April is a transitional month in Iceland, as the winter snows are melting and the landscape is beginning to come alive with springtime colors. Iceland in April is a great time to visit if you’re looking to experience Iceland’s natural beauty without the crowds of the peak summer season.
However, there are also some challenges to traveling to Iceland during this month. In this guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of visiting Iceland in April and provide you with some helpful tips to plan your trip.
About Iceland in the Spring
As winter transitions into spring, Iceland begins to come back to life after a long, dark season. In March, the days begin to get longer and temperatures start to rise, although snow and ice can still be found in many parts of the country.
By April, Iceland is in full bloom with wildflowers and greenery blanketing the landscape. May is when the weather truly starts to warm up, with average temperatures ranging from 5-12°C (41-54°F), making it a great time to explore the country’s outdoor attractions.
Spring is an excellent time to visit Iceland for those who want to avoid the crowds of the peak summer season. It’s also a great time for outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and soaking in hot springs. The weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to come prepared with layers and waterproof gear.
Keep in mind that some roads and hiking trails may still be closed due to snow or icy conditions, especially earlier in the season, so it’s a good idea to check ahead before planning your itinerary.
For a deeper dive into the best time to visit Iceland, please see our comprehensive guide to the best time to visit Iceland.
Pros and Cons of Iceland in April
As with any month of the year, there are going to be advantages and potential disadvantages to exploring Iceland in April. Keep in mind, every month is wildly different for Icelandic adventures. April is no exception. Below are some of the pros and potential cons of Iceland in April.
Iceland in April: Pros
April is a great time to visit Iceland as the country is slowly coming out of winter and the weather is starting to warm up. The days are also getting longer, providing more opportunities to explore. One of the biggest draws of visiting Iceland in April is the chance to see the Northern Lights before they disappear for the summer.
The winter snow also begins to melt in April, revealing stunning landscapes and waterfalls that were previously hidden. Additionally, April marks the start of Iceland’s puffin season, when the adorable birds return to the country’s coastal cliffs to breed. It’s also a great time to visit the Westfjords, as the roads and hiking trails begin to open up after the winter closures.
Overall, April is a great time to visit Iceland if you want to experience the country before the summer crowds arrive. The weather can still be unpredictable and there may be some residual winter weather, but the benefits of seeing the Northern Lights, puffins, and springtime landscapes more than make up for it. Just be sure to pack warm layers and waterproof gear to be prepared for any weather.
Iceland in April: Cons
While visiting Iceland in April can be a great experience in many ways, there are a few downsides to keep in mind. One of the biggest cons is that April can still be quite cold, with temperatures often hovering around freezing or just above. This means you’ll need to pack warm clothing and be prepared for chilly weather, even if you’re planning to do activities like hiking or sightseeing.
Another potential downside of visiting Iceland in April is that some of the country’s top attractions, like the Highlands and certain hiking trails, may still be inaccessible due to snow and ice.
Additionally, while the days are getting longer in April, it’s still not quite light for 24 hours like it is during the summer months, which means you’ll have less daylight to work with if you’re hoping to pack a lot of activities into your trip.
Finally, it’s worth noting that April is considered part of Iceland’s shoulder season, which means that prices may still be relatively high compared to other destinations.
Events in Iceland in April
There are plenty of events taking place throughout Iceland in the month of April. Here are just a few of the events in Iceland in April:
- Reykjavik Folk Festival – This three-day festival features traditional folk music from Iceland and other Nordic countries.
- Food and Fun Festival – This popular food festival showcases the best of Icelandic cuisine, with top chefs from around the world coming to Reykjavik to prepare special dishes using local ingredients.
- Easter – Icelanders celebrate Easter in a big way, with lots of traditional foods, including smoked lamb, chocolate eggs, and special bread.
- DesignMarch – This festival showcases the best of Icelandic design, with exhibitions and events taking place across Reykjavik.
- Reykjavik Blues Festival – Fans of blues music won’t want to miss this festival, which brings together top musicians from Iceland and around the world for several days of concerts and events.
- The First Day of Summer – This national holiday marks the beginning of the summer season in Iceland and is celebrated with parades, concerts, and other outdoor events.
- International Viking Festival – Held in Hafnarfjordur, this festival celebrates Viking history and culture with a variety of events and activities.
Tips for Visiting Iceland in April
Visiting Iceland in May can be a great choice for those who want to experience the country’s beauty in full bloom. One of the main advantages of visiting in May is the weather. With temperatures ranging from 5-13°C (41-55°F), it is a comfortable time to explore Iceland’s landscapes. The days are also longer, with up to 21 hours of daylight, giving visitors ample time to explore the natural wonders of Iceland.
May is also a great time for wildlife watching. Many birds return to Iceland in May to breed, including puffins, Arctic terns, and guillemots. In addition, it is common to spot seals and whales along the coastlines. May is also a great time to visit the Westfjords region, as many of the roads are only open during the summer months.
However, it is important to note that May can still have its share of rainy and windy days. It is always important to check the weather forecast and road conditions before setting out on any adventures in Iceland. Additionally, May is a popular time for tourism, so it is recommended to book accommodations and activities well in advance to avoid disappointment.
As always, if you’re looking to get up-to-date information on the unpredictable weather in Iceland, there is one primary source. That source is Vedur.is.
Visiting in March Instead
If you’re considering a trip to Iceland in April, you may want to consider visiting in March instead. Although the weather can still be cold and unpredictable in March, the days are longer, with up to 13 hours of daylight towards the end of the month.
This means more time to explore Iceland’s breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders. Additionally, visiting in March may be less crowded than in April since it is still considered the shoulder season.
For a deeper dive, please see our full article on Iceland in March.
Visiting in May Instead
While April can be a great time to visit Iceland, it’s worth considering a trip in May instead. The weather is generally milder, with longer days and less chance of snowstorms, making it easier to travel and explore.
May is also a great time to see Iceland’s wildlife, with puffins returning to the shores and whales migrating closer to the coast. Plus, the Icelandic music scene comes alive in May with the annual Reykjavik Folk Festival.
For a deeper dive, please see our full article on Iceland in May.
Our Final Thoughts
Overall, visiting Iceland in April can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to be prepared for the weather and the crowds. If you’re looking for a quieter and potentially more affordable trip, consider visiting in March instead.
Alternatively, May offers milder weather, longer days, and more opportunities for wildlife viewing and cultural events. Whatever month you choose, make sure to pack appropriately, plan your itinerary in advance, and don’t forget to experience Iceland’s unique culture and hospitality.