November in Iceland | 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.


November is a fantastic month to visit Iceland. 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 a hot cocoa or a warm cup of tea.

WEATHER IN NOVEMBER IN 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 starts to get colder, crispier and hats, gloves, and scarfs are your best friends. 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 November in Iceland are cold. The average temperature is about 4 °c or about 40 F and is pretty steady throughout the month. Dress warm friends, dress WARM! Can expect snow, rain, fog, and sun, sometimes all in the same hour. 

Check out for weather in Iceland.

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.

  • Winter in Iceland means Ice caves and Northern Lights, don’t miss out!

  • If you aren’t used to driving in snow and cold weather you might be better off joining a guided tour.

  • Dress Warm and make sure to wear layers!

  • The nightlife downtown Reykjavík in winter is LIT, you are going to want to try it out. Step out late, around midnight is when it really 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 light is limited, plan well.

BEST TOURS TO DO IN NOVEMBER IN ICELAND

There are so many amazing things to do in Iceland in winter and November is the perfect month to do a strictly winter activity. Here I have listed the must-doss and the best dos for anyone visiting Iceland in November.

ICE CAVES

group exploring katla ice cave in iceland

One of the best things about November is that that’s when the ICE CAVE SEASON STARTS! This means that the temperatures are cold enough at the glaciers so that the ice caves are now safe and don’t have running water like in summer and they are SO gorgeous. Excuse all of this caps lock action but I just can’t control myself. 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 a tour without a glacier walk, with a glacier walk and also on a snowmobiling tour. Your options are endless.

NORTHERN LIGHTS

The Northern lights are tricky, I will not lie, so if you are planning to see them you will need to book a longer trip. Coming for 2-3 days is going to 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

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 again the glaciers are just so pretty at this time. 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 going inside to explore, enjoy and take in before snowmobiling back the glacier camp. Talk about an exciting day!

LAVA CAVES

My fav thing about this is that no matter the weather, lava tube caves are ALWAYS a great idea. The weather in there is always the same 😉 Explore the true essence of the volcanic activity in Iceland by going deep into its core. Go lava cave exploring!

SNORKELING OR DIVING IN SILFRA

I know this might not seem like the best idea, I mean glacial water and swimming in November sounds like a bad mix BUT add to it a nice overall and dry suit and we are good. Besides when are you ever going to get the chance to snorkel or dive in 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!

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