Iceland's January Weather

three people watching northern lights in Iceland
Björgvin Hilmarsson
Northern lights in Iceland

It’s a great time to take advantage of the after Christmas promotions by traveling to Iceland and marking two things off your resolution list. One, travel to one of the most unique destinations in the world, and two, get a nice burning workout by climbing and hiking the beautiful landscape of Iceland. So you've missed the last day of Christmas (Jan 6th) and the fireworks show, don’t fret, lucky for you Iceland has all sorts of unique celebrations. During January you’ll find yourself enjoying the ancient Norse month of Thorri, which is celebrated by honoring significant men and women in your life with feasts and festivities. You can also witness some great athletic performances at the Reykjavik International Games.

So what will you see as your flight touches down in Iceland? Well, sunrise starts at 11:19 am and sunset at 3:43 on January 1st. Awesome for travelers coming in the afternoon or visitors looking to wake up later in the day and enjoy some much needed rest. However the late sunrise and the early sunset is likely to be unusual to tourist at first, especially if your plane lands at 4 pm and it’s dark outside. In contrast at the end of the month the sun is set to bask tourists and locals for a little over 7 hours! That is a huge increase, giving you much more time to hike and explore the beauties of Iceland! You can thank the unique daylight fluctuations to the location of Iceland which allows the sun to gain up to 7 minutes a day of sunlight during the month of January.

Now if you’re wondering what temperatures you should expect while you chow down on traditional feasts and open gifts during the unique celebrations, the average low temperature in January will be approximately -3 degrees Celsius (26.6 F), and the average high being 3 degrees Celsius (37.4 F). Despite the name “Iceland”, it is home to one of the more stable climates in the arctic circle. So you should expect a very consistent temperature, hopefully no surprises, other than the trip of your life of course. In fact many people who visit Iceland experience colder temperatures when they travel back home.

In terms of rainfall, you can actually expect the highest of the year, as well as high winds. But don’t let this scare you off just yet, this high is only 41 mm or about (1.61 inches). You can probably expect light rain most of the time and a gorgeous blanket of snow, so bundle up and get ready to make some snow angels!

When you finally need to take a break from hiking, climbing and riding the beautiful Icelandic landscape, enjoying celebrations and feasts, enjoy the extra 3 hours of daylight by relaxing and taking in some top notch athletes as Reykjavik will host the 7th annual multi-sport competition in Laugardalur. The Olympic style games will be held during two weekends, January 17th and the 26th, so schedule your tour to be in Laugardalur on these weekends.

When you’re ready to play, hike, feast, and celebrate all while checking off two items on your new years resolution list, we humbly suggest you choose Icelandic Mountain Guides to show you some of the best things this beautiful country has to offer.

About the Author

IMG Staff Writer

IMG Staff Writer

An anonymous but well informed member of our team that enjoys sharing their knowledge of Iceland & Greenland’s stunning nature.

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