Are you planning to visit Iceland in April? This guide details everything you need to know for a spring trip to the country!
I have been to Iceland countless times and have visited in every season of the year, including a few winter trips. This guide will specifically focus on spending April in Iceland, including the best events, things to do, and more!
Below, I will also touch on the weather in Iceland during April, including daylight hours, snowfall, and even if you can see the northern lights then.
Did I miss anything you’d like to know about spending April in Iceland? Let me know in the comments!
In this post...
- Visiting Iceland in April: Overview
- Weather in Iceland in April (and More!)
- What are the daylight hours during April in Iceland?
- Can you see the northern lights in Iceland in April?
- Best Things To Do in Iceland in April
- What are the driving conditions in Iceland during April?
- Events in April in Iceland
- What To Pack For Iceland In April
- Iceland In April: FAQs
- More Iceland Travel Guides
- Pin this Guide to Things to Do in April in Iceland
Visiting Iceland in April: Overview
Visiting Iceland in April is one of the most diverse months you can visit the stunning land of fire and ice!
This is the month the island undergoes its seasonal shift, and you’ll be able to enjoy the characteristics of both the lingering winter and the emerging summer.
Although the weather can still be unpredictable in April, this is when the days rapidly start to grow longer.
Road conditions become easier to navigate, and this is the last month you’ll be able to witness the aurora borealis before the midnight sun dominates the sky.
April is still part of Iceland’s low season, which offers a welcome escape from the crowds. It’s the perfect time to avoid the higher prices that are typical of the high season. The longer daylight hours make it the perfect time to explore and enjoy the many unique outdoor activities.
Weather in Iceland in April (and More!)
Don’t be fooled! Although Iceland celebrates its first day of summer in April, the temperature is actually very mild (some would say cold!) with the average low temperature being 1°C (39°F) and the average high being 7°C (45°F).
For most of the year, if not the whole year, there is only one word you can use to describe Iceland’s weather: unpredictable!
April is no exception to this rule and can bring with it varying weather conditions, from snow, ice, and rain to warm(ish), dry, and sunny days.
The weather can change very quickly in Iceland, and you can experience all four seasons in a day! It’s best to be prepared by packing plenty of layers of clothing, including a good waterproof jacket.
One good thing to note is that late April tends to be drier than the beginning of the month (and the driest month of the year is May).
What are the daylight hours during April in Iceland?
What some may consider the worst time to visit Iceland due to its short and dark days is fast becoming a distant memory!
Daylight hours increased significantly in April, from around 13 hours at the beginning of the month to a whopping 16 hours by the end. The increase in hours of daylight will allow you to maximize your days far more than during the long and dark winters.
If you visit for more than a few days, you’ll likely notice a big change between the start and end of your trip.
Can you see the northern lights in Iceland in April?
You might be wondering if you can still see the northern lights if you visit Iceland in April.
Well, you’ll be pleased to know that the answer is yes! April is the last month you can catch the northern lights before the midnight sun arrives in Iceland.
For the best chance to see them, you will need to visit earlier in the month, as the nights are slightly longer and darker. The tours will start fairly late in comparison to the winter months, as a dark sky is a crucial factor in seeing the lights.
While it is still possible to witness the northern lights in April, it’s worth keeping in mind that they’re a natural phenomenon and are weather-dependent, so sightings are not always guaranteed.
If the sky is cloudy, you won’t be able to see the lights clearly, so your tour may be moved to another day.
Best Things To Do in Iceland in April
Aside from all the amazing places to see in Iceland, such as Diamond Beach, Skogafoss, and the Golden Circle, April is the perfect time to enjoy some outdoor activities and the country’s most popular attractions.
1. Go Whale Watching
Although you can see whales all year in Iceland, April is the start of peak whale-watching season. This is when you’ll have one of the best chances to see them in their natural habitat.
In the nutrient-rich Atlantic waters, various whales can be spotted, including humpback whales, minke whales, orcas, fin whales, sperm whales, and even blue whales—the largest animal on the planet!
In addition to whales, tours often include sightings of a variety of sea birds, seals, and dolphins.
For peace of mind, I recommend booking with a responsible tour operator who’s committed to ethical and sustainable practices.
2. Head out on a Snowmobile Trip
Who would have guessed that early spring is the perfect time to go snowmobiling!?
During these fun-filled day trips, you’ll discover the thrill of jetting across Iceland’s unique landscape. The pristine snow that sits on top of the country’s many glaciers, with Langjökull and Vatnajökull being among the most popular to visit, makes the perfect terrain for an exciting snowmobile ride.
If you choose to visit the Langjökull glacier, the panoramic views include the Hofsjökull and Eiríksjökull glaciers, along with the towering Kerlingafjöll Mountains.
Most tours conveniently include pick-up and drop-off from many locations across Reykyavik.
3. Embark on a Glacier Hiking Adventure
Gliding across the glaciers on snowmobiles is just one way to explore these vast rivers of ice! You can also book glacier hiking tours where you can physically climb them.
One of the most popular places to hike is Skaftafell, which has two outlet glaciers from Europe’s largest ice cap, Vatnajökull.
Experienced tour guides will take you through the frozen wilderness, where you’ll see deep crevasses and stunning ice formations. Guides will also explain how the glaciers are under threat due to climate change.
Glaciers are constantly moving, even if they don’t look like it, and they can be very dangerous. You should never try to access the glaciers without an experienced guide.
You will typically need a rental car to reach the meeting point for this tour, so plan accordingly.
4. See the Northern Lights in Iceland
Seeing the northern lights in Iceland is still possible in April, with sightings being most likely in the first half of the month.
Most tours stop running around the 15th of April due to Iceland’s days growing longer. But before this, there are multiple great tours to choose from, with knowledgeable guides who meticulously track aurora activity and weather conditions.
This ensures that you get to the location that gives you the best chance to see them before they go into hiding for the summer!
Tours are not limited to land! There are also boat tours where you can see the northern lights dancing above the ocean.
If you don’t see the lights during your booked tour, many operators will book you for the next day so you can have another shot at it!
5. Additional Places to Visit in April
If you’re looking for a few more things to do during April in Iceland, here are some of my other top picks:
- Þingvellir National Park (you can also go snorkeling between the North American and European tectonic plates, which Aram did a few years ago)
- Take a road trip to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
- Visit natural hot springs (like Hrunalaug Hot Springs)
- Spend the night at a live music venue in Reykjavik (Dillon, Veganæs, and Gaukurinn are great)
- Go on a Golden Circle tour or day trip
- See some of Iceland’s most magnificent waterfalls, like Dettifoss (Northern Iceland) or Seljalandsfoss (South Iceland)
- Take an Icelandic horse riding tour
- Spend an afternoon at the famous Blue Lagoon
What are the driving conditions in Iceland during April?
With Iceland’s unpredictable weather, driving conditions can change quickly, especially during April’s transition between seasons.
While roads along the south coast and the ring road are generally in good shape, it’s crucial to stay in the loop with current conditions.
The F-roads that go through the highlands are a no-go in April and are closed until mid-June, when the snow and ice melt. The only way to explore this area in the spring is by booking a tour.
Landmannalaugar Jeep Tour
Being flexible is another key factor for driving in Iceland. You may need to change your road trip plans at the drop of a hat if certain roads are closed due to bad weather.
If you don’t like the idea of navigating the roads or you’re traveling to Iceland solo and don’t drive, some great group tours can take you to some of the best spots around the island.
Events in April in Iceland
Events in Iceland across April offer a mix of humor, adventure, and cultural significance, creating a lively and fun atmosphere for both locals and visitors alike. You can head beyond the capital city and still find something exciting to do!
Some popular festivals like Aldrei fór ég Suður happen to fall at the end of March 2024, so we did not include them below (but they often will fall in early April).
1. April Fools’ Day
Just like in many parts of the world, Icelanders celebrate April Fools’ Day on the 1st with playful pranks and jokes. On this day, you can expect a very light-hearted atmosphere as people try to outwit each other with good-natured tricks.
Media, hotels, and even tour operators join in on the fun!
2. AK Extreme
AK Extreme in Akureyri is where snowboarding and music festivals join forces, bringing an awesome mix of extreme sports and great music that is set against north Iceland’s scenic backdrop.
The town’s center hosts a specially built snowboarding ramp that attracts snowboarders from around the world to showcase their skills.
It’s a really fun spot to check out if you’re visiting in early April.
3. First Day of Summer
Iceland has a unique and fun way of welcoming summer. The First Day of Summer is celebrated on the first Thursday after April 18th, marking the end of winter and the beginning of summer.
Despite the name, don’t expect tropical temperatures! This old Nordic holiday is deeply rooted in Icelandic traditions and signals the end of the dark and cold winter season and the beginning of brighter, longer days.
Festivities include parades, cultural events, and outdoor activities.
What To Pack For Iceland In April
As the weather in Iceland can be a mixed bag in April, you’ll need to make sure you pack plenty of layers suitable for all seasons. You can expect a bit of everything, from rain to snow to a hint of sunshine.
Having clothes that can handle it all is key to keeping your trip comfy. Here are my recommendations:
- Waterproof jacket: on average, you can expect around 18 days of rainfall in April, so you’ll need to bring a decent waterproof jacket that you can fold up in your backpack. This will also come in handy if you visit any of the waterfalls, as the splash zone can be pretty huge!
- Warm coat: this will be no surprise, but April is still pretty cold. You will need a coat that will keep you warm and protect as an outer layer on your Iceland adventure.
- Swimwear: Iceland is home to plenty of steaming hot springs, and I can’t think of a better way to stay warm in the cold weather than a relaxing soak in one of these! Make sure you bring a couple of swimsuits so you can enjoy these natural hot pots.
- Flip-flops: these also come in handy if you plan on visiting any of the hot springs. Many of the pools are outside in nature, and the ground can be quite rocky. Believe me, flip-flops will save your feet!
- Travel towel: having a fast-drying travel towel is great again for a trip to the hot springs.
- Thermal layers: these will help keep you warm on days that are cold, wet, and windy.
- Sturdy shoes: there is so much to explore all around Iceland, and many activities will include walking on different terrains. Make sure they are also very comfy (and have good grip for the ice)!
Iceland In April: FAQs
If you’re curious about exploring Iceland in April, these are some of the most frequently asked questions to help you navigate the land of fire and ice.
Is April a good time to visit Iceland?
Yes, April is a great time to visit Iceland! With the seasons shifting, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty that both winter and spring bring with much longer daylight hours.
Not only that, but April is shoulder season, so you can enjoy the island with fewer crowds and lower prices.
Can I see the northern lights in Iceland in April?
Yes! The northern lights are still visible, especially in the first half of April, when the nights are slightly longer.
Booking a tour will give you the best chance to see them in all their glory!
Can I drive the Ring Road in April?
Yes, you can drive the ring road in April.
This will be weather permitting, as snow and ice can close any of the roads at short notice, but the Ring Road is usually well maintained.
Before starting any journey, check for road closures and weather conditions along your route, and try to be flexible with your plans should they need to change.
Final Thoughts About Spending April in Iceland
If you don’t mind being flexible with your plans and experiencing all types of weather, I think April is a great time to visit Iceland! It’s cheaper, less busy, and the landscape is stunning this time of year.
If you’re a confident driver and can familiarize yourself with Iceland’s road rules, it’s an excellent time to rent a car and venture along the scenic south coast and ring road.
Whether you wish to see the northern lights, go whale-watching, or experience the first day of summer festivities, April is a great month that’s got a little bit of everything. Visiting at this time of year is sure to make your Iceland trip a fun and memorable adventure!
Did I miss anything about the best things to do in Iceland in April? Let me know in the comments!
More Iceland Travel Guides
- Waterfalls in Iceland
- Reykjavik in winter
- Where to go in Iceland
- Cute villages in Iceland
- Best Iceland beaches
- Taking an ATV tour in Iceland
- Katla Ice Caves tour review
- Silfra snorkeling tour
- Guide to Glacier hiking at Skaftafell
Pin this Guide to Things to Do in April in Iceland
Megan is a travel blogger and writer with a background in digital marketing. Originally from Richmond, VA, she now splits her time between Frankfurt, Germany and Arctic Finland after also living in Norway, Armenia, and Kazakhstan. She has a passion for winter travel, as well as the Nordic countries, but you can also find her eating her way through Italy, perusing perfume stores in Paris, or taking road trips through the USA. Megan has written for or been featured by National Geographic, Forbes, Lonely Planet, the New York Times, and more. She co-authored Fodor’s Travel ‘Essential Norway’ and has visited 45 US states and 100+ countries.