This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you book or purchase through these links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.What are your fall travel plans? Do they include somewhere beautiful with diverse landscapes and climates? I ask because Iceland in October makes the ultimate fall vacation. I didn’t choose to visit Iceland in October, it sort of chose me in a roundabout way and I’m so glad because I realized just what an amazingly perfect time of year it is. These are my five significant reasons why you need to travel to Iceland in October.
5 Reasons to Visit Iceland in October
1 | Fall Colors
Back of Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík
Like a lot of countries in the northern hemisphere, Iceland does have four seasons. However, unlike a lot of those same countries, Iceland will go through all four of those seasons in one day. I witnessed this on more than one occasion during my trip.
The lava falls of Hraunfossar
Fall is a beautiful time in Iceland and October is particularly a great a month for it. The fall foliage really comes alive and truly pops against the contrast of the glacial waters, black lava, and even when there is the occasional snow!
2 | Fewer Crowds
Don’t you just love when there are a gazillion people everywhere and you have to wait forever just to get a photo (we won’t even discuss the associated pushing and shoving)? Oh…not so much?
Well, congratulations, Iceland in October is for you! Because the peak season has just ended and school has started back, the crowds are reasonable. Don’t get me wrong. As Iceland is a year-round travel destination it isn’t that there are no crowds ever. It’s just that they are considerably smaller in October.
Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon
I didn’t have to fight to get that coveted photo spot. The geothermal spas actually had plenty of room to relax without bumping into the next person. Even the extremely popular Blue Lagoon was less crowded than I’ve seen in many photos!
3 | Less Expensive
I originally had this titled “Cheap” and then I burst out laughing. Iceland is NEVER cheap. Sorry for the hard truth (and a bit of a tease there) but even “less expensive” is a relative term for Iceland.
However, all jokes aside, October is the cheapest month to visit Iceland. Because it’s the offseason and the peak season of summer has just ended, there are much better deals on airfare, hotels, and tours.
4 | Northern Lights
Northern Lights dancing near Þingvellir National Park
I can’t even begin to tell you how AMAZING it is to see this natural phenomenon in person. I also can’t guarantee you will see it on your trip to Iceland no matter the month. But, October gives you a great possibility.
There are three things you need at the same time to provide you a chance to see the Northern Lights.
- Dark Skies: Thankfully, in October it is starting to get dark enough at a decent time.
- Clear Skies: This is always a shot in the dark with Iceland being a rainy country, but October is before the heavy winter sets in.
- Solar Activity: You need the lights to be active.
I saw and photographed the Northern Lights twice on my trip to Iceland in October. I had a third chance to see them but went to sleep because of the upcoming early morning and because we were in Reykjavik. Typically in the city where there’s light pollution, the chance of seeing the lights is slim. It still kills me that I knew about the possibility and didn’t stay up to check!
5 | Snow
Wait, huh? Why is snow a good reason? I thought you said a reason to go to Iceland in October is that I wouldn’t have to deal with snow!
Yes, this is true. For the most part, you won’t have to deal with snow. Roads are still in great condition for driving and winter isn’t an issue.
However, remember those four seasons in one day I talked about? That is a real thing. We did have snow in a few places that we went and it was beautiful! For the photographers out there, these were some of the most stunning backdrops we saw. Also, for snow lovers and those who don’t have snow where they live (ahem, me!), this is a chance to see it without truly having to deal with old man winter.
Isn’t that the best way to see snow anyway?
So, what do you think? Are you ready to pack your bags to visit this October? If so, then let me throw out some helpful tips and suggestions for you.
Iceland is an absolutely beautiful country and if you maximize the timing of your trip you can get so much more out of it. Of course, there is no time that includes everything, but October sure does give you (in my opinion) the best shot of doing the most!
Have you been to Iceland in October? What was your experience like? As always, let me know below!
‘Til next time…