ICELAND IN APRIL 2023
In this post I'll show you why I love April in Iceland.
Below, I'll answer all of your questions on:
- What to expect when visiting Iceland in April
- Average weather and temperature in April
- Special events
- Best tours, activities & things to do
... and give you my very best, local insight and tips, to make your trip an unforgettable one here in Iceland in April!
Let's dive in!
Don't miss: Best Day Tours from Reykjavik in April
Iceland in April quick facts:
April is the time of year when the white coat of winter begins to loosen its grip on the country, which reveals a beautiful green dress that was hiding underneath all winter long.
- Average temperature: 32-41 Fahrenheit (more details at the bottom of this blog post)
- Sunrise 06:00am / Sunset 9:00pm
- Brighter days & better weather: April is when our days start to really increase in length with a later sunset and the weather starts to get warmer.
- Good time for Northern Lights?: Yes! (Especially early-mid April. More details below)
- Best things to do: View our local recommendations of activities below!
IS IT POSSIBLE TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN ICELAND IN APRIL?
I’m happy to tell you: YES! - Well... sort of.
Here is the thing.. In order to see the northern lights, you’ll need 3 factors:
- High northern lights activity
- Clear skies
- Complete darkness (no daylight)
You can experience the three factors almost all year round (the only exception being the pitch-black darkness which is not possible during summer). Here in Iceland, the sun will set later and later during the evening as we draw closer to summer solstice (24 hours of daylight), on June 21.
By the end of April, the sun will set around 22:00. Which is why most northern lights tour operator stop hosting tours on the 15th of April.
But I’ve got good news for you!
Even though April has a late sunset (especially towards the end of the month), it has still been the month that I’ve personally seen the most amount of vibrant northern lights in the past years! I don’t really know why that is – but that’s really good news for you if you’re here during April!
HOW TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN APRIL
If you’re eager to see the magical lights. Then my best recommendation to you is to book a tour (if you’ll be visiting anytime between April 1-15)
This option is great since these tours have a weather professional that monitors the weather forecast and northern lights activity like crazy – and will take you to the exact spots that have the highest possible chance of seeing the lights.
Exploring the northern lights is one of my favourite things to do here in Iceland and I’ve been so fortunate to have been able to try out a variety of different tour versions of the northern lights (via boat, bus, super jeep truck etc.)
Out of all the tours that I’ve been able to try out, there was one that really stood out, which is why I recommend it to all my friends and guests coming to Iceland.
It's a small group experience (which I really enjoyed, since big groups tend to give activities a touristy feel). The guides were great, we had wifi on the mini bus, it's inexpensive compared to other northern lights tour.
... and lastly and most importantly, they took us to a brilliant spot outside the city with little to no cloud coverage to see amazing northern lights!
If you’re interested in joining a northern lights tour then I’ve made a special collaboration with the tour operator to be able to offer my readers the tour at the lowest possible price.
You’ll find all the info and be able to secure your spot right through this link here.
Have fun and enjoy the magical lights!
WHAT TO WEAR IN ICELAND IN APRIL?
April is a month of spring so be prepared for some chilly atmosphere. April is not a windy month but it could be quite a wet one so bring your raincoat! A nice warm jacket is definitely a must-pack item along with hat and gloves!
I always recommend people to bring layers of clothing as the weather here is quite schizophrenic, especially during winters, spring, and autumn.
Iceland in April packing list:
- Base Layers – A few pars of underwear, socks & t-shirts
- Warm sweater – Fleece or wool. This can work great as a layer underneath a warm jacket or parka if the weather gets cold. And on the other hand, if the weather god’s bless us with a warm day – you would just simply leave your parka/jacket at home and enjoy your day, rocking your awesome sweater :)
- Pants – Jeans do work fine. But if you’re planning on doing an outdoor activity (Glacier hiking & ice climbing or whale watching for example) then it can be a smart move to bring a par of lightweight outdoor pants.
- Weatherproof jacket or parka – If you end up in rainy or windy weather, then this can be a solid addition to your outfit here in Iceland.
And then, of course, bring your bathing suit as Iceland is filled with hot springs, swimming pools and natural wonders worth exploring!
Nothing beats a nice warm geothermal bath on a chilly spring morning!
If you’re considering embarking on a natural hot spring adventure – then my simple suggestions is to DO IT. You won’t regret it. And if you do, then check out our Natural Hot Spring blog which we’ve filled with our all time favourite hot springs in Iceland.
Enjoy – and have FUN!
THE ABSOLUTE BEST TOURS AND ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE IN ICELAND
There are a lot of activities to choose from when visiting Iceland.
But there are a few must-do that I recommend to all my non-Icelandic friends and travellers on their way to Iceland!
1. THE REYKJAVIK FOOD WALK
This is the single best thing to do in Reykjavik (in both my opinion and 4000+ other travellers on Trip Advisor.)
The delicious Reykjavik Food Tour is a 3 hour walking tour through Reykjavik with a local. You’ll learn useful tips and fun stories about the city while visiting the best local restaurants and hidden gems to enjoy some of the very best Icelandic food available.
You will taste one of the very best home made Icelandic ice creams I have ever tasted in my life, get home made lamb soup, our typical fish, the famous Icelandic hot dog and more!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I think the Reykjavik Food tour is one of the single best ways to explore and get to know Reykjavik first hand. It's just a great way to get to know our city, our culture and cuisine, through a fun local guide!
Find the Reykjavik Food tour here.
2. WHALE WATCHING SEASON IN ICELAND!
Hurray, the whales are here!
There are quite a few reason why I really enjoy whale watching in Iceland
Firstly I will say that you can see whales all year round in Iceland – but the PEAK SEASON for highest chance of seeing the majestic whales starts in April!
It's also a big plus that most tours in Iceland take place outside the city (where you’ll need to be picked up from downtown Reykjavik and driven to your tour destination) but whale watching tour departs from the old harbour in central Reykjavik. In walking distance from most hotels in central Reykjavik.
Whale watching is a popular, cheap and a fun activity to do in Iceland. Seeing those majestic beasts in all their glory is a magnificent experience which I can’t recommend highly enough.
Yes, its 100% cruelty-free safe and definitely worth your while. It’s not every day that you can be up close to these gentle giants in their natural environment. So if you’re travelling to Iceland, make sure to get on one of them boats!
3. VISIT THE PUFFINS!
Fun fact of the day:
Iceland is home to one of the world’s largest colonies of puffins. Over half of the world’s population of the Atlantic Puffin breeds in Iceland. The total population of puffins in Iceland is estimated to be between 8 and 10 million birds. HOLY PUFFIN THAT’S A LOT OF BIRDS!
‘Puffin Season’ is from early April to September. These little guys spend most of their time on the sea as they are big time ocean creatures. A big reason for this is their fantastic swimming abilities and can stroke their wings underwater down to 60 meters! … And once a year they come to land to breed.
So, if you ever want to see this colourful creature sometime in your life then visit Iceland sometime between April and September – and hop on a rib safari puffin tour!
4. SNOWMOBILE & ICE CAVE TOUR!
An insanely fun and unique way of exploring the Icelandic glaciers!
It’s crazy that most people think snowmobiling in Iceland is only possible during the winter. It’s glaciers, they are cold all year round and the chances are just that much better of decent weather and beautiful visibility during April!
This snowmobiling tours are available with a super convenient pickup and drop off from almost every hotel in downtown Reykjavik.
Bring your GoPro if you have one! Most of the helmets have mounts where you can attach your GoPro to capture some fun footage to show your friends back home. (It’s a great way to make friends and family members jealous of your super cool trip to Iceland.) Just kidding, but really – bring a camera if you have one!
Find our best Snowmobile & ice cave tour here!
5. EXPLORE THE WONDERS OF THE SOUTH COAST
I cannot say too many great things about this wonderful tour.
It’s in my opinion – one of the best ‘see it all / do it all’ tour if you want to explore as much as possible in on day.
You’ll visit my two favourite waterfalls in Iceland (Seljalandsfoss & Skógafoss).
Not only that, but you’ll also explore the absolutely stunning black sand beach – it’s really something else!
You can check out and secure your spots on my most recommend south coast tour here.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN ICELAND IN APRIL?
The average temperature in Iceland in April is between 32 to 41 fahrenheit. That is significantly better, not just than January and February, but March too.
However, even though it's not like summer yet, one of the things that I love most about April in Iceland is that day and night finally return back to normal. That means that the sun rises around 6:00am and sunset is on average around 9:00pm (a huge step up from the 3 hours of daylight we have in December).
After months of intense darkness, this is PURE HEAVEN!
APRIL SPECIAL DATES IN ICELAND
There is a lot of fun going on here in Iceland during April.
Which is why, again, I recommend all travellers to pick it as their month of choice for visiting. Here below, you’ll find the main special dates with a little practical info. You won’t have to worry too much about opening hours as our Easter won’t affect them too much.
But you can check out the page of Visit Reykjavik where they’ve listed up opening hours here in the city.
APRIL FOOLS IN ICELAND | 1st of April
Icelanders are pranksters, we truly appreciate a good laugh! So if there is any nation that LOVES April fools, it’s Iceland! Stay on your toes if you are ever in Iceland on this day as chances are that we will pull a prank on you! Also, if you get a glimpse of one of the Icelandic newspapers (‘Fréttablaðið’ or ‘Morgunblaðið’.) You’ll notice that the front page will usually have a large bizarre story that both makes no sense at all and is a complete lie.
My favourite one was probably when the government run Channel 1 or RÚV (Ríkisútvarpið, which means the state radio) said that they were giving or selling iconic tv props that every Icelander recognised. Sooo many people showed up at their HQ only to be told that they were gullible enough to fall for this April Fool's prank!
THE ‘FIRST DAY OF SUMMER’ | April 21
Yes, yes & YES! The 21st of April is when we can start celebrating SUMMER in Iceland! What a great feeling! It's just like Spain...well not really. Or not at all. But from here, the world only spins in pure bliss with over 15 hours of sunlight. The whole vibe of the island lifts and our bodies start feeling fresh again from all that vitamin D!
TO WRAP IT UP!
April is when we say goodbye to winter and greet summer with a big smile on our faces! This truly wonderful spring month is absolutely fantastic for fun outdoor activities and things to do and see here in Iceland! The perfect opportunity to catch the best of Iceland, with chance of getting the best of each season.
If you are coming to Iceland in April then I truly hope you’re excited and that this blog inspired you to make the most of your stay!