Visiting Iceland? You have found my personal notes and travel tips, such as the best time to visit Iceland and miscellaneous facts which I obtain from a variety of sources such as first hand observations, personal conversations, magazines, newspapers, websites, books and so forth.
Best Time to Visit Iceland
Short Answer: June to October.
Longer Answer: Iceland, where to begin. If you want to get around without a hitch, then June to Mid-September is your best bet. As you get further into the summer, more exploration will be possible as roads will clear of ice and so forth. This is also the period when it is (relatively) warmest although realize it is never really “summertime hot” in Iceland. With this said, realize that the Iceland tourist numbers have gone exponential and now I’m not sure that this is really the best time to see it unless you are planning on having enough time to get away from the main tourist path. If you have a couple weeks, then this is a great time to go although realize you are in high season nonetheless. Wind and rain are at a low in the summer
September and October are great months to go in general because the crowd surge has leveled off and the skies are clear.
Otherwise, it is going to follow logic. As you get closer to winter, the weather is colder and the days darker.
If you want to check out the Northern Lights, the best time to visit Iceland would be September through March, realizing that you need clear, dark skies to see anything. Generally, September, October, February and March will be your best bets. In the summer time (May, June, July) you have too much light in the sky overnight.
Wintertime itself is going to have less tourists which is nice, but road conditions grow more difficult and your daylight hours are severely compromised. The upside is that you can draw good stretches of weather and be checking out frozen waterfalls and other amazing scenery without the hoardes. And, while it doesn’t get hot in the summer, it doesn’t get as cold as you may think in the winters.
Miscellaneous Travel Tips for Iceland
Try kjotsupa, an Icelandic lamb stew
Clothing brand 66 North is an outdoor clothing brand. Last I checked, most of it is manufactured in Latvia. The other “Icelandic” brands don’t make their stuff in Iceland either with a bunch of it being made in China and so forth. Check the tags before you think you are buying some Icelandic classic.
About F Roads and Driving in Iceland
F Roads are, in simple terms, roads that you will need a 4×4 car to drive. However, these roads close at times during the year to prevent road damage or due to the risk. For instance, in the spring, when things are melting, driving on them will create damage.
A good site for all kinds of driving information is at road.is but if you follow this link, you can also see the average times and data for when F Roads open. Generally, you want to visit further into the summer (July, August, early September) if you want a better chance at these roads being opened. Sometimes, they are closed even in summer.
To check for road closures: http://www.road.is/travel-info/road-conditions-and-weather/entire-iceland-road-conditions-map/
To see when the F Roads are usually open to give you an idea of when to go: http://www.road.is/travel-info/condition-and-opening-of-mountain-roads/