Essential Iceland Self Drive
We’d like to let you in on a little secret; travel in Iceland is magical year-round! For people who want to avoid the season of high tourist flow (June-August) and who are afraid of harsh winter conditions, spring and autumn are great times to visit Iceland. During these seasons we would particularly recommend the Skaftafell National Park. A natural marvel, its panoramas are magnificent when painted with their spring and autumn colours!
In autumn, the days remain long and the temperatures more than manageable. September is the month during which the night sky begins to display its famous northern lights. A blanket of illuminations made up of thousands of shades of green, blue, red and yellow, this magnetic phenomenon lasts until the end of the winter. In September, the temperatures drift between 6°C and 11°C (42.8-51.8 degrees F). At night, meanwhile, they can drop down to 0°C (32 degrees F), so campers be warned! Dusk is around 20:30, and daybreak around 6:15. Iceland’s vegetation remains lush, its colours veer towards those of autumn and its wild lands have become deserted by tourists for your personal enjoyment. In October, the progression towards winter becomes more marked. For the most part, the average temperatures stay between 3°C and 7°C (37.4-44.6 degrees F); while icy nights last from about 18:30 to 8:00 in the morning. By now, several hotels and mountain huts will have closed for the low season, some roads will be closed off, and many bus routes will no longer run. Things to keep this in mind when organizing your trip.
Travelling in Iceland in the spring is the perfect opportunity to watch the land emerge from idle hibernation back to bustling life. Still blanketed in snow, the terrain allows for observation of stunning landscapes of a wild nature in the midst of its seasonal rebirth. The temperatures and meteorological conditions start to become more hospitable. In April, temperatures stay on the positive side, anywhere from 1°C to 6°C (33.8-42.8 degrees F). The sun rises at 6:30 and sets around 20:35. Snow everywhere becomes patchy as it melts away, and most roads reopen for travel. The roads through the central highlands, however, stay closed until the month of July. This is because Iceland’s interior remains covered in snow until the beginning of summer. The month of May, with a pleasantly low tourist flow, is brighter, sunnier and less rainy. The average temperatures are still relatively crisp, between 4°C to 12°C (39.2 -53.6 degrees F), and the sun lasts from 4:30 until 22:00. Throughout Iceland, the hostels, hotels and museums that were closed during low season reopen their doors to travellers.