Great Yes All High
August No Good Maybe Maybe Yes All High
September No Good Great No Maybe All Average
October Maybe Moderate Great No No Some Average
November Maybe Low Good No No Some Least
December Yes Low Good No No Short Least

Once you decide what you’d like to see in Iceland, you can narrow down what month is best for you. There is no wrong answer here.

Chances are, as soon as you visit Iceland once, you’ll be tracking flights and planning a second trip. Welcome to the club.

Iceland in Summer

Summer is the most popular time to travel to Iceland. Beginning in June, tourism numbers increase exponentially, so expect larger crowds. Many believe this is the best time to visit Iceland, especially if your Iceland trip means hitting the hiking trails.

Peak summer is around July. The warmest months of the year bring some of the best weather, too.

The average temperature during the summer…

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