Best time to visit?

Magazine Best time to visit?

 

Did you know…

that you can experience adventures in Iceland all year round. A common question is; When is the best time to visit the land of fire and ice? Unfortunately there is no right answer. It depends on various factors. When is it convenient for you to travel? What are you interested in experiencing? Do you want to experience the midnight sun or are the northern lights more appealing? No matter your answer, Iceland offers you an unforgettable experience all year round.

 

Spring

The golden plover (lóa) represents the arrival of  spring (vor) in Iceland and the local news will report the first sighting of the little lóa which tells us that spring is just around the corner. The days are getting longer and you can drive the Ring Road around the country with more ease. You’ll probably hear the song of the Golden Plover whether in the city or the wilderness.  Buttercups and dandelions are a sure sign of spring as well and the best part is to inhale the scent of spring, the sprouting green grass and flora coming back to life after winter hibernation.  Summer is the high season when it comes to tourists so in spring you can at least expect a little more space and often lower prices. What about festivals in spring? Yes, of course you can attend festivals in spring. To name a few we have DesignMarch (Hönnunarmars) that is held,surprisingly enough, in March. The Iceland Writers Retreat (icelandwritersretreat.com) will be held in April – one of it’s founder is Iceland’s Canadian born first lady Eliza Reid. Reykjavík’s Blues Festival (blues.is) and RAFLOST – festival of Electronic Arts (raflost.is) will also be held in April.

 

In April we also celebrate the First Day of Summer (sumardagurinn fyrsti)…and yes we know it is still spring, but according to the Old Norse Calendar summer begins in April and we like our old tradtions. This day is traditionally celebrated with parades and parties in every town and village.

 

One of the highlights for May is the Reykjavík Arts Festival and in May you will surele enjoy longer hours of daylight, from mid-May to mid-August the sun sets for only a few hours per day, meaning it is effectively light for the whole 24 hour period.

 

 

Summer

Oh lovely summer (sumar)!This incredible season when everything has to come to life; Nature, the birds and their hatchlings, the newborn lambs, the flowers, the light.

 

In the months of June and July, especially, the midnight sun is like a glowing jewel in the sky. The colour pallette of the sky is indescribable and needs to be experienced first hand. Please be patient – don’t go to sleep too soon. Wait until midnight or longer – at least once- when the sky is clear. You won’t regret it, an unforgettable experience.

 

You will surely want to leave the city and head of to the countryside, but make sure that you don’t underestimate what Reykjavík has to offer in the summertime.

 

The festival of the Sea (hatidhafsins.is ) honours the fishermen and the fishing industry in Iceland and may you´ll want to go for a colourful run (thecolorrun.is). The goal of Reykjavík Midsummer Music (reykjavikmidsummermusic.com) is to bring some of the best musicians of the world together in Reykjavík to play chamber music from the past and the present. Secret Solstice is a unique music festival (secretsolstice.is) And then we have June 17th, Icelands National Day. A day of celebration all over the country where people will go on parades, sing and attend concerts.

 

Try something new this summer? Do you want to ride the Icelandic horse? Do you want to go diving? Hiking? What about river rafting? Or perhaps to try out a snowmobile? Yes, you can drive a snowmobile on some of the glaciers. Be sure to drive carefully and always follow the instructions from your tourguide. Icelanders are pretty laid back so if we have rules, they are there for a very good reason.  

 

 

Autumn

The days are getting shorter. The colour pallette has changed, the light is more golden and it’s a little colder, but still manageable. There are fewer tourists and prices a little lower but the weather is pretty unpredictable (as it is anytime of the year if the truth be told) and you could end up having a storm altering your plans. One of a must thing to do during this season is taking a trip to Þingvellir National Park where the Icelandic Parliament was founded in 930, making it one of the oldest parliaments in the world. The array of autumn colours is simply beautiful. Some of the hotels and mountain huts will be closed during the low season and some roads and even some bus routs will no longer run. If you are driving on your own make sure to be well prepared and check for current states of roads on road.is

 

If you love films be sure to come during the Reykjavík International Film Festival (riff.is) and if music is your poison don’t miss the notorious Iceland Airwaves Music Festival (icelandairwaves.is)

 

Winter

Travelling to Iceland during winter (“vetur“) can only turn out to be an adventurous tour full of magic (or snow). There are no igloos or giant snowmen in Iceland. But endless possibilities of activities and a good chance that you will be able to make use of all your winter gear should you be inclined to spend your days outdoors. Keep in mind to drive carefully on the roads that can be slippery. You also have to be prepared for heavy winds or snow storms that grace us with their presence once in a while, certain to be quite the experience.

 

The ski area of Bláfjöll is only 25 minutes drive from Reykjavík (skidasvaedi.is) where you can rent skis and snowboards. Make sure to check if it’s open. During the winter months there are normally a lot of concerts to choose from. For example at Harpa,conference and concert hall (harpa.is.) Visiting Harpa is an experience on it’s own. Make sure to see the mesmerising colourful lights on the façade in the evening.

 

Now you know that every season has it’s charm, also in Iceland.

What will be your favourite season?

 

 

 

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