Why You Should Visit Iceland in Autumn

Skógarfoss waterfall in Iceland.
Skógarfoss waterfall, Iceand.

Autumn might be the strangest and shortest season in Iceland. It is the time when summer has ended but winter hasn´t quite started yet. At least that´s how it should be, but this is Iceland so that´s not entirely guaranteed.

On the other hand, it is also considered by many to the best time to visit Iceland and we agree.

Here´s how the Icelandic autumn is like and why it is such a great time to visit.

Less expensive vacation

Going to Iceland and staying in Iceland can be expensive. However, those looking for traveling on a budget or simply want to have a less expensive vacation, might want to consider traveling in autumn.

As temperatures drops so do prices after the summer. This includes flights, car rentals and accommodations Therefore, travelers can get a cheaper trip to Iceland in autumn.

Kirkjufell, Church mountain at Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland.
Kirkjufell mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall at Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

More exclusive vacation

Summers are the high season for the tourist industry. That´s when the weather is at its best and most people travel. There are usually less people traveling in autumn. Meaning tourist hot spots and attractions will be less crowded. This opens the opportunity for a more exclusive experience.

This also means more availability when selecting a car rental, hotel, or activities such as tours and restaurants.

How´s the weather?

It´s impossible to talk about autumn without mentioning the weather. Nothing effects travel plans as much as the weather. This is the shortest season in Iceland. Many Icelanders even do not recognise and say that here we just go straight from summer to winter. However, from September to November the winter hasn´t usually started.

During this time the weather is very unpredictable and can change fast. One day it might be sunny and warm and the next is snow and ice. Fortunately, there is little risk of snow and ice, especially around Reykjavik and the south coast.

However, it can be a very windy and rainy. A classic autumn weather is call side rain, where it feels like the rain is not coming from above but from the sides.

So, we recommend leaving the umbrella at home and just bring cloths that will keep you dry and warm. Less is more so bring extra cloths and expect any kind of weather.

Traveling the ring road in Iceland at autumn.
A classic fall weather in Iceland.

Midnight sun and auroras

Autumn is also the time of the year when the day start to shorten. As winter is coming daylight is getting less by every day.

Iceland is known for its midnight sun during the summer. This endless daylight last until August. Therefore, the days are still rather long in the being of autumn and until November. Meaning you can get some glimpse of the midnight sun feeling at this time.

SEE ALSO: Find Northern Lights in Iceland With This Comprehensive Guide

This is also the time when we start to see the Northern Lights. That´s right! The Auroras are usually visible from September, as it gets dark enough at night. Autumn might be the most convenient time to see the Northern lights. There is less change of snow and ice. Making it much easier to go out and look for them.

The Northern ligths in Reykjavik.
The Northern lights at Hallgrímskirkja in Downtown Reykjavik.

Where to visit in Iceland during Autumn

Winter has not yet settled in it is still possible to visit most areas in Iceland. That is expect the Highland as the F-roads are closed at the end of summer. Driving the Ring Road and to other popular places such as Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the Golden Circle and along the South coast should not be a problem for most of the time.

We recommend having a rental car when traveling in Iceland in autumn. As the weather is rather unpredictable, the rental car will allow keeping the travel plan as open as possible in case you need to alter your plans, due to bad weather.