Iceland in October: Ultimate 2024 Travel Guide


At any time of the year, this magical corner of the world makes for a great vacation spot. However, most of the popular activities and attractions in Iceland will vary depending on the weather and time of the year. So it’s important to consider the season when planning your trip.

Visiting Iceland in October promises to be a memorable time. October marks the end of the Iceland summer. While that means cooler temperatures, it also means some of the early winter activities and attractions can commence.

October is also one of the least busy months in Iceland. The rush of the summer tourists have thinned out and the big winter festivities will not yet have begun. This means no need to contend with crowds at the many popular tourist spots.

Let’s dive right into all you need to know about this idyllic holiday destination in October, so you can start planning your perfect itinerary.

Iceland in October: Northern Lights

To address the burning question right away – can you see the Northern Lights in Iceland in October? The answer is a resounding yes! October is arguably the perfect time to see the gorgeous aurora borealis painted across the Icelandic skies.

This crossover time from summer to winter means that you get the best of both worlds and a wealth of options. With around 8 hours of daylight, you will still be able to take part in a wide range of activities like hiking and visiting the tourist attractions. But the nights are dark enough to see the famous Lights.

Reykjavik in October

The capital is always a must-visit, and October is a great time to explore this city on foot. Joining a Reykjavik food tour is worthwhile on any Iceland itinerary. Be ready to eat till you drop with this incredible cuisine experience.

The Reykjavik food walk is also a great cultural experience. Here you will get to learn all about Iceland’s history from your experienced tour guide.

Of course, if it’s a bustling nightlife you’re after, then this city has you covered. You can choose to venture out with your friends or join a pub crawl tour. Either way, you will get to experience an authentic night out in Iceland.

There is no shortage of things to do in Reykjavik in October.

Weather in Iceland in October

The weather in October is ideal, especially when it comes to what activities it allows for. This is because temperatures have not reached extreme lows and the days are not yet so short that they restrict daytime activities. In fact, the balmy weather makes for lovely sightseeing conditions.

As a bonus, there will be very few days with wind, rain or storms as you’d frequently experience in winter. The temperatures range from 10°C (50°F) to 0°C (32°F). You may wince and think that’s cold, but not for Iceland. You may even see some locals walking in T-shirts and shorts.

Another common question is, does it snow in Iceland in October? Not at all. This means that if you are looking to see Iceland in all its winter wonderland glory, then it may be better to visit Iceland in November.

Things to Do in Iceland in October

When visiting Iceland you will have no shortage of activities and attractions to add to your itinerary. Take a look at some of the things you can look forward to doing and seeing.

Whale Watching in Iceland in October

October is a great time to catch the many migrating marine animals on their way out. Whale watching is an exciting Iceland activity. Both the Humpback whales that feed in the Icelandic waters and the puffins that nestle on the cliffs are some of Iceland’s great natural attractions.

These waters are also home to orcas, blue whales, dolphins and porpoises. And with a little luck, you can spot them in October.

Horse Riding in Iceland in October

Horse riding tours are a quintessential Icelandic experience. These purebred creatures are the pride and joy of the nation because they have never interbred with any other species. This activity is an exciting change from regular sightseeing while still enjoying a unique experience that this country offers.

Golden Circle Tour

Visit one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions – the Golden Circle. Every Iceland itinerary should include a trip to this incredible spot. The famous Geysir, a hot spring near the geothermal area of the Haukadalur Valley, is a must-see.

With multiple geysers and hot springs to choose from, you will have an exciting day of exploring. These are arguably some of the most beautiful areas in the world and a true example of Iceland’s nature.

The South Coast Tour

It’s no secret that Iceland’s biggest pull is its unmatched natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes. So any trip to Iceland would simply not be complete without seeing the beautiful South Coast.

This trip is a great way to knock out many of Iceland’s best attractions in one go. From Reykjavik, it can easily be done as a day trip. Whether you choose to hire a car or book a tour, you will not regret putting this on your list.

The tour features breathtaking waterfalls, incredible lava formations, and a massive black sand beach. If you’re lucky, you will also spot the famed Atlantic puffins before these feathered cuties migrate to warmer places.

Final Thoughts on October in Iceland

To sum up, travelling to Iceland in October is a great time to catch both the summer and winter treasures that make this place so special.

Photographers will be in their element when capturing this country in all its golden, autumn beauty. Foodies will be in their happy place and adventurers will be living their best life.

So don’t sleep on Iceland, this diverse, dreamy place should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Matt Davison
Matt has done marketing for travel and tourism for over a decade. His first love is SEO, with entrepreneurship hotter on its heels than a girlfriend. When he is not looking up flights back to his next destination, you can find him in the garden, making excuses to walk Rusty, strategizing with the team and tinkering on sites until the early morning.