Updated: Sep 1
Iceland is one of those countries where you can enjoy different activities all around the year. In contrast, summer offers endless days thanks to the Midnight Sun, good weather, and numerous outdoor activities. Winter is colder and darker, but plenty of activities nonetheless. Iceland's winter attractions are captivating more and more tourists every year. This is why choosing the best season to visit Iceland often becomes quite a problem. Your choice will probably depend on the weather too, so you should know what Iceland has in store for you each month. We will focus on April, what the weather is like by that time of the year and what to do in Iceland in April.
Weather in Iceland in April
The temperature in Iceland in April ranges between 3-7 degrees Celsius. We know these spring temperatures may not be what you're used to back home. Still, in Iceland this means that you have finally hit a month when the average will never be below 0. And although you may still get some rain, the blizzards and Iceland winds that can literally rip off car doors are things of the past.
Those visiting the capital city will often remark that the Reykjavík weather in April is somehow better than on the rest of the island. But this is merely an illusion and a phenomenon that can be found in most other major cities on the island. The buildings often create a certain amount of shelter against some of the external weather elements. That's what makes it feel slightly warmer.
Daylight hours in Iceland in April also make this the perfect month for a jam-packed trip itinerary. You can now look forward to more than 13 hours of daylight each day! This is a far cry from the 4 hours experienced mid-winter.
Driving in Iceland in April
As the weather conditions are still not the best in April, some of the roads in Iceland remain closed. The F-roads in Iceland's Highlands, in the central part of the island, are still closed. However, this is where the climate is the most severe, roads are impassable until around the mid or end of June.
If you wanted to visit the Highlands in April, you should instead go for an organized guided excursion with experienced drivers and vehicles accessible for those types of roads. In this case, neither a campervan nor a motorhome rental is advisable.
The Ring Road remains open all year long, even in the height of winter. However, if Iceland experiences some snowstorms or just heavy snow, some parts can get closed, and you will need to wait for the road administration to make it accessible. Always check the safety alerts before heading on the road to avoid any surprises.
What to wear in Iceland in April
For those wondering what to wear in Iceland in April, we prepared a list of all the necessary clothes below. This way, you can even use it as a checklist to make sure you packed the right things for your trip to Iceland.
As the weather in April is very unpredictable, we do recommend dressing in layers. There is a three-layer rule that always works for Iceland's road trip. As you will now realize, there is no bad weather, only the wrong clothes.
Its function is to keep your skin warm and dry. This is the most critical layer of all, I would say. The right clothes here will make you feel dry and comfortable at all times during your trip. The clothes in this layer have direct contact with your body, so you should go for good quality fabric here.
Avoid cotton, as it is not breathable and will make your body wet and, thus, cold too. Good thermal tops and pants can absorb moisture and transports it outside the surface. This way, it keeps your skin dry and warm. Do not forget about a pair of good hiking socks!
2. Insulation Layer
This layer is mostly responsible for keeping you warm. Here you can go for a sweater or a jacket from synthetic fabric. The excellent pair of windproof and waterproof pants will be perfect here. Ensure that you also get a good pair of shoes with a thick sole, which prevents slipping and a possible fall.
3. Shell Layer
This external layer is responsible for protecting you from the wind and rain. The sort of clothes you will choose here depends much on the activities you plan to take in Iceland. You will find different types of jackets on the market, among which are hardshell and softshell. In this layer, you need to take care of the head protection- so choose the right hut and sunglasses that protect you from the wind.
- Waterproof jacket / water-resistant
- Waterproof pants
- Softshell / Hardshell jacket
- Fleece sweater / Down jacket
- Thermal underwear, long sleeves pants, and top
- Trekking shoes
- Gaiters (if you are planning to head to the Highlands )
- Gloves, hut, sunglasses
- Hiking socks
What to do in Iceland in April
Northern Lights in Iceland in April is what attracts hundreds of tourists every year. This is when the season for the Aurora ends, making it your last chance to see them. This is what makes April one of the best months to visit Iceland. When the nights are longer and darker during the winter, the possibilities to catch the Northern Lights with the human eye are more significant.
The chances decrease when spring approaches as the nights become shorter, and usually, the sky is cloudy, which makes it impossible to hunt for the lights. The best way to see the Northern Lights in Iceland in April is to go far from the city lights to a dark place or go for a guided tour directly. There are many of those organized from Reykjavik and other places around the island.
April is when spring slowly begins in Iceland; the landscapes change, and the green colors start to dominate after a long winter. Observing those changes is pretty amazing. April is still an off-peak season, which means that there are fewer people in Iceland's most famous attractions, the prices are lower, and the availability, in general, is higher. Renting a camper in Iceland will be much more comfortable during that time than in the peak season.
The Golden Circle route in South Iceland is accessible all year long, and you should definitely add it to your April itinerary. There will be much fewer people there which will make your experience even more enjoyable.
Glacier walks and hikes are also very popular at that time. The glaciers offer exciting trails in April and, combined with higher temperatures, make it a great experience. If you are heading to the North, make sure you visit the Vatnajokull glacier, the biggest in Europe. You can just join one of the boat tours over the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, just a short drive from there.
April in Iceland is a perfect time for the Puffins watching. The season for those birds watching starts in April, and besides puffins, you will be able to observe many other species. You can combine your puffins-watching tour with whale-watching where you will be able to admire the colorful birds from the boat.