Planning a trip to Iceland is so much easier when you've been there before. I remember feeling quite overwhelmed when I was planning our first trip in 2013. So much to see, so little time! (Two weeks is not enough time to see everything Iceland has to offer, unfortunately.) Though not being able to afford to rent a 4x4 vehicle did help limit our options a little bit.
Planning for this year's trip in April is a lot easier because we already know what to expect and we know what we want to see and where, how to get there and so on. Well, at least we kind of know what to expect. We've never been to Iceland in April before and googling "Iceland in April" doesn't really yield in anything that can satisfy my curiosity (I tend to trust independent reviews from other travellers more, but here's a summary from a hotel chain), or anything that basically says "go to Iceland in April, it's the best time ever!" which is what I'd really like to hear. ;-)
I did find out that in April there'll be light between 6 in the morning and 9 in the evening, the temperatures will be hovering between 0 to 5 degrees Celsius, and it will be rainy at best. Doesn't sound too bad to me. I think I can handle that! (Full disclosure: I'm Canadian.) Trying to pack light, however, is going to be a big pain in the butt since I will need to pack a bulky winter coat (the wind is brutal in Iceland so, even though it doesn't seem that cold, a good winter coat is still needed to stay warm), which I doubt I will ever need in Paris. But I'll worry about it later.
Why did we decide to go to Iceland in April, you ask? Well, you might have heard that if you fly with Icelandair, you are entitled to a free stopover in Iceland for up to 7 nights. The plan is, we're going to spend a week in Paris first (because I would like to know what the fuss about Paris in the springtime is all about; have you been?), and then we're going to do the one week stopover in Iceland on our way back.
Since it still gets dark at night in April in Iceland, there is a slight chance that we might see the northern lights! I also read that puffins starts to go back to land in April to breed so there is also the slight chance that we might see those funny birds again. Add to that the smaller crowds, the still affordable hotel rooms and the slightly cheaper car rental to the equation and visiting Iceland in April will seem like the best idea ever. ;-)
Of course with the El Niño still in effect, messing up weather pattern everywhere, April could totally be a bust and we could end up being stuck in a late winter storm for days, but I'll take my chances. I've never been one to let the weather hold me back from having a great time while on vacation. The way I see it, crappy weather makes for some interesting vacation photos! Plus, my husband is an excellent driver. We drive through treacherous weather condition pretty much every winter (we live in Canada after all) and he's always brought us home safe.
Since we will only have one week to spend in Iceland this time, we're not going to do the drive around Iceland like we did the last time. We're just going to spend a couple of days in Reykjavik and then rent a car and spend the rest of the week driving as far as Jökulsárlón (the famous glacial lagoon) in Southeast Iceland and back, stopping at some old favourites and some other places of interest we missed on our first visit along the way. I think it's doable.
I'm really looking forward to visiting Iceland for the second time, admittedly more than I'm looking forward to visiting Paris for the first time. But then again, I might fall in love with Paris the way I did Iceland when I get there. You'll never know! April can't come soon enough. Have you been to Iceland in April? Or are you planning to?