Iceland in September: Weather Tips and Outdoor Activities

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Days start getting colder in Iceland in September, although winter is yet to set. You can still feel the lovely warmth of summer during the daytime this month. Snow is visible only on the highest peaks, and most roads are open, making this stunning country easy to navigate. Chase, the Northern Lights on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, explore Iceland’s colorful capital Reykjavik, take pictures of iconic waterfalls like Seljalandsfoss and rejuvenate yourself in the mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon — there are lots to explore on an Iceland trip in September.

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Iceland Weather in September

Tourists hike on trail in Fjallabak Nature Reserve in Highlands region of I
Iceland has some mild weather in September, lovely warm days and cold, dark nights

September is a transitional month in Iceland. This is when days still carry the lingering warmth of summer months and winter is a few weeks away. You can feel the change around you, there is a nip in the air and the colors of the foliage around you start changing. The average temperature in Iceland in September is about 7 °C, although this plunges to much lower levels in glaciers and mountains. You might encounter occasional showers or winds during this month since Iceland’s weather is famously unpredictable. But often, Iceland’s weather in September is mild by the country’s standards — so expect some lovely warm days and cold, dark nights. This month sees an average of around 13 hours of daylight. But the later you visit in the month, the fewer will be the hours of daylight you can enjoy.

For more details on the season and weather of Iceland, check out our travel guide on the best time to visit Iceland.

Why Visit Iceland in September

Car driving on beautiful scenic road in Iceland
September is one of the best months to go on a scenic drive through the Icelandic countryside
Aurora borealis with silhouette love romantic couple on the mountain
Capture the beauty of the Northern Lights in comfortable temperatures of September in Iceland

The summer destinations that make Iceland so popular are, for the most part, open and accessible on a trip to Iceland in September. Here is why visiting Iceland in September is an excellent idea:

  • Good driving conditions: Winter is yet to set in during September, which means that roads are open and bereft of ice and snow in large parts of the country. Most top-rated sights are accessible for travelers in September.
  • See the Northern Lights: Here is the good news. The spectacular Northern Lights, a winter phenomenon, are visible in September. Also, since it is not freezing cold yet, you can see the auroras in relatively comfortable conditions.
  • Lovely autumn colors: Iceland may not have too many trees, but it is full of small plants and bushes, which dramatically change their colors in September. You do not want to miss out on this sight.
  • Hiking: Most hiking trails in Iceland, such as those in Skaftafell National Park, are still open in September. You can discover magical mountains and soak up scenic vistas easily on foot during this month.
  • Experience Icelandic traditions: September sees Icelanders indulging in two of their favorite pastimes — bergamo (picking berries) and rettir, the annual round-up of sheep and horses in the countryside.
  • Fewer tourists: Though an increasing number of visitors have started looking at September as a good month to visit Iceland, this month still sees fewer tourists than July and August. Expect thinner crowds if you are traveling to Iceland in September.
  • Good deals: This month is almost like an end-of-season sale when it comes to Iceland. You can get better deals on flights and accommodation in Iceland in September.

Where to go and What to do

Traveler in ice cave, man standing underground inside of a glacier, climate
Marvel at the grandeur of the Vatnajokull Glacier, one of the biggest glaciers in Europe

Get awed by the vastness and splendor of the Vatnajokull Glacier on a glacier tour in Iceland, Europe’s largest glacier that covers eight percent of Iceland’s landmass. Experience the legendary therapeutic properties of the Blue Lagoon and visit the dramatic Eyjafjallajökull, where a smoldering volcano lurks beneath an ice cap. Spend a night or two in Hella, the best spot for hunting the mysterious Northern Lights. Browse through the eclectic collections of Reykjavík’s museums and be part of the buzzing nightlife of the city which is also the world’s most northerly capital.

Cross giant, otherworldly icebergs on a boat tour of the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Iceland’s deepest lake, and get in touch with your deepest self in the serenity of its surroundings. Trek through the lava fields of Dimmuborgir. For those that love hiking but are short on time, there is a hiking trail in Mount Esja near the capital, while those with at least a few days to spare can head out to discover the seven peaks in Iceland’s northeast. Check out our guide on how long to stay in Iceland to get an idea of how many days you should spend in the country. We recommend at least a week in the country if you want to witness all the must-see highlights in the country. However, if you have fewer days on your hands, spending at least 3 days in Iceland would give you a satisfying glimpse of those highlights.

September is a great time to discover Iceland’s spellbinding outdoors and experience its unique culture. Our travel experts can help you choose the right custom tour to Iceland in August. Look no further if you are planning on booking a trip to Iceland in September.

Our related travel guide articles:

Iceland in August

Iceland in October

Published by Lucas Toft, updated on April 16, 2023
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