FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT VISITING ICELAND IN FEBRUARY
Depending on what you want to see and do in Iceland, February might be the ideal month for your holiday. Read on to find out more with these answers to commonly asked questions about visiting Iceland in February.
How is Iceland in February?
February is a quiet month to visit Iceland as it falls after the festive season. It is an ideal time if you want to experience the Icelandic winter, take part in snow-based activities like snowmobiling, or even hunt for the northern lights.
Though the weather is colder at this time of year, you will enjoy fewer visitors at top attractions. There's also lighter traffic for driving and better availability of accommodation in February. Not everything is quiet, though. The city centre of Reykjavík stays lively with an abundance of cafés, bars and restaurants.
What are the best things to do in Iceland in February?
Despite falling during the off-peak season, there are so many exciting things to do in Iceland in February. Since there are fewer travellers to Iceland at this time, you’ll find that certain tours have better availability, giving you greater flexibility with your itinerary.
What’s more, even with short daylight hours and winter weather conditions in February, you can still visit many of Iceland’s top natural attractions. Some of the unmissable highlights are waterfalls draped in ice, glaciers, hot springs and geothermal sites.
Here are 10 of the best things to do in Iceland in February:
Snowmobile over glaciers
Discover the famous Golden Circle
Marvel at frozen waterfalls
Hunt for the northern lights
Dip in hot springs and poolss
Go on ice cave tours
See geothermal wonders and volcanoes
Enjoy Icelandic horse riding or join a whale watching tour
Walk along unusual black sand beaches
Admire glacier lagoons
Cultural events in February
Iceland in February is culturally vibrant, with fun events taking place around the country.
Time your visit to coincide with the Winter Lights Festival at the start of the month and you’ll see Reykjavík adorned in light installations. There’s a host of events during this celebration of winter. You’ll also be able to access swimming pools and museums for free on Pool Night and Museum Night.
Iceland also celebrates Ash Wednesday and Mardi Gras in February. There are often parades to mark the occasion, along with delicious treats like meat and fish balls, and irresistible cream-filled buns. You’ll find these in many of Iceland’s cafés and restaurants in February.
Good to know: If you’re unsure about what you want to do in Iceland, don’t worry. Our Iceland experts are based in Reykjavík and know the country inside out. They’ll help you see Iceland your way, tailoring your itinerary by adding all the best excursions and experiences to suit you.
What are the best places to visit in Iceland in February?
February is a good month to travel to Iceland to see its magnificent wintry landscapes. At this time of year, the days are shorter due to low daylight hours, but it’ll make your adventures even more worth it.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Iceland in February:
To keep occupied whilst in the capital, you may want to explore some of these fun indoor attractions too:
Learn about volcanoes at the Lava Centre
Try a flight simulation experience with FlyOver Iceland
Experience earthquakes and visit the planetarium at Perlan
Where you go in Iceland depends on how much time you have to spend. If you are only staying for a few days, your best bet is to explore Reykjavík and the surroundings.
Want to spend a week or longer in Iceland in February? Then you’ll have time to journey around the country in a full circle to reach its many beautiful corners. As well as the southern and western regions, you can explore the east and north of Iceland too.
What is the weather like in Iceland in February?
It’s deep winter in Iceland in February. On average there are highs of 4°C (39°F) and lows of -1°C (30°F). There may be rainy days during your Iceland holiday in February, with an average of 40mm of rainfall. It can also get quite windy.
The weather in Iceland is unpredictable, so prepare for the cold, wind and rain if you’re planning a trip for February!
What is the temperature in February in Iceland?
In Reykjavík the average temperature in February is 1°C (34°F). In Akureyri, in the north, it is -2°C (28°F). Generally Iceland experiences highs of 4°C (39°F) and lows of -1°C (30°F).
Does it snow in Iceland in February?
In February, because of the colder temperatures, it is likely to snow. However, outside of the higher altitudes or parts of North Iceland, snowfall rarely stays on the ground longer than a few days. Depending on the weather, you may instead expect some rain at this time of year.
How are the driving conditions in Iceland in February?
Driving in Iceland is likely to be different than what you’re used to back home, especially in winter. Even if you’ve experienced snowy, icy conditions before, it’s best to be ready when taking on an Icelandic February road trip.
Winter storms can bring high winds, poor visibility and slippery surfaces. Driving over mountain passes can also require extra caution at this time of year. For road trips in February, we would strongly suggest renting a 4-wheel drive as these vehicles handle the wintry conditions better.
During your trip check weather and road conditions regularly. For your peace of mind, our team is on hand 24/7 should you need to get in touch at any point. And if there is an unexpected event or severe weather, we’ll get in touch and modify your itinerary while keeping you safe and informed.
When you book a self-drive tour with Nordic Visitor, your car rental comes with collision damage waiver, a GPS, unlimited in-car Wi-Fi, and a hand-marked map of your route. You also get two named drivers on the insurance policy so you can share the driving with a travel companion.
What to pack for a trip to Iceland in February?
Wondering what to take to Iceland in February? As it’s the middle of winter, you’ll need to dress warmly. We recommend bringing layers and an insulated jacket to protect you from the cold. When packing for Iceland in February, remember that the weather can change quickly.
Here is a list of packing essentials for your Iceland trip in February:
Waterproof and windproof jacket
Sturdy, waterproof shoes with a good grip
Thermal underwear and socks
We also recommend packing a swimsuit, quick-dry towel and flip-flops if you’re planning on visiting some of Iceland’s geothermal pools, such as the Blue Lagoon. As well as these essentials, be sure to bring good sturdy walking or hiking boots depending on what activities you may want to enjoy.
What to wear in Iceland in February?
Icelanders have a saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”
In February you can expect colder weather, northerly winds and even snow. For that reason, you should dress with warm layers to be ready for anything. That way you can enjoy the beautiful sights without worrying about the temperatures and conditions.
Clothes to wear in Iceland in February include an insulated winter jacket and warm under layers, as well as good sturdy boots.
It’s good to know that some outdoor excursions will provide the necessary winter clothing, such as warm overalls. But if you’d like to go snowmobiling, hiking or ice caving, make sure you’ve brought the clothing essentials with you, such as snow boots.
What are the daylight hours in Iceland in February?
The hours of daylight in Iceland vary from the beginning to the end of February. You can expect around 7 hours of daylight in the first few days in February, and 10 hours at the end of the month.
On 1 February in Reykjavík, the sun rises at approximately 10:10 AM and sets at around 5:15 PM. In Akureyri the sun rises at 10:10 AM, and sets at 4:45 PM.
By the end of February, there are more daylight hours in Iceland. In Reykjavík the sunrise takes place at about 8:30 AM and sunset at 6:45 PM. In Akureyri the sunrise occurs at around 8:20 AM and sunset at 6:30 PM.
Can I see the northern lights in Iceland in February?
Yes, it is possible to see the northern lights in Iceland in February. In order to spot the colours of the aurora borealis, you need the right solar activity, a clear, dark sky with few or no clouds, and low light pollution.
In winter the nights are longer and darker than in summer. That’s why the best times of the year to visit Iceland for northern lights tours are between October and April.
Due to the unpredictable nature of the northern lights, we cannot promise you will see them during your stay. But the aurora borealis are a natural marvel that continues to inspire awe and delight, and is definitely worth putting on your travel bucket list.
How to tour Iceland in February?
There are various ways to travel on your Iceland tour in February. Depending on your personal preferences, you could either go for a guided or self-guided vacation.
The positive side of travelling during the low season is that there’ll be smaller crowds at famous attractions. This will offer you a more personal experience and maybe even better photo opportunities!
Road trips in February
For a self-guided journey through Iceland, you could opt for a road trip adventure. There are many self-drive tour routes to choose from in February. For shorter stays we recommend driving the Golden Circle in South Iceland or exploring the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the West.
If you have a week or more to spend in Iceland, drive around the Ring Road for a full loop of the country. This way you can visit virtually all the stunning corners of Iceland in one trip!
Multi-day tours in February
Another way to see Iceland on an independent tour is to base yourself in one or two locations, such as Reykjavík and Akureyri. You can then explore Iceland’s highlights on day trips with expert guides.
A multi-day tour of Iceland is a great way to combine solo travel with guided excursions. You can fill your itinerary with as many tour-led activities as you wish!
Privately guided tours in February
On the other hand, you might prefer to be accompanied by a local expert throughout your Iceland experience. If so we recommend opting for a privately guided tour to have your own personal guide show you the best attractions. This is one of the most exclusive ways to see Iceland.
Small group tours in February
Or you could discover Iceland with like-minded visitors as part of a small group tour. You’ll get to meet people from around the world and learn from the expertise of a local guide, who will show you the most beautiful and fascinating parts of Iceland.
On a small group tour of Iceland in February, you could visit the popular south coast or travel around the Ring Road for an in-depth tour.
Good to know: Whichever of these travel styles you choose, you’ll get all the signature Nordic Visitor benefits. These include access to our 24/7 helpline, a detailed personal itinerary, helpful Iceland travel guide and daily breakfast.
Nordic Visitor will book all your accommodation, and you can add extra nights and activities to your itinerary too.
Scroll down to learn more about Nordic Visitor’s services.