Iceland, a land of mystique with its dramatic landscapes, entices travelers worldwide. Among its many treasures is the Golden Circle, a popular tourist route renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty.

This blog post aims to guide you through the best time to visit the Golden Circle, ensuring your journey is as magical as the destination.

Best Time to Visit the Golden Circle: A Month Overview

January - The Winter Wonderland

January - The Winter Wonderland

‍January ushers in the heart of Icelandic winter, an ethereal time when the Golden Circle is transformed into a breathtaking, snow-dusted wonderland. The mercury hovers around -1 °C to -4 °C, bringing a crisp, cold air that blankets the landscapes, turning rivers into icy sculptures and adorning waterfalls with frosty crowns.

Daylight is scarce, offering a mere 4-5 hours of sunshine, but it paints the sky in a palette of pastel hues during sunrise and sunset, casting a soft glow on the stark, wintry landscapes. It's a sight to behold, like stepping into a beautifully crafted snow globe.

Tourist volume in January is comparatively low, creating a sense of serene solitude that complements the wintry landscapes perfectly. The quiet winter roads lead the way to Gullfoss waterfall, which, under the winter sun, offers an astounding view of rainbow arcs within the frosty mist.

But the natural spectacle unfolds as night falls - the dark, clear skies create ideal conditions for witnessing the awe-inspiring phenomenon of the Northern Lights. Dancing in green, pink, and purple waves across the sky, they transform the nights into a mesmerizing light show.

If you're willing to brave the chill, January's Golden Circle experience is magical.

February - Embrace the Cold

February - Embrace the Cold

‍February in Iceland continues the winter season, with average temperatures similar to January, ranging from -1°C to -3°C. Snow frequently blankets the landscapes, turning the Golden Circle into a frozen tableau punctuated by the stark contrasts of dark volcanic rocks and the pristine white snow.

Towards the end of the month, there's a noticeable change as daylight stretches a little longer, with approximately 7-10 hours of light per day. The lengthening days, coupled with the often clear skies, serve as a gorgeous backdrop for the sun that hangs low in the sky, washing the icy landscapes with hues of gold.

The tourist volume remains moderate in February, so you can often enjoy the remarkable landmarks in relative peace. The persistent cold may be challenging for some, but those who embrace it are rewarded with stunning sights.

The Gullfoss waterfall's mighty cascade partially freezes, creating a surreal blend of moving and static water formations. Meanwhile, the geysers of Haukadalur continue to erupt, the hot water and steam providing a stunning contrast to the chilly surroundings.

The extended hours of darkness still make this month an excellent time for Northern Lights viewing, especially on clear nights away from city lights. February's Golden Circle tour provides an enduring winter charm, full of beauty for those prepared to embrace the cold.

March - Farewell to Winter

March - Farewell to Winter

March in Iceland signifies a shift from the winter chill to the onset of Spring, as average temperatures gently rise to approximately 0°C-3°C. While the month typically starts with winter's grip still evident across the landscape, the progression of days gradually introduces the essence of Spring, subtly transforming the scenery of the Golden Circle.

The snow begins to retreat from lower altitudes, and the days grow noticeably longer, with daylight spanning up to 12 hours by the end of the month. The low-hanging sun continues to cast a golden hue over the land, the soft light emphasizing the stark beauty of the transitioning landscapes.‍

With this seasonal transition, tourist numbers slowly increase, yet it still needs to catch up to the summer crowds. March is an excellent time for those seeking a balanced experience—milder weather, longer daylight hours, and fewer tourists than peak season.

Attractions like Thingvellir National Park reveal the first signs of thawing, with melting ice unveiling the park's fascinating geological formations. The increasing flow due to melting snow adds to the waterfall's might at Gullfoss waterfall, making it an even more awe-inspiring sight.

If the sky is clear, early March still provides opportunities to see the Northern Lights. In essence, March offers a unique blend of seasons, a touch of winter magic, and the promise of Spring's renewal.

April - Awakening of Spring

April - Awakening of Spring

‍April in the Golden Circle signifies the full onset of SpringSpring. With temperatures climbing to an average of 3°C-7°C, the landscapes begin to shake off their winter white mantle.

Patches of green emerge from rivers and waterfalls, increase their flow with the melting ice, and the land awakens to the promise of warmer days. The daylight hours continue to extend, reaching up to 14-16 hours towards the end of the month, which allows for longer exploration times and the chance to experience Iceland's stunning sunsets.

The influx of tourists remains moderate in April, making it an ideal time for travelers who prefer less crowded attractions. As the ice recedes in Thingvellir National Park, the rift valley's rugged charm becomes more apparent, revealing the stark boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.

The increased water flow at Gullfoss adds to the waterfall's grandeur, the mighty cascade being a mesmerizing sight against Spring's soft colors. Meanwhile, the geysers of Haukadalur maintain their steady activity, with the main geyser, Strokkur, putting on its spectacular water display every 6-10 minutes.

The arrival of Spring in April offers visitors the chance to witness the Golden Circle blooming back to life, an experience both refreshing and invigorating.

May - Spring in Full Bloom

May - Spring in Full Bloom

‍May brings the full flourish of SpringSpring to the Golden Circle, with temperatures settling between 6°C-11°C. As the last vestiges of winter disappear, landscapes transform into vibrant expanses of green dotted with an array of blooming wildflowers.

Rivers and streams, fed by melted ice, gush with renewed vitality. Extended daylight, reaching 18-20 hours towards the end of the month, bathes the landscapes in a mesmerizing soft light, offering longer days for exploration and painting the skies with spectacularly vivid sunsets.

The life surge in May attracts more tourists, yet it is still less crowded than the peak summer months. It is the ideal month for hiking enthusiasts as trails in Thingvellir National Park become more accessible, revealing awe-inspiring geological formations and abundant birdlife nesting near the shores of Lake Þingvallavatn.

Gullfoss waterfall continues to roar with springtime flow, its mist creating rainbows that add an enchanting touch to the already stunning view. The contrast of the erupting hot water against the verdant surroundings is a sight to behold at the Geysir geothermal area.

May's bountiful daylight and blossoming landscapes make it a delightful time to experience the Golden Circle in all its springtime glory.

June - The Midnight Sun

June - The Midnight Sun

‍June marks the beginning of summer in Iceland, with average temperatures ranging from 9°C-14°C. It's a time when the Golden Circle truly comes alive under the phenomenon known as the "Midnight Sun."

This natural spectacle, which provides almost 24 hours of daylight, gives the landscapes an otherworldly glow and an ethereal sense of timelessness. The terrain is lush and vibrant, dotted with wildflowers, while rivers and waterfalls sparkle under the prolonged sunshine.

The longer daylight hours and favorable weather conditions attract more visitors, marking the beginning of the peak tourist season. However, the abundance of light allows for flexible touring schedules.

To avoid the crowds, consider exploring the attractions either very early in the morning or late in the evening. Thanks to the Midnight Sun, activities like hiking in Thingvellir National Park can be enjoyed until late at night.

Similarly, the Geysir geothermal area and the Gullfoss waterfall can be visited at unconventional hours, providing a unique perspective of these natural wonders under the ethereal midnight light. June's prolonged sunlight also opens up opportunities for additional activities like horse riding, river rafting, or fishing, providing a unique blend of adventure and tranquility in the heart of the Golden Circle.

July - The Peak of Summer

July - The Peak of Summer

‍July brings the peak of summer to the Golden Circle, with temperatures pleasantly hovering around 11°C-15°C and occasionally reaching up to 20°C. The landscapes during this time are in full bloom, with vibrant hues of green, bursts of wildflower colors, and clear, sparkling rivers and waterfalls.

The daylight hours are still near their maximum, offering around 20-24 hours of light, allowing the Midnight Sun phenomenon to continue casting its enchanting glow over the region. The favorable weather conditions and extended daylight make July one of the busiest months in terms of tourist volume.

Despite the influx, the sense of tranquility isn't lost, thanks to the vastness of the Golden Circle's landscapes. All attractions are at their most accessible during this month. Thingvellir National Park is a riot of colors, inviting for hiking, picnicking, and even snorkeling in the Silfra fissure.

Gullfoss waterfall roars with summer rains and melting glacial water, creating a mesmerizing spectacle, while the Geysir geothermal area is alive with activity. The peak of summer also brings local festivals and cultural events, offering an additional layer to your Golden Circle experience.

With its long days and bountiful attractions, July offers a total immersion into the Icelandic summer.

August - The Mild Summer

August - The Mild Summer‍

‍August in the Golden Circle signifies a mild summer, with temperatures gently descending to a comfortable range of 10°C-14°C. This month witnesses subtle shifts in the landscape as the vibrant summer hues start to soften, hinting at the onset of Autumn.

The days remain long, though they gradually start losing hours towards the end of the month, providing a beautiful balance of daylight and twilight hours. The easing of tourist volume and the mild weather make August an ideal time for various activities.

Hiking in Thingvellir National Park continues to be a delight, with the added allure of witnessing early signs of fall colors. The waters of Gullfoss Waterfall remain abundant and awe-inspiring, and the geysers at Haukadalur are as active as ever.

August is also a prime time for wildlife enthusiasts as bird-watching peaks, allowing them to spot species like the golden plover before they migrate. As the nights darken towards the end of the month, you may even get lucky with early sightings of the Northern Lights.

In essence, August brings the gentle close of summer with a whisper of what's to come in the changing seasons.

September - Autumnal Beauty

September - Autumnal Beauty

‍September brings Autumn to the Golden Circle, with average temperatures dropping to around 6°C-11°C. The landscapes transition into a tapestry of rich autumnal colors.

Lush greens gradually give way to shades of yellow, orange, and red, lending a rustic charm to the region. The days continue to shorten, with daylight between 12-15 hours, creating a cozy balance between daytime explorations and early evening relaxation.

Tourist volumes significantly decreased in September, providing a more peaceful and personal experience at various attractions. Thingvellir National Park is a visual treat, its vast expanse adorned with a riot of fall colors.

Gullfoss waterfall, contrasting against the autumnal backdrop, becomes even more picturesque. The geysers of Haukadalur offer a constant contrast to the changing colors, their eruptions standing out vividly against the rustic landscape.

As the nights grow longer, the chances of viewing the Northern Lights increase, especially towards the end of the month. With its crisp air, changing colors, and less crowded attractions, September presents an enchanting blend of tranquility and beauty, making it a great time to visit the Golden Circle.

October - The Autumn's Farewell

October - The Autumn's Farewell

‍October in the Golden Circle sees the final goodbye of Autumn, with temperatures further declining to a fantastic range of 2°C-7°C. The transition from Autumn to winter starts to manifest in the landscapes, with the last of the fall colors gradually fading into the incoming winter grays.

The days continue to shorten, with daylight hours reduced to 8-11 hours, introducing the landscapes to more extended periods of dusk and dawn and adding a certain mystique to the surroundings. The tourist influx continues to wane in October, making it an ideal time for visitors seeking quiet, introspective journeys.

Activities such as hiking in Thingvellir National Park offer unique experiences, with the opportunity to witness the dramatic transformation of seasons. Gullfoss waterfall starts to slow its flow but remains a sight against the stark, transitioning backdrop.

At the geysers in Haukadalur, the colder air makes the hot steam even more visible, creating picturesque scenes. With the increased darkness, October also provides enhanced opportunities to witness the Northern Lights, their ethereal dance further magnifying the Autumn's farewell charm.

October in the Golden Circle presents a unique blend of seasons, allowing visitors to witness nature's dramatic transitions in all their glory.

November - The Arrival of Winter

November - The Arrival of Winter‍

‍‍November heralds the arrival of winter in the Golden Circle, with temperatures dropping to -2°C-4°C. The landscape transitions into its winter cloak, with the first snowfall usually arriving and turning the area into a beautiful winter wonderland.

The daylight diminishes significantly during this month, with only 5-8 hours of light each day. This reduction casts a serene, almost mystical, ambiance over the region, emphasizing the stark, snow-covered landscapes.

Tourist volumes are low in November, providing a peaceful environment for those who don't mind braving the chill. Winter activities start to come into focus, with attractions like Thingvellir National Park taking on a new identity under the blanket of snow.

Gullfoss waterfall, while slower, freezes partially to create a fantastic spectacle of icicles and snow-covered rocks. The geysers of Haukadalur also take on a different persona, their steamy eruptions contrasting dramatically against the cold air.

As darkness dominates more of the day, opportunities for viewing the Northern Lights increase, adding an extra layer of attraction for visitors. The arrival of winter in November marks the onset of a magical, frost-laden experience in the Golden Circle.

December - The Magical Winter

December - The Magical Winter‍

‍December sees the Golden Circle in the grip of winter, with temperatures averaging between -3 °C and 2°C. A beautiful yet harsh landscape of snow and ice marks this month. The daylight hours are at their shortest, with only 4-5 hours of light each day, creating an atmosphere of perpetual twilight during the daytime.

When it does make an appearance, the low-angled sun casts a beautiful golden light over the snowy landscapes, creating a stark yet ethereal view that's uniquely Icelandic. The visitor volume in December is relatively low, making it an ideal time for those seeking solitude and tranquility.

The main attractions of the Golden Circle, including Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and the geysers at Haukadalur, showcase their winter personas, each providing a different perspective on the raw power and beauty of nature under the winter sky. December is also the time of traditional Icelandic Christmas celebrations, which can be experienced in nearby towns, adding a cultural dimension to your visit.

The highlight of the winter, however, remains the Northern Lights. Their magical dance across the night sky is a spectacle of color and movement that serves as the perfect topping to the winter charm of the Golden Circle in December.

Tips and Considerations When Choosing When to Visit Golden Circle

When deciding on the best time to visit the Golden Circle in Iceland, consider the following top five tips and considerations:

Prioritize Natural Phenomena

Determine whether you want to see the Northern Lights or experience the midnight sun. Northern Lights are typically visible from late September to early April, while the midnight sun occurs during summer, especially in June and July.

Weather Conditions

Icelandic weather can be unpredictable and varies significantly between seasons. Summers offer milder temperatures and longer days, ideal for extended exploration, whereas winters are cold but provide a unique, snowy landscape.

Always check the forecast and prepare for sudden changes in weather.

Crowd Levels

Peak tourist season in Iceland is during the summer, from June to August. If you prefer a less crowded experience, consider visiting in the shoulder months (April, May, September, October) when there are fewer tourists, but the weather remains relatively mild.

Driving Conditions

If you plan to drive, note that winter conditions can be challenging with icy roads and limited visibility. Summer offers easier driving conditions, making it a better option for those not experienced in winter driving.

Always rent a suitable vehicle for the season.

Duration of Daylight

Daylight hours vary drastically in Iceland. During winter, daylight is limited, which might restrict your sightseeing time, but it is ideal for Northern Lights viewing. Summer provides almost 24 hours of daylight, allowing more time for activities and exploration.

Consider how this will impact your itinerary.

Considering these factors, you can choose the best time to visit the Golden Circle that aligns with your interests and comfort with varying conditions.


The Golden Circle's ever-changing landscapes and climatic variations position it as a year-round destination, each month unveiling its distinct charm. Experience the ethereal glow of the Midnight Sun in summer, complemented by long daylight hours, or witness the magical Northern Lights in winter.

The vibrant spring blooms and Autumn's rustic hues further enhance the allure of the Golden Circle route. No matter when you visit, the Golden Circle promises a rich, fulfilling, and unforgettable experience.

Our array of meticulously curated Golden Circle tours lets you explore the beauty of Iceland's Golden Circle in all its seasonal splendor. From hot springs to the majestic Golden Falls and the stunning south coast, our tours offer a blend of hiking adventures and cultural experiences tailored for an authentic Icelandic adventure.

Whether you're a solo traveler eager to explore at your own pace, a couple seeking a romantic escape, or a family looking for a holiday filled with fun and learning, we cater to all. Dive into our wide range of Golden Circle attractions on our website and embark on your perfect Icelandic journey today!


Are all attractions open throughout the year in the Golden Circle?

‍Major attractions like Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and the Geysir geothermal area are typically open year-round. However, weather conditions may limit access to certain areas during winter.

Is it safe to drive the Golden Circle in winter?

The entire route around the Golden Circle is paved and well-maintained. If you have a few days in Reykjavík, you can easily pick a good weather window for exploring the Golden Circle, and the route will be no more challenging to drive than in summer.

What are the cheapest months to visit Iceland?

The off-season in Iceland, from early Autumn to late Spring (September to May), offers a quieter travel experience with significantly fewer tourists. Particularly from January to May, you'll find minimal crowds, making it an opportune time to enjoy more affordable flights, car rentals, and accommodations.