When should I come to Iceland? Summer or Winter?


I’m not sure if it’s better to come in winter or summer. Is it always the same or does it change? There’s snow there all yer right, so it shouldn’t matter much if I come in winter or summer, right?


It depends on what you want from your holiday if you should come in summer or winter.

Contrary to many people’s beliefs, Iceland is not that cold, and it does not have snow all year round. It may not even have snow during wintertime, depending on where you are in the country!

In summer you will have mild weather, average temperature between 10°-20°C and bright nights. It literally does not get dark at night - so you can be travelling at nighttime and still see the sights :slight_smile: Summer is the high season and that’s when most tourists are in Iceland, so you should book all your tours and accommodation in advance as it may get fully booked. It is easy to get around, and the Icelandic highlands are accessible from late June or early July where there are great hiking options.

In winter it is colder, but perhaps not as cold as you expect. The average temperature is between -5°C and +5°C. However, if you are in the countryside, perhaps on top of a glacier or standing on a windy beach, or waiting outside at night for the Northern Lights, then it can feel a lot colder and you should always dress warmly. Reykjavík sometimes has snow in winter, but sometimes more rain than snow. The weather changes all the time and is very unpredictable. In Akureyri, or in north Iceland, it is more likely that you will find snow. In winter it is possible to see the Northern Lights, and visit ice caves, but the roads are more difficult to drive on and some may be closed due to snowstorms or icy and snowy conditions.

Spring and autumn are also nice shoulder seasons, when you can see the Northern Lights but also have long days and milder temperature :slight_smile:

Read more about Iceland’s weather, seasons and the best time to visit here.


Hi Unnur

Iceland in winter and summer is quite different !

In winter there is snow, you can visit ice cave and see northern light. In summer, there is usually no snow (except on glacier) and you can experience the midnight sun, see puffins or going to the Highlands.

So it really depends what kind of landscapes and experiences you would like to have :wink:


If it’s your first time coming to Iceland and you wanna travel comfortably I would recommend coming in summer! Especially if you’re on a budget, it is always cheaper to rent a car and go around the country by yourself, which in winter may be quite dangerous if you’re not used to driving in winter roads. And not to forget if you come between June and September you’ll get the sunlight until late at night so really you have more time to look at the sights and take pictures. It’s just that during this time you would not be able to spot the northern lights or visit the blue ice caves, so it goes back again to what is it that you want to see on your trip to Iceland :smile:


Summer is much better. But prepare to experience some windy weather, either in winter or in summer. Iceland is windy.


I was in Iceland 4 (!) times. Love that country! It’s very interesting in any time of the year. Always something different to see. I was there in August, September and twice in January. Never to hot or cold. I experienced +4 (West fjords) in August and +6 (Reykjavik) in January two weeks ago. And to be honest - in summer SOOOO many people everywhere but in winter day light is short. If you not afraid of snow, have a good hiking boots, snow pants. and traveling on a budget - go in November or March
Have fun!