Iceland, like most places, has four seasons – sometimes all in the same day! Most Iceland travellers enjoy themselves whenever they go, and the answer to the question is very personal. In fact, if you are planning a special group holiday or anniversary trip or a honeymoon, you may not have much choice of when to travel, so being in Iceland in February or October will still be an experience.

Despite its name, Iceland is not covered in ice all year round – in fact, Iceland is known as the “land of fire and ice” for the extremes of its natural beauty and volcanic activity. You can snorkel or fish in a cold lake, or take a helicopter tour for an up-close look at a volcano in the summer. In winter, skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing are extremely popular. Iceland’s northern capital city, Akureyri, comes alive during the winter, as the country’s best ski slopes are nearby.

So, as a traveller to Iceland, remember to take your camera because, regardless of the season, Iceland has some of the most magnificent landscapes in the world with its volcanoes, mountains, glaciers and spurting geysers.

Iceland has many well-known tourist attractions: its capital Reykjavík, the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle and the spectacular glacial lagoon of Jökulsárlón which was used as a setting for the James Bond films A View To A Kill and Die Another Day. There are also some less well-known attractions, including the Icelandic highlands, Lake Myvatn and the many festivals – cultural and sporting – which take place year-round.

Reykjavík is the world’s most northerly capital and largest city in Iceland  and really buzzes in the summer months with music and festivals. There’s the five-day Reykjavík Jazz Festival, with an incredible line-up of musicians from around the world. For sporty types, the Reykjavík Marathon is held in mid-August and is a great way to experience this small city.  You don’t have to complete all 26 miles as shorter distances are available!

Winter visitors have the advantage of peak visibility of the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. This spectacular natural phenomenon occurs from October to April, but the best months for seeing them are December to February. Electrically-charged particles cause a dazzling, colourful dance of lights to appear in the sky. “Stunning”, “amazing”, “incredible” and “mystical” are just some of the words travellers have used to describe this must-see event.

Visiting Iceland in summer is an unexpected surprise, as you can look forward to the long summer days, midnight sun, better weather and everything being more green and lush. The highland roads usually open in late June and provide access to the raw and sometimes most beautiful part of Iceland.

The short answer to this question – you are guaranteed to create special memories and have an unforgettable experience no matter when you travel to Iceland. On the Iceland Traveller website, you can see examples such as a Luxury Self Drive Winter tour or a Summer Circular Tour of Iceland around the whole country, tailored for you and your group.  We even have a seven-day Autumn Nature, History and Culture Tour.

When is your favourite time to visit Iceland? Please comment below

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2 Responses to Which is Better – Are You a Summer or Winter Iceland Traveller?

  1. Jutta Riediger says:

    I am looking to find craft/wool festivals to visit. Can you give me some information on where and when these are held?
    Thanks, Jutta

    • Julia Jones says:

      Hi Jutta

      We think that the very best wool and craft festival in Iceland takes place in August each year in the northern Eyjafjörður region. It lasts for a few days and people travel from all over Iceland to meet up and share their crafts, so there are lots of people buying and selling. There are other smaller events that take place during the year (such as at Christmas) and many other festivals in Iceland. If you’d like to let us know more about your particular interests it may be that we can direct you to individual studios and workshops. The link to our enquiry form is here

      Look forward to hearing from you,


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