By November, Iceland’s short but beautiful summer is a distant memory. Though many places in the US are experiencing a few last warm days as the leaves turn and fall, by November it feels like winter has already arrived in Iceland.
Temperatures drop to an average of 3.4°C to -1.3°C (about 30-38°F) and the sun only shines for about six hours, rising around 9:30am and setting shortly after 4pm. Of course, the earlier in the month you visit, the milder the weather will be. Though it’s quite cold and you’ll find frequent days of fog, light rain or snow (depending on where in the country you visit), there’s still plenty to do and fewer crowds to contend with.
Prices on flights to Iceland are also much cheaper in November. While they can be as much as $700-$1000 from the US during peak summer season, in November you can find flight and hotel packages for as little as $350-$400 round trip. Discounts are also offered on hotels, car rentals and some tours.
Surprising to many visitors, you can partake in most of the same outdoor activities as you would in summer, in November. Horseback riding in the cold is pleasant thanks to comfy warm suits provided by tour operators, and the Golden Circle sights are still accessible even in a small rental car. You can explore caves, go dog sledding, see waterfalls, and even go snorkeling in November. Unfortunately, you cannot access the interior highlands at all, and other areas with unpaved, narrow roads may only be reachable with a 4WD vehicle. Visitors in November may also get lucky and see the Northern Lights.
If you’re visiting in November, you’ll need to pack for cold weather with a warm, waterproof winter jacket, hat, gloves, and good boots.
Photo by fiahless