K.J. Around the World

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Iceland

Why Autumn is the Best Time to Visit Iceland

October 20, 2017
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Back from Iceland at last. I still haven’t unpacked my bag but I’m ready to share my experiences with all of you. Heading to the land of Fire and Ice was definitely a memorable experience. But Iceland is not the type of place you only visit once. I’m back home but ready to book another flight and head back for more. There’s so many reasons to fall in love with Iceland, but I have to say what appealed to me the most was visiting this time of year.

Here’s why Autumn is the best time to visit Iceland:

Cool but Comfortable Weather:

You’ll experience comfortable, but wet Autumn weather daily. The weather at times was very unpredictable, so plan for anything. The weather in Reykjavik stayed around 10°C (42°F) daily. In the South though, it can drop down to zero, which meant it was 32°F. Not my type of weather at all. It’s best to wear appropriate clothing and layer up when heading here for a visit. You’ll enjoy your time so much more.

A Chance to See the Northern Lights:

For some reason I didn’t have much luck seeing the Northern Lights on my trip. There were several nights they came out, but I was either already sleeping or didn’t come out in time to see them on display. September was a great month to see them this year. Many people posted photos on their social media accounts.  Check out this shot from Bus Travel Iceland’s Instagram account. If you want to see the Northern Lights the best time to visit would be September to March.

Warming Up with Hot Chocolate:

Keep yourself warm with a nice cup of hot chocolate. My favorite spot was Te & Kaffi in the morning when I was ready to head out and explore the city.

Experience Sunrise and Sunset in Reykjavik:

Reykjavik on a cool, crisp morning is filled with natural light. Experience a beautiful Nordic morning by heading over to the Sun Voyager sculpture, watching it light up as the sunrises. Because the sun only appears for 1 to 2 hours in the winter, Autumn is a great time to experience what a full day is like in this beautiful city. Walking along the promenade that stretches for several miles, what could be better than taking in views of the mountains and sea.

Final Thoughts:

Each season in Iceland has it’s own beauty and charm. Keep in mind accommodation/lodging costs will also go down during the fall season. You will also be less tourists on the streets of Reykjavik during this time of year. It’s always best to take a look at costs, weather and excursions when building your travel plans. Many activities get booked up quickly, so be sure to make reservations ahead of time.

 

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  1. those look like great reasons to visit in the fall. Bummer about the northern lights, Im thinking you can never bank on that? How cold was it? I def would not do well in iceland in winter 🙂

    1. The weather was really cold in the south about 0 degrees Celsius (32 F). Cold to me, anything under 40 degrees is my enemy. I wouldn’t recommend winter because tour guides say roads get blocked up in the winter.

  2. Perfect timing on this post! We’re planning a trip to Europe and have noticed alot of flights that offer a few days stopover in Icleand. I’ve never been and it looks amazing! Also – that photo of hot chocolate looks so good! Would you say it’s a kid-friendly city? We’ll be traveling with our 5 year old 🙂

  3. Good insight, thank you! I’ve wondered how necessary it was to go in winter, because *really* cold weather isn’t my favorite. Nice to hear the positives of Fall!

  4. Wow, your photos are beautiful! I want to visit Iceland so badly but I could never decide what time of year I want to go. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on when to travel!

  5. I’ve been there in March and I loved it there, however, it was a bit too cold. Is everything yellow/orange in Autumn? If only it looked like Highlands in Scotland in November, I would rush and buy the tickets to Iceland now 🙂

  6. It’s definitely true that once you leave Iceland, you can only think about when you can book another flight and Return. Same happened to me when I went in June/July of this year. I spent under 2 weeks, but I would have easily loved exploring for a month! Nice you enjoyed the Season and the lack of tourists!!

  7. I have always wanted to visit Iceland but I am not good in the cold weather. It’s good to know that you can see the Northern lights even in autumn, when the temperatures are much better.

  8. Iceland is such a stunning country. I have visited the more common sights on summer time. Fall definitely seems like a great time to visit: the weather seems good and the hotel prices get probably cheaper, right ? It gives me an excuse for a return visit 🙂

  9. I really want to go to Iceland, but I’m always wondering when the best time to go would be. Of course, I don’t want to be constantly traveling in darkness, so winter is out of the question. It sounds like Autumn will be perfect, granted, I’ll have to boost up my warm wardrobe!

  10. Can’t say you’ve sold me on this. Wet weather and hot chocolate?

    Having the crowds drop off and the prices fall is always good, but there’s a reason why that happens, and Iceland is a place that sells itself on natural beauty. If you can’t get out and enjoy it properly, what’s the point?

    Having said that, the fact that you’re happy to return says a lot. Some places I’ve been to, ticked that box, but am unlikely to return. Santorini is a place like that. Loved my time there, but the cost and the crowds make a second bite of the cherry unlikely for me.

    Iceland, I’ve yet to experience, and I’ll go one day. Perhaps not in autumn!

  11. I bet the coldest climates have the best hot chocolate. I can only imagine having hot cocoa in Iceland while staring out at the beauty that is Iceland. Seeing the northern lights is definitely high on my list. I hope Iceland is able to protect its environment due to all of the extra tourists coming.

    1. They do have amazing hot chocolate. Some Icelandic people aren’t to happy about the abundance of tourism, but most are very welcoming. I had the best experience there. The country is taking a lot of steps to make sure tourism doesn’t have too much of an impact on the natural beauty.

  12. The temperature is the biggest draw for this season for me. I know I would be a lot more comfortable with it. And then of course you add the lure of the northern lights which has a good chance this season. Definitely my main reason for heading here. Maybe Autumn is perfect for me! Thanks for sharing this

  13. You are right, autumn seems to be the best time to visit Iceland. Although this country is beautiful anytime of the year. The hot chocolates sound so welcoming. I would definitely make a plan to visit here keeping your points and tips in mind.

  14. That hot chocolate looks divine! I’m not much of a cold weather lover. 42 F is really cold for me! However, I do love all of the pictures I’ve seen of Iceland’s natural beauty. That may convince me yet!

    1. You will not be disappointed. The weather is really cold in the morning and at night. But during the day it’s beautiful. The best time to visit is definitely fall if you don’t like the cold. I’m the same way.

  15. Fall seems like the least turbulant time to visit Iceland. Better at least that spring. Dont feel bad about not seeing the lights – I was there for two and a half weeks and only saw them 3 times! Regardless Iceland is an amazing destination 🙂

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