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Visiting Iceland in April: Everything You Need to Know

April is an exciting time to travel to Iceland. It holds the promise of northern lights, puffins, reindeer, longer days, and outdoor exploration. It can also be a very tricky and unpredictable time to be in Iceland because it’s the end of the Icelandic winter.

Visiting Iceland in April has its advantages: it’s significantly cheaper and there are fewer people. But, there will be things that are closed, and not offered.

When we started planning our 16-day road trip, it was overwhelming. We didn’t know what we could and could not do in April. Could we go to the Westman Islands? Could we drive in the Westfjords? 

We’ve created an Iceland Travel Guide and a 2 Week Iceland Itinerary with helpful information for anyone traveling to Iceland in early spring, or any other time of the year.  For the purpose of this post, we’ve assembled all the questions we had when we were planning our April in Iceland trip.

Our answers are formulated based on our personal experience and on email correspondences with tour companies. Our goal is to help you with your Iceland April travel planning because we know you have lots of questions. 

Fjallsárlón, Iceland
  • Daylight: 13 – 16 hours
  • Weather: Expect unpredictable weather and winter conditions.
  • Driving: 4WD recommended. Use to find out what the road conditions are every morning before you begin your drive. Book your rental car with
  • Top Things To Do: (1) Visit Geothermal Sites, (2) Drive the Ring Road, (3) Chase the Northern Lights, (4) Soak in Hot Pots, (5) Visit Fjallsárlón, Jökulsárlón, and Diamond Beach.
  • Places You Can’t Access in April: Westman Islands, the Interior, and parts of the Westfjords.

Weather in Iceland in April

April in Iceland Travel FAQ
Iceland Ring Road

What’s the Weather Like in April?

The weather is unpredictable. In our two weeks, we experienced numerous snowstorms, rain, sun and lots of wind. The weather changed dramatically each day. 

What’s the Temperature in Iceland in April?

It’s cold. During our trip, the day temperature ranged from -3ºC (26.6ºF) to 8ºC (46.4ºF). The temperature feels even colder due to the brutal wind. 

Did the Iceland April Weather Impact our Trip?

Yes. We couldn’t reach our accommodation in Ísafjörður in the Westfjords, because the road was closed (that particular day) due to weather conditions.

We recommend using to find out what the road conditions are every morning before you begin your drive. 

Where Can You Go in Iceland in April?

Eldhraun, Iceland, April Travel
Eldhraun, Southern Iceland

Where Can you Go? 

You can go everywhere on this map:

  • Reykjavík: black
  • Reykjanes Peninsula: grey
  • Golden Circle: coral red
  • Southern Iceland: orange
  • East Fjords / Eastern Iceland: yellow
  • Northern Iceland (Lake Myvatn): green
  • Westfjords (weather permitting and not all areas): teal
  • Base of the Westfjords: blue
  • Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Western Iceland: purple

Our favorite places to visit in Iceland in April are Reykjanes Peninsula (especially the geothermal sites), Lake Myvatn, Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Diamond Beach, Vestrahorn and Lækjavik.

Where Can’t you Go?

The Interior (the Highlands). You can’t drive into the interior with your rental car. The roads open up around mid-June. However, it’s still possible to reach the interior by going on a Super Jeep tour. These tours cost $490/person and upwards, for a 10-hr tour from Reykjavik. 

Check out this Private Landmannalaugar & Hekla Super Jeep Tour (from Reykjavik) which is available in April.

Certain areas of the Westfjords aren’t accessible. You can’t drive to Dynjandi waterfall or between Ísafjörður and Patreksfjörður in winter. And, you can’t hike Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.

Westman Islands. It may be possible to get here in April, but it’s likely that the Landeyjahöfn ferry isn’t operating (usually starts in May).

Driving in Iceland in April

Eider Ducks on Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland, April Travel
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

What Are The Driving Conditions in Iceland in April?

The driving conditions vary. The ring road is kept in condition all year. However, a sudden storm can impact road conditions. Not all of the ring road is paved (though most of it is), so you’ll likely encounter potholes.

If you do venture off the ring road, you’ll certainly encounter gravel roads and more potholes. During parts of our trip, we drove through total whiteouts on icy roads with little visibility.

Use to find out what the road conditions are every morning before you begin your drive. Check the website for warnings and alerts. This site will provide up-to-date information on storms, road closures, and wind gusts.

Can You Drive the Iceland Ring Road in April?

Yes. We drove the whole ring road in April and also made additional detours (all noted in the map above).

The ring road is well maintained and in good condition. However, weather can always slow you down, or impact your plans.

Alternatively, you can join a guided minibus tour like this top-rated 6-Day Ring Road Adventure.

Do You Need a 4WD?

Yes! We drove on ice, through snowstorms, and on roads with so many potholes, we felt like we were riding on a hyper-slow theme park ride.

Renting a 4WD is a necessity. Read our Driving Tips section on our Iceland Travel Guide for more info.

Renting a Car in Iceland

We recommend using the car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in Iceland. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip. 

Check car rental rates here.

Things to Do in Iceland in April

Hverir, Northern Iceland in April
Hverir, Northern Iceland

What Are the Best Things to Do in Iceland in April?

Visiting Geothermal Sites: (1) Hverir (Námafjall geothermal field), (2) Krýsuvík / Seltún (3) Gunnuhver

Soaking in Hot Pots (Hot Springs).

Driving the Ring Road. Our favorite stretch was from Eldhraun to Lækjavik. (Southern – Eastern Iceland).

Chasing the Northern Lights. Most promising until mid-April.

Visiting Glacier Lagoons (Fjallsárlón or Jökulsárlón). Check out the following tours (available in April):

Both tours start at the main parking lot Jökulsárlón. Exact Location: Google Maps

You can read more about these experiences in our Iceland Travel Guide.

Can You Tour Fjallsárlón or Jökulsárlón (Glacier Lagoons) on a Boat in April?

No. That activity is only available during the summer months (mid-May to mid-September).

However, you can still visit Fjallsárlón and Jökulsárlón in April and walk along the shores of both lagoons.

We spent hours at both the lagoons and had an amazing time. A huge bonus of being here in April is not having to share the landscapes with too many people.

Can you See the Northern Lights in Iceland in April?

Yes. Northern Lights in Iceland can be visible between mid-September and mid-April.

Your ability to see them will depend on cloud coverage, solar activity and light pollution.

When we visited in April, we met people who saw them. We didn’t, mostly because of cloud coverage and because we were too lazy to wake up at 3:00 a.m. when it most promising. 

Alternatively, you can join a guided tour like this Northern Lights Bus Tour from Reykjavik (Duration: 4 hours).

Are there Icebergs on Diamond Beach in April? 

Yes. As icebergs melt and break off in the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, the broken pieces float out to sea with the tide.

At Diamond Beach, you’ll see the ice float and land at the black sand beach.

Keep in mind that the warmer it gets, the more ice breaks off and floats to sea.

So, if it’s still really cold, you won’t see too much ice floating in Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and therefore you’ll see less ice on Diamond Beach.

Most likely, the later in Spring you visit, the more ice you’ll see at Diamond Beach.

Can You Visit Hot Pots in April?

Yes. The best way to warm up when the temperature is flirting with zero degrees is by jumping into a hot pot. Hot pots (or Hot Springs) are warm natural baths.

Some thermal baths are maintained regularly and charge a fee. These tend to be better, as they are both cleaner and hotter.

There may, or may not be a changing area. To locate a hot pot on your trip, use this website

If you prefer a more upscale experience with shower facilities and changing rooms, check out these geothermal pools and luxury spas:

Sky Lagoon (Reykjavík) | Get Ticket

Blue Lagoon (Reykjanes Peninsula) | Get Ticket

Hvammsvik Hot Springs (Western Iceland) | Get Ticket

Krauma Baths (Western Iceland) | Get Ticket

Secret Lagoon – Gamla Laugin (Golden Circle) | Get Ticket

Laugarvatn Fontana (Golden Circle) | Get Ticket

Forest Lagoon (Northern Iceland) | Get Ticket

Mývatn Nature Baths (Northern Iceland) | Get Ticket

Geosea – Geothermal Sea Baths (Northern Iceland) | Get Ticket

Vök Baths (East Fjords) | Get Ticket

Can You Go Glacier Hiking in April?


Check out the following Skaftafell glacier hiking tours:

All these tours start in the village Hof. Exact Location: Google Maps

And here you can find the best Sólheimajökull glacier hiking tours:

All these tours start at the Sólheimajökull Glacier parking lot. Exact Location: Google Maps

Can You Go Hiking in Iceland in April?

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, April in Iceland frequently asked questions
Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, Southern Iceland

Yes. Here are the hikes that we did in April.

Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River. This is a 1-hour hike that takes you to a bathing platform, where you can soak in a hot river.

Fjaðrárgljúfur. You can walk the rim of this deep canyon to various vantage points. There is an icy blue river that streams through the canyon.

Svartifoss. Weather permitting, you can hike to this waterfall framed by striking basalt columns. It takes 30-40 minutes to reach the waterfall from the parking lot of Skaftafell / Vatnajökull National Park.

Skaftafellsjökull Glacier. From the Skaftafell / Vatnajökull National Park, you can also walk to this Icelandic glacier in 30 minutes via a flat trail.

Dimmuborgir. This lava field at Lake Myvatn is a great place to explore. There are clear walking paths that lead you through the bizarre lava field formations.

Víti. We hiked to this crater lake near Lake Myvatn, but the whole landscape was carpeted in snow. Unless there’s little to no snowfall, we wouldn’t recommend hiking there.

Is It Possible To Hike in Skaftafell in Early April?

Yes, unless there’s a lot of snowfall. We hiked to Svartifoss waterfall.

Can You Go Horseback Riding in April?

It’s possible. However, many riding companies don’t begin operating until May.

Once you experience Icelandic wind, you’ll soon realize that getting on a horse in cold wet conditions is probably not a good idea.

If you absolutely want to experience riding an Icelandic horse, we recommend the following tours (all available in April):

Can You Go Whale Watching in Húsavík in April?

Yes, but…The whale-watching season in Húsavík begins on April 1st (through mid-November). When we reached out to GG1 Whale Watching tours, they said:

In the last years, April has been quite successful regarding whale sightings. Humpback whales and minke whales have been most common. It is though, good to keep in mind that this is wild nature and indeed unpredictable. As the Icelandic weather is unpredictable as well, especially in early spring, I would recommend that you plan at least two days in the Húsavík area, in case we would have to cancel tours due to weather.”

We went to Húsavík and inquired about whether there were any whale sightings. There weren’t and because it was uncomfortably cold and windy, we opted out. 

If you are interested, check out the following whale watching tours from Húsavík:

Wildlife in April

Reindeer, East Fjords, Iceland
Reindeer, East Fjords

Can You See Reindeer in April?

We did. We saw herds of reindeer several times while traveling in the South-Eastern region and East Fjords, between Jökulsárlón and Djúpivogur.

Can You See Puffins in Iceland in April?

Atlantic Puffins are seabirds that spend most of their lives at sea but return to land to breed during spring and summer. It’s possible to see them between early April and early September.

If you really want to see them, it’s a safer bet to come between May and August. We didn’t see them in mid-April (because it was a long winter).

In case you’re still in Iceland in early May, check out this guided tour from Reykjavik: Puffin Watching Boat Tour (Duration: 1 hour).

What To Pack For an April Iceland Trip

Hverir, Iceland | Moon & Honey Travel

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Visiting Iceland in April

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Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails, Sabrina and Kati

4 thoughts on “Visiting Iceland in April: Everything You Need to Know”

  1. Hi! Great trip!
    We want to drive along the Ring Road in April, we would like to do this by motorhome. Do you think is it possible? Thank you

  2. Hello, great suggestions. We are going to Iceland the first week of April for a week. We will be driving and like to do our own thing rather than organized tours. What places do you recommend we visit during that time. How would you organize your time. There is a couple of things I think we do need a tour for. That would be the ices caves and horseback riding. What are your recommendations.
    Thanks again.

    • Hi Marcie,
      I’m so sorry for the delay; we couldn’t answer comments until now. I hope you’re having a wonderful time in Iceland right now.


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