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Iceland in late November - are things still open?

Iceland in late November - are things still open?

Mar 16th, 2001, 09:50 AM
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Iceland in late November - are things still open?

I'm contemplating a visit to Iceland this year and was thinking of going over the Thanksgiving holidays (in other words, late November). I don't mind the cold, but I don't want to be completely frozen either - has winter set in by that time or is it still manageable? Also, will attractions, activities etc. be open at that time? I assume the summer is the peak season for tourist travel, but I don't want to go and not have anything be open.

Thanks in advance for any advice - I've already read lots of reviews and suggestions for Iceland, but couldn't find anything about going in November, so I worried about it being a bad time.
Mar 16th, 2001, 10:35 AM
Jim Rosenberg
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Even in the DEAD of winter, a typical Iceland day near Reykavik is likely to reach the mid-30s F -- it is not as severe a climate as the name implies. Iceland hosts many visitors each year, but it is not really geared around tourism, per se, so I think you would find the same things "open" that you would at any time unless you are planning journeys deep into the hinterlands, which could be more weather sensitive. In November, the days are becoming rather short (by Christmas, the interval between sunrise and sunset is only in the neighborhood of 4 hours!). On the bright side, you probably have a better opportunity to see a display of the Northern Lights and they are truly remarkable in Iceland. Weather is certainly changeable, but despite the latitude, it would NOT be like going to the interior of Alaska in November -- the Gulf Stream keeps the climate from becoming too severe either way, so the annual temperature range in Reykjavik is actually much more narrow than in many cities of the northern U.S. Downtown Reykjavik is wonderful and very active. The people are truly wonderful, too -- it is the closest thing to an intellectual utopia that I've visited. They also know how to have a good time on a Saturday night. I think you would be favorably impressed with a visit to Iceland and you will be able to do it at a fraction of the cost that you would pay in the summer months.
Mar 19th, 2001, 10:31 AM
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Thanks very much for your exhaustive reply. Your comments have been very helpful - based on them I did some additional research and realized all the major sights and attractions (in and around Reykjavik) will indeed be open. I just wasn't sure if there was an off-season like in the Mediterranean or any number of seasonal resort towns, where things really do shut down.

Many thanks again for your help.
Mar 19th, 2001, 11:02 AM
Jim Rosenberg
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I understand completely and you are very welcome. I'll e-mail you a brief travel journal from a site where I keep these things stored. There are a few pictures I took in Iceland and some brief information, but it is by no means exhaustive. Happy trails!
Mar 20th, 2001, 04:03 AM
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Thanks very much for this information! It looks like you had a great time, I liked your photographs. I've never really posted on the forums before, but I'm very appreciative of how nice fellow Fodorites are.
Mar 20th, 2001, 06:25 AM
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I went to Iceland along with a group I put together in the winter and we had the best time, there were times it was chilly but the people were friendly and the climate not as bad as we thought. I suggest looking into some of the tours, like going to the glaciers and geysers and don't forget about the pools, they are fabulous, the whole goup had a great time
Sep 15th, 2003, 05:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 800
Any updates to help me plan my trip this November?
yeadonite is offline  
Oct 20th, 2003, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 23

Just PLEASE stay away from the whale tour in Olafsvik! 12 hours around stupid mammals running away around the ocean at -15? -yuck

For the rest, I reccoment Gulfoss waterfalls (on winterseason MUST look awesome!)
Franit is offline  

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