5 Reasons You Should Visit Iceland in September
Iceland is a adventurer's dream. Amazingly rugged landscapes, waterfalls that'll make you weak in the knees, bays with chunks of glacier floating in them, diverse wildlife and black sand beaches. I mean, does this convince you? But in all seriousness no matter when you visit Iceland you're sure to have a blast but I'm going to make a case for a very specific time to visit Iceland: September. Here's why:
1. The Fall Foliage
When we arrived in Iceland we had no idea how much diverse flora and fauna there was covering the landscape and that it all changes to vivid shades of yellow, orange and red during the fall. Contrast that against the bright blue glacier water and the scene is just breathtaking. We were there from September 19-30 and the fall foliage was at it's peak. Also not everything was changing colors, it was at that sweet spot where there was still a lot of green left. It was just gorgeous and if you love fall foliage then you'll be in heaven in Iceland in September!
2. It's Cheaper
I, like many other people, had my eye on traveling to Iceland for awhile. A big hesitation to why I didn't book my plane tickets sooner was because they were so darn expensive. In November the year before (around now) I found round trip tickets for $500 a person (including taxes, fees, etc.) so I pounced on them. I had been saving up so I had the money ready and compared to the usual $800-$1000 round tickets I had been seeing I knew I had to get them. In addition our accommodations were so much cheaper! We did AirBnb the entire time and the rates once you got out of August were significantly cheaper. Even our car rental rate was cheaper than rates I researched in June-August!
3. Fewer People
So I do not mean to say there weren't a lot of people, because there were a TON of people, but there were much fewer than you see during the summertime (according to locals). Some tourist restaurants in the country even begin closing up shop at the end of September because of the decline in tourists. So while we definitely had our fair share of waiting at a particular waterfall to have some alone time, at least we got some alone time once in awhile.
4. Normal Daylight Hours
This is a big one. I hear that the midnight sun is amazing but I really wanted to catch some epic sunrises and sunsets and be able to get a good (dark) night's sleep every night. Also the night life in Reykjavik actually felt like, well, night life once the sun went down. For other people this might not be a big factor but I loved having dark nights and brights days and.....
4.5. You Can See the Northern Lights
Yes! We saw the Northern Lights FOUR different nights on our trip to Iceland. And of course, you can only see the Northern Lights when it's dark outside. This made the whole trip worth it. We could have done nothing but seen the Northern Lights and I would've been happy. Seeing the green, purple and white light dance across the sky for the first time in my life was just, indescribable. Go to Iceland when you can see the Northern Lights!
5. It's Not Too Cold Yet
While hiking, camping, and doing everything outdoors it's not terribly cold. For our whole trip the days were never colder than 7-12 C (45-54 F) but it always felt warmer with the sun, and we had sun our entire trip except two days. This is great because if you opt to camp instead of rent a hotel or AirBnb you won't be freezing at night either. Hiking during the day is awesome because it's just cold enough to keep you comfortable but not too cold that your ears and lungs are aching. I thought it was the perfect temperature and weather to experience Iceland.
Well, there you have it. Why September is an awesome month to go visit Iceland. Of course if you're going to experience very specific things like the snow or to see the midnight sun you have to plan according to the season that that occurs, but if you're not too specific, I recommend September.