A Weather Guide to Iceland in October

A red, green, yellow and purple leaf in Iceland. From our Guide to Iceland weather in October blog post.
Arinbjörn Hauksson

October is a period of transition in Iceland: the colors of the fall are in full swing, and the landscape begins to change in other ways too, adding extra drama to the view. Spectacular scenery awaits. For those who like to have a little more information about a place before they actually get there, we put together a guide to October weather in Iceland.

The fall in Iceland sits on the shoulder of the low season, the main benefit of which is smaller crowds at popular spots: you may just have a few spots all to yourself if you are willing to brave the colder weather.

Photography is also perfect in October because you won’t need to compete with anyone for picture-perfect spots. Travelers in October will also be rewarded with discounted off-season rates for accommodation, car rental, and other services, as well as excellent opportunities for viewing the Northern Lights on a day tour or multi-day tour. This a beautiful time to visit and our quick guide to Iceland weather in October will prepare you for an adventure of a lifetime.

Iceland in autumn, colorful trees
Ellert Grétarsson

Iceland Weather in October - Average Temperature & Daylight

October is our wettest month, and Iceland gets an average low of 37°F (about 3°C) and highs of 45°F (7°C). Expect lots of rain, usually drizzle. The average amount of rain is 4 to 5 inches, or 101-127 mm. But as always, the rain amount depends on which part of Iceland you are visiting. Places like Reykjavík and Stykkishólmur only get around 3.2 to 3.4 inches of rain (80-86 mm), but Dalatangi and Kirkjubæjarklaustur get 7 inches or more (178 mm). Either way, be prepared to get a little wet.

Travelers should expect windy and cloudy days and might even see snowflakes falling on colder days. October also features around 9 hours of daylight with the sun rising just before 8. This allows for the possibility of sunrise photography at a reasonable hour.

Clothing Recommendations

In Iceland, the saying goes, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”. In terms of gear, this usually means packing a good GORE-TEX, eVent or similar waterproof membrane jacket and, if you are considering doing any serious hiking, some waterproof hiking boots. More basic items include long shirts and pants (Our general advice is to avoid cotton altogether, including jeans) sweaters, wool socks, and a base layer will help a lot. You might even need to bring along your hat. The weather is highly changeable, and if/ when it turns (more likely when), you will thank yourself for the preparation. 

Learn how to dress for a glacier walk.

Outdoor Activities 

With the right clothing, you can enjoy a variety of activities during October. Below is a shortlist to get you inspired.


Take a Walk on the Ice Side

A guide showing a crevasse on a glacier to his clients during a glacier walk in Iceland
Jan Zelina

Rain and colder temperatures usually result in brilliantly blue glaciers. On a glacier walk, you can explore these icy wonderlands and even go ice climbing.



Hunt for the Northern Lights

Northern lights in Iceland, behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall
Inga Heiða Heimisdóttir

As the dark nights get longer each day, your chances of seeing the alluring Aurora Borealis increase. While there is no guarantee that this natural phenomenon will appear, this is still a popular month to try and spot them. Knowing how to capture the Northern Lights ensures that you get a great shot of the beautiful dancing lights in the night sky. 



Have a Dip in a Hot Spring

People enjoying the hot water in Reykjadalur hot spring thermal river in Iceland
Björgvin Hilmarsson

More Activities To Do in October

You don't need much reason to enjoy a bath in a warm hot spring but the cooler temperatures during this month really make it appealing, especially after a nice hike.

We hope this guide to Iceland in October stands you in better stead about what to expect than when you first clicked. October is a beautiful month and though it might seem cold and wet, the beautiful landscape, less busy locations, cheaper rates, and Northern Lights are sure to make your trip worthwhile and unforgettable, whether you go for a day tour or a multi-day tour.

Stay warm, stay dry and stay wondrous!

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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