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Climate & weather conditions

How icy is Iceland? You might be surprised

Iceland enjoys a cool temperate maritime climate thanks to the Gulf Stream, but the weather is known to change quickly, and often. Icelanders have a saying: “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”

No matter the season, when you visiting you should always have wind and water resistant outerwear, as well as extra thermal layers on hand, before heading out on excursions.

As for winter, Iceland is not all covered by ice and snow as its name would suggest. In fact, outside of the higher altitudes or parts of North Iceland, snowfall rarely stays on the ground longer than a few days. Rain is more common, with October being the wettest month. Also, the cool northerly winds can be strong at times so we recommend an insulated or down jacket for winter visits.

Weather conditions and northern lights

When you are chasing the northern lights, weather conditions are important. Clear skies provide a better chance of seeing an auroral display.

For more information, visit our dedicated northern lights information guide.

Winter weather and driving

If you're going on a self-drive tour in winter, we always recommend checking road conditions before heading out, since conditions can change quickly.

Please drive cautiously at all times. Roads may be slippery due to rain or frost even if they appear to be in good condition. You can find more detailed information in our winter driving guide.


Useful weather resources


Average Iceland Temperatures in Celsius (Fahrenheit)

  Reykjavík Akureyri
January -0.6 (30.9) -1.5 (29.3)
February 0.7 (33.3) -2.1 (28.2)
March 2.2 (36.0) 2.0 (35.6)
April 5.2 (41.4) 4.9 (40.8)
May 6.0 (42.8) 4.5 (40.1)
June 10.7 (51.3) 10.7 (51.3)
July 12.8 (55) 10.7 (51.3)
August 11.0 (51.8) 10.0 (50.0)
September 7.9 (46.2) 7.2 (45.0)
October 5.8 (42.4) 5.1 (41.2)
November 3.1 (37.6) 1.2 (34.2)
December 1.3 (34.3) 0.8 (33.4)

Temperature conversion chart

°C °F
-14 6.8
-13 8.6
-12 10.4
-11 12.2
-10 14.0
-9 15.8
-8 17.6
-7 19.4
-6 21.2
-5 23.0
-4 24.8
-3 26.6
-2 28.4
-1 30.2
°C °F
4 39.2
5 41.0
6 42.8
7 44.6
8 46.4
9 48.2
10 50.0
11 51.8
12 53.6
13 55.4
14 57.2
15 59.0
16 60.8
17 62.6

Thinking of an Icelandic adventure? Browse our travel packages for inspiration.

Or ask for advice from our local consultants.

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