There are officially only two seasons in Iceland: winter and summer, but the period between March and April is still considered the Icelandic spring.
As early as March, the snow starts to melt and the days stretch longer than the nights but despite this, it is still quite cold. Officially, spring ends and brings in the Icelandic summer on the first Thursday following April 18.
Preparing a spring trip is not necessarily the same as preparing for a stay at another time of the year, so do not hesitate to consult our advice for preparing a trip to Iceland or our advice for choosing the right season to go.
So is spring a good time to visit Iceland? The answer is yes!
The diamond beach in March
The period that extends from March to May is a perfect time to visit for many reasons:
Kleifarvatn in March
However, visiting Iceland during the months of March and April has some disadvantages:
Road number 1 in March
The two months of spring, March and April, in the coldest 6 months of the year. Rest assured, while it can get as low as -15°C in some regions, this is in fact quite rare. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland has mild average temperatures for its latitude, between 0 and 5° most of the time in March and April.
In terms of rainfall, March and April are night and day. While March is considered to be one of the rainiest months, April is one of the driest and sunniest.
Regarding the daylight hours, again, there is a big difference between March and April. The days last about 10 hours in early March, increasing by about 7 minutes per day to reach 15 hours in mid-April and over 16 by the end of the month.
Gullfoss in March - Violette Genot @Unsplash
In March, winter still has its icy hooks in the land. The snow is still present and the days are getting longer by 6 to 7 minutes a day, which makes it possible to finally enjoy the outings.
March and October, around the equinoxes, are considered the two most interesting months of the year to discover Iceland. It's the best of both worlds as you can enjoy the snowy landscape and the Northern Lights but the day remain long enough to do things in daylight. March is also the last month of the year to catch exclusively winter outings such as dog sledding trips, visits to ice caves, etc.
Tourists are not here in force during the month of March, so it remains uncrowded compared to the summer and winter holiday seasons. Rental prices are therefore reasonable, and tourist sites crowds are more manageable at this time of the year.
Blue Lagoon in April
The difference between March and April is really marked. While March remains icy white, April has the snow melting more and more every day, revealing the vivid colours of the flora underneath. Days are much longer with 16 hours of light in late April, which allows you to make the most of each minute.
Also, the month of April has very little rain and even if the weather changes very quickly in Iceland, from a bright sunshine to a snowstorm in an hour, this period is particularly clement.
This is the very last month for a winter outing to admire the Northern Lights and is a relatively calm month. This is reflected in the price of rentals as the number of tourists visiting is a bit lower at this time of the year.
By the end of April wildlife starts to make a timid appearance with the first puffins starting to return just around the official date of Iceland's summer: the first Thursday after April 18.