Spring is a great time of year to visit Iceland. Visiting Iceland in the spring allows you to experience the country’s beautiful scenery before the height of tourist season in the summer, and yet you can enjoy milder temperatures than in winter.
Spring is a great time of year to visit Iceland. Visiting Iceland in the spring allows you to experience the country’s beautiful scenery before the height of tourist season in the summer, and yet you can enjoy milder temperatures than in winter and slightly longer days than in the depth of winter. If you plan your trip just right in early spring, you’ll also still have a chance to glimpse the northern lights before they disappear to the light that begins to takeover mid-spring.
The warmer spring weather brings Iceland back to life, with many species of birds returning from their winter migrations, and many boat and whale watching tours returning to operation. This makes spring a great time of year to visit Iceland, as you can still take part in many activities, but at a cheaper price than during peak season.
However, spring in Iceland can still bring a variety of weather, and some of it rather unpredictable. Here, we’ll share everything you need to know about Icelandic weather in the spring.
What to expect
People who have not been to Iceland before or that are not particularly familiar with the country might find the name misleading. Iceland conjures images of a desolate, snow-crusted tundra, when in fact, this island sees far milder weather than one might expect. Iceland is located just below the Arctic Circle, however, is highly affected by the Gulf Stream, which keeps things from getting too cold.
However, when the Gulf Stream exposes warmer Atlantic air to the chillier Arctic air, the result can often be some pretty drastic changes in weather. This is why Iceland has a strong reputation for weather that changes quickly and frequently.
Because of the ever-changing weather in Iceland, you’re likely to experience a mixture if you visit in spring. You might see some light snow in spring, but typically only at higher elevations. In early spring, you’re likely to experience a lot of cloud cover and light rain showers. The further you get from winter, though, the more sunshine and higher temperatures you’re likely to encounter.
Average temperature and weather conditions
On average, spring temperatures in Iceland range from highs between 5C (41F) and 7C (45F), to lows between -1.5C (29F) and 0.4C (33F). April will bring lower temperatures, which will gradually increase into May and June as spring gives way to summer.
In the spring months, you’re also likely to experience plenty of daylight hours so you can enjoy lots of adventures and activities. Typically, spring delivers between 11-18 hours per day.
Driving in spring
Driving during the spring in Iceland is usually a fairly easy time of year for tourists to navigate around the country. F-Roads are closed until the summer, so these most challenging Icelandic routes will be off-limits to you during the spring.
You will still want to keep an eye on the weather in the local area as you travel around Iceland in spring, just to make sure that no storms or high winds will affect your journey. Just because winter is over it doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter some difficult driving conditions, however. Read our other blogs for more tips on driving in Iceland.