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Iceland in November

All You Need to Know!

|October 21, 2021
Anthropologist, social media guru, Icelandic nature and food enthusiast.

November is a beautiful month to visit Iceland. It might be cold, but there are endless options for great activities and fun! Here are some ideas on what to do in Iceland when visiting in November.


Visiting Iceland in November is always a good idea. It might be colder, but it is the perfect month to skip the high-season crowds and see the beautiful colorful Northern Lights! If the weather gets to be too chilly, you can always jump in for hot cocoa or a warm cup of tea.

THINGS TO DO IN ICELAND IN NOVEMBER

There are so many amazing things to do in Iceland in winter, and November is the perfect month for all the winter activities! Here you'll find what to do in Iceland in November.

ICE CAVES IN ICELAND IN NOVEMBER

group exploring Katla ice cave in Iceland

Guided tour in Katla ice cave, Iceland

November is when the ice caving season officially starts! It means that the temperatures are cold enough at the glaciers, so the ice caves are now safe and don’t have running water like in summer. Just imagine crystal glacial ice roofs that shine and sparkle in the most stunning blue colors, and there you are, standing inside an ancient glacier in Iceland. This is a moment you will remember forever! You can see an ice cave on tour with or without a glacier walk and also on a snowmobiling tour. Your options are endless.

NORTHERN LIGHTS IN ICELAND IN NOVEMBER

Bright green Northern Lights in Iceland

Seeing the Northern lights is tricky, so if you are planning to see them, you will need to book a longer trip. Coming for 2-3 days will downgrade your chances quite a lot. Of course, you might get lucky, but I would always suggest 4+ days to be sure!

They are surely worth the wait as when these magical multicolored waves start their show in the dark winter sky. There is just no comparison!

GLACIER HIKING IN ICELAND IN NOVEMBER

hiking tour on biggest glacier in Europe

To go glacier hiking in Iceland is always a great idea, but in November, it’s especially so since the ice gets beautifully blue and mixes with the stunning newly fallen snow. You just need to worry about dressing warm and how to get to the glacier. Get the pickup service for the tour if you have never driven in snow and northern winter conditions. 

Snowmobiling is always a great activity, but the glaciers are so pretty at this time of the year. Plus, in November, the ice caves are ready, and there is no way more exciting to explore the ice caves than to go snowmobiling across a glacier to a sudden opening and to go inside to explore, enjoy and take in before snowmobiling back to the glacier camp. Talk about an exciting day!

LAVA CAVES IN NOVEMBER IN ICELAND

Pink Light in the Inside of Lava Tunnel

Raufarholshellir lava cave in Iceland

The best thing about the lava caves is there is no bad weather to visit them! No matter what's going on outside, the climate inside the lava tube is always the same. Explore the true essence of the volcanic activity in Iceland by going deep into its core. Go lava caving!

SNORKELING OR DIVING IN NOVEMBER IN ICELAND

Snorkeling tour in Silfra Fissure, Iceland

Swimming in Iceland during November might not seem like the best idea, but with a nice overall and dry suit, we are good. Besides, when will you ever get the chance to snorkel or dive between the tectonic plates? Let me answer this, never. Silfra fissure is the only place in the world where you can do this, so now is your chance, don’t miss out!

EVENTS IN ICELAND IN NOVEMBER

There are a number of events happening in Iceland during November. Check out what to see and where to be when visiting Iceland in November.

Iceland Airwaves Festival (beginning of November)

Iceland Airwaves is one of the biggest and most anticipated music festivals in Iceland, attracting musicians and fans from all over the world. For three nights and three days, Iceland's cafes, bars, and restaurants become music venues.

 

Iceland Airwaves returns for 2022

 

The first festival was held at Reykjavik Airport in 1999 and has grown ever since. Unlike the big music festivals around Europe, it is known for intimate performances and a bit of "hippish" culture. And yet, everything in Iceland is different, right?

Great artists like Bjork, Fatboy Slim, and Vampire Weekend have performed at this festival.

Icelandic Language Day (November 16)

November 16 is a day to celebrate the unique Icelandic language. The Icelandic Language Day (Dagur Islenskrar Tungu) was first celebrated in 1996. It is dedicated to the remarkable Icelandic language with all its complexity.

Icelandic flag

The Iceland Language Day coincides with the birthday of the famous Icelandic poet Jonas Hallgrimsson for a reason. Hallgrimsson was one of the founders of the Icelandic journal Fjornir, which was published in Copenhagen between the years 1835 and 1847. The journal is believed to have played a crucial part in Iceland's attempt to gain independence from Denmark.

On this day, Icelanders from all over the world are encouraged to speak their language and keep the language alive on their tongue. Numerous exhibitions and cultural events are happening all around Reykjavik. The awards are handed in Harpa Concert Hall to those who contributed greatly to the Icelandic language and literature over the past year.

GOOD TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING ICELAND IN NOVEMBER

  • Icelandic roads and even walking paths can be slippery in November, so be careful while driving/walking. We recommend having crampons to put under your shoes just in case. They can be purchased at any gas station or outdoor store and aren't expensive. If you aren't used to driving in snow and cold weather, you might be better off joining a guided tour.

  • Winter in Iceland is for ice caving and the Northern Lights, so don't miss out on them!

  • Dress warm and don't forget to wear layers! If you're wondering how to dress for Iceland in November, check out this blog post on what to wear in Iceland.

  • The nightlife downtown Reykjavík in winter is excellent, and you will want to try it out. Step out late, around midnight, is when it turns up.

  • Visiting a natural hot spring in November needs to be researched well. Some aren't hot enough to be visited in winter.

  • The daylight is limited, so plan your activities accordingly.

  • Last but not least, have a great time in Iceland!

WEATHER IN ICELAND IN NOVEMBER

Diamond Beach in Iceland

Diamond Beach full of icebergs in South of Iceland

Now we are well into winter. Mountains, or at least their tops, will be covered with snow, and you will need to start thinking about slippery roads and getting that thick winter coat out. The air begins to get colder and crispier, so hats, gloves, and scarfs are your best friends.

Daylight and Temperature in Iceland in November

Daylight changes a lot during November. The 1st of November has about 8 hours of daylight but the 30th only about 5 hours. This is something you need to keep in mind when you are planning your travels to Iceland in November. Temperatures in Iceland in November are cold. The average temperature is about 4°C or about 40 F and is pretty steady throughout the month. So dress warm! Can expect snow, rain, fog, and sun, sometimes all in the same hour. 

If you want to find out more about what you can expect, check out our ultimate guide to the weather in Iceland.

Does it snow in Iceland in November?

The short answer is - YES! Be prepared to experience some snow during November in Iceland. Iceland's capital Reykjavik usually gets around 8.7 centimeters (3.4 inches) of snow, which is six times more than in October but still only half of the snowfall of December!

Know someone who is traveling to Iceland in November? Share this blog post with them!

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