when is the best time to visit Iceland?
The answer is: when you have time!
Iceland has good reasons why to travel in all seasons. Here below are few of the multiple reasons why you should bring your client or incentive group to Iceland, whether it is in summer or winter.
Summer: Long days & the midnight sun – more time to explore
Iceland during the summer (May-September) is surely wonderful and a reason why it has been the traditional high season in tourism in Iceland over the decades. The weather is good (at least in Icelandic standards), long days, the midnight sun, flora and fauna are in bloom, and more or less all activities are possible. Numerous bird species find their way to Iceland to nest, for example the famous Puffin. Big whales are in Icelandic waters, sheep roam the highlands free and Icelandic horses and foals can bee seen in the country side.
In summer, with long days at your hand you can explore more of Iceland each day and maximizing your Iceland experience. The longest day of the year is in June, when the sunrise is just before 03:00 AM and sunset is little after midnight. Therefore you will have daylight and twilight all day and night! You could hence even explore Iceland during the day and go after dinner for a midnight Golfing.
The weather in Iceland is unpredictable, but it is generally mild in summer. Temperature in summer can vary quite a bit. A good summer day in Iceland is around 20-25°C (68-77°f), while it can also go down as low as 10°C (50°F). Either way you will enjoy a summer day in Iceland.
You can do almost all activities in summer, including exploring glaciers, snowmobile, glacier hiking or climbing. All glacier tours are operated year-round, so visiting Iceland for an incentive program during the summertime does not exclude an opportunity to experience a glacier. Some of the best experiences we have in Iceland, is to end a great day in a geothermal baths overlooking Icelandic nature and cheer with your colleagues in your favorite beverage in the midnight sun.
Summers are also great time for unique events and dinners. Set up a dinner venue in the middle of nowhere. What about having a gala dinner on a black sanded beach, in a middle of a lava field, or overlooking a glacier lagoon? Those kind of experiences will last for a lifetime!
Winter: Great glaciers and Northern Lights.
When thinking of Iceland, many guests think of snow and of course ice and snow. Don´t be fooled to think that everything is freezing in Iceland during winter! Because of the Gulf stream from Mexico, warm ocean streams up towards Iceland and surrounds the island with warm sea. Due to that, temperatures are surprisingly warm in winter.
Temperatures in Iceland during the coldest month, January, is on average +1°C (34°F). One week can have beautiful winter weather with +5°C (41°F) and the next week we could have snow and colder temperatures down to -5°C (23°F). If you thought that the weather was unpredictable in summer in Iceland, then wait for winter.
The Northern Lights are a one of many reasons why people flock to Iceland over winter. To experience Iceland in its winter coat and the islands natural beauty, explore and do fun activities during the day, and then witness the magical Northern Lights during night. The Northern Lights can be seen from September till mid of April, or when the Midnight Sun is no longer visible.
During the Northern Light season, then the days are shorter. In mid September and similarly in March, sunrise is just before 7 AM, and Sunset is around 8 PM. While the shortest day of the year in December over Christmas with sunrise around 11 AM and sunset 3:30 PM.
There are multiple fun activities available during winter. More or less all activities that can be done in summer are also operated in winter (except river rafting, RIB boat experiences, Paragliding and few other). Snowmobiling is even more fun in late winter and additionally, natural ice cave exploring is only possible during winter.
Winters in Iceland are a great time for incentive program in Iceland, and there are few reasons for that. Hotel Prices are generally much lower than in Summer. Hotel rates are often 30-40% lower than during the summer season. Attractive hotel rates, Northern Lights, and multiple activity possibilities are few reasons why Iceland has been one the most exciting incentive destination around the world.
photo credits: first person, second person, company’s own