When is the best time to visit Iceland, winter or summer?


Hi I was wondering when would be the best time to visit Iceland? What is the best month or season?


Both seasons have fantastic qualities that should be readily explored! Why not consider visiting Iceland during both seasons? After all, Iceland in the winter and Iceland in the summer are almost two entirely different countries. As a purely personal recommendation, I would suggest July in the Summer and November in the winter, as both months showcase the best qualities of their respective seasons.

The summer months in Iceland are blessed with the Midnight Sun, meaning that the days and nights alike are illuminated. Summer also means that pretty much all tours and activities are available, allowing you to make the absolute best of your time here. One thing with summer; don’t expect snow! The temperature is actually rather warm, despite Iceland’s rather deceptive name.

During the winter, we have the Northern Lights, which is truly one of the most beautiful and enriching natural phenomena that one can see. Ice caves also become explorable, allowing you a deeper insight into the country’s most stunning glaciers. Winter sees the majority of the country blanketed with a gorgeous covering of snow.

Thanks for your question! If there is anything else we can help with, be sure to ask!


Hey there Ingolfur,

There really is no best time to come to Iceland; every time of the year has its own appeal and charm. If you come in midwinter, the weather will be cold and volatile, but you will have multiple opportunities to see the Northern Lights, as there are just a few hours of sunlight a day, and to explore the ice caves under Vatnajökull glacier, one of Iceland’s most popular activities.

If you come in midsummer, you lose out on these opportunities, but gain a lot more. You can camp in summer, take multi-day hikes throughout the highlands, reliably see puffins and great whales, and engage in many tours that do not run or are unreliable in winter. The weather (while still unpredictable) will also be far more pleasant.

Coming in the ‘low’ periods between the summer and winter often allows you to engage in activities from both seasons. In September, for example, you can very often still access the Highlands, still go puffin watching, but also take a Northern Lights tour, as it is getting dark enough to see them once more.

If you come outside of the summer months and Christmas/New Year period, flights are also likely to be much cheaper.

I recommend you look at the articles ‘Iceland in insert season here’, which provide comprehensive guides as to what to see, do and know about Iceland in each month. The link to Iceland in January is below, and you can follow the links to see to the rest.

Hope that helps,



What would you be more interested in—exploring the nature (waterfalls, watching whales and puffins) or dog sledding and Northern Lights? For the sightseeing, I would say summer is better as it’s warmer and days are longer (and sites like rove.me and TripSavvy prove that). But you should be ready to ti get surrounded by tourists as they think summer is great too :slight_smile: Winter has its charm as well: an amazing contrast of freeze in the air while warming up in thermal waters, spotting Northern Lights, illuminated gravestones during the Christmas time…but dress warmly. So, I think for the first-time visitors, summer would be better, but you should visit it again in winter for sure.


Totally depends on what you are after! Do you like cold weather and want to enter ice caves and admire Northern Lights? Or do you want bright summer nights and green grass and flowery fields? Do you want to visit the Highlands, or just hang out inside the capital city and explore the festival culture?
This article: Weather in Iceland & Best Time to Visit is handy for you to check what might suit you best :slight_smile: