Iceland in April: Things to See & Do

April 11th, 2022

Written by:

Camila Contreras-Langlois

7 min read

Come spend April in Iceland for an unforgettable vacation! Picture yourself walking along glacier lagoons, visiting remote corners of Iceland, and joining in local celebrations. 

April marks a transition from winter to summer, meaning you’ll get to enjoy some of the benefits of both. It’s an excellent time to travel off peak and see the country changing from snowy blankets to blooming flowers.

Below you’ll find the best things to see in Iceland in April, the best activities to try, and spots to visit. We’ve also added a handy weather and packing guide to help you prepare for this trip.

Reynisfjara with the Reynisdrangar sea stacks by sunset

Should you visit Iceland in April?

The one-word answer is: yes! The longer answer is this whole blog where we share with you just what makes April in Iceland so special.

As a quick summary, Iceland is a country that is worth seeing in all its splendor, winter and summer alike. Visit at this time of year and you might get the best of both worlds – all dependent on the weather of course!

But April is a very changeable month, so you might experience it all in one day anyway.

It might still snow at higher altitudes, but flowers start to bring color to the lava fields and mossy landscape. With a good balance of daylight and darkness, it’s a great month to maximize your trip. Go on thrilling adventures during the day and spend your nights chasing the Northern Lights.

Flyover Husavik from Hill with Lupine Flowers

As the conditions start to get better after the winter, it’s also a great time to visit Iceland on a road trip. With fewer visitors before the summer vacations, you’ll have more attractions to yourself and there’ll be less traffic on the roads.

And these are just some of the reasons why visiting Iceland in April is a good idea. Keep reading for more.

Top things to do in Iceland in April

What can you get up to if you visit in April? Iceland is a jaw-dropping country overflowing with natural gems to explore and offering so many unique activities for you to try.

Here are some of our favorite things:   

  • Catch sight of icicles or rainbows at waterfalls
  • Warm up in a geothermal spa
  • See bubbling hot springs and geysers
  • Try a new-to-you activity like exploring ice caves or glacier walking
  • Admire vast glaciers and bobbing icebergs
  • Drive around the Ring Road to see highlights and hidden gems
  • See or even go inside a volcano

And much more is available, depending on what interests you most. You could go for fun seaside walks, visit museums in Reykjavík, bathe in natural hot springs, or go snowmobiling in the pristine, glacier snow.

Hikers walking on Solheimajokull glacier

Events in Iceland in April

There are a few cultural experiences you might want to join in during your vacation in Iceland.

Iceland’s cultural life in April revolves around the First Day of Summer (‘sumardagurinn fyrsti’). It takes place on the first Thursday following 18 April. This national day is celebrated around the country and is based on a Viking tradition.

Back in the day, this was the start of the longer days of summer when the calendar looked a bit different. It’s similar to today’s spring equinox. Locals will be off work and you might see parades, people waving flags, and musicians playing in the streets.

  • See what other events take place around Iceland throughout the year with our festival guide

Just to highlight it’s not quite summer yet, the AK Extreme snowboarding festival is also held every April. This one is hosted in North Iceland.

If you enjoy music, then consider including the Westfjords in your April itinerary of Iceland. The music festival I Never Went South is held over Easter weekend in the fjords’ main settlement, Ísafjörður.

Those traveling with kids may want to pop by the Children’s Culture Festival in Reykjavík. It’s a fun way to entertain the little ones. There are usually exhibitions and activities for a range of ages. 

Best places to visit in Iceland in April

Where you go during your April visit depends on how much time you have.

In town for a few days? Stay in Reykjavík and take day tours to top locations such as the Golden Circle route. If you have 1 or 2 weeks to spend on our stunning island, then drive the Ring Road on an epic road trip. Or have a private driver-guide take you on an unforgettable tour. The choice is yours!

The fjord and town of Ísafjörður in the sun

These are the places we recommend you add to your itinerary in April:

1. Westfjords

Location: North-west peninsula of Iceland

The Westfjords are a must-see for anyone hoping to travel off the beaten path in Iceland. The roads into this region are difficult to manage or completely closed in winter, so April is when the Westfjords are finally accessible for the summer months.

Why visit? Travel here for outstanding, untouched landscapes, miles and miles of dramatic sea cliffs, red sand beaches, and wildlife encounters.

Don’t miss: A visit to the tallest waterfall in the region, Dynjandi, the main town Ísafjörður, and to the Arctic Fox Center to learn about Arctic foxes. You could also drive part (or all!) of the Westfjords Way, a touring route that’ll take you to some of the best spots on the peninsula.

Latrabjarg cliffs

2. East Iceland

Location: East Iceland

East Iceland is often overlooked – being located on the other side of the country from Reykjavík – but it’s worth the detour around the Ring Road. 

Why visit? Travel east and you’ll encounter a variety of backdrops, each more stunning than the last. Admire the largest forest in Iceland, the serene landscape of the eastern fjords, and the vast Vatnajökull National Park.

Don’t miss: Going on a boat tour on the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, eating the local langoustine in Höfn, and spotting the wild roaming reindeer.

Cold landscape picture of Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, Iceland

3. Borgarfjörður area

Location: West Iceland

This is a great day adventure to add to your itinerary if you’re traveling north from Reykjavík to visit the Snæfellsnes peninsula. It stretches from the Borgarfjörður fjord to Húsafell, the most inland farm settlement in the region.

Why visit? To experience the highlands of Iceland without traveling too far into that region. In fact, the roads into the highlands don’t usually open until late June. So in April it’ll give you a taste of the rugged landscape, with hot springs, craters, and rolling mountains.

Don’t miss: Having a wander around the village of Reykholt, being in awe of the power of the Deildartunguhver hot spring, and seeing the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls.

Hraunfossar waterfall in Iceland

4. Reykjavík and surroundings

Location: South-west Iceland

When you fly to Iceland, you’ll probably stay at least one night in Reykjavík. You could then set off on an adventure around the country. Or base yourself here to explore the capital of Iceland in more depth.

Why visit? For a taste of Iceland if you don’t have time to discover more of the country. Staying in Reykjavík doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the stunning countryside either. From here, day tours can take you to the south coast, to the Snæfellsnes peninsula, around the Golden Circle, and more.

Don’t miss: Checking out a local festival, trying the local food at top restaurants, or going for a dip in geothermal spas such as the Sky Lagoon or Blue Lagoon.

Reykjavik and Lake Tjornin

What’s the weather like in Iceland in April?

In April, Iceland celebrates the first day of summer, but that doesn’t mean summer weather is here yet. Visit at this time of year and you can expect a month of transition where flowers start to bloom but snow may still fall. That said the days are brighter and longer than in winter.

Average temperatures are around 5°C (41°F) throughout the country but will vary slightly. You may well find it chillier on windy days, or warmer if you’re out walking on a sunny day. It’s best to also come prepared for some rainy days as average rainfall is around 20 mm in April.  

Does it snow in Iceland in April?

Yes, it may well snow when you’re visiting Iceland on your April vacation. It’s unlikely to stick in the city, but you might find the countryside covered in frost on some days.

Whatever the weather is during your stay, mountain peaks in the distance are still likely to be snow-capped. It’ll give an even more magical vibe to your pics! 

Skogafoss waterfall, Iceland

What are the driving conditions like in Iceland in April?

The driving conditions will depend on what kind of weather you encounter during your vacation. April is an especially changeable month, so it’s best to come prepared with winter driving in mind.

Make yourself aware of road regulations and safety precautions before your arrival in Iceland. For example, you should always have your headlights turned on, day and night, summer and winter alike. It’s also better to drive slowly, giving yourself time to react and to avoid black ice.

We also highly recommend being flexible when visiting Iceland, especially between October and April. At this time of year, you might need to change your plans at a moment’s notice. Always check road and weather conditions before departing each day to know what to expect.

One of the advantages of booking with Iceland Tours is that we make sure you travel with peace of mind. You’ll benefit from in-car Wi-Fi, a detailed itinerary, and access to our 24/7 helpline if you need our support.

And the main advantage of taking on a self-drive tour of Iceland in April is definitely that there’s lighter traffic on the road. You’ll have more of the highlights along the way to yourself as you travel around the Ring Road.

Road through the mountains and fjords in Snaefellsnes peninsula Iceland

What are the daylight hours like in Iceland in April?

In the spring, the daylight hours increase significantly as we head toward the summer solstice (which marks the longest day of the year). You’ll notice there’s even a big change between the beginning and end of the month. Generally, you can expect an average of 15 hours of daylight.

In early April, the sun rises in Reykjavík around 6:45 a.m. and sets around 8:20 p.m. By the end of the month, the sunrise happens just before 5 a.m. and sunset at almost 10 p.m.

Can I see the Northern Lights in April in Iceland?

Although the Northern Lights season is winding down in April, there are still chances to spot them. This is especially true in the first half of the month.

In order to witness this heavenly show, you need a dark, cloudless sky and the right solar conditions. You’re not really in control of the sun’s particles or the weather, so come when Iceland has longer nights to put all the chances on your side.

Visit Iceland between October and March for the longest nights of the year. The earlier or later in the season you come, the more balance you’ll have in terms of daylight hours. 

As the Northern Lights are reliant on nature, we can’t promise you’ll see them during your time in Iceland. But it’s definitely worth putting them on your bucket list!

What to pack for a trip to Iceland in April?

When packing for a visit to Iceland, it’s always good to remember its ever-changing weather conditions. As April falls at the end of winter, pack layers to keep warm and dry and you’ll be good to go!  

Here are some must-have items for your suitcase:

  • Insulated and waterproof winter coat
  • Wooly or fleece sweaters
  • Sturdy, waterproof boots
  • Gloves, scarf, and warm hat
  • Thermal underwear and thick socks
  • Face and lip moisturizers
  • Swimwear and towel to visit pools and spas

Read our Iceland winter packing guide for more useful tips and details.

Planning your trip to Iceland

Let Iceland in April charm you – why not start planning your next getaway now? Pick which spots you want to visit most and the way you want to travel, and you can start finding the ideal itinerary for you.

Browse the selection of packages Iceland Tours offers to get started. You can pick from self-drive itineraries, private travel, multi-day excursions from Reykjavík, or guided group tours. These all have their own benefits, depending on your preferences.

Then, booking online is an easy process and you can even take advantage of our 5% deposit policy. Don’t just dream of Iceland, start your vacation plans now!

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Written by:

Camila Contreras-Langlois