Does It Snow In Iceland? Exploring Its Icy Evolution

If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, you might be wondering whether you need to pack your snow boots.

Well, Iceland is a land of many contrasts. It is a country of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, and black sand beaches. Despite its name, Iceland is not covered in ice. In fact, it is one of the greenest countries in the world.

Iceland has a lot of rain. The amount of daylight also varies greatly throughout the year. But Does it Snow in Iceland?

Does it Snow in Iceland?
Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

Does it Snow in Iceland?

Although it seldom snows in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, the country has some snowfall yearly. The amount of snowfall varies from year to year, but typically, Reykjavik sees about 12 to 14 inches of snow annually. The rest of the country sees slightly more snowfall, with an average of 40-42 inches annually.

If you’re hoping to experience a true winter wonderland during your trip to Iceland, you’ll likely be disappointed. However, if you’re open to enjoying the country’s other attractions – such as its stunning natural landscapes and abundance of outdoor activities – you’ll find that Iceland is a great place to visit any time of year.

Does it Ever Snow in Iceland?

Although it does snow in Iceland, it is not very common. The average snowfall is only around 40.1 inches (101.8 cm) per year, and most of this falls in the mountains. The snow that does fall is often blown away by the wind or melts quickly due to the high temperatures.

How Often Does it Snow in Iceland?

What’s the weather like in Iceland? As you’ve probably guessed, it’s pretty cold! The average temperature in Iceland is around the freezing point, and in winter, it can drop as low as -10°C. However, it’s not just the cold that you have to contend with – the wind chill can make it feel even colder.

So, does it snow a lot in Iceland? The short answer is yes! On average, Iceland experiences around 60 to 75 days of snowfall each year. That said, the amount of snowfall can vary quite considerably from year to year. 

If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, the best time to go is between late September and early April. This timeframe coincides with the country’s ‘winter’ season when most of the snow falls. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that even during winter, there are often days when the sun shines and the temperatures rise above freezing point.

When Does it Snow in Iceland?

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Iceland
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Iceland

When it does snow in Iceland, it can be a really magical experience. The best time to see the snow is from late October to early April. Keep in mind that the further north you go, the more likely it is to snow.

The Weather in Iceland

As you know, the weather can be very unpredictable. But we can give you a general idea of what to expect in Iceland, depending on the time of year.

First, a little about Iceland’s geography: it’s a small island (about the size of Kentucky) located just below the Arctic Circle. This means that it experiences very long winter nights and short summer days. The interior of the island is mostly uninhabited due to its rough terrain (think glaciers, volcanoes, and geysers). The majority of the population lives along the coast.

Now, on to the weather! 

Even though Iceland is located quite far north, its climate is actually fairly mild. This is due to the Gulf Stream, which keeps the island’s temperatures from getting too low. That being said, Iceland does have four distinct seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall.

Winter in Iceland lasts from late October to early April. The average temperature during this time is around 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). However, temperatures can drop as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 degrees Celsius), so it’s important to dress warmly! Snow is common during the winter months, but luckily most of it melts within a day or two.

Springtime in Iceland starts in April and lasts until May or June. The average temperature during this time is around 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius). It’s not uncommon for there to be snow showers during springtime; however, they don’t usually last long.

Summertime in Iceland begins in June or July and ends in August or September. The average temperature during this time is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). Even though it doesn’t get too hot in Iceland during the summer months, the days are much longer than usual due to its location near the Arctic Circle. In fact, daylight can last almost 24 hours!

Fall starts in September or October and lasts until November or December. The average temperature during this time is around 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius). Like springtime, it’s not unusual for there to be snow showers; however, they don’t usually last long.

So does it snow in Iceland? Yes – but only for parts of the year!

Skógafoss, Iceland | Does it snow in Iceland?
Skógafoss, Iceland

Does it Snow in Iceland in October?

In Iceland, snowfall can occur any time from September to May, but the heaviest snowfalls tend to happen in January, February, and March. In October, you can expect some light snowfall in Iceland, but the days are shorter, and the temperatures are colder, so it’s not the ideal time to visit if you’re hoping to enjoy some winter activities.

Things to Do in Iceland in Winter

Northern light, Iceland | Does it Snow in Iceland?
Northern light, Iceland

Even though Iceland is known for its mild winters, there are still plenty of fun things to do in Iceland during the winter months! 

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Visit the Blue Lagoon: The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions, and for a good reason! This man-made lagoon is full of geothermal water that is perfect for soaking in and relaxing.
  • Go skiing or snowboarding: Iceland is home to plenty of ski resorts, so whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you’ll find a place to enjoy your favorite winter sport.
  • See the Northern Lights: One of the best things about winter in Iceland is the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. These natural light displays are truly a sight to behold, and there’s no better place to see them than in Iceland.
  • Explore a glacier: Iceland is home to many glaciers, and exploring one is a unique and memorable experience. There are plenty of guided tours available, so you can rest assured that you’ll be safe as you explore these icy wonders.


After looking at the data, it is clear that it does snow in Iceland!

In fact, every single day of the year has some chance of seeing snow. The best time to go if you’re hoping to avoid the crowds and enjoy some winter activities is from mid-January to early February.

FAQs: About Snow in Iceland

Is Iceland Always Cold?

No, Iceland has a temperate climate. The average winter temperature in Reykjavik is around 0°C (32°F), but it can get colder in the north and east of the country.

How Much Snow Does Iceland get?

On average, Reykjavik receives around 50cm (20in) of snow every year. However, in some areas, such as the Highlands, snowfall can be much heavier.

When Does it Snow in Iceland?

Snow typically falls from November to March, but it can occasionally occur at other times of the year.

Is There a Best Time to see the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights are visible from late September to early April. However, they are most commonly seen between late November and early March.