Iceland in November: A Winter Encounter


Though the temperatures start plunging in October, the cold weather in Iceland in November makes it the country’s first full-blown winter month. The mountaintops are covered with snow and roads start becoming slippery in Iceland in November. The air is cold and crisp but there are plenty of fun things to do when on an Iceland tour in November, including visiting ice caves, bathing in a natural warm hot spring, and seeing the beautiful Northern Lights.

Iceland Weather in November

Egilsstadir sign in the winter Iceland, covered in snow by the road
With the onset of winter, you may see the temperatures going down quite rapidly with fewer hours of daylight in Iceland in November

As a winter month near the Arctic region, Iceland’s weather in November is expectedly cold, with average temperatures in November between 1°C and 8°C. The month sees moderate rainfall and though it snows, you are unlikely to see any heavy accumulation of snow on the ground. Though the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, November is a stable winter month. But the days do keep getting shorter — from 8 hours of daylight at the beginning of November to only 5 in the last days of the month.

For a more in-depth seasonal overview, check out our travel guide on the best time to visit Iceland.

Weather in Iceland in November - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)322591113139654
Avg Nightly (°C)-3-2-203798520-1
Avg Daily (°F)37.435.635.64148.251.855.455.448.242.84139.2
Avg Nightly (°F)26.628.428.43237.444.648.246.44135.63230.2
Avg Rainfall (mm)504040204020203040303040

Why Visit Iceland in November

Aerial view of huge humpback whale, Iceland
November is a good as time as any to go on a whale-watching tour in Iceland
Aerial view of famous Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral and the city of Reykjavik i
Enjoy the perfect urban adventure in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik during your trip in November

There are some excellent times to visit Iceland in November, despite the cold winter weather and shortening days.

  • Fewer tourists: The tourist rush slows down considerably in November. If you’re looking to visit museums or see the geothermal Blue Lagoon, you’ll have very little competition.
  • Discounted rates: Get cool discounts on hotels and airfares in Iceland in November in the slow tourist season.
  • Northern Lights: The famous auroras are visible in the colder months in Iceland, and November is a great month to see them. The Northern Lights are best seen some distance away from Reykjavik but if you’re lucky, you can spot them from the capital too.
  • Urban vibes: Reykjavik’s residents are used to the cold and the dark weather, and short days in November do not dampen their sense of adventure and fun. Bars and restaurants stay open till late in the night, and all indoor spaces from luxury shopping to cutting-edge museums are inviting.
  • Pool time: Explore the hot springs of Iceland and their healing properties in November.
  • Explore outdoors: From guided glacier tours and ice-cave visits to whale watching and horseback riding — there are plenty of incredible things to do in Iceland in November.
  • Festival alert: Iceland Airwaves, one of the country’s biggest and most popular music festivals, is held at the beginning of November.

Where to go and what to do

The snowmobile on a beautiful winter landscape
When on a trip to Iceland in November, make sure to include snowmobiling in your list of things to do

November in Iceland is a great time to spot the elusive aurora borealis (Northern Lights). Hop on to a Northern Light tour to witness this magical natural phenomenon of greens, purples, whites, and yellows in the night sky. If you’re visiting Iceland in November, you can’t miss the spectacular ice caves. Go on a tour to see the naturally formed ice cave under the Vatnajökull glacier or visit Langjökull glacier, which has a human-made ice tunnel sculpted into it. Another lovely experience in November is taking a dip in one of the naturally heated pools or hot springs commonly found in the countryside.

This one is strictly for experienced thrill-seekers: if you’re into surfing, the coast near Reykjanes Peninsula is where all the action is. The waters are frigid even as the wind speed picks up. You can also go on a diving and snorkeling expedition in Iceland in November. You heard that right! Remarkably, Iceland is home to one of the world’s top snorkeling sites called Silfra Fissure, and the good news is that it’s accessible in winter too. November is the perfect month for a snowmobiling tour in glaciers like Langjökull and Mýrdalsjökull. The Golden Circle is the most popular day tour from Reykjavík, and in November you can enjoy the stunning sights without the tourist rush. Explore the beautiful trails on tour to the historic Thingvellir National Park, visit the erupting geysers, like the ones in Haukadalur, and see the iconic waterfall at the edge of the highland shelf of Gullfoss during the tour.

Iceland in November is an enchanted land waiting to be discovered. If you are wondering how many days you may need to cover all of these activities, you may want to check out our travel guide on how long to stay in Iceland. 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. Our travel experts in Iceland will help you customize the perfect tour to Iceland in November. Make sure to check out our tours to Iceland in November to plan your trip right away!

Our related travel guide articles:

Iceland in October

Iceland in December

Create your custom-made trip to Iceland

Traveling to Iceland? Chat with a local travel specialist in Iceland who can help organize your trip.

  • Harpa Groiss
    Harpa Groiss
    Travel Expert in Iceland
  • Harpa Groiss
    Harpa Groiss
    Travel Expert in Iceland
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