When to expect sunrises, sunsets, northern lights and the midnight sun
Before you book flights and organise a trip to Iceland, it is good to know about time zones and sunlight hours.
What time zone is Iceland?
Iceland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), or UTC +0, and does not adjust to daylight savings time.
When does the sun rise and set in Iceland?
Here are some typical examples of sunrise and sunset times:
|January 1||11:19 / 15:42||11:33 / 14:58|
|February 1||10:09 / 17:13||10:07 / 16:45|
|March 1||08:33 / 18:47||08:22 / 18:28|
|April 1||06:44 / 20:20||06:25 / 20:08|
|May 1||04:58 / 21:53||04:30 / 21:50|
|June 1||03:21 / 23:31||02:32 / 23:31|
|June 21 (summer solstice)||02:55 / 00:03||01:29 / 00:58|
|July 1||03:06 / 23:55||02:00 / 00:32|
|August 1||04:35 / 22:29||04:03 / 22:30|
|September 1||06:11 / 20:41||05:50 / 20:32|
|October 1||07:37 / 18:55||07:24 / 18:38|
|November 1||09:12 / 17:09||09:07 / 16:43|
|December 1||10:47 / 15:46||10:55 / 15:07|
Iceland daylight in summer
Owing to Iceland’s proximity to the Arctic Circle, the country experiences “white nights” in the summer months due to the midnight sun, a natural phenomenon in which the setting sun doesn’t fully dip below the horizon.
Iceland experiences its peak daylight hours during the Summer Solstice in late June. Some travellers find it beneficial to bring sleeping masks during summer visits.
- Explore these Iceland summer tours
Iceland daylight in winter
At the other extreme, the days are much shorter during winter, with only a few hours of daylight around the solstice in December. Fortunately, this means more opportunities to witness the northern lights! Also called aurora borealis, these colourful, dancing lights are caused by charged particles from solar flares colliding with the earth's atmosphere.
They are mainly visible in the high northern latitudes, including most of the Nordic region, and can only be viewed in the darkness of night with no cloud cover.
Note: The best months for viewing the northern lights are October through April, with peak visibility from December through February. However, as the aurora borealis is a natural phenomenon, sightings cannot be guaranteed.
- Explore these Iceland winter tours
Book a trip to Iceland and our travel consultants will be available to field your queries before and during your visit.