Welcome to your comprehensive guide to exploring the enchanting beauty of Iceland in April. This magical time of year serves a unique blend of spring charm in Iceland, stirring landscapes, and a hint of winter's mystique.
Whether you're eager to capture the last glimpse of the Northern Lights or embark on thrilling outdoor adventures, this guide is your trusty companion, helping you navigate Iceland's weather, activities, and cultural events in April. Let's immerse ourselves in the wonders of the 'Land of Ice and Fire.'
Is April a Good Time To Go to Iceland?
Yes, April in Iceland is a great time to visit. The landscapes started to defrost, yet the snow-capped peaks still provide a gorgeous contrast. It's a time of year when you can experience the best of both seasons.
However, visiting Iceland in April also comes with its unique challenges. If you're considering another spring month, you might be interested in our guide about Iceland in May.
Pros of Visiting Iceland in April
Less Crowded: As April is considered off-peak season, you'll find fewer tourists, allowing you to explore the attractions at your own pace and with less hustle.
Chance to See Northern Lights: Although the season is tapering off, you'll still find decent chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland in April, especially during the first half of the month.
Get Cheaper Flights and Accommodations: Flights and accommodations are significantly cheaper in April compared to June or July.
More Daylight: You'll enjoy extended daylight hours compared to the winter months, providing ample time for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
Cons of Visiting Iceland in April
Unpredictable Weather: Iceland's weather in April can be somewhat unpredictable, oscillating between winter chills and spring warmth. It's essential to stay updated with the weather forecast and be prepared.
Limited Access to Highlands: Due to melting snow and remaining ice, some of the F-roads might still be closed in April, restricting access to certain remote areas.
Lower Temperatures: Despite slowly rising temperatures in April, expect cooler weather, especially at night and during windy days. For this reason, make sure to pack plenty of warm clothing.
Weather in Iceland in April
Knowing what to expect weather-wise can help you decide on the best time to visit Iceland. Understanding Iceland's weather in April is crucial for planning and preparing for your journey during this unique spring month. From temperatures and rainfall to the changing daylight hours and natural phenomena, let's take a closer look at what Iceland is like in April.
How Cold Is Iceland in April?
The average temperature in Iceland in April varies between 0°C (32°F) and 5°C (41°F). Although it's spring, you can still expect a chilly ambiance, especially in the early part of the month. Iceland's temperature in April gradually begins to warm up as the month progresses, bringing in more pleasant, spring-like conditions. For more information, refer to our monthly weather and temperature guide for Iceland.
How Much Does It Rain in Iceland in April?
If you're going to Iceland in April, expect an average of 58mm (2 inches) of rainfall spread across 14 days, and yes, occasional snow is also possible. Therefore, while you can anticipate some rainy days, plenty of dry periods can also be enjoyed. The rain showers and potential snow flurries in April often come and go quickly, leaving clear and fresh air in their wake.
What Are the Sunrise and Sunset Times in Iceland in April?
The daylight in Iceland in April changes significantly, with sunrise around 6:45 AM and sunset around 8:20 PM at the beginning of the month. By the end of April, expect longer daylight hours, with sunrise near 5:05 AM and sunset close to 09:45 PM. This shift in daylight duration provides ample opportunities for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
Can You See the Northern Lights in Iceland in April?
Yes, you can see the Northern Lights in Iceland in April. The first half of the month is typically the end of the Northern Lights season, and sightings are still possible. However, they start to decrease as daylight hours extend. This makes April a unique time to visit as you may capture the last of these spectacular light shows before the Icelandic summer begins.
Can You Experience the Midnight Sun in Iceland in April?
No, you cannot fully experience the Midnight Sun when traveling to Iceland in April. The phenomenon of the Midnight Sun, where the sun is visible even at midnight, doesn't truly start until late May. However, as April progresses, daylight hours in Iceland significantly increase, hinting at the endless days to come.
10 Best Things To Do in Iceland in April
Deciding on things to do in Iceland in April can be an exciting part of your travel preparation. Let's check out some of the best activities to experience during this unique time in Iceland.
1. Embark on an Exciting Bike Tour
One of the most refreshing ways to immerse yourself this April in Iceland is by exploring its landscapes on two wheels.
As the snow melts, giving way to fresh spring landscapes, a bike tour can offer an intimate encounter with Iceland's dramatic fjords, blooming valleys, and sparkling waterfalls. The moderate temperatures of April make it an ideal month for cycling trips. Whether you're an experienced cyclist or a leisurely rider, various tours cater to all skill levels.
Experience Iceland's springtime beauty up close, feeling the cool breeze on your face as you pedal along scenic trails. Visit our detailed guide on the best bike tours in Iceland to plan your adventure.
2. Experience the Joy of Camping in the Wilderness
Camping in Iceland in April, when nature comes alive after the winter, is a delightful experience combining adventure and tranquility.
The open skies adorned with the dazzling northern lights, the serenity of secluded landscapes, and the chorus of bird songs heralding the arrival of spring all contribute to an unforgettable camping experience.
With many campsites starting to open in mid-April, you can pick beautiful locations - from lush forests to dramatic cliff tops overlooking the ocean. Don't forget to read our complete guide on camping in Iceland to make the most of your wilderness escape.
3. Explore the Spectacular Glacial Lagoons
If you're wondering what to do in Iceland in April, exploring the mesmerizing glacial lagoons should be at the top of your list.
The beauty of these icy blue water bodies, studded with colossal icebergs, is a sight that stays with you long after you've left the island. These lagoons, such as Jökulsárlón, are particularly captivating in April when the thawing glaciers make for a dynamic, ever-changing landscape.
From boat tours among floating icebergs to tranquil shoreside walks, visiting these lagoons is a quintessential Iceland experience. Dive into our comprehensive guide to glacial lagoons to prepare for your adventure.
4. Take a Hike Through Breathtaking Landscapes
If you're going to Iceland in April, be prepared to lace up your boots and hike through its breathtaking landscapes.
The trails are just starting to thaw, offering many hiking opportunities. From the serene trails around Lake Mývatn, alive with spring birdlife, to the more challenging hikes in the rugged Skaftafell wilderness, Iceland is a hiker's paradise.
While some trails are still snow-covered, others welcome the first signs of spring flora, adding color to the stark, volcanic scenery. Find your perfect trail in our complete guide to hiking in Iceland.
5. Engage With Icelandic Horses on a Riding Adventure
Discover the spirit of Iceland on horseback and engage with the unique Icelandic horse breed.
Renowned for their intelligence, gentle demeanor, and extra gait known as the 'tölt,' these Icelandic horses make perfect companions on a riding adventure. Horseriding is one of the best things to do in Iceland in April. Farms nationwide offer tours suitable for all experience levels, from beginners to expert riders.
This activity provides a unique perspective of Iceland's dramatic landscapes and a direct connection with the nation's Viking heritage. Learn more about these fascinating creatures in our guide to horse riding in Iceland.
6. Venture Into an Intriguing Ice Cave
If you're traveling to Iceland in April, venturing into an intriguing ice cave is an absolute must-do experience. The ethereal beauty of these naturally formed ice tunnels, with their stunning blue hues and intriguing shapes, should not be missed.
As the winter snow melts in April, new caves often form, providing fresh, exploratory opportunities. Guided Ice Cave Tours are essential for safety, and operators provide all necessary equipment.
Remember, each cave is unique, and its structures change yearly, ensuring a distinctive experience every time. Learn more about this spectacular adventure in our guide to ice caves in Iceland.
7. Discover the Beauty of Iceland's National Parks
When in Iceland in April, taking the time to discover the beauty of its national parks should top your list of activities.
The parks slowly awaken as winter recedes, revealing their true splendor under the warming spring sun. From the dramatic rift valley in Thingvellir National Park, part of the Golden Circle, to the stunning Icelandic waterfalls of Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss in the south, there's plenty to explore.
Don't forget the mesmerizing landscapes of Snaefellsjokull National Park, home to the famous glacier-capped volcano. Discover more about these natural wonders in our guide to Iceland's National Parks.
8. Capture Iceland through your Lens
For those visiting Iceland in April, the chance to capture the dramatic landscape through your lens is an absolute delight.
As the season shifts from winter to spring, the landscape transforms, providing breathtaking contrasts that every photographer dreams of. From the ethereal glow of the Northern Lights dancing across the sky to the surreal beauty of the glacial lagoons, each vista presents a unique photographic opportunity.
Remember to venture into the stunning national parks to catch the first blush of spring. Take your photography skills to the next level with our guide on photography in Iceland.
9. Encounter Majestic Wildlife on a Bird and Whale-Watching Tour
April in Iceland is a fantastic time to encounter majestic wildlife. The seas around the island teem with whales, dolphins, and seals, while the cliffs and skies are alive with various species of birds.
Whale-watching tours depart from several harbors, offering the thrilling opportunity to spot Minke Whales, Humpback Whales, and even Orcas. For bird enthusiasts, the arrival of the migratory Puffins makes for an exciting spectacle.
Learn more about the diverse fauna you can spot in Iceland during your visit. Don't forget your binoculars and camera!
10. Conquer the Ice With Glacier Climbing
For adrenaline junkies visiting Iceland in April, glacier climbing should be on your Iceland itinerary. Experience the thrill of scaling one of Iceland's spectacular glaciers, such as the Svínafellsjökull in Skaftafell, with experienced guides leading the way.
Glacier Tours usually provides all the necessary equipment, but it is best to check with your tour operator before booking. Beyond the excitement, it's a wonderful opportunity to closely observe and appreciate the mesmerizing beauty of these ancient ice formations.
Suppose you're an enthusiast for thrill and adventure. In that case, glacier climbing is just one of the many extreme sports in Iceland you can try.
Driving in Iceland in April
Driving in Iceland in April is a uniquely thrilling experience. While winter's hold relaxes and road conditions improve, vigilance remains key, especially for sporadic snow or ice patches in the highlands. Snow tires on your vehicle are essential for safe navigation across Iceland's diverse landscapes.
Despite the well-maintained status of key routes such as the Golden Circle and the Ring Road, they can still be icy and slick. Extra caution is required, especially if venturing off the beaten track or towards the Westfjords, where snow-covered patches may present challenges. Opt for a 4x4 vehicle for added stability across rugged terrains, including the spectacular F-roads.
Always check the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration's website for the latest road conditions. Given the unpredictability of Iceland's April weather, comprehensive insurance coverage is indispensable. For extra insights on driving in Iceland, refer to this FAQ and advice guide.
Icelandic Festivals and Events in April
April in Iceland is a time of renewed energy and the celebration of spring. It also brings a host of exciting festivals and events that offer an intriguing insight into the country's vibrant culture and traditions. Let's explore two notable events that recurrently light up Iceland in April.
1. First Day of Summer (Sumardagurinn Fyrsti)
Traditionally observed on the first Thursday after April 18, the First Day of Summer is a national holiday in Iceland. It marks the beginning of the 'summer' month in the old Norse calendar.
Parades, outdoor games, and music concerts fill the day, symbolizing the end of the long winter and the arrival of warmer times. You can also check out our comprehensive Icelandic music festivals guide for more information.
2. AK Extreme
AK Extreme is an exhilarating annual Snowboard and Music festival that typically takes place at the end of March or the beginning of April in Akureyri. Over four thrilling days, the festival brings snowboarding into the city's heart.
It's not all about the slopes and jumps, though, as musical performances also take center stage at the Green Hat Music Club, adding another vibrant layer to this dynamic Icelandic festival.
What To Pack and Wear When Visiting Iceland in April
If you are wondering what to wear in Iceland in April, the answer is simple: layer up! You must come prepared for all types of weather conditions during your trip. Here are some tips on what to pack for Iceland in April:
Layered Clothing: Given the fluctuating temperatures, layered clothing is a must. Dress in a base layer, mid-layer, and a waterproof outer layer to adapt to the weather easily.
Waterproof Hiking Boots: With adventurous activities like hiking and glacier climbing on your itinerary, sturdy and waterproof boots are indispensable.
Insulated Jacket: An insulated, waterproof jacket will protect you from the unpredictable weather that characterizes Iceland in April.
Hat, Gloves, and Scarf: Don't underestimate the cold - a hat, gloves, and a scarf are essential for your comfort.
Swimwear: Whether it's the Blue Lagoon or a local hot spring, swimwear is a must-pack for your trip.
For more ideas of what other clothes for Iceland in April you might need, be sure to check out our comprehensive Iceland packing list.
Where To Stay in Iceland in April
Selecting where to stay in Iceland in April can be a crucial part of your trip planning. Particularly, Reykjavik in April presents an exciting blend of city life and accessibility to natural wonders. Here are some tips:
Align with your itinerary: Choose a location close to most of your planned activities. Reykjavik could be a convenient base.
Verify availability: Some accommodations in remote areas might not be open in April.
Consider amenities: Cozy features like hot tubs or fireplaces could be particularly appealing in April's unpredictable weather.
Stay flexible: Choose accommodations with lenient booking policies to account for potential weather-related changes.
If you plan on driving on the Ring Road, then make sure to read our article about the best Ring Road Hotels. It's full of advice and tips to ensure you find the perfect place to stay during your Iceland road trip.
Is Iceland in April the Right Time for You?
Exploring Iceland in April is truly an adventure of a lifetime. The charm of the Spring season, combined with the unique Icelandic culture and breathtaking landscapes, makes for an unforgettable journey.
But if you want to explore beyond Reykjavik, you must rent a car since public transportation is limited. Renting a car in Iceland through Cars Iceland could save you both time and money.
Our vehicles are well-maintained and come with various rent-a-car packages to fit your needs. Contact us today and start planning your April adventure in Iceland.