Passionate nature lover, traveler, adventurer. Viktoria has traveled halfway around the globe with a single backpack and a tent. Finally, she landed in Iceland and decided to make a new home for herself in Reykjavik.
Just about any time of the year is a good time to visit Iceland, but February is especially magical.
The weather is milder than you think, it’s prime time to see the Northern Lights and much of the country is caked in the beautiful snow. Thanks to the warm gulf stream, which flows in close proximity to Iceland, the weather is much milder than is usual for such a northerly latitude. Normally, most of the country is covered with snow in February. However, the capital and the south of the country will sometimes get warmer temperatures, so from time to time, the snow will melt.
February is an absolutely ideal month for those who are eager to join aNorthern Lights tour, explore Iceland’s ice caves, try out some winter activities orenjoy Iceland’s natural hot springs and geothermal pools.
Is February a good time to visit Iceland?
In short, yes. While the weather is much more hospitable than in the depths of winter, it’s still got the magical, snow-sprinkled atmosphere. Also, February is one of the best times of the year to see the Northern Lights (more on that below) and the country is alive with events, activities and the promise of spring.
It’s also a less busy month in terms of tourism, so you’ll get more space to yourself at the tourist sites, bars and restaurants.
Reykjavik's Hallgrímskirkja Church in Winter
Good to know before visiting Iceland in February
February is the perfect month forIce Cave Tours, make sure to book in advance though it is very popular.
During the last couple of years, Iceland has had a lot of snow in February, creating a real winter wonderland,be prepared when packing!
We only recommend rental carsin February to those who are used to driving in snow and ice.
Places likeÞingvellir National Parkthat are visited a lot can still be quiteicy. Bring with you some ice/ snow grips or spikes for under your shoesor buy them at any local gas station or activity shop, they are usually cheap and well worth it.
Floating icebergs at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
WEATHER IN ICELAND IN FEBRUARY: HOW COLD IS IT IN ICELAND IN FEBRUARY?
TEMPERATURE IN ICELAND IN FEBRUARY
Winter in Iceland is very unpredictable. Frankly, it would be easier to tell you what not to expect than what you should whenvisiting Iceland in winter. The chance of precipitation in February is quite high and it can come in any form, so be prepared for snow, rain, sleet, and, of course, sunshine!
Frozen lake in Reykjavik
You can also expect strong winds, storms and sometimes blizzards with extremes of temperature – even experiencing all of these in a single day. The average temperatures are usually between -3 and +3°C (26-34° Fahrenheit) in February – mild by Icelandic standards!
IS THERE SNOW IN ICELAND IN FEBRUARY?
If you’re looking for snow, you’ll have the best luck up north.
Yes, and it’s a popular time to visit this wonderful, natural spa. The geothermically heated water is rich with silica and minerals, providing a comforting, soothing treatment for the body and mind. It’s also located in a fascinating part of the world, with scored lands and distinct vistas as far as the eye can see.
The Blue Lagoonis among the most popular sites in the country, so we’d recommend booking in advance. And yes, we provide a range ofBlue Lagoon Tours.
The Ring Roadis usually well maintained, the farther you travel from the capital the icier the road becomes, with heavier snowfalls.
If you plan to drive around Iceland at this time of year it is a good idea to rent a 4X4 car with full insurance cover. If you don’t have much experience of driving in snowy, windy and icy conditions, for your own safety, we strongly recommend you choose a guided tour instead. As well as being the safest option, it will be far more relaxing for you. Read more aboutdriving in Iceland.
Packing for Iceland in February
February, like most months in Iceland, is the month to dress in layers. While it’s nowhere near as cold as say, December, you can still expect ice and snow. Essentials on your packing list are:
Hat, scarf, and gloves
Wool or thermal underwear
Good sturdy boots (hiking boots are best)
Warm sweater and pants
Waterproof and windproof shell layer
For the Iceland trip in February pack your suitcase full of warm clothes
Iceland hours of daylight in February
The difference in the length of daylight between the first and the last day of February is quite noticeable. We gain more than 6 minutes of daylight every single day of the month.
Reykjavik at night during the midnight sun
InReykjavík, on February 1st, sunrise is at 10:08, with sunset happening at 17:15, which means 7 hours of daylight. On the last day of the month, the sun rises around 8:39 and sets at 6:43, providing 10 hours of daylight in total. InAkureyri, thanks to its northerly location, the first day of February has just 6 hours and 40 minutes of daylight. However, at the end of the month, there are almost ten hours of daylight, placing Akureyri almost on par with Reykjavík. Akureyri gains more than seven minutes of glorious sunlight every day throughout February.
Can you see the Northern Lights in Iceland in February?
This is probably the best time to see theNorthern Lights. They tend to be especially visible in February, plus the weather is more hospitable than in the winter months. OurNorthern Lights tourswill bring you right to the heart of it, where you can witness the cosmic ballet of Icelandic skies first-hand.
People admiring Northern Lights in Iceland
THINGS TO DO IN ICELAND IN FEBRUARY
If you're still wondering what to do in Iceland in February, there are many winter activities waiting here for you. This is the time when many roads and tours, previously closed in winter, open up and welcome visitors.
Natural ice caves can only be visited in winter, so make the most of the opportunity to see these crystalline beauties for yourself – before they disappear in the spring.
Ice caves collapse and form again each year, so you can come back annually to Iceland and you will never see the same ice cave twice.
Blue Ice Cave in Vatnajokull Glacier in South Iceland
SNOWMOBILING IN ICELAND IN FEBRUARY
Naturally, winter activities likesnowmobiling toursare an absolute blast in February. You get to marvel at the humbling nature, while experiencing the excitement of a high-speed snow vehicle.
Snowmobiling tour on Langjokull Glacier, Iceland
These tours take place on the spectacularLangjökull glacierand can range from one-day jaunts to multi-day trips.
Speaking of glaciers…
GLACIER HIKING IN ICELAND IN FEBRUARY
Unsurprisingly, glacier hiking is among the best things to do in February, bringing you to these incredible frozen rivers and the awe-inspiring landscapes that they live on. Ourglacier tours run the gamut, from beginner’s trips to those fit for glacier veterans!
Guided Glacier Hike in Skaftafell National Park
LAVA CAVING IN ICELAND IN FEBRUARY
Lava cavingis also a popular activity this time of the year since the temperatures in the caves are somewhat milder than the temperatures above the ground.
Raufarholshellir Lava Cave in Iceland
VISITING SECRET LAGOON IN ICELAND IN FEBRUARY
If you plan to visit theGolden Circle, you might want to stop at theSecret Lagoon, which is a natural hot spring with 39°C (102°F) water.
Secret Lagoon Hot Spring in Iceland
SNORKELING AT THE SILFRA FISSURE IN ICELAND IN FEBRUARY
Snorkeling and diving between the continentsare also possible in winter because the water inSilfra fissurenever freezes. The tour operators provide thick dry suits so you will stay dry and comfortable whilst exploring in between the tectonic plates – a sensational and out of this world experience.
Snorkeling tour at Silfra Fissure in Iceland
BEST THINGS TO DO IN REYKJAVIK IN FEBRUARY
The Icelandic capital offers a range of activities as the days get longer and Icelanders and visitors alike venture outside to explore.
Here are some of the best things to do in Reykjavik this month…
WHAT TO DO IN REYKJAVIK IN FEBRUARY?
Reykjavik city with Hallgrímskirkja church in winter
Winter cold in Downtown Reykjavík is no problem with its endless cafés and bars to jump in for some Gluehwein or hot cocoa.
There’s no shortage of beautiful things to see in February, from man-made attractions to natural wonders…
Harpa Musical Hall lighting up at night
Harpa Musical Hall, in downtown Reykjavík, is an architectural delight. And its light show at the front of the building is spellbinding. It’s a perfect view to take in on a post-dinner stroll through the capital.
Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik
If you travel to Iceland in the cool months you are likely to catch the island in its Winter Wonderland mode, which means frozen waterfalls, snowy mountains, and white landscapes. The latter two you can see from Reykjavík but making your way out of the city to see the frozen waterfalls is also a must. You won’t regret it. Here are a few options:
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in South Coast of Iceland during winter
Icelandic Horses in Full Fur Mode
Icelandic horsesare a true totem of the country. There is only one “type” of horse found in Iceland and it has been kept in complete insulation here, mixed with no other breed.
The Icelandic horse has been in Iceland for over 1000 years and let’s just say that they have adapted to life on the island. In winter they grow their fur to the max, turning them into impossible adorable furballs.
Icelandic horse in snowy field
We have numeroushorse-riding tours, whether you’re looking to do it as one activity, or combine it with others.
EVENTS IN ICELAND IN FEBRUARY
As mentioned, there’s a lot happening in Iceland in the month between winter and spring. For instance…
Sónar Music Festivalis one of the biggest music events in Iceland, showcasing world-renowned artists and new talents. This three-night-long electronic music festival certainly shakes up the capital!
The Winter Lights Festival is a four-day festival in Reykjavik, usually held around the first weekend of the month. It is in celebration of all forms of light and the return of longer and much brighter days. Numerous exciting events take place in the city, such as Museum Night, Swimming Pool Night and the Northern Lights Run.
Gay Pride Rainbow flag
Reykjavík Rainbow Pride– This winter edition is a smaller and more intimate gay pride than the one in August. The event is held over four days to celebrate diversity and equality.
Valentine´s Dayis not overly celebrated in Iceland, but many foreign visitors come at that time to enjoy a romantic holiday under the Northern Lights. Geothermal pools, private tours, and food tasting tours are excellent ways to enjoy an idyllic vacation and unforgettable moments with someone very special.
Bolludaguris the ‘bun day’, six weeks before Easter. On this day everyone is supposed to eat meatballs, fish balls, and cream-filled buns, with an emphasis on the latter one, of course! The cafés, restaurants, and bakeries are filled with cream buns in all sizes, tastes, and colours. These delightful confections are usually light in texture, and filled with both jam and whipped cream.
Sprengidagur,or “Eat- Until-You-Burst-Day”, is the day after Bolludagur. Originally, it was the Icelandic equivalent of Mardi Gras, a day of celebration and a great feast before the fasting season of Lent. This day is about eating rich, fatty, salty foods, traditionally, lentil soup with vegetables and salted meat, specifically mutton: “saltkjöt og baunir”.
Öskudagur,or Ash Wednesday, is the day after Sprengidagur, 40 days before Easter. Children dress in costumes and walk from store to store where they sing songs in return for candy, costume-wise absolutely anything goes, the more inventive the better! Many tourists and people who have come to live in Iceland from overseas pick up on the singing for candy bit and say this is Iceland´s answer to Halloween or All Hallows Eve. Icelandic children love Öskudagur as much as children in other lands love Halloween, but that’s where the similarity ends: There are no ghostly themes, pumpkin lanterns, or pagan undertones, and ghoulish Öskudagur costumes are very rarely seen.
See you in February!
Selfie with an Hallgrímskirkja church in the background
February, as you can see, is an enchanting, exciting time to visit Iceland. We hope to see you here soon…