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What to Expect When Traveling to Iceland in March

Embarking on an adventure to Iceland in March? This spellbinding Nordic country wields a unique charm in the early spring, serving up a blend of dramatic landscapes, ethereal natural phenomena, and rich cultural experiences.


However, journeying to Iceland in March poses its own set of considerations - from weather conditions to packing essentials. So, what exactly can you expect from this extraordinary destination at this time of the year?


Let's delve into the wonder, the practicalities, and the sheer magic of visiting Iceland in the cool clasp of March.


 iceland in march

What Is Iceland Like in March?


Iceland in March presents a captivating blend of late winter landscapes and the onset of spring, offering a unique opportunity to experience the best of both worlds. However, like any destination, it has its pros and cons.


Pros

  • Less Crowded: Fewer tourists mean no long queues for attractions.

  • Lower Prices: Post-peak season offers better value for travel expenses.

  • Pleasant Weather: Milder conditions compared to the deep winter.

  • Longer Days: Daylight in Iceland in March increases, perfect for sightseeing.

Cons

  • Uncertain Attractions: Some sights and activities may still be hit-or-miss.

  • Driving Conditions: Early March might present challenging icy roads.

  • Limited Wildlife: No midnight sun or sightings of migratory species like puffins or certain whales.


driving in Iceland in march

Weather in Iceland in March


Getting a grasp of Iceland's weather in March is vital for planning your trip. Let's explore what meteorological moods you might encounter during this transitional month.


How Cold Is Iceland in March?


If you're planning a trip to Iceland in March, pack for the cold. The average temperature in Iceland in March hovers between -2°C (28°F) and 3°C (37°F). Although these temperatures are milder compared to the frigid depths of Icelandic winter, they can dip during cold snaps. The coastal climate does soften the chill somewhat, making the cold more bearable, but warm layers are still a must for your journey.


How Much Does It Rain in Iceland in March?


In Iceland in March, the skies are capricious, with rainfall averaging around 82mm over the month. It's a time when you might experience sudden showers or even snowfall, so packing waterproof gear is essential.


This precipitation contributes to the dramatic beauty of the landscapes, as waterfalls in Iceland start to swell, and the thawing ice creates a dynamic natural spectacle.



 reykjavik in march


What Are the Sunrise and Sunset Times in Iceland in March?


Exploring Reykjavík in March offers progressively longer days. Early in the month, daylight graces the city from around 08:40 AM to 18:45 PM. As the month unfolds, daylight in Iceland in March generously extends, with the sun rising near 06:50 AM and setting at 20:15 PM by month's end.


This increase in daylight not only enriches sightseeing experiences but also allows more time to soak in the stunning Icelandic vistas.


Can You See the Northern Lights in Iceland in March?


Yes, the chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland in March are favorable. This month still offers dark enough nights for the auroras to make their mesmerizing appearance. With the weather transitioning, clear nights can provide the perfect backdrop for this natural light show.


So, keep your evenings free and your eyes on the sky for a potential glimpse of this breathtaking phenomenon.



Northern lights in March

Is there a Midnight Sun in Iceland in March?


No, when visiting Iceland in March, you won't experience the midnight sun. This phenomenon occurs closer to the summer solstice, from late May to early August. March days are lengthening, but nights remain distinctly defined, offering a different kind of serene beauty under the starry sky without the continuous daylight that characterizes the Icelandic summer nights.


Things To Do in Iceland in March


While you plan your thrilling journey, consider the countless things to do in Iceland in March. We have carefully selected a collection of must-try activities to enhance your adventure at this vibrant time of the year.


Explore the Captivating City of Reykjavík


Traveling to Iceland in March will lead you to the majestic city of Reykjavík. Among its numerous attractions, visiting the iconic Hallgrimskirkja Church is an absolute must.


Its unique design and towering stature offer breathtaking city views, especially enchanting in the glowing light of early spring. At the city's heart, you'll find the architectural marvel - Harpa Concert Hall.


This cultural landmark, with its shimmering glass façade reflecting the tranquil harbor, hosts various events, promising a unique entertainment experience. A 24-hour Reykjavik city card unlocks a world of unlimited travel and free entry to a host of city museums and thermal pools.



Reykjavik in march


Discover the Golden Circle


A quintessential part of what to do in Iceland in March is discovering the Golden Circle. Commence your journey at Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can marvel at the historic Rift Valley and Iceland's unique geological wonders. Continue to the Geysir Geothermal Area, witnessing Strokkur's captivating eruptions, a thrilling testimony to Iceland's volcanic activity.


Your journey culminates at the awe-inspiring Gullfoss Waterfall, a spectacle of nature's raw power and beauty. To ensure a comprehensive experience of this iconic route, consider opting for guided tours, enhancing your exploration with expert insights and fascinating stories.


Witness the Mesmerizing Northern Lights


Among the many things to do in Iceland in March, witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights stands out as an otherworldly experience. The ethereal dance of these celestial lights across the night sky creates a spectacle that remains etched in memory.


 traveling to iceland in march

For the best view, choose a clear night and escape the city's ambient light, immersing yourself in Iceland's wilderness. This setting maximizes the visibility of this breathtaking phenomenon. To elevate your experience, consider taking a Northern Lights tour.


These guided tours, led by experienced local experts, will navigate you to the best viewing spots and enrich your understanding of this natural wonder.


Engage in a Snowmobiling Adventure


One of the exhilarating things to do in Iceland in March is to partake in a snowmobiling adventure. If you're in Reykjavík, choose the Snowmobile Adventure Tour that will take you to the vast expanse of the Langjökull glacier.


Feel the thrill of gliding over the icy terrain, surrounded by breathtaking glacier views. Remember, dressing warmly is crucial for this adventure, given the chilly weather conditions in March. Be sure to follow the safety instructions provided by your guides to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.


Snowmobiling Adventure

Take a Rejuvenating Dip in the Blue Lagoon


A trip to Iceland in March would be incomplete without experiencing the healing properties of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. Picture this: stepping into the warm, mineral-rich waters, you feel an immediate release as the warmth soothes your muscles, and the minerals work to refresh your skin.


The stark contrast between the lagoon's warmth and the cool March air of Iceland heightens the experience, invigorating your body and spirit. The Blue Lagoon's peaceful environment in March is especially enchanting.


The cool breeze kisses your cheeks while you float in the warm embrace of these famous waters, a serene escape from life's relentless pace. To secure your moment of tranquility, booking ahead is wise, allowing you to skip the lines and immerse yourself in relaxation without delay.


Visit the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon


When going to Iceland in March, a visit to the mesmerizing Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a must. As you approach the lagoon, the sight of icebergs floating in the vast, tranquil waters against a backdrop of majestic glaciers is nothing short of breathtaking.


Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Embark on a boat tour to navigate the maze of towering ice formations, getting close to nature's frozen sculptures that glisten like diamonds under the crisp March sunlight. The lagoon is a feast for the eyes and a sanctuary for wildlife. Keep your camera ready to capture the playful seals basking on the ice floes and a diverse array of bird species that frequent this icy haven.


With its stark beauty, the surrounding scenery offers countless opportunities for photographers and nature lovers alike to capture the raw, untouched vistas that define Iceland's landscape.


Embark on a Whale-Watching Tour From Húsavík


Among the thrilling things to do in Iceland in March is to embark on a whale-watching tour from Húsavík, often hailed as the whale-watching capital of Iceland. Opt for the Húsavík Original Whale-Watching Tour, where the cold March seas become a stage for nature's grand performance.


Wrapped warmly against the nippy air, you'll sail into the bay; eyes peeled for the majestic dance of various whale species, playful dolphins, and the occasional dive of seabirds in search of a meal. Don't forget to bring binoculars for a closer look at these magnificent creatures as they breach and spout, creating a spectacle that's as educational as it is awe-inspiring.


The experience is made even more memorable by the crisp Arctic air and the stunning, icy backdrop that defines the bay during this time of year.


Whale watching Iceland

Sample Traditional Icelandic Cuisine


Exploring the culinary landscape is a savory highlight of what to do in Iceland in March. Brave gourmands can sample traditional Icelandic delicacies such as hákarl, the notorious fermented shark, or indulge in the creamy goodness of Skyr, a thick yogurt-like dairy product beloved across the country.


March is an excellent time to dive into Iceland's food scene, with local restaurants showcasing seasonal menus and food festivals celebrating the rich gastronomic heritage. For a comprehensive taste of Iceland, consider joining a food tour in Reykjavík, where the narrative of Icelandic culture is told through its flavors and cooking traditions.


These tours guide you through various eateries, from high-end restaurants to cozy street food stalls, ensuring a full spectrum of palate-pleasing experiences. It's a chance to mingle with locals and savor dishes that have warmed Icelandic hearts for generations.



Experience a Dog Sledding Tour


Dog sledding in Iceland in March is the perfect backdrop for the exhilarating experience of a dog sledding experience. Imagine being whisked across the pristine, snow-covered terrain, pulled by a team of 8-10 robust Siberian Huskies, their paws padding softly against the white canvas of the Icelandic plains.


 what to do in iceland in march

The thrill of mushing through such breathtaking landscapes is unparalleled, offering a blend of adventure and tranquility. Booking a tour promises an unforgettable journey and an opportunity to meet and bond with the sled dogs.


These intelligent and friendly Huskies are fascinating creatures with their own personality and story. Guides will share insights into the lives and training of these dedicated canines, enriching your understanding and appreciation of this age-old practice.


Admire the Powerful Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss Waterfalls


When going to Iceland in March, visiting the iconic Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls is a spectacle not to be missed. At Seljalandsfoss, you can wander around its base and even venture behind the cascading waters, feeling the misty spray and listening to the thunderous roar up close.


Meanwhile, at Skógafoss, climbing up the adjacent stairs rewards you with a panoramic view of the waterfall's might and the surrounding landscapes stretching out into the horizon.


Both falls, with their ice-capped surroundings and rainbows on sunny days, allow photographers to capture Iceland's natural wonders' raw, majestic beauty, creating memories and images that last a lifetime.



Skógafoss Waterfalls

Stroll on the Black Sand Beaches of Vik


Among the essential things to do in Iceland in March is to stroll on the otherworldly black sand beaches of Vik. The most famous, Reynisfjara Beach, is a dramatic stretch where powerful Atlantic waves meet the shore, framed by the striking Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks that rise from the ocean like mythical creatures.


The stark contrast of the black sands against the white snow of March is mesmerizing. Nearby, the imposing Dyrhólaey Arch offers a majestic viewpoint, where the arch itself forms a natural gateway to the endless horizon.


This area is not just a feast for the eyes but also a sanctuary of tranquility, where the sounds of the sea and the views of nature's grandeur provide a moment of serene reflection.


Relax in the Natural Hot Springs Dotted Around the Countryside


One of the most soothing experiences to enjoy while spending March in Iceland is a visit to the natural hot springs spread across the countryside.


The Secret Lagoon and Fontana Geothermal Baths offer a blend of comfort and scenic beauty, where you can soak in the geothermally heated, mineral-rich waters while being enveloped by the stunning vistas of the Icelandic countryside.


hot springs in Iceland

For those seeking tranquility away from the more popular spots, the secluded hot springs like Grettislaug or the steamy river in Reykjadalur provide a serene retreat. Here, you can immerse yourself in the soothing waters, with snow-capped mountains and rolling hills views, and feel a connection to the rugged landscape.



Driving in Iceland in March


Driving in Iceland in March can be a true adventure. Road conditions during this time are variable; you may encounter clear paths or snowy and icy patches, especially on less-traveled routes. It's essential to check daily forecasts and road statuses, as the weather can change rapidly.


Most rental vehicles are equipped with snow tires, which are mandatory for safety. For those planning to explore off the beaten path, a 4x4 car rental is highly recommended to navigate challenging terrains confidently.


Accessibility to certain remote areas may still be limited in March due to lingering snow, so it's crucial to plan your route with this in mind. Always opt for comprehensive insurance; unpredictable conditions mean it's better to be safe than sorry.


 driving in iceland in march

Icelandic Festivals and Events in March


March in Iceland is not just about natural wonders; it's also a time for cultural festivities in Iceland. Discover the vibrant things to do in Iceland in March through its array of festivals and events that light up the longer days.


Food and Fun Festival


Reykjavík in March becomes a culinary paradise with the annual Food and Fun Festival. This gastronomic celebration typically occurs from late February to early March, showcasing a fusion of global culinary talents and local Icelandic flavors.


World-renowned chefs descend on the city's top restaurants, creating special menus that incorporate fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The festival's highlight is a friendly competition among the guest chefs, who must whip up impressive dishes using only Icelandic ingredients.


Beyond the dining scenes, the festival has various fun events and activities, making it a must-visit for foodies and families.


Icelandic food

Iceland Winter Games


For those going to Iceland in March, the Iceland Winter Games present an exhilarating blend of sports and culture. Held in late March, this event celebrates winter sports set against the stunning backdrop of Iceland's snowy landscapes.


From skiing to snowboarding and even newer sports like snow biking, the festival offers a chance for both spectators and participants to embrace the joy of winter activities. It's a time when the thrill of competition and the spirit of adventure come alive, making it a highlight for any winter sports enthusiast visiting Iceland.


What To Pack for Iceland in March


Visiting Iceland in March brings a unique blend of winter chill and early signs of spring. It's essential to pack appropriately to enjoy your trip to the fullest. Here are the top items you should consider:


  • Layers: Iceland's weather can be unpredictable, so layers are your best bet.

  • Waterproof Boots: Keep your feet dry while exploring the country's natural wonders.

  • Warm Hat and Gloves: Essential for those colder days.

  • Swimwear: For the delightful hot spring visits.

  • Sunglasses: The sun can be quite bright against the snow.

  • Camera: To capture Iceland's stunning landscapes!


Check out our complete packing list for a detailed guide on what you'll need when visiting Iceland in March.


 clothes for iceland in march

Where To Stay in Iceland in March


When planning for March in Iceland, accommodation is key. For budget travelers, Reykjavík's hostels, like Kex or Loft, are ideal. Mid-range options include Center Hotel Plaza in Reykjavík or Hotel Selfoss in South Iceland. For a luxurious stay, consider the Siglo Hotel in North Iceland or the Silica Hotel in Blue Lagoon.


Why Visiting Iceland in March is a Unique Experience


Visiting Iceland in March is like stepping into a magical realm, where natural wonders and vibrant culture merge into an unforgettable experience. Don't forget booking a car with Cars Iceland can enhance your journey, offering unrestricted access to the country's breathtaking landscapes. Embrace the adventure that awaits you in Iceland!

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