Novembers in Iceland are typically when the country starts to experience the more windier end of the weather spectrum. It is certainly not for those looking for calm conditions. Then again, if you are looking for chronically calm weather, Iceland is a bit tricky. If you happen to get a stretch of good weather, consider yourself lucky, since this is the exception rather than the rule.
Weather-wise, November is not quite as cold and icy as December and January, and not as dark, but it can still be rough. Wind speeds begin to pick up, the days continue to shorten, and the rain continues to fall with decent odds of snowfall. Having said all of this, it varies tremendously from season to season.
If you don’t like the weather in Iceland, just wait a minute…
Average Temperature & Length of the Day
If you are someone who wants to try their hand at extreme weather but you are not ready for the full brunt of it, this is a great way to get a glimpse of what it can be like. This is not to say that there aren’t beautiful days, there certainly are. They will simply be colder than what most people are accustomed to.
Another added bonus is that the number of visitors to Iceland declines markedly. This ensures that you will get to enjoy all of the scenery from the perspective of a true Icelander.
November will bring an average high of 39°F (about 4°C) and an average low of 34°F (about 1°C). During this time of the year, the amount of sunlight we get is decreasing rapidly. The table and graph below shows you the temperature curve for November.
The table below shows some important points in November for sunrise and sunset. Note the rapid decrease in daylight hours by 90 minutes every two weeks.
Continue to expect heavy rainfall; with up 42% chances of snowfall. Though, the likeliness of accumulation around this time is unlikely. Wind speeds around this time will also be increasing (up to about 24 mph (10.5 m/s)) so it will be best to plan accordingly with weather forecasts.
November happens to be a great time to see the Northern Lights. For more information about this, check out our blog posts about how to hunt for the Northern Lights and if you want to take great shots of the Northern Lights. If you would like some help hunting for them, we have Northern Lights tours too.
With the temperature dropping, it will be best to pack layers. Too hot? Shed a layer. Too cold? Add a layer. Layers will be your best friend in November. This means investing in some good thermal underwear and lots of wool. Wool is amazing for the colder months because it will keep you very warm, but it also breathable. Waterproof outer layers will be very important to keep you dry in all of the rain and it will protect you against strong winds. Pant covers or winter pants will come in handy. Weather proofing your boots is necessary, as well as having a few pairs of good socks (wool comes in handy here too).
If you want to know what to wear on a glacier walk, click here.
With the right clothing, you can enjoy a variety of activities during November. Below is a short list to get you inspired.
Go on a Short Break in Wild & Beautiful Icelandic Nature
Spend 2 or 3 days seeing the magnificent natural wonders along the south coast of Iceland. We pack a lot of fun activities into our 2-Day Northern Lights & Ice Cave tour and our 3-Day Golden Circle & Glacier Getaway.
Take a Day Trip
If you prefer to be based out of Reykjavik (Reykjavík) during your time in Iceland, there are plenty of one day activities. Go on a glacier walk, hunt for the Northern Lights or do both in the same day!
We hope that this has helped you feel better prepared for your visit in the month of November or has at least given you a glimpse of what Iceland is like in the winter months.
Subscribe to the Icelandic Mountain Guides Blog
Outdoor adventure in Iceland is our specialty. Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter to learn when to go, what to do and where to have the best adventures in Iceland.