Iceland
weather, climate and best time to visit


Best time to visit Iceland

July and August, which are the hottest months in Iceland, have traditionally been the most preferred months for tourists to visit the country. And because there is continuous daylight in June, there are almost as many tourists as there are during the height of summer. However during this time of year, poor weather like heavy rain and strong winds may and does occur. Due to the unpredictable climate of the island, it is not uncommon for a single day to have elements of all four seasons.

Considering that Iceland's climate may maintain a comfortable temperature far into the first week of October, traveling there in September may be the best option. May also features more hours of daylight, making it ideal for outdoor excursions, and milder temperatures. However, this may not be the greatest time to visit if you are interested in visiting some of the more distant hills and fjords, since some roads are still blocked as they thaw from the snowy cover that they had over them over the winter.

The greatest time of year to go hiking in Iceland is during the summer, as this is the only season in which all of the mountain roads are passable and the majority of the country's most well-known paths are available.

When is the best time to see whales in Iceland?

The months of June and July are ideal for whale watching in Iceland. Northern Iceland has a longer season for seeing humpbacks, minkes, and dolphins, which cruise the Atlantic from May to August; some few humpbacks even stay until the end of the year. Blue whales also travel through in the summer.

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Minke whales and dolphins can be seen near Reykjavik during the summer months, while orcas concentrate in West Iceland around the Snaefellsnes peninsula in the first part of the year.

When is the best time to visit the hot springs?

Hot water baths in Iceland are an important part of the Icelandic culture, providing both social and wellness advantages. The public pools in Reykjavik are available all year. Visit them in September or the first half of October, while they're still still reachable by mountain road but the tourist numbers have greatly decreased.

When visiting the Blue Lagoon, the world's most well-known geothermal spa, visitors will find less crowds by going in the off-seasons.

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In the table below you can quickly check the average weather in Iceland per month, the temperature per month or the period with the highest precipitation. Monthly average climate data is based on data from the last 30 years.

Climate South Iceland by month

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Temperature (°C) 2 2 2 5 8 12 14 13 10 6 3 1
Water temperature (°C) -3 7 8 16 18 19 17 18 12 8 6 6
Precipitation (mm) 37 28 31 23 20 17 19 24 26 36 25 27

Weather data from: Reykjavík

Climate North Iceland by month

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Temperature (°C) -3 -3 -2 0 4 9 11 10 7 2 -1 -4
Water temperature (°C) 6 4 4 6 7 8 11 11 9 7 6 6
Precipitation (mm) 60 54 61 47 51 40 54 60 70 77 87 71

Weather data from: Akureyri

Climate East Iceland by month

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Temperature (°C) -1 0 0 2 6 10 12 11 8 4 1 -1
Precipitation (mm) 87 77 79 57 59 35 43 46 51 76 108 96

Weather data from: Egilsstaðir

Climate West Iceland by month

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Temperature (°C) -1 -1 -1 1 4 8 10 9 7 3 1 -1
Water temperature (°C) -1 2 2 2 10 9 10 10 8 6 6 5
Precipitation (mm) 60 59 53 50 35 13 20 25 38 50 41 59

Weather data from: Ísafjörður




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Climate Iceland

Iceland has one of the most distinctive and diverse climates on earth. Located in the North Atlantic, just south of the Arctic Circle, Iceland has a temperate maritime climate influenced by the Gulf Stream. This means that, although located in the north, the country does not often experience the severe cold like other Arctic regions.

Though it is difficult to predict the climate, Icelandic weather is very unpredictable and subject to abrupt changes. This is partly because the country lies on the edge of the Arctic Circle, where it is subject to both polar and tropical air masses. As a result, Icelandic weather often changes from one extreme to the other within hours.

Iceland is blessed with warm water and warm air thanks to the Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current that moves from the tropics to the poles. As a result, the country's temperature is considerably milder than in other areas at the same latitude.

Spring, summer, autumn and winter are Iceland's four distinct seasons. When planning a vacation to the country, it is vital to be prepared for everything, as each season has its own weather patterns and environment.

Spring

As the country emerges from the gloom and cold of winter, spring is a period of transformation in Iceland. At this time of year, temperatures are chilly, fluctuating between 0 and 10 degrees Celsius. Sunny days can alternate with rain and snow showers, and the weather can be quite unpredictable.

Summer

Summer in Iceland is the warmest and most enjoyable season. It has the longest days and most continuous sunlight of the year, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius. The "midnight sun" phenomenon, in which the sun never sets completely and there is up to 20 hours of sunshine every day, is famous for occurring in Iceland throughout the summer. So if you want to take advantage of Iceland's natural beauty and engage in outdoor activities, summer is the ideal season to go there.

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Autumn

Iceland experiences changes in autumn as the leaves begin to change color and the days become shorter. At this time of year, temperatures usually range from 5 to 15 degrees Celsius, with chilly, cool days and sporadic rain or snow showers. If you want to see the Northern Lights, autumn is a great season to go to Iceland, as the longer, darker evenings are ideal for this phenomenon.

Winter

Winter in Iceland is chilly and dreary, with lows of about -5 to 5 degrees Celsius. It is not unusual for the entire country to be covered in a layer of snow. Snow and ice are also common. Even when it is cold outside, Iceland's pristine environment is beautiful in winter because it is covered with a layer of snow. Winter is a great time to come if you want to see the Northern Lights because it is much more noticeable.

The climate in Iceland's many regions

Iceland's climate is generally uniform throughout the country, but there are slight regional differences. For example, the southern and western parts of the country tend to have warmer and wetter weather than the more chilly and dry northern and eastern parts.

Reykjavik, the country's capital, is located in the southwestern part of the country and has moderate temperatures compared to other regions. The Gulf Stream affects the city, which helps maintain pleasant temperatures in winter. Reykjavik's average winter temperature is about 2 degrees Celsius, while the summer maximum is 16 degrees Celsius.

In contrast, the northern and eastern parts of the country, including Akureyri and Egilsstadir, are known for their chilly, dry winters and cool summers. These areas usually have winter temperatures of about -5 degrees Celsius and summer temperatures of up to 10 degrees Celsius. Strong winds and clear, bright days are also more common in these areas.

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In short, Iceland has a very different and variable climate, with each season having its own weather patterns and conditions. Its proximity to the North Atlantic Ocean and the influence of the Gulf Stream cause temperatures to decrease, although the weather can still be quite erratic. Iceland is a beautiful and unique location that is likely to amaze visitors, whether you go there during the hot, glorious summer days or the chilly, dark evenings of winter.


Click on a region of Iceland to view the climate:

Climate South Iceland (Reykjavík) by month

South Iceland has a tundra climate. It is cold here all year round. The average annual temperature for South Iceland is 6° degrees and there is about 312 mm of rain in a year. It is dry for 140 days a year with an average humidity of 80% and an UV-index of 2.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Day temp. (°C) 2 2 2 5 8 12 14 13 10 6 3 1
Night temp. (°C) -1 -1 -1 1 4 8 9 8 6 3 1 -2
Water temp. (°C) -3 7 8 16 18 19 17 18 12 8 6 6
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Precipitation (mm) 37 28 31 23 20 17 19 24 26 36 25 27
Days with rain 13 11 11 14 14 15 17 14 17 14 12 10
Days with snow 6 6 9 6 1 - - - - - 4 6
Dry days 12 11 11 10 16 15 14 17 13 17 14 15
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sun hours per day 2 3 4 5 7 4 7 8 5 4 3 3
Wind force (Bft) 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 4 4 4 4
UV-index 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 3 2 2 1 2

Weather data from: Reykjavík

Climate North Iceland (Akureyri) by month

North Iceland has a tundra climate. It is cold here all year round. The average annual temperature for North Iceland is 2° degrees and there is about 731 mm of rain in a year. It is dry for 82 days a year with an average humidity of 88% and an UV-index of 1.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Day temp. (°C) -3 -3 -2 0 4 9 11 10 7 2 -1 -4
Night temp. (°C) -8 -8 -8 -6 -1 4 6 5 2 -2 -5 -9
Water temp. (°C) 6 4 4 6 7 8 11 11 9 7 6 6
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Precipitation (mm) 60 54 61 47 51 40 54 60 70 77 87 71
Days with rain 12 8 9 11 17 18 22 22 21 17 12 10
Days with snow 17 17 21 15 6 1 - - 2 9 14 18
Dry days 2 3 1 4 8 11 9 9 7 5 4 3
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sun hours per day 2 3 4 5 7 1 5 7 5 4 2 1
Wind force (Bft) 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 3 3 3 3
UV-index 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1

Weather data from: Akureyri

Climate East Iceland (Egilsstaðir) by month

East Iceland has a tundra climate. It is cold here all year round. The average annual temperature for East Iceland is 4° degrees and there is about 813 mm of rain in a year. It is dry for 76 days a year with an average humidity of 85% and an UV-index of 2.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Day temp. (°C) -1 0 0 2 6 10 12 11 8 4 1 -1
Night temp. (°C) -5 -5 -5 -3 1 5 7 6 4 1 -3 -6
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Precipitation (mm) 87 77 79 57 59 35 43 46 51 76 108 96
Days with rain 16 14 13 15 18 17 19 18 18 19 16 15
Days with snow 17 16 19 14 6 1 - - 1 8 13 17
Dry days - - - 1 7 12 12 13 11 4 1 -
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sun hours per day 2 3 4 5 7 4 7 6 5 4 2 1
Wind force (Bft) 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
UV-index 1 1 1 2 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 1

Weather data from: Egilsstaðir

Climate West Iceland (Ísafjörður) by month

West Iceland has a tundra climate. It is cold here all year round. The average annual temperature for West Iceland is 3° degrees and there is about 503 mm of rain in a year. It is dry for 138 days a year with an average humidity of 86% and an UV-index of 2.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Day temp. (°C) -1 -1 -1 1 4 8 10 9 7 3 1 -1
Night temp. (°C) -4 -4 -4 -2 1 5 6 6 4 1 -2 -4
Water temp. (°C) -1 2 2 2 10 9 10 10 8 6 6 5
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Precipitation (mm) 60 59 53 50 35 13 20 25 38 50 41 59
Days with rain 8 7 8 10 12 9 12 11 17 12 8 7
Days with snow 12 13 17 15 6 - - - 1 8 9 11
Dry days 11 8 6 5 13 21 19 20 12 11 13 13
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sun hours per day 1 2 3 4 5 0 3 6 4 3 2 1
Wind force (Bft) 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4
UV-index 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 2 2 1 1 1

Weather data from: Ísafjörður


Iceland weather by month

What is the average Iceland weather like in a given month? Let's find out! Click on a month to check all the monthly averages for sunshine, temperature highs and lows, percentage chance of rain per day, snowfall accumulation and number of rainy days.

Iceland weather

The weather for Iceland over the next 14 days will be -4°C till 8° with several days chance of light rain showers till heavy rain.

The weather forecast for Iceland is based on the weather in Reykjavík.

5-day weather forecast Iceland

Weather
Max/min
Precip
Snow
Wind
Friday
3 february
Icon
4°C
-2°C
17.4 mm
7.7 cm
14 m/s
Saturday
4 february
Icon
6°C
0°C
4.7 mm
5 cm
19 m/s
Sunday
5 february
Icon
3°C
0°C
0.2 mm
8.8 cm
15 m/s
Monday
6 february
Icon
8°C
3°C
20.2 mm
0 cm
19 m/s
Tuesday
7 february
Icon
3°C
0°C
0 mm
8 cm
14 m/s

View the 14 day weather forecast for Iceland


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Frequently asked questions

Where is Iceland?

Iceland lies in a straight line about 7,431 km from India (New Delhi → Reykjavík).

How long is the flight to Iceland?

The flight time from Indira Gandhi to Iceland is approximately 10 h. 20 min.

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What are the largest airports in Iceland?

These are the largest airports in Iceland:

  • Keflavik International Airport (KEF) in Reykjavík
  • Reykjavik Airport (RKV) in Reykjavík
  • Akureyri Airport (AEY) in Akureyri
  • Ísafjörður Airport (IFJ) in Ísafjörður
  • Egilsstaðir Airport (EGS) in Egilsstaðir
  • Hornafjörður Airport (HFN) in Höfn
  • Húsavík Airport (HZK) in Húsavík

How many inhabitants does Iceland have?

Iceland has 350,710 inhabitants.

How big is Iceland?

The surface area of Iceland is 103,000 km². It is 32x smaller than India.

What is the capital of Iceland?

The capital of Iceland is Reykjavík.

What is the currency of Iceland?

In Iceland, the Icelandic króna (ISK) is used for payment.

Exchange rates on 3 February 2023

  • 1 Indian rupee = 1.83 Icelandic króna
  • 1 Icelandic króna = 0.55 Indian rupee
  • 100 Indian rupee = 183.23 Icelandic króna
  • 100 Icelandic króna = 54.58 Indian rupee

What is the area code of Iceland?

The area code to call Iceland is +354.