Is the summer the best time to visit Iceland?
“Welcome to the land of the ice and snow, of the midnight sun and the hot spring flow” Led Zeppelin sang back in the 1970’s. Whether they wrote the words about Iceland after their concert there is unknown to us here at SADcars. However, we are certain that the midnight sun they experienced in Reykjavik awed them as it has thousands of other visitors.
The light in Iceland, during the summer when the days never end, is unbelievable. We cannot describe it so it is better to just see it in this amazing video by Scientifantastic:
The winter nights are also an experience for those who are not used to them. For the shortest time of the year at the end of December, the sun rises around 10:40 and sets around 15.45 (3.45pm) which results in about 4-5 hours of effective daylight during the day. Some people do not like the idea of a total darkness most of the day every day. Fortunately, electricity in Iceland is relatively cheap because of the geothermal energy, so towns and cities are well lit during the darkest months. We suggest using lots of candles and cozy lights to brighten up your day. On the plus side, the arctic nights provide us with many extra hours to view the northern lights.
Photos by the Aurora Photo Guide - Runólfur Hauksson.
We came across this graph of the length of day in Reykjavík (top), Murmansk, Russia (middle) and Alert, Canada (bottom). The graph shows the length of the day through the year, and clearly shows the midnight sun and polar night in the three cities. According to the graph, there is no midnight sun in Reykjavík. The sun does in fact set for a little bit during the night, although it is still daylight out. Hey, at least the people of Reykjavik do not have to experience polar nights right? :)
To answer the above question; most visitors come to Iceland in the summer and therefore experience the long daylit summer nights. However, those who experience the arctic night and northern lights are no less happy so we here at SADcars recommend that you try to experience both. After all, Iceland in the summer is completely different from Iceland in the winter.
Until next time! :)