Iceland is a land of extremes. It’s a country of fire and ice, where glaciers, geysers, and hot springs abound. And it’s a place where you can witness some of the most incredible natural phenomena on earth. If you’re wondering when is the best time to visit the country, then our complete guide to visiting Iceland in April will be helpful!
Continue reading to find all the practical information from spring packing, driving, and road conditions, to tours, special events, festivals, and budget – everything covered and answered in this post.
Visiting Iceland in April: Travel Tips + Things to do in Iceland in April
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We have explored Iceland in different seasons, and still feel that a crossover month or the shoulder season is the best time to visit.
The beauty of visiting Iceland in spring or fall is the ability to experience a variety of weather conditions and seasonal activities – imagine chasing northern lights, ice cave tours, and longer hours for spending time outdoors and photography!
April in Iceland is considered a transition month and the spring season. This is when the snow has melted in cities and main towns, roads are clear, and temperatures are slowly getting warmer.
But summers have not knocked at the door yet.
And summers are a busy period, particularly from July to August – prices are sky-high, accommodation and car rentals are expensive and for the most part, you can’t enjoy winter-cold related activities.
Here is a little snapshot of what the weather looks like in Iceland in all months of the year and its pros and cons.
Snapshot: Iceland Seasons
What season is Iceland in April – Experience Spring in Iceland
Iceland experiences all 4 seasons, and April is a spring month.
During this time, you can expect major cities/towns to be filled with greenery – flowers are slowly blooming and gardens are getting back to life.
As far as natural landscapes go, they are open to visitors. You will find receding snow on most hiking and viewing platforms.
Attractions like black sand beaches and coastal areas will still be windy, and slightly cold.
Near waterfalls, you can also expect it to be chilly and you must wear waterproof clothing to keep yourself dry and warm!
Here is a photo from Reykjavik. Lots of greenery in and around the church making it gorgeous!
This photo from the Arctic botanical garden from Akureyri shows the early signs of spring.
You won’t see flowers in full bloom all across the country, but there will be a myriad of colors waiting to welcome you – from pretty yellows, and nude browns to spots of snow whites here and there!
Iceland April Weather and Temperatures
- Average Temperature (Low) 3 degrees Celsius (39 F)
- Average Temperature (High) 7 degrees Celsius (44.6 F)
- Rain in Iceland – Rain is possible in Iceland in April – around 14 to 15 days but it is not a heavy downpour – just drizzle (with some snow)
- Iceland April northern lights possibility – Chasing northern lights in Iceland are possible in the early weeks of April
Reasons to visit Iceland in April
April and generally spring months are one of the best months to visit Iceland for many reasons. Let me list them for you!
- April is an offseason in Iceland
- Better deals on flights, hotels, and travel packages to Iceland
- Almost most of the tours in Iceland in April are still operating
- Experience the best of early summer and late winter conditions
- Festivals in Iceland in April
April is Off-Season in Iceland
April isn’t the busiest month in Iceland. In fact, travelers are waiting for the summer months to kick in and that’s when they plan to venture to Iceland. But……hotels and car rentals will be pricey if you don’t book early in the summer!
In contrast, springtime will be a breeze!
During my trip, it was super easy to find accommodation and I scored 4-star hotels for a low mid-budget range (around $95 to $110 USD per night).
In Reykjavik, I was also offered an upgraded suite for free – because it wasn’t busy! Here is the hotel I stayed in – Center Hotels Plaza.
Off-season doesn’t mean low customer service and no one to find for assistance. It is actually the opposite.
Because there are no long line-ups, people/servers/hosts take extra time to connect with you – strike up a conversation, help you out when you’re on your trip, and more!
I was traveling alone in Iceland in the spring months, and everywhere I went – cafes, on tours, the hotel staff to guides, everyone was attentive and nice!
Take advantage of the season before the madness of the summer season kicks in.
Better deals on flights, hotels, and travel packages to Iceland
Continuing with off-season benefits, know that hotels will be reasonably priced – much cheaper than the summer or winter months.
You can find great accommodations in Iceland in April generally. Get your hotel/ accommodation deals right here.
If you prefer Airbnbs, here is a list of the best Airbnbs in Iceland
But the list doesn’t stop here. Flights are also comparatively cheaper. When flying from the USA, Canada, or Europe, you can find stellar deals to fly to the Keflavik Airport in the spring.
IcelandAir comes out with flight deals every three months or so for its North American flyers (US & Canada), so keep an eye out for that.
Iceland Tours in April
Almost all of the guided tours in Iceland are still in running in April. Classic day tours like the Golden Circle and South Iceland tours were operating as normal when we were in Iceland.
We saw rainbows over the waterfalls, walked over black sand beaches, experienced some light flurries on our way, and also enjoyed some sunshine at the glacier walk.
Multi-day tours to North Iceland are also possible in April. North Iceland’s most stunning sights, such as Lake Myvatn, and the waterfalls Dettifoss and Godafoss, etc are open to visitors.
Access to the Snæfellsnes peninsula in West Iceland via road is also possible in April. In fact, my tour guide mentioned that traveling there in early spring or late winter is not advisable due to poor visibility and road conditions.
Keep in mind that services (washrooms, etc.) in natural sites may still be closed in April and May in Iceland due to the low season.
Whale watching and northern lights tours are offered in April as well, especially in northern Iceland.
Other winter tours like ice caves, snowmobile, super jeep tours, and glacier lagoon hike tours are also offered.
Take a look at all the exciting tours that Iceland has to offer
- Classic Golden Circle Tour – One of the most popular tours is the Golden Circle tour from Reykjavik. In the golden circle route, one can explore the Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and the stunning Gullfoss waterfalls. Click to view this tour
- South Coast Tour: Another popular excursion is the full-day South Coast tour which includes picturesque waterfalls near Reykjavik such as Skogafoss, and Seljalandsfoss with a stop at the village of Vik and the black sand beach of Reynisfjara. Here is the South Coast of Iceland tour.
- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Full-Day Tour from Reykjavik – Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon is an easy day trip idea from the capital city. Book this tour here
- Ice Cave tour options – There is still time to enjoy ice cave tours in April. You can choose from a variety of ice cave tours including a full-day trip starting from Reykjavik – Langjökull Glacier Ice Cave Walking Tour. Or 3-4 hour expeditions to Vatnajökull Glacier or Jökulsárlón
- Whale watching tours: Whale and puffin watching tours are open in Iceland in April. They can be booked as half-day/3-hour tours from either Reykjavik or Akureyri
- Northern lights tours: You can see the northern lights in Iceland in April (early weeks). In northern Iceland, it is said to be visible at night, even in the month of May. This tour leaves from Reykjavik and it is open for bookings up to the 15th of April.
Full list of Iceland tours by budget and season here
All the geothermal spas in Iceland are open, from the Blue Lagoon to Sky Lagoon and the Myvatn Nature Baths.
Do check the hours when planning your trip as they usually have fewer hours as compared to summer months.
Experience the best of early summer and late winter conditions
There is a reason why off-seasons like spring and fall are the best times to explore a destination, and in Iceland, it makes for a better experience.
Days are longer for activities and photography, but attractions and sites are not crowded with people. And this means cheaper rentals and hotels.
As the temperatures are slightly cold, you can still chase northern lights, or go on ice-caving tours, winter and glacier hikes, and more!
Festivals in Iceland in April
Although a slow tourist season, Iceland has a cool line–up of festivals in April. Here is what you can expect
- Reykjavík Blues Festival – This is a Blues Festival that takes place in Reykjavik. You can sway to the music of artists from Iceland, Europe, and North America.
- Music concerts show at Harpa Concert Hall – In April, you can check out music fests and concerts all month long at the Harpa Concert Hall.
- First Day of Summer Festival or Sumardaguvinn Fyrsti: The First Day of Summer festival actually kicks off in April, when Icelanders shake off the short and cold winter days to ring in the new season. This festival takes place on the first Thursday after April 18, annually.
- Celebrate Easter
Things to do in Iceland in April: What to expect in April in Iceland
Iceland in April will be a fun experience for you. You have all the natural attractions and landmarks open for you to explore at a reduced price tag!
Here is what you can expect and do in Iceland in April,
Check off the classic attractions – the Golden Circle route and the south coast
Hit the iconic sites such as the Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, Geysir geothermal areas, and the beautiful Gullfoss (waterfalls).
April is a good time to enjoy the crisp air and go on hikes. These spots won’t be busy so you can surely snap a photo of the Strokkur geyser (that erupts every 30 minutes or so) with ease!
The same goes for the stunning waterfalls near Reykjavik such as Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss – you won’t experience a huge rush of tourists there.
In contrast to the south coast, and the popular Golden Circle, the West coast and northern Iceland tours (Godafoss and Myvatn Lake) will be very quiet in April.
During my trip, there were just a handful of people in late April, but in the early days of the month, there was hardly anyone around.
If the site has amenities such as cafes and souvenir shops, they remain open all year round – so you will find the staff on duty for service.
If they only had washrooms on-site, they may be closed until late May/June or the summer months.
Enjoy Iceland Ring Road trip highlights
Although I enjoyed day tours in April (yes they were operating) but you can easily embark on your own little self-drive Iceland excursion.
All of my tours were small group tours (1-5 people) and sightseeing was a breeze. I was lucky to find a spot by the driver’s seat to enjoy a ‘road trip’ and learn more about Iceland’s unique landscapes and traditions!
Roads were in good condition across the country in April, and the Ring Road had fewer vehicles. So driving will not be an issue.
Having said that, when you detour to smaller towns or natural sites away from the Icelandic Ring Road, you may encounter dirt roads and uneven paths that were not maintained/taken care of after the winter months.
Go on whale watching tours | Whale watching in Iceland
April kicks off whale watching time in Iceland, and this goes on until September. During this time you can spot several species of Cetacea on the south coast and beyond.
Whale-watching tours are conducted in 2-4 hour excursions and you can book them from Reykjavik and Akureyri. Because it is like a half-day tour, you can either join them in the morning or afternoon.
If you were unable to sight any whales on the day of the excursion, then you can rejoin the tour on the next available day.
Note: You can hop on a puffin-watching tour from late April to early May months in Iceland.
Seal watching in Iceland
From whales, and puffins to seals, you can see it all in Iceland.
If you wish to see seals, April is also a good time, and you don’t have to join a cruise boat for that.
There are popular natural attractions such as Ytri-Tunga (Snaefellsnes peninsula) and the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon where you can spot seals hanging out and soaking in the sun at the beach.
When you visit seal-watching areas, be mindful of your surroundings and do not disturb the natural habitat of these cute animals!
Soak in the healing waters of Iceland
One of the bucket list things to do in Iceland is soaking in the warm mineral waters. You have lots of options to choose from – man-made lagoons to au natural ones in the midst of nature.
Although they operate on a short schedule, they are open in all swing. You can soak in warm water (full of minerals) while there is a slight drizzle or even white flurries outside.
They are all built or located near geothermal bodies, so the water here is warm and filled with essential minerals that are good for your skin. This warm water keeps you toasty even when it is cold or raining outside.
When I was in Iceland, I enjoyed the geothermal waters at various times of the day – mornings (10:00 am), afternoon (02:00 pm), and late evenings (04:00 pm) and it was just magical each time!
If you are visiting natural hot pools like Seljavallalaug, be mindful of the trail and the pool itself. These are not maintained and you must exercise caution when using them.
As April is a cross-over month in Iceland, you will get decent daylight to travel and take pictures.
Go on walking tours in towns, and hikes
Daylight hours start at 07:30 am (approx) and it is bright and nice until the sun sets at 08:50 pm. This allows you to get great pictures of Iceland’s natural gems.
This also means it is great to go on walking tours or enjoy guided food tours in Reykjavik in the evening.
The temperature outdoors is pleasant enough to walk outside with a light insulated jacket and a beanie (and this comes from someone who is always cold!).
The same goes for hikes. Popular hiking trails, garden paths, and viewing areas will all be accessible in April.
Just like with any hike, ensure you are wearing proper hiking shoes before you hit the trails.
If you are embarking on hikes with an elevation/steep area ensure you have to carry your trekking poles and go slow. As always follow local guidelines before you go.
Join ice cave tours in April
Touring an ice cave is one of the most unique and unforgettable experiences that Iceland has to offer. Thankfully you don’t have to visit in the dead of winter to join these tours.
Places like the Vatnajökull National Park are home to some of the most popular and accessible ice caves in Iceland and they offer excursions (half-day to full-day tours) led by an expert guide.
Vatnajökull glacier is Europe’s largest, and its vast expanse houses a number of smaller glaciers, each with its own system of rivers and tunnels.
One such glacier is Solheimajökull, which flows down from the mighty volcano Eyjafjallajökull.
This particular ice cave has been featured in many social media and is known for its dramatic entrance.
When you join a tour, you will be provided with protective gear.
Another popular option for cave tours is the Katla Glacier Cave, located in the Myrdalsjökull glacier near the town of Vik.
This cave offers travelers the opportunity to explore an otherworldly landscape of towering black basalt columns and gleaming white walls of ice. You can book this excursion that combines ice caving and a Super Jeep tour.
Enjoy heli skiing in North Iceland
Enjoy heli-skiing in Tröllaskagi in northern Iceland.
April is the perfect time with warmer temperatures and still some snow in high altitudes creating ideal conditions for gliding and taking in stunning views of Iceland.
The heli-skiing season typically starts from the end of February to June. With the continual daylight of the Arctic Sun overhead and mild temperatures, you will find favorable snow conditions until the advent of summer in June.
Now the conditions may vary when you visit from fresh powder to extreme snow, but you are guaranteed to love the gorgeous scenery.
Experience all seasons in a day in Iceland in April in this transition month
April is not cold as compared to other transition months – October. It is mostly dry but still windy.
One of the benefits of visiting Iceland during a crossover month is to be able to experience all seasons – there are warm temperatures where you can shed extra layers and enjoy a nice walk or a hike.
And then take in the beauty of snowy landscapes on an ice cave tour, or from a hot pool.
Plus the possibility of northern lights and seal and whale watching makes it an amazing time to explore Iceland (in April).
When exploring Reykjavik or Akureyri, there will be moments when you will be cold (mainly due to the wind) with single-digit temperatures.
But there will be hours in the day when you will be very warm, and will want to take off your layers.
The weather overall is manageable to enjoy the city on foot, with less crowd on the roads. But you must carry a waterproof jacket and hiking shoes to have a great time!
It is unlikely that you will see snow, and northern lights in the summer months, and winters will be cold with poor visibility on the roads – so plan to visit Iceland in a transition month!
Things to know before your visit to Iceland in April
Before you book that trip, there are a few quick tips for a smooth trip to Iceland in April
Weather in Iceland in April
April is a cross-over and a transition month in Iceland. As for the weather, you can expect the temperature to be as low as 3 degrees Celsius (39 F) and a high temperature of around 7 degrees Celsius (45 F).
With each passing day, the daylight hours will be longer and longer. Sunrises at 07:30 am at the start of the month, which are the early weeks of April.
As we go further along the way, sunrises after 07:00 am or earlier.
The photos below were taken between 06:00 am to 06:30 am in Reykjavik (the second half of April). It looks bright and nice but the sun is not completely out yet.
The complex at Hallgrímskirkja was empty in the morning, and you can expect people walking by from 08:00 am onwards when cafes open up nearby.
Similarly, the sun sets at 7:45 pm at the start of the month. And as we progress, the days are longer and longer and it is dark only after 09:45 pm or so by the end of April.
You will need a waterproof jacket and comfortable shoes with you at all times of the month, especially as you will venture into the natural sites where rains, snow, and wind conditions are still possible.
When I was exploring northern Iceland, it was dark sooner (like 08:00 am) and also cooler as compared to southern Iceland.
Rain is always a possibility in Iceland in April – usually a short drizzle or a quick pour. But this is not uncommon in Europe as most countries experience this in the spring months.
Does it snow in Iceland in April?
Iceland’s weather is always changing. In April you will still see landscapes such as glaciers and highlands in snow.
There is snow and ice in scattered spots across the country. But heavy snowfall is rare.
During the early April weeks, you might see an occasional snowfall, but it clears up soon due to the warm temperatures.
Can you ski in Iceland in April?
The ski season in Iceland is from late December to early April. However, the snowfall in February and March determines if at all skiing is possible in April.
If your MAIN goal is to go skiing in April, I won’t recommend Iceland for that.
Where to go skiing in Iceland? Northern Iceland is home to Hlíðarfjall which has been one of the prime areas for skiing. There are ski slopes and a resort with breathtaking views of the Eyjafjörður, and Icelandic mountains here.
Driving in Iceland in April – Can you drive around Iceland in April
Driving on the Ring road in Iceland is an amazing experience. The views from your car seat are mesmerizing and the attractions are accessible.
And driving in April shouldn’t be an issue for anyone who is not used to Icelandic F roads. Roads are clear of snow or winter residue and the conditions are good.
The Ring road is a beautiful and unique experience that everyone should try. When driving on Ring road, you will be amazed by the different landscapes. You will see glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs, geysers, and more.
When venturing to smaller towns and away from the Ring Road you do need to exercise caution as you will be driving on bumpy roads and unmaintained paths – for the most part.
Iceland is so beautiful and sometimes the best views are just by the roadside – like the image above taken near Akureyri from a car parking lot.
Car Rental in Iceland
Although April is not a busy season in Iceland, if you have a specific requirement for your vehicle, we do recommend making a reservation prior to your visit.
You may also score a discount when booking online. Here are some helpful tips
- Check the weather forecasts (temperature, visibility, sunset, etc.)
- Check road conditions from local news (roadblocks, limited accessibility)
- An all-wheel vehicle (4-wheel drive) is nice, but not a requirement in April
- Get car insurance (CDW – collision damage waiver, gravel, and ash insurance)
- Wear seat belts and ensure there is enough gas and food in your vehicle
- Download offline maps in case you lose cell reception
Campervans or motorhomes can be rented around this time. Campsites operate on a winter schedule even in April, and it is possible that not a lot of sites will be open around this time.
Take Tours in Iceland in October
If you don’t want to drive in Iceland, no problem.
Small group tours are a great way to explore Iceland. In the offseason months, all tours are operating as usual.
We still recommend booking tours early as sometimes they need at least a minimum number of participants to confirm the excursion.
If you are a solo traveler you might find that for some tours at least a 2-person booking is needed if that’s the case I recommend reaching out to the operator so that they can help out.
This often happens in unpopular routes during the offseason. It also happened during my trip to Akureyri, and when I reached the hotel – the lobby staff was able to arrange that for me 🙂
So this can be done easily from the hotel’s tour operator’s desk, especially in the offseason!
Northern Lights in Iceland (early April)
The chances of sighting northern lights in April are very slim. Akureyri still advertises northern lights tours until May, and this region is your best bet if you are wanting to see the green Aurora Borealis!
When we were planning our trip to Iceland, we wanted to experience the Northern Lights so we visited Iceland in October.
We were on a short trip for 3 days in Iceland, and were able to check it off our bucket list!
Note: To leverage your time here for Northern Lights, make sure you book the tour on your first day or so. It is weather dependent, so in case you don’t see it the first day, you can at least experience them the next scheduled day.
What to pack Iceland in April
If you are convinced and ready to book that flight to Iceland in April, let me help you with packing as well!
Remember Iceland is windy and cool at all times of the year – so windproof (+ waterproof) clothes are a must.
Umbrellas are almost useless here, due to the wind. But pack a poncho or waterproof jacket to stay dry and warm when you visit natural attractions.
Make sure your daypacks and backpacks are waterproof as well. The same goes for your camera cover.
Packing list: What to pack for an April Iceland trip
- 1 windproof- waterproof jacket – Here is my favorite – buy it here
- 1-2 light sweater/s – This will be useful for layering and for use indoors
- 1-2 thermal wear (top & bottom) – Pack inner thermals when visiting in the early days of April. Towards the end of the month, you won’t need it – unless you are heli-skiing or doing ice walks/ice cave tours. Shop long john/thermals here
- 1 waterproof pant/s – They are handy when skiing or when you are exploring waterfalls. Shop waterproof pants here
- Accessories – Warm scarf, a cute beanie or two
- Warm socks – Try these thermal socks available for both women and men
- Sturdy waterproof shoes or boots – I love my Timbaland waterproof boots. Check it out here
So that’s a wrap! We hope you found this post helpful in deciding if traveling to Iceland in April is worth it.
April is indeed one of the best months to explore Iceland – experiencing the best of summer and winter activities, and everything in between.
Plus you are saving money on your trip!
I love visiting Iceland and I hope you get to Iceland soon and enjoy your visit as much as I did.
Other posts from our Iceland Travel Blog and Travel Guide
- Iceland Itinerary – 5 days in Iceland | 8 day Iceland itinerary | 10 day Iceland itinerary
- Iceland Tip Planning – Travel Tips for Iceland – an extensive guide
- Iceland Tours – Everything you need to know about Iceland Guided Tours
- Iceland Winter Tours – Read about the top Iceland Winter Tours
- Reyjkavik – Get the list of things that you can do in Reykjavik for free | One day in Reykjavik