April in Iceland

Quick facts about the weather and daylight in April

Average temperature: 3.15°C /  37.67°F
Average hours of sunlight: 151.72
Average of lowest and highest recorded temperature in April: Low -6.43°C / 20.43°F –  High 10.84°C / 51.51°F
Length of day on April1st: 13 hours and 34 minutes

Remember when I said that March in Iceland is a bit of an in-between month? April is a bit more of the same but brighter and with a dramatic increase in hours of daylight (and sunlight for that matter).

If April was your family member it would be your mischievous younger brother that loves to tease you and torment. Every year we get that extremely nice day where the air smells of summer and your body and soul get replenished from the warmth of the sun while you think to yourself: Ahh… summer is almost here. But it’s not and we get equally disappointed every year when the last big snowstorm of the winter hits us just moments after that day.

Every. Damn.Year.

Because the days are getting longer the sunsets usually become extra long and beautiful by late April. Plus you can’t help but smile when you see tiny little overly optimistic flower buds (kind of like the Icelandic people who never seen any holes in their grand masterplans) start popping up everywhere.

Historically (keep in mind that our history is quite short) April is the slowest month for us here at I Heart Reykjavík but we use it to get ready for the crazy summer season. I don’t know if that is something that is universal or just us but I remember some of our partners discussing the same last year. So you can probably still find some good deals on accommodation and such outside of the Reykjavík area.

Annual events and festivals in April worth checking out.

Músíktilraunir: The Icelandic version of the Battle of the bands. This festival has been the first place many legendary Icelandic plans have played live.

Iceland Writers Reatreat: Small workshops and panels for budding writers featuring some big names in the literary world. Started by the first lady of Iceland Eliza Reid (while she was still just a normal lady)

Children’s Cultural Festival: A festival that celebrates children’s culture with free events for kids in abundance.

Eve Online Fan Fest: A big yearly party for players of EVE online in the hometown of the company that makes it: CCP.

Tours you might want to consider in April

So April, like March, is not quite winter and definitely not summer and whether or not it’s spring is questionable. Many of the winter tours stop running in April while some of  the summer tours haven’t started yet. Although the northern lights season officially ends by April 15th you can still see them for the remainder of the month. You just can’t do a tour to do so.

Outdoor activities: With the weather improving April would be a good month for some exciting outdoor activities. The Walk through Ice and Fire and Hot Springs and Lava tours both include a visit to the wonderful Reykjadalur valley and are unavailable in the winter months.  You can also do a summer version of the very popular 2-day tour to Jökulsárlón with a glacier walk instead of the ice caves.

This post is part of a series about the best time to visit Iceland where we go through things to consider before visiting Iceland for each month of the year. All the weather related statistics come from the Icelandic Met Office but the rest is based on our feelings and experience. 

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36 thoughts on “April in Iceland”

  1. Gracia says:

    I love your travel writing, Audur. Eagerly awaiting “May in Iceland.” I am visiting for the first time, May 6 – May 12 of this year. Keep up the good work!

  2. Beautiful feature photo. I lived in Iceland for a few years and I am returning in August. Love your posts !

    1. mm Auður says:

      Glad you like them! You are aware of the confusion that your name evokes in Icelanders, right? 🙂

  3. charly says:

    Hello ,thanks for all informations .
    We are a group of 16 French persons for an Iceland tour from 26 April to 3 may and we are happy to take all news to take a lot of nice pitures from this marvelous Iceland .

  4. Katie says:

    I am also eagerly awaiting the May installment! Your blog has been so helpful in helping us plan our stay as we were initially quite overwhelmed!

  5. Ginny says:

    Hooray! I’ve been waiting! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!

  6. Terec says:

    What do you think the likelyhood of being able to make it around the ring road in the second week of April will be like? Me and a few friends are coming in for EVE’s Fanfest and are planning to spend the first week at that/Reykjavik in general then try and see more of the island during the last week.

    Many thanks

    1. mm Auður says:

      April is often calmer than the winter months but you can still expect snow on mountain roads and storms although maybe not as frequently as in winter. But it just depends on the conditions each day. I would say you should be fine but make sure you have enough time, that you rent a good car with good tires and follow advice and forecasts.

  7. camila says:

    Hi! im going to iceland from april 27 to may 2. I´m staying in Reykjavik and renting a car to go around those days. I would love to see some snow, do you think there is any chance?
    Thank you!

    Camila

    1. mm Auður says:

      Based on the winter we’ve had so far I don’t think there will be a lot of snow at that time but you never know.

  8. Pablo says:

    Hi, thanks for the information. If I went to Iceland between the end of April and the beggining of May, do you think that it would possible to go around the island with a normal car or still I would need a 4×4? And what about visitting the North that time?

  9. gt_in_tt says:

    Hello! Is it true that if there is enough solar/magnetic activity you’re bound to see the northern lights on your night flights to/from Iceland?

    1. mm Auður says:

      You can see it – it’s not guaranteed though 🙂

  10. Nikki Bringas says:

    I am a first time solo female traveler, and I will be spending (only!!!) 3 full days in Iceland in April.
    Shame about the northern lights though :/

    1. mm Auður says:

      You can still see the Northern Lights in April – there are just no tours after April 15th.

      1. Katrina says:

        Since there are no tours, how do you go to see the lights after April 15th? I know at the end of April it doesn’t get dark enough until like 1am/2am. Do they have private guides that will take you that late?

        Thank you.

        1. mm Auður says:

          You can probably hire a guide but it gets more and more difficult to see them the brighter it gets.

  11. jonathan says:

    hey! I will be stopping in Iceland for 2 days April 4th. do I still have a shot of seeing the northern lights? also any specific activities you recommend? I am trying to keep it as budget as possible and have a car

    thanks!

    1. mm Auður says:

      Yes, you can still see the northern lights in April, if the conditions allow for it.

      I suggest you check out our drive-it-yourself guides.

  12. Pablo Oramas Borges says:

    Hello! Thanks for the blog, I’m going toIceland between the end of April-beggining of May, do you think is it possible to go around the island renting a normal car? What about visiting the North? Thanks!

    1. mm Auður says:

      It should be fine but it all depends on the conditions each day.

  13. Sara Malkin says:

    Hi Auður
    Love your info! My husband and I are in Iceland for the first time April 20-25. We rented a car and hope to drive the golden circle – will we be able to do this drive during this time of year? Thanks so much for your amazing blog!

    1. mm Auður says:

      Yes, it should be fine as long as the weather and conditions are OK.

  14. Christine Shy says:

    Hello! I love your blog! My husband and I are going to be in Iceland for 3 1/2 full days from April 9-12. We are from Southern California and are prepared for colder weather, but not too bad. Two questions: What would you recommend as a must see? and if we go on a walking tour of the landscape, what shoes do we bring? Sneakers or snow boots?

    Thank you!!!

    1. mm Auður says:

      I would recommend you read through the blog to find suggestions for what to do and see: http://www.iheartreykjavik.net/the-blog/

      As for shoes – I would bring good hiking shoes or at least light hiking shoes. Sneakers in April is not the way to go and the snow boots are a bit redundant if it’s not that cold.

  15. Kristin says:

    This is wonderful! We will have just about 6 days the second week of April, and wonder, with a car, whether we should focus on Southwest Iceland or the Snarfellsnes Peninsula, or both? What will be the best move at that time for outdoor lovers with a 9-yo boy who wants to ride a horse?

    1. mm Auður says:

      It just depends on how you like to travel. You could easily spend 6 days in each place but you can also see both – it will just be a bit more action packed if you try to fit everything into one trip.

      1. Kristin says:

        Thanks! Do you think one or the other is a better choice for April?

  16. NativeNewYorker says:

    I’m visiting solo mid-April. I don’t know what kind of weather to expect, but I’m very much looking forward to my short stay. What would you recommend doing within 48 hours. Thanks.

    1. mm Auður says:

      I would recommend you read through the blog since there are so many recommendations there 🙂

      http://www.iheartreykjavik.net/the-blog/

  17. Sarah&pete says:

    Wow didn’t think I could learn so much in one site. We are coming to Iceland mid April!!! Bursting with excitement, just wanted to say thanks for all the information, I was dreading to search for hours online and instead found so much here!! 🙂

    1. mm Auður says:

      Glad I could help! 🙂

  18. Chris &Mel says:

    My fiancé and I will be traveling to Iceland for the first time April 10-17th. We will be celebrating our honeymoon! Any suggestions for romantic spots in and out of the city would be greatly appreciated. Your blog is great and has many suggestions, any advice for seeing shows at Harpa? Local venues that host local bands? We are concerned about Easter Sunday as well, do places close early for the holiday ? Your input is extremely valuable , thank you in advance .

    1. mm Auður says:

      The whole of Iceland is romantic – it just depends on how you define romance 🙂

      I would suggest you look at the schedule at Harpa’s website: http://www.harpa.is and the Grapevine for local listings: http://grapevine.is/happening/?=rhead

      Most places will be closed on Easter Sunday and Good Friday but restaurants will probably be open and maybe the tourist shops.

  19. susan says:

    I will be in Reykjavik the last week of April. I would love to see the Northern Lights but I will not have a car. Do you think it could be possible from the Grotta Lighthouse area? Þakka þér fyrir

    1. mm Auður says:

      It’s possible if you get clear skies and late at night.

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