One of the beautiful things about visiting Iceland in April is that you're missing the mass crowds hunting for the Northern Lights or chasing the Midnight Sun. This is the perfect month to experience the country in a less crowded atmosphere, especially if you plan on visiting some of the more well-visited attractions such as the Golden Circle or Blue Lagoon.
Afternoons are sunny and warm, but be prepared to go with the flow when it comes to weather. Mornings may be rainy and nights chilly, and there's always the chance that an unexpected storm could derail road trip plans. If you have a flexible schedule, though, you can rest easy: The higher temperatures will melt the snow quickly and you'll be back on track soon.
From what to pack to annual events, here is everything you need to know about visiting the Land of Fire and Ice during the month of April.
With between 13 and 16 hours of sunlight every day, April is a relatively bright month for Iceland (the country only sees six to eight hours of sun in the dead of winter). This makes April a great time of year to plan a road trip, as more sunlight means more driving time.
Local flora starts to bloom, especially toward the end of the month. A lot animals, including lambs and horses, are born in April as well—so there's a good chance you will get to see beautiful flowers and adorable baby animals during your visit.
Iceland Weather in April
April is the first month of the year that sees temperatures regularly above freezing. If you really and truly hate chilly wintertime temperatures, plan your trip for April at the earliest. Average temperatures range from 35 degrees Fahrenheit to 43 degrees Fahrenheit.
If there is a snow storm, it won't stick around too long given the warmer temperatures. There is quite a bit of rain, but the days do get sunnier (and even longer) as the month goes on.
What to Pack
Winter boots are not totally necessary in April—but if you have room in your suitcase, bringing them is never a bad idea. Take care to make sure your hiking boots are waterproof as springtime in Iceland can get quite wet and muddy.
Packing a myriad of layers is important. You will want a wool or synthetic base layer, but make sure it's something you wouldn't mind wearing in public: Some afternoons can get surprisingly warm, so you might find yourself shedding your outer layer. Extra pairs of socks are smart to pack as well.
April Events in Iceland
There aren't as many festivals and events happening around the country in April—it could be because everyone is too busy being outside and taking in the (much) nicer weather. However, here are a couple to keep an eye on if you're planning a trip in April:
- Children's Culture Festival: From April 9-14, this festival in Reykjavík invites children to participate in various art workshops and performances focused on theatre, puppetry, film, music, visual arts, and more. Children up to the age of 16 are invited to attend.
- Iceland Writer's Retreat: You'll need to be accepted to participate in this workshop, but every year writers from around the world convene to share ideas, techniques, and inspiration. In between sessions, participants are also invited to go on exclusive tours of local sights.
April Travel Tips
- Because the Northern Lights are much harder to see and don't make many appearances in April, consider visiting the country some other time if you have your heart on catching the seasonal phenomenon.
- Road conditions are much easier to handle, so this is a good time to travel the Golden Circle or Ring Road.
- Crowds are much smaller, so lines to attractions are not as long as they are during other times of year.
- You will not be able to go on ice cave tours once the warm weather comes due to unpredictable ice melt. If this is something you really want to do, you should plan a trip to Iceland from mid-November to mid-March.