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The Best Time to Visit Iceland

Ready to explore Iceland but not sure when to visit? Here is everything you need to know about the best time to visit Iceland during the year, and when we recommend booking your flights!

When is the Best Time to Visit Iceland?

We recommend visiting Iceland in September. Visiting Iceland in September gives you longer daylight hours than the winter months but fewer tourists, allowing more time for exploring the country without crowds.

Specifically, we recommend visiting in late September when the nights are getting longer making it possible to glimpse the Northern Lights (if you’re lucky!).

The Alternatives?

While the summer offers better weather and nearly 24 hours of daylight to explore, it also means large crowds at all the sites. Iceland’s most popular attractions (Snæfellsnes Peninsula, The Ring Road, The Blue Lagoon, Diamond Beach) are incredible, they’re also limited. That means a high concentration of tourists at any given attraction at any given time.

The deep winter months (December, January, February) only offer visitors a mere 5 hours to explore during the daylight– which is still doable if you have a week in the country to see the major sites. And the long hours of darkness mean much more opportunity for aurora hunting. Plus, the colder it is, the better the hot springs feel.

Best Time to Visit Iceland Based On…

WeatherJune-August are the warmest.
Northern Lights ViewingFor the best conditions (dark, clear skies) it’s
best to visit December-February.
The aurora can be spotted, however, from
September-March.
Whale WatchingJune-August is the peak time for
spotting whales off Iceland’s coast.
Hot SpringsThe hot springs scattered across the
Icelandic countryside are best visited
in Sept/Oct for fewer crowds.
To Save MoneyOff Season: Nov-Feb. Less tourists visit
due to the cold, dark days meaning you’ll
likely find better flight deals and cheaper
accomodation.
For the Blue LagoonOff-Season: Nov-Feb. (as the Blue Lagoon
can become particularly crowded and
unenjoyable during the summer months)

Some Tips:

  • For Northern Lights spotting, get as far from light pollution as possible. Many companies offer tours by jeep or boat that will allow you to return for free if you don’t spot the aurora on your first (or second, or third) go.
  • There isn’t a specific rainy season in Iceland so visitors should be prepared for inclement weather at any time.
  • The public pools (for pay-to-enter hot springs) can be found in nearly every town and are open year-round.
  • Depending on where you are on the island, you can spot Blue Whales, Orcas, Dolphins, Minkes, and Humpbacks.

When is the Cheapest Time to Fly to Iceland?

Skyscanner searches millions of flights every day. That means we have the data on when to travel and when to book your flights to Iceland for the cheapest prices.

Based on flight booking data from 2018, we predict October will be the cheapest month to fly to Iceland with prices up to 14% cheaper than the average yearly flight price. 

Traveling to Iceland in December is likely to be the most expensive. We expect costs during this month to be as much as 14% higher than average.

When to travel to Iceland for the most savings

When is the Best Time to Book Flights to Iceland?

We’ve analyzed our data on flight bookings from last year to help predict when to book Iceland flights in 2019.

  • The cheapest months to book a flight to Iceland: August and September, followed by July
  • Booking a flight in August can see as much as 8% savings compared to the average yearly flight price
  • The most expensive months to book a flight to Iceland: December and June
The best time to book flights to Iceland in 2019

The graph above includes flight prices from May-December, as January-April have passed