FAQ

How is the weather in Iceland?

Icelandic weather is unpredictable at the best of times, with bright, sunny days reverting to cold, wet and miserable conditions within a matter of hours.

Rainfall in Iceland is fairly consistent throughout the year, but, because temperatures plummet in winter, it often falls as snow from September to May. The south and west coasts are usually the wettest parts of the country, with the north and east enjoying generally drier but colder conditions in winter.

Areas with geothermal activity are often noticeably warmer than surrounding areas. Temperatures drop considerably as you go up into the mountains, particularly around the ice caps.

Mid-June to August is high season, but most highland tours don’t operate until July because of snow. At other times, many tourist facilities outside Reykjavík are closed.

Iceland is not considered a warm place by any normal standards, but thankfully the Gulf Stream does have a moderating effect on the temperatures. Average temperatures in July are about 12 degrees centigrade in Reykjavik, and usually a bit warmer in the north and east of Iceland.

And despite the icy name, it doesn’t snow as much in Iceland as you may think, especially in Reykjavik where there is usually little snow to be seen, even in winter. However, there is more snow in the winter in the north and east of Iceland and the West Fjords.

The biggest factor in Icelandic weather is its unpredictability as you never know what is going to happen next. A beautiful day can suddenly turn windy and rainy (or vice versa), and you might see every type of weather imaginable over  a couple of days–especially in late autumn and early spring–so be prepared for anything.

Average temperatures by month:

Month             °C°       F
January          -1.3       29.7
February         1.0       33.8
March             2.1       35.8
April               4.0       39.2
May                7.2       44.9
June              13.1       55.6
July               15.2       59.4
August          13.3       55.9
September    13.0       55.4
October          6.1       43.0
November      3.7       38.7
December     -0.8       30.6

When is the daylight in Iceland
When should I travel to Iceland?

A: Iceland is a great travel destination for all seasons! In summer (beginning of June to end of August), a great variety of tours and activities are offered, although we recommend booking summer holidays well in advance due to the limited availability of accommodations in the countryside.

Thanks to the extended daylight hours of the midnight sun, travelers can enjoy activities like hiking or even golf late into the evening hours.

By mid-September there are fewer types of tours offered and some of the highland attractions are inaccessible due to the closure of mountain roads. But this is compensated for with lighter traffic on the highway, fewer crowds at popular attractions (which are all mostly open through winter), the beauty of the autumn colors and the possibility of seeing the northern lights.

Reykjavik is also becoming a popular destination for Christmas and New Year’s breaks as Icelanders are well-known for their exuberant celebrations and unique traditions.

What kind of outdoor clothing should I bring with me to Iceland?
Do you have a guide for iceland hot springs guide outdoor bathing?

Slap on those swim suits and enjoy Goecco’s favourite pastime: wading in warm, mineral-rich hot springs that soothe the mind and soul. Hop across this geothermic kingdom, dipping your toes in each source; a soothing soak will definitely be what the doctor ordered after a long day of active exploration in the ‘land of fire and ice’. iceland_hot_springs_outdoor_bathing.40103839_std

Goecco Outdoors specializes in outdoor bathing hotsprings and rivers, bathing is included in most of our tours see description of tours.

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Please note that outdoor bathing is highly depending on the weather.

The most popular bathing in Niceland.


While the locals go for geothermal outdoor pools, cheap, clean and open from early morning to late night pools in Iceland are like the Sauna in Finland, must do for everyone, theeeeeeee number one  bathing spot in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon.

Often referred to as the coolest tourist trap on the planet. The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The spa is located in a lava field in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula, southwestern Iceland next to a Geothermal Powerplant.

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Closest to Reykjavik

Hveragerdi hot springs.   

The Hveragerði surroundings are a busy paradise for outdoors people. There are good hiking trails within the town that link up with a network of trails on the land belonging to the Agricultural University of Iceland at the foot of Reykjafjall Mountain and in Ölfusborgir.

There are also hiking trails in the recreational area at the foot of and on Hamar Mountain.

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Bathing at the Golden Circle

The Laugarvatn Fontana Spa     

The reason for Laugarvatn Fontana existence is an active and boiling hot spring by the shore of the lake of Laugarvatn.

The steam from the hot spring has been used for steam bathing by the locals since 1929 with a cabin built on top of the spring. The temperature of the steam varies depending on the temperature of the hot spring and weather, usually between 40°C (104°F) and 50°C (122°F).
Humidity is very high in the steam room cabins. Grids in the floor of the steam rooms allow guests to hear and smell the boiling natural hot spring underneath, creating a natural and totally unique experience.

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In the Highlands

Landmannalaugar hot springs.Landmannalaugar area is a popular tourist destination and hiking hub in Iceland’s highlands. The area displays a number of unusual geological elements, like the multicolored rhyolite mountains and expansive lava fields, not far from the service center. The many mountains in the surrounding area display a wide spectrum of colors including pink, brown, green, yellow, blue, purple, black, and white. Two of the most popular mountains among hikers are Bláhnjúkur (meaning “blue peak”) and Brennisteinsalda (meaning “sulphur wave”).

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Viti – a volcanic hot spring

So what’s it like to swim in a volcanic caldera? It’s both hot and cool depending on what you are standing on. It’s slimy underfoot, and completely intoxicating.

It’s floating in a warm cloud, watching life happen from a distance. Tiny bubbles of water pop and spit in my ears, and I feel cocooned and small and insignificant, in this crater inside a crater, that burst onto this planet only a hundred or so years ago.

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In the North Iceland, most popular.

Mývatn Nature Baths 

The water supplies for the lagoon run straight from the National Power Company’s bore hole in Bjarnarflag. The water has a temperature of about 130°C when it gets there so before running into the lagoon it is cooled down in a so-called heat exchanger. The water then runs through a 1 km long underground pipe driven by steam power. Before it enters the lagoon it runs into a huge basin beside the lagoon itself forming an impressive, man-made hot spring.

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In the North Most Excotic

Grjotagjá – a hot spring cave in North Iceland.    

Grjótagjá is a small cave in the Lake Mývatn area, and was a popular bathing place at one time. However, geological activity in the period 1975-1984, caused the temperature of the water in the cave’s pool to rise to such a degree that it has not been possible to bathe there since. But one can always dream … a peep into the waters and a fertile imagination could conjure up visions of taking a dip in this cosy little cave, as was the custom in the past.

 

South Iceland outdoor wildernes bathing

Seljavallalaug – a geothermal pool for outdoor bathing.   

Seljavallalaug is a protected 25-metre outdoor pool in southern Iceland. The pool is one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland and was built in 1923.

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In The West

Guðrúnarlaug hot spring bathing

Guðrúnarlaug meaning Guðrúns pool, is a reconstructed geothermal pool situated in the valley of Sælingsdalur in the Western part of Iceland.
According to the Icelandic saga Laxdaela, Gudrun Osvifursdóttir , one of the greatest woman in the Sagas,  used to dwell by a geothermal pool at Laugar in Sælingsdalur. The pool is mentioned in Sturlunga saga and it seems to have been used a great deal.  The original pool was destroyed in a landslide 140 years ago, but was rebuilt in 2009 along with a changing facility, referred to as a ”house of modesty“, or blygðunarhús in Icelandic.

Tálknafjörður hot spring bathing

One of many tiny weeny villages rammed in between mountains in the Westfjords of Iceland is the village of Talknafjordur. Its roughly 300 inhabitants usually do not see a lot of tourists and understandably so.

Valentine's Day in Iceland

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In Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Norway, although February 14 is known as Valentinsdag, it is not celebrated to a large extent, but is largely imported from American culture, and some people take time to eat a romantic dinner with their partner, to send a card to a secret love or give a red rose to their loved one.

The cut-flower industry in particular is still working on promoting the holiday. In Sweden it is called Alla hjärtans dag (“All Hearts’ Day”) and was launched in the 1960s by the flower industry’s commercial interests, and due to the influence of American culture.

It is not an official holiday, but its celebration is recognized and sales of cosmetics and flowers for this holiday are only exceeded by those for Mother’s Day.

After cautiously warming to the trend, Iceland has begun to embrace Valentine’s Day traditions. One of the popular Valentine’s Day customs in Iceland is sending flowers and postcards. 

Also on this day, young couples swap funny little poems or love notes, known as ‘´starbréf’. The sender of a ‘ástarbréf’ writes a rhyme for his beloved, though he signs the message with dots, not a name. If the recipient guesses the name correctly, she receives an egg at Easter! Various Valentine’s Day events are held, e.g. live concerts and then people hang a lock on the bridge by the pond.

Promlem 101: We don’t really have a Valentine´s tradition here in Iceland.
Solution: Let´s ask people from all over the world who come to Iceland for Valentine´s,

Note to self: Remember to trade generic Valentine’s Day gifts for something more personal that we can both enjoy.

Note to self: Feb. 14 can be a great opportunity to have a special day with my partner – without having to be a slave to convention.

Note to self: Skip the cheesy card
With all of the generic cards on offer, it can be hard to take Valentine’s Day seriously, but we never approach the holiday begrudgingly. Rather than buying the same heart-shaped card we bought last year, think outside the envelope. “Make this Valentine’s Day the year you start making Valentine’s traditions.”

One Valentine’s Day tradition could be as simple as making dinner together at home without any distractions (turn off your phones; put away your laptops). Focus less on exactly what it is you’re doing and more on making it a special, annual event.

Note to self: Trade gifts for an experience
Rather than getting hung up on what to buy, think instead about what you can do with your partner to celebrate the occasion. The activity can be as simple as getting outside and spending some time being active as a couple. Being outdoors is an excellent opportunity for people to be their natural selves.

“Getting yourself in an environment like that as a couple can really facilitate opening up,” she says. Another activity that Hart strongly recommends for couples is rock climbing. “It’s not only a great way to get active, but an excellent way to build each other up.”

Note to self: Nix the box of drugstore chocolates
Although chocolates are famous for being a sweet Valentine delight, there are other ways to treat your partner. Hart suggests doing something your other half will appreciate. “Try to support him in a fun way,” she says. “Has your boyfriend been working a lot? Get him a week’s worth of meal deliveries,”. Sometimes checking something off your significant other’s to-do list is more appreciated than a gift that comes in a bag or a box.

Note to self:  Forget the restaurant reservations
Making dinner reservations for Feb. 14 might seem like a good idea, but you’re probably not the only one with that plan. Save the dinner out for a less popular night. Instead, make a “happy list.” Partners each write up a list of all the things that make them happy, then exchange the lists so each person can refer to the other’s throughout the year, she explains. So when your partner is having a bad week, pick something from his happy list to put a little sparkle back into his day – no reservation required.

Note to self: Forget the stuffed Puffin.
There are other ways to get that cuddly feeling. Save the stuffed animals for your kids and try a spa package instead. These can range from reasonable to expensive, but we could all use a little pampering, especially on Valentine’s Day.

These are just a few ideas from the guests on our Valentine´s tours,  hopefully you can use to make Valentine’s Day a great holiday for your relationship. The key is to personalize the day and do what feels special to you and your significant other.

Note to self: Don’t feel limited to conventional gifts, and talk with your partner to see what would really make the day special for him.