Planning a Trip to Iceland in April

Iceland in April

We’re currently planning another trip to Iceland in April. Planning a trip to Iceland or anywhere 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 barely enough time to see everything Iceland has to offer, unfortunately.) Though not being able to afford to rent a 4×4 vehicle did help limit our options a little bit.

Planning for this year’s trip to Iceland in April has been 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” didn’t really yield in anything that satisfied my curiosity (I tend to trust independent reviews from other travellers more, but here’s a summary from a hotel chain), or that basically said “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 we’ll have dayight 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.

Oh, did I say Paris? 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. Our plan is to spend a week in Paris, France 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 start 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 patterns 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 the 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 rural 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?

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34 Comments on "Planning a Trip to Iceland in April"

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Jarek
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We drove around Iceland as part of the 7-night layover around April 28 – May 5 in 2014. We actually ended up going even into the westfjords up to Dynjandi and Bíldudalur. It’s possible but ends up being pretty compressed and a *lot* of driving, if you don’t have to see whole of Iceland I would not recommend. Our weather was good, even roads in westfjords were alright (the Öxi pass in the east was an experience, but ultimately doable even in a normal two-wheel-drive), but we were almost in May so early April weather might be fairly different. We… Read more »
Cerina
Guest
Hi Firda, I love your blog!! Really well written and the ones about Iceland really helped me plan my trip. I will be going the last week of May so I look forward to hearing about your travels! I’m Canadian too so I’m not worried about the cold but I’d like to know what the weather will be like when you go so I’ll know what to pack. Also, do you know anything about trips to Greenland from Iceland? I’ve been checking it out online and thinking of going for a few days if the flight is not too expensive.… Read more »
Karilyn
Guest

So did you go in April? How was it? We are looking at obscenely cheap flights from LA and the latest in the season we can get is Mar 28-April 4th…Will it be too hard to drive ourselves? Will we be too limited in what we can do.. with a 6 yr old with us? Any chance of northern lights?

liz
Guest

I can’t speak to the time of year, but we took our almost 6 year olds (at the time) to Iceland in late May last year and IT WAS AWESOME!!!! what an incredible place to bring kids. the nature is magical and the swimming pools are too fun.

Amanda
Guest

Firda,
Did you go this past April? Any updates? We are going early April of 2017, and you are right, i’m having a hard time finding anything about “Visiting Iceland in April”. We have never been, any advise you can give would be greatly appreciated. (FYI- we are from Florida, the freezing temps + the wind is my major concern. We don’t even own winter jackets!) Thanks for your post!!!

Jenny
Guest

Amanda, hello! I am planning a trip to Iceland early April 2018. I’d love any feedback you have from your trip (if you ended up going in April). Thanks!

Leah
Guest

Can we get an update on this? We’re thinking about a trip in late March/early April of 2017 and would love to hear how yours went!

Jenny
Guest

Leah, did you end up going to Iceland in April? I am planning a trip for the first week of April 2018 and am looking for feedback..

Juan
Guest

Yeah… really wanna know what campervan-ing during early april will be like. Have read so many articles on all the advantages April camping will be but tripadvisor have so many people advising against april campervan camping. Really confusing. We are from Singapore (super hot and sunny) but enjoyed winter driving (march) in lofoten last year. Thus we are looking at campervan-ing in early April 2017. Hope someone can advise somehow?

Mishee
Guest

This blog got me really excited for our April 2017 trip! We’re bringing our pre-teen and are looking forward to Iceland’s scenery. Will the Northern Lights still be visible? Is driving in Iceland recommended? Any restaurant recommendations? Thanks!

Rima
Guest
That was insightful. I will be going to Iceland in March for 11 days. I heard its a good time for northern light but after booking my tickets I figured out its not a great time to explore iceland because of the weather. Since you have already done this before you can help me with the itinerary. I have 11 days and I am travelling solo. I was contemplated to do the ring road but I have never driven a 4 X4 and never driven long distances. The drive till Hofn and Jökulsárlón looks doable but I am a little… Read more »
Kenneth Miller
Guest

I would love to talk or email you about our plans.
our 1st. time, even though I am a travel agent.
Arriving April 11- 19
Cant wait, very exceited

Mishee75
Guest

Hello Kenneth!
We’ll be there April 16-23. Hoping we will still get to see the northern lights:). We’re doing the golden circle tour and probably will rent a car to get around more freely. I’ve not finalized our itinerary, but if you would like to make suggestions please email me at mishee75@yahoo.com

Jenny
Guest

Kenneth, I’d love insight regarding your trip this past April. I am planning a trip for the first week of April in 2018.

Parker
Guest

Thank you for your blog! I hope your cancer scare is all ok. We’ll be in Iceland this April and are very excited! We also went last October and fell in love with it. Cheap Icelandair tickets make it easier for us to get back there!
blessings~
Parker

Kristin
Guest

I’m excited to have found your blog, Firda! We are traveling to Iceland from April 7-13 and cannot wait. I’m struggling a bit with how much winter wear to pack for us and the kids (ages 13, 12, 9) – we have a variety but I don’t want to haul ALL of it with us. We will be starting in Reykjavik and then going as far as Jokulsarlon & back. The trip is pretty well planned out but if anyone has recent info about how this winter has been there, that would be very helpful!

Joe
Guest

Great article and great follow up comments. My wife and I are both headed to Iceland this April and had also found very little info on Iceland in April. Sorry to hear about your health scare that is never a fun thing, hope all is well. I read all the comments and everyone was so helpful with places to go and see. see ya’ll in Iceland 2017! Thanks for your post, as bloggers ourselves it’s great when you can read great articles you haven’t covered yourself.

Jenny
Guest

Joe, I am planning a trip for early April next year. Any insight you can provide from your trip would be helpful!

Darshana
Guest

Hello,
We are also planning a trip to Iceland late March-Early April (Spring break here in NYC) for about 9 days.
What to expect during this weather? We have a 6 and 8 year old. Really hoping to catch Northern Lights.
There is not much information online. So I am hopeful someone can help us navigate how to plan our trip with kids with 9 days.

Rima
Guest
Hi Darshana, I did a solo trip to Iceland this year in March(10-22) . Drove the complete ring road in 12 days. Luckily I got great weather but when I was leaving south there were storm warnings for South coast. But I feel its normal. There can be storms at any part of the year. The cold also was quite bearish and roads were great. I did get to see lights but not in its full glory. On last day of my trip right outside the airport I saw lights and they were dancing too. I feel you should do… Read more »
Nicola
Guest

I love this blog. I have just booked a trip for beginning of April 2018 with my husband and two pre-teens and we are super excited. Cold, rain etc doesn’t bother any of us. Just wondered if you noticed if any whale watching trips were running in April? We have been wanting to go for a very long time

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