Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Fodor's Weekly: Your expert travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration (coming soon)

Iceland Travel Guide

When to Go

Don't let its name fool you—Iceland is a year-round destination with a temperate ocean climate: cool summers and relatively mild winters. The warmest months—June, July, and August—are the most popular with visitors, but a growing number have been coming in winter for the promise of snowmobiling, snow-trekking vehicle tours, and a spectacular fireworks display on New Year's Eve. Although swimming in the perpetually frigid ocean isn't a possibility, inviting hot springs and naturally heated pools dimple the landscape. Icelanders from all walks of life—cabinet ministers on down—congregate for a soak or a swim any time of year.

In general, Iceland's weather is more unpredictable than most: in June, July, and August, sunny days alternate with spells of rain showers, crisp breezes, and occasional driving winds. From June through July, the sun barely sets. Unruly fall is beyond prediction: it can be a crisp time of berry picking and beautiful colors on the heaths, or of challenging gales, when lingering over coffee in a café may be the most appealing activity. In December the sun shines for only three hours a day. Winter temperatures can dip as low as −22°F (−30°C) in the highlands and northern Iceland, the coastal lowlands have wintertime temperatures close to 32°F (0°C)—and, ironically, winter cloudiness is usually warmer than winter sun. The spellbinding northern lights are seen most often on cold, clear nights from September to March.

Previous Travel Tip

Essentials

Next Travel Tip

Getting Here and Around

All Top Experiences

Advertisement

Advertisement

News & Features
Trip Finder
Store
Guidebooks

Fodor's Essential Europe

View Details
Travel Deals