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When to go to Iceland: Beauty in every season

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if you wonder when to travel to icelandthe first thing you need to keep in mind is the climate from this country. It is a type of climatology oceanic subpolar, with cool, short summers and cold winters. However, the latter are not as harsh as one might think given Iceland’s location. The effects of warm gulf stream alleviate the cold.

On the other hand, its climate is responsible for the natural wonders that the Nordic country offers you, with spectacular glaciers and glacial rivers. If to these you add imposing volcanoes, you will understand that one of the main attractions of Iceland is its own nature. In any case, any time is good to visit these lands. Therefore, in addition to explaining when to travel to Iceland, we are going to suggest what to do in the country in each season of the year.

Traveling to Iceland in Winter

Aurora borealis

A magnificent aurora borealis

If you don’t mind the cold, you can visit the Nordic country in winter. As we said, the temperatures are not as low as in other lands with similar latitude and longitude. For instance, Norway That is Sweden. The reason is that its west and south coasts are bathed by the aforementioned Gulf Stream, which comes from the Caribbean, but there is another one.

Iceland sits on one of the hottest spots on the planet. He has one great geothermal activity, with many volcanoes, hot springs and geysers. But, despite all this, do not expect to get rid of the cold in winter.

Reykjavík, the capital of the country, has an average temperature during the cold season of one or two degrees Celsius above zero, although it can reach minus ten. In addition, the western area is quite easily insulated by snow. In any case, the Icelandic climate is very variable. In fact, there is a phrase among locals that says if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. Switch to.

On the other hand, winter is the best time to enjoy some of Iceland’s top attractions. This is the case of the famous northern Lights. They can be seen all over the island, even from Reykjavík. But there are areas of nature that lend themselves better to observing this wonderful phenomenon.

The northern lights appear in the north. Therefore, this region of Iceland is the most suitable to see them in all their glory. Specifically, there are several places that, in addition to allowing you to see them, are truly spectacular. This is the case of Kirkjufell mountainone of the most emblematic places of tourism.

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Only 463 meters high, it has a curious conical aspect and on its side is a beautiful waterfall. If you add to all this the northern lights, you will have a dreamlike landscape ensemble. Also the surroundings Hvitserkur They are perfect for contemplating this phenomenon. It’s a unique rocky outcrop that looks a bit like a drinking dragon.

In short, there are many perfect places to see the Northern Lights. But we will also mention the Skardviti Lighthousea solitary place where you will find yourself in full harmony with nature and where you will enjoy the vision of the phenomenon like in few other places.

On the other hand, you can also take advantage of your visit to Iceland in winter to get to know the south of the island, whose climate is milder than that of the north. So you can visit the Vatnajokull Glacier, which is the largest in all of Europe; the marvelous Gullfoss Waterfall, a hundred meters wide and thirty deep; the geysera huge geyser or the Plains of Thingvellir or the Parliament, which overlooks spectacular lakes.

But you can also visit southern cities like Reykjavík itself, which we will talk about later, Kopavogurwhere there is an interesting natural history museum, or Hafnarfjordurwhere you can visit the Church of San José, but above all witness the strange viking party which is celebrated every year.

Summer, the best recommendation for traveling to Iceland


Thingvellir Plain

Despite everything we have told you so far about when to travel to Iceland, the best time is summer. Temperatures are more pleasant, with averages around twelve degrees centigrade, although they can reach twenty-five depending on the region of the country.

You can also see the Northern Lights and visit mountainous and northern locations that are harder to see in bad weather. For example, the small fishing villages that preserve the most traditional features of rural Iceland.

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This is the case of Husavik, considered one of the best places in the world to watch whales, which come to feed in Skjálfandi Bay. Birdwatchers can also enjoy this town of barely two thousand inhabitants, as puffins abound in summer.

Another small town worth your visit is Siglufjordur, on the Trollaskagi peninsula, with its historic old wooden house painted in bright colors. In addition, it has a unique museum of the herring era, fishing of which was the livelihood of its inhabitants until not so long ago.

More important is the city of Aureyri which, although having only twenty thousand inhabitants, is considered the capital of the north of the country. It is surrounded by mountains to the west of the imposing Eyjafjour Fjord and on the shores of Glera River. It was an ancient Viking settlement to which homage is now paid with a statue at the god thor. You can also visit its spectacular church and his Botanical Garden. But, since we are talking about Icelandic cities, it is time to explain what to see in Reykjavík, the capital of the country.

Reykjavik, any time of the year


View of Reykjavík

Because the main Icelandic city can be visited at any time. But, if you want to see all of its monuments, it’s always best to go in summer, when the temperatures allow you to spend more time in the streets. With less than two hundred thousand inhabitants, it has a lot to offer you.

You can start your visit to the buildings of the Parliament and some government house, both from the 18th century. Very close to these, in the same district of Miöborg, are the Library and the national theater. You should also visit the National Museum of Iceland and the nordic housearchitect’s work Alvar Aalto.

But, if you want to know the most traditional Reykjavík, in addition to the old town, you must visit the Arbaer Folk Museum, where you can see an entire small town rebuilt in the purest original style. Finally, as for the religious monuments of the city, we advise you to see the old cathedralof the 18th century, and the Reykjavik Free Church. But above all the impressive Hallgrimskirkja or new cathedral, an impressive building in front of which you will see a statue of Erik the RedTenth-century Norwegian sailor and adventurer who discovered Iceland. However, the city also has a beautiful Catholic cathedral, that of Christ the King.

Traveling to Iceland in Spring or Autumn

View of Iceland

Another spectacular Icelandic landscape, in this case the Vatnajokull region in winter

Regarding when to travel to Iceland, even these two seasons are good to advise you. In fact, being the least touristy, prices are cheaper and in either you can also see the coveted Northern Lights. As if that were not enough, autumn gives you a natural spectacle of colors in the mountains and plains with the mixture of plants, mosses and lava remains.

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The temperatures are very similar in both seasons, since they vary between zero and ten degrees centigrade. It is true that their dates do not coincide exactly with ours. Autumn in Iceland begins at the end of August and ends at the beginning of November. Its only drawback is that it is a windy season, which can make your excursions difficult. You should also keep in mind that there are activities that end at this time. For example, he rafting in the rivers or excursions to the highest lands.

For its part, the Icelandic spring extends between April and May. Although the natives of the country celebrate the first day of summer on April 18, make no mistake about it. It is rather the beginning of spring. On the other hand, there may be occasional snowfall, but it is rare. Instead, this is the time when migratory birds begin to be seen. Out of curiosity, we will tell you that the European golden plover is considered to bring spring to Iceland. However, the most popular species arriving in the country is the puffinwhich we have already told you about.

In conclusion, we hope to have answered your question. when to go to iceland. As we said, the best time is summer. But also spring and autumn bring you pleasant temperatures. Even winter is a good time to visit the Nordic island. Because it is better to observe the precious northern Lights. In addition, the trip and the stay are cheaper and, if you like snowy landscapes, this is the best time to appreciate the beauty of its glaciers and fjords, which have nothing to envy to those of Norway. Therefore, visit Iceland whenever you want, but don’t stop doing it. Don’t you think the ones we gave you are reason enough to go?

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