Iceland is a wonderful country to visit at any point of the year. As the seasons change, so does the country. September is no exception— if you’re planning on visiting Iceland during this month, this is your go-to guide for a hassle-free, enjoyable journey!
Visiting Iceland in September has its perks. As the month is ‘off-season’, prices drop, meaning you’ll be able to find cheaper accommodation and flights. This is a good option if you’re travelling on a budget.
Weather in Iceland in September
In September, temperatures begin to get colder and days get darker. Nonetheless, although it is a rainy month, September is also often linked with sunlight, as the sun is never too far away to be glimpsed. Temperatures range from 5°c to 10°c and snow is highly unlikely, however, expect some wind and rain. Throughout the month, you’ll most likely be able to experience the best of both seasons, with sunny days and darker nights. Additionally, if you love all things autumn— you’re in for a treat! During September, the country is painted in beautiful copper hues that will mesmerise you.
Please note: Pack accordingly and make sure you bring a few layers with you. Waterproof items of clothing and shoes are a wonderful idea in case you’re greeted with some rainy weather. This is particularly important if you’re planning on visiting the country’s seaside and countryside.
Northern Lights in September
The increasing darkness of Icelandic nights in September creates space for the possible appearance of Northern Lights. This month is not though the best month to experience this natural phenomenon, compared to other winter months, such as December through March. If, however, you’re lucky and able to catch them, prepare yourself to witness one of the most beautiful natural phenomenon you’ve ever experienced.
Please note: The appearance of Northern Lights is not, at any time of the year, guaranteed due to nature’s unpredictability.
What to do in Iceland in September
September offers endless activities’ possibilities. From sightseeing beautiful landmarks to going to festivals… the offer is vast and for all tastes. Here are a few ideas for your journey:
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
The road running along the South Coast is a rather popular sightseeing route. If you follow it, you will be able to find some of the most famous Icelandic attractions such as the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, far east on the southern route.
September is the last month of the year in which visitors can take a boat ride in order to see the glaciers floating in the water from up-close. The view is wonderful and this is quite an unmissable location if you’re travelling in September.
September marks the ending of several volcano tours around the country. These tours don’t run during the winter due to the temperature drop. Therefore, if you’re keen on descending into a volcano and taking in its particularities, make sure to book a tour before the end of the month.
Some of the volcanoes you’ll still be able to visit are the Askja Crater lake, the Þríhnúkagígur volcano, or the Westman Islands.
The first half of September is ideal to explore the Icelandic highlands as the roads will be quite dry. Most routes to explore the highlands are only accessible during the summer months (from mid-June until the end of September).
Please note: Although it is easier to make your way to the Highlands in September, a 4×4 vehicle is necessary for a safe and hassle-free journey.
Réttir – The annual sheep round-up
Another possible activity for the month of September is Réttir, the annual sheep round-up in which farmers invite family, friends to help out with rounding-up the sheep. This activity is held in the countryside and is one of the oldest Icelandic traditions, as it is strongly tied to the basic survival of the Icelandic nation.
It normally comprises a lot of walking or horse-riding as well as a celebratory evening with traditional singing and dancing. The first ‘round-up’ events begin in September and continue up until October. If you are able to partake in this local tradition you will be in for a ride, for sure!
Visit the Westfjords in Iceland
Visting the Westfjords in Iceland is perhaps not the most touristy thing you can do, which makes it thereby more exciting to explore. Fewer crowds, less traffic but all the same and even greater beauty awaits you in the Westfjords. However, accessing the Westfjords, especially in the winter is extremely hard as the roads close down and getting between spots gets more difficult and in some cases even impossible. The beginning of September, and usually throughout the month, is thus a great time to visit the Westfjords and witness the magical places, such as Dyndjandi waterfall, Latrabjarg, the Red sands and the extraordinary fjords. Before winter arrives!
Ljósanott – the Night of Lights Festival
Another event to attend in September is the Night of Lights Festival. The festival is held in the town of Keflavík and encapsulates an entire day of concerts and art shows, culminating in an amazing firework show. Alongside, the town is beautifully lit with bright lights!