Iceland Weather in April - What to Expect

05. March 2020 —
Shape Estelle Divorne
Reynisfjara Black Beach

April in Iceland is considered somewhat of an in between month, as there’s still often times snow and some harsh weather. During the earlier days of April, one can expect still snow and wintry conditions, whereas towards the end of the month the weather is doing its best to finally break and show that the summer months are soon finally arriving. Coming to Iceland in April still always presents the chance of snow, regardless of which days you visit, but it makes for a very interesting time to visit Iceland as changes are slowly starting to arrive on the island.

Shape Björgvin Hilmarsson
Strokkur hotspring at the Geysir geothermal area in Iceland

One thing that can be said during April is that more daylight comes to Iceland while locals and tourists alike say goodbye to the long winter months, and begin to see slightly warmer temperatures and increasing hours of daylight.

The fall of spring on the Island brings about the perfect time for a visit to enjoy Iceland’s many majestic sights, and to have the full chance to get outdoors and enjoy the many different activities that mother nature has to offer.

In April Iceland’s landscape starts to gradually pull its grips away from winter while the capital of Reykjavík starts to come alive with many different events and festivals happening all over the city. If the cold and wintry months are not for you, read on as to why both April and the spring months in Iceland make for some of the most enjoyable times to plan a trip!

Quick Facts on Iceland in April

Average temperature: 2.5°C/37°F
High temperature: 5°C/41°F
Low temperature: 0°C/32°F
Average Daylight: 13 hours 34 minutes
Average Rainfall: 20mm/0.75 inches
Average Rainy Days: 18 days

Weather conditions in Iceland in April

April makes for an excellent time to visit Iceland and enjoy the crack of spring as it shines down on the island with over 13 hours+ of total daylight each and every day! If you’re an outdoors lover, April is a great month to get outside, and enjoy all around Iceland.

Average temperature

During the month of April, you can expect the average temperature in Iceland to be about 2.5°C or 37°F. The month of April still requires a warm coat, as you can expect quit a bit of rainfall (think April showers bring May flowers), but with a ton of daylight each and everyday, you’ll be ready to explore for many hours versus the dark winter months. High temperatures in April will be around 5°C or 41°F, with lows normally around 0°C or 32°F.

Shape Björgvin Hilmarsson
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Daylight in Iceland during April

Compared with the winter months in Iceland, which can bring about only a few hours of daylight per day, April brings an average daylight time to Iceland of 13 hours and 34 minutes! If you love the daylight, you’ll be choosing the perfect time to plan your trip to Iceland.

Precipitation & snow

April still brings a chance for snow in Iceland, depending on the current year’s climate, but you can expect it to be much less than what you’d encounter during winter. The good news about there being less snow in April, and generally the main attractions on the Ring Road will be accessible either by excursion or self-drive tours of Iceland.

April is known for high amounts of rainfall, with up to 21 days per month on average. Some may look at this as a disadvantage to coming in April to visit, but overall, if you come prepared with the proper clothing and items, you’ll be ready to enjoy all activities and the outdoors to the fullest. If you’re planning to avoid snow all together in Iceland, it’s best to consider a trip during the warmer summer months. Nonetheless, if this is the case, definitely reconsider as Iceland is even more special with its beautiful scenery covered in snow!

What to Pack & Wear in April

Iceland in April is quite a rainy month, so it’s highly recommended to bring along a high-quality rain resistant jacket for your trip. You’ll also want to make sure you bring along a warm hat and a pair of gloves to keep your hands warm and dry.

During the fall, winter and early spring months, base layers are highly recommended as you can easily take them off or add more as needed depending on the weather. Warm sweaters will also go a long way, so a high-quality wool sweater will keep you warm and cozy underneath a waterproof jacket.

If you’re planning to journey into the outdoors, make sure you pack a pair of lightweight outdoor pants to keep you dry during your time outside. Normal pants such as jeans or chinos also work well, and are a good idea if you’ll be spending some time in the city, such as Reykjavík.

Each and every month in Iceland is the perfect month to pack a swimsuit to enjoy both the inside thermal baths and pools, or the natural thermal baths that are scattered throughout Iceland. You probably shouldn’t be jumping into the Atlantic ocean at any point of time during your trip, but nothing will warm you up more than jumping into a hot thermal spring on a mild April day.

Driving

Many of Iceland's roads, especially mountain and highland roads will still be closed during the April months, but generally the Ring Road will be accessible and kept clear by the local authorities. If you’re planning to visit the South Coast, or Snæfellsnes Peninsula, then you’re in luck as these are generally easily accessible in April. 

You’ll also be able to travel to Northern Iceland by vehicle, if you wish to check out Akureyri or Mývatn. During the spring months, there’s always a chance of snow and not perfect road conditions, so for all months outside of summer, it’s recommended to rent a four-wheel drive vehicle for the safest possible driving experience.

Potential Storms & Driving Conditions

Driving during the month of April presents less challenges compared with the winter months. There’s always a chance of snow during April, and certainly the roads will be wet from precipitation, but many roads will be accessible to Iceland's main attractions.

Road.is is an excellent resource to keep on hand to stay up-to-date with current conditions. SafeTravel.is comes as another highly recommended resource providing alerts, preparation methods for the outdoors, and all-around travel advice for having a safe trip when in Iceland.

It’s also recommended to utilize the 112 Iceland App, just as an option in case you get stuck at some point and require being rescued. It’s best to avoid any type of dangerous situation, and although driving in Iceland can be both very rewarding and safe, you need to be fully prepared and have a well-planned route. Along with this, you must stay up to date on current conditions, as they can change very quickly.

In the best-case scenario, experienced drivers and guides have the knowledge of both the roads and weather conditions in Iceland, and can be an excellent way to embrace all of the island’s beauty.

Activities & Tours in Icelandic Nature

April offers an excellent chance to get outside, and visit Iceland’s beauty. If you’re planning a visit to Iceland, April can be an excellent chance to get a glimpse at the country both with a bit of snow, and also a bit more greenery compared to the winter months. All year round, there’s tons of ways you can enjoy the islands nature through activities and tours, making April also an excellent choice.

Glacier Walk on Sólheimajökull

Glacier walks are the perfect activity year round, which include a family friendly and short glacier walk to visit one of the country's famous glaciers, Sólheimajökull. You'll be partnered up with a certified and experienced glacier guide who will help guide you through the glacier while enjoying the many shades of gleaming crystal blues. 

Plenty of photo opportunities will be given during the trip, and no technical skills are needed. All gear is provided that is necessary for the glacier walk, so just bring yourself and get ready to experience an Icelandic glacier

Shape Björgvin Hilmarsson
Solheimajokull Discovery

ATV Black Beach Safari

Enjoy a 2-hour exploration of Iceland’s black sand landscape in the south, along with a visit to the famous plane DC3 wreck. Enjoy the breathtaking views of Iceland's coastline, while riding along on an ATV with all of the necessary gear to stay safe. 

You'll also get the chance to stop off and have a look at the famous Sólheimasandur plane wreck that has been in place since 1973. Make sure you have a valid driver's license with you, and get ready to explore the coast in style!

Shape Björgvin Hilmarsson
Black Beach Safari

Snowmobile Adventure to Mýrdalsjökull

Get ready to be at the top of one of Iceland's well-known glaciers. Mýrdalsjökull is the fourth largest glacier formation in Iceland, and offers fantastics views of some of Iceland's best nature. A snowmobile ride probably isn’t something you get the chance to do everyday, so it’s highly recommended not to miss this excursion to truly experience Iceland in a different and exciting way. The snowmobile adventures includes everything needed, and you'll even get a crash course on driving a snowmobile to fully enjoy this tour in the safest way possible.

Shape Björgvin Hilmarsson
Snowmobile tour on Mýrdalsjokull

Seeing The Northern Lights in April

Luckily during the month of April, there’s still a chance to get a glimpse of The Northern Lights during the early days of the month. Since April brings on average over 13 hours total of daylight, a significant change from the 20 hours of darkness provided during the winter months, chances start to dwindle of seeing the lights. Nonetheless, the nights are not as bright as during the summer months, so there’s always still a chance to see them.

As always, for the best chance of spotting The Northern Lights, you’ll want to get outside of the city to avoid light pollution, and find a great spot which is dark and permits a better opportunity to catch the Aurora Borealis. Towards the end of April, it becomes more difficult to see the lights, and you’ll have to wait until September for them to reappear once again.

Shape Björgvin Hilmarsson

What to do around Reykjavík in April

There’s plenty happening each and every month in and around Reykjavík. April brings the official start of summer, with plenty happening around the city as everyone comes out to celebrate the coming of warmer months and the long daylight hours.

Events & Festivals

Reykjavík Blues Festival

Enjoy blues artists who come to Iceland from all around Europe, as well as artists from North America and even local Icelandic performers. This is truly a unique experience, perfect for the jam session lovers. This festival includes young and upcoming blues artists who play with both legends from all over the world.

Reykjavík Children’s Culture Festival

This children’s festival takes place on the 17th until the 22nd of April, and offers tons of activities ranging from workshops, performances connected to children, events in local libraries and other public places around Reykjavík.

Shape Matteo Meucci

Holidays

The First Day of Summer

On the 20th of April, Icelanders celebrate the first official day of summer. This is a great celebration, as the long endured winter months are now in the rearview. With over 13 hours of total daylight in April, Summer has officially arrived and the country as a whole starts to become alive. It might not feel like summer has arrived just quite yet if snow is still hitting the ground, but the long hours of daylight are already enough to start the full celebration!

Easter in Iceland

Easter is celebrated in Iceland over a five day weekend that in 2020 falls on the 9th, 13th, 14th, 16th and 17th of April. Easter in Iceland is celebrated with traditional Icelandic foods, and of course, chocolate. If you’re lucky enough to get invited to a local’s house for the event, don’t pass it up!

About the Author

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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