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The best time to travel in Iceland

It's best to go to Iceland in the summer to avoid being too cold. If you are not going to the very cold north of the country then it's also possible to go in the spring or autumn. And in winter, even if the days are short and temperatures low, you can see the spectacular aurora borealis.

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The best time to go to Iceland is in the summer: the temperatures are pleasant and the days are long. Depending on the region you are going to, you can also go in May or September, when there are fewer tourists and the climate is still pleasant, but be warned: some trips and sites are closed during these months. Between October and April, the country is nearly always in darkness, but you can see the magnificent aurora borealis if you are ready to brave the cold and the night.

Walking holiday

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Iceland is a magnificent place to go walking. Try the Laugavegurinn hiking trail to go from Landmannalaugar to Porsmörk, or observe nature in Skaftafell. You'll also love Karlingarfjöll and Jökulsargljufur, and the Grand Canyon of Iceland. And why not go to Hornstrandir and see the Arctic circle? It's best to go in summer: the countryside is sublime and you won't be cold. You can also go in spring or autumn if you are not going walking in the north of the country.

The highlands

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The highlands have a severe climate and the temperatures can be very low. It's better to be forewarned: it can even snow in the middle of summer! It's best to chose the warmest months if you want to travel in this deserted part of the country, which doesn't have any accommodation or places to eat. But of course it's because of this isolation that people choose this cold region, whose raw natural scenery can be seen on foot or by bike. And, exceptionally, you can go in winter to see the aurora borealis.

The east

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The fjords in the east of Iceland are breathtaking. Explore these calm, isolated areas on foot and admire the blue of the water, the tranquility of its ports and the beauty of the waterfalls. In the back country there is an immense lake and the country's biggest forest. It's best to go between May and September if you want to visit this beautiful region: the temperatures are pleasant and the tourist attractions are open. You can also go there in autumn or spring, and in the winter to see the aurora borealis!

Swimming and hot springs holiday

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Iceland is well-known for its many hot water springs. You're bound to swim in the Blue Lagoon, the country's most touristy bathing spot. You'll love how isolated Krossneslaug is, and also the baths at Myvatn and Lysuholslaug. And don't forget the Hofsos pool, beside the fjord. You can swim all year round. If you are braving the cold and visiting the country in the depths of the winter despite the temperatures, then a warm bath is evidently a good thing. What could be better than a warm bath in a cold country?

Reykjavik and the south east

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Take off to Iceland's capital, which is very lively and has a certain charm. You'll love the easy mixture of dynamic big city and peaceful small village that you will find in Reykjavik. The cafes and restaurants, its cultural life and its musical reputation all make the capital a place that you are certain to want to return to. Around it are some of the best known natural wonders of the country. You mustn't miss the Golden Circle or the fishing villages of Eyrarbakki and Stokkseyri. It's best to choose the summer months for visiting this region of the country, as well as May and September: for the rest of the year it is too cold and the days are too short to enjoy the town!

The north

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The best time to go to the north is in the summer, when the temperatures aren't as cold. This is the region where you will see waterfalls and fields of lava, at Myvatn, for example. You can also explore the famous canyon in Vatnajökull national park, and see Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. And you can whale watch in Husavik, a pretty fishing village. You can go there in winter to see the aurora borealis but be warned: the climate in the north of Iceland is very cold!

The north-west

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Iceland's north-west is a wild region with lots of little fishing villages. Leave the circle route to explore the region's fjords and bays and discover all the beauty of this magnificent region. You can also visit Akureyri, which is the only real town in this part of the country. It's best to go to this region in the summer months: the north is the coldest part of the country. But you can make an exception if you want to see the aurora borealis.
Tiphaine Leblanc
77 contributions
Updated 26 October 2018