Visit Iceland in October

Visit Iceland in October

October is one of the least busy months in Iceland. The rush of the summer is over, and the festivities of early winter are yet to set in. So, plan to visit Iceland in October for the mild weather, with a little brisk touch of cooler weather, easier access to destinations across the island, and cheaper prices before the holiday season kicks into full gear.

Your Friend in Reykjavik is ready at any time of year to show you around our favorite spots. Come take a walking tour with us and discover Iceland with a local!

Halloween is not what you think in Iceland.

It’s amazing how Halloween is celebrated around the world. It’s no different here. Although visiting October in Iceland is typically not full of witches and pumpkins and fancy dress, we still love a good party! And a good ghost story! Our traditions are full of weird and wonderful tales. Join our folklore walking tour to find out not just about our elves and trolls but also about the Ghost of the Deacon of Dark River and more.

Northern Lights in Iceland in October

Nights are getting longer in October, going from around 12 hours to around 15 hours by the end of the month. So, you have more of a chance to catch those famous Northern Lights. Especially if you head out of town, away from artificial lights from homes and businesses. The relatively clear October weather helps too! Just to be sure, you can check Iceland’s Meteorological Office northern lights tracker for their regularly updated forecast.

Visit Iceland in October. Jökulsárlón
Is that a seal I see off in the distance??

What to do on your October visit to Iceland

In October, a visit to Iceland is often the last chance to enjoy many nature outings before the cold weather truly hits. Thorsmork, or the Valley of Thor, cuts between two glaciers, so you may not want to drive through this rugged terrain yourself. But there is a four-wheel-drive bus service from central Reykjavik until mid-October that allows you to enjoy the gorgeous colors of the southern highlands. Another popular summer outing still available is the boat tours of Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where you can catch a glimpse of the black sands under the white snow and ice. And maybe even a seal or three!

Best things to do in Reykjavik in October

John Lennon fans will want your visit to Reykjavik to include October 9. That’s when the Imagine Peace Tower on Videy Island lights up till dawn to celebrate his birthday. A trip to the island during the day is worthwhile too — there are lovely hiking trails and ancient ruins to explore. Or you can make your way to the Old Harbor area around sunset. Plan for sunrise and then stick around for some whale watching! Your Friends in Reykjavik can show you around and give you tips on when is the best time and places to spot them. Or you can try our private walking tours of Reykjavik and make sure we cover your experience checklist.  

A photo collage of the Imagine Peace Tower
The Imagine Peace Tower is lit from October 9th

Our favorite foods for visiting Reykjavik in October

We love to eat in Iceland, and we love to make sure our visitors are well-fed! Freshly caught fish and seafood are available in October, like all months in Iceland, so make sure to sample some Plokkfiskur. This hearty fish stew swimming with cod, haddock, or halibut and rich in potatoes, onions, butter, and milk. And for a sweet start to your day (or whenever your sweet tooth calls!), try a Kleinur. Our donuts are twisted, fried in oil, and spiced just right with cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. You will get a chance to taste these and more on our food lover’s walking tours of Reykjavik!

Weather in Iceland in October

The temperatures in October range from 0°C (32°F) to 10°C (50°F). That might sound quite low, but the cold in Iceland isn’t…well, that cold! As long as there is no windchill, 10°C is actually quite nice.​ You might even see some locals in t-shirts, but I would not recommend it unless you come from a cold climate too! There might be some rain and wind during your trip, so best to be prepared when you’re packing. The days are starting to get shorter as we head towards winter, but nothing too drastic until you get to the end of the month with around eight hours of daylight.

What to pack for your October visit to Iceland

Since it’s so hard to predict the weather in Iceland, you might be wondering what you should bring with you on your trip. Simply put, layers, layers, and more layers!​ They can keep you warm in the cold, and you can take them off during the warmer parts of the day. If you do head out into the great outdoors, make sure to have some wind- and water-proof gear. And believe it or not, don’t forget your sunscreen. And, always, your camera and charger to capture all your fantastic adventures!

Let Your Friend in Reykjavik show you Iceland in October!

Take advantage of the mild, cool weather and the less-crowded locations. Visit Iceland in October and join a walking tour with Your Friend in Reykjavik. Whether this is your first trip to Iceland or whether you’re an old hand, we will show you sights and share tips and tricks you’ll love. Contact us today for more information!

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