When people think of an exotic location like Iceland, to holiday, a couple of questions crop up frequently and one of them is “When is the best time to go to Iceland?”. It is a little difficult one to answer, because Iceland’s landscape is dotted with active volcanoes, geysers, lava fields, glaciers, waterfalls and ice caves. It is a geologically active Nordic island and hence known for its unpredictable nature. The weather is neither good nor bad and each season brings about a different and new Icelandic experience.
With a plethora of different landscapes, sights and places to visit and activities to do in Iceland, it first becomes necessary to identify what one would like to experience in this picturesque island. So, here’s what one can expect in each season
Iceland in winter:
Visiting Iceland in winter (December to March) can be a breath-taking experience. Though the number of tourists visiting in winter are very less because of the sub-zero temperatures, the snowy landscapes, Northern light displays and exotic scheduled tours across glacier ice caves and ice tunnels can make your visit a dream come true. These tours and packages generally include hiking on ice-blue glaciers and visiting crystal ice caves via spectacular sites like lava fields and hot springs. These ice caves are best explored in winter, because of thick ice covers and summer obviously means that these places may experience meltdowns. The days are short but the light exuded by the winter sun is beautiful. The weather changes frequently in winter and hence within a short timespan a sunshine may turn into a snowstorm and vice versa. Dressing in layers, in proper winter thermal gear and packing and travelling responsibly is the key to survive winter escapades in Iceland.
Iceland in summer:
Iceland in summer (June to August) means long days, midnight sun, lush greenery and scenic locales. However, a summer visit also means more tourist crowds and expensive rates for tours and accommodation. Tourists can make the most of the beautiful midnight sun, explore the rugged interiors and colourful mountains of Landmannalaugar and Kerlingarfjoll, and the crater lake Viti in Southeast Iceland, which are open mostly in summer. Summer is also the best time to hike and explore the Icelandic countryside, go berry-picking, swim in the ocean and celebrate the festive season with the locals. Iceland is home to one of the world’s largest puffin colonies and other beautiful birds which usually make Iceland their home from April to August.
Iceland in autumn:
Iceland in autumn(September to November) is spectacular with golden light and colourful autumnal trees. From a tourist perspective, this may be the best time to visit because of fewer crowds and better prices unlike the summer. The weather may be a tad unpredictable but not like the drastic weather changes in winter. The pingvellir national park in its autumnal hues makes an autumnal visit to Iceland truly worthwhile. The northern lights that appear from September until April, especially around the equinoxes, are a beautiful sight to behold. Iceland in autumn is a part of the low season travel.
Iceland in spring:
Touring Iceland in spring means watching a snow-covered hibernating landscape slowly emerge with life. The interior parts if Iceland remain blanketed in snow which makes the terrain spectacularly beautiful. The months of April-May with a particularly low tourist inflow are ideal for bird watching, whale sighting, and stunning views of countryside mountains, rivers and hotsprings. The rates are also reasonable and the crowds manageable.
Overall, it can be said that Iceland is beautiful in all seasons. When tourists decide what they would like to experience here, then it becomes easier and simpler to plan a holiday at this beautiful place.