People thinking about visiting Iceland in March can be a bit apprehensive, unsure if they’re about to plan their vacation in the midst of an arctic snowstorm. While March in Iceland certainly isn’t all balmy sunny days, I’m happy to let you know that March is actually a great time to visit Iceland. After visiting Iceland in March in the Spring of 2016, here are my thoughts as to why March in Iceland is absolutely perfect!
- Moderate Weather
Iceland’s weather in March isn’t perfect, but it’s not bad enough to hinder your trip. You may have some cloudy, rainy, days, but you’ll have some warm sunny ones as well.
- You Get The Best Of Both Seasons
March is the only month that falls right at the end of Iceland’s winter, and right at the beginning of spring. So much so that depending on whether or not you travel at the beginning or end of the month, you may find yourself in more of a winter, or spring landscape. When I traveled in mid-March, we got a little of both. We got to see rolling, snow-blanketed hills, and we also got to see Iceland’s famous green moss and flowing grasses.
- You Can Still See The Northern Lights And Ice Caves
The Northern Lights and glacial Ice Caves are some of the most spectacular things to see in Iceland, but sadly summer visitors aren’t able to experience them. Luckily, visiting Iceland in March gives you the chance to experience both of these things. Depending on the year, ice cave tour companies will be leading their last few tours toward the end of the month. You’ll also have a shot at seeing the Northern Lights because the nights are still dark enough for them to show up. We saw an absolutely incredible display during our trip in 2016.
- The Days Are Long-ish
When my friends visited Iceland in November, their biggest complaint was how short the days were. Since most of Iceland’s activities and attractions are outdoors, it can be pretty hard to feel like you got a full day when there’s literally only 6-8 hours of daylight. Luckily, by the time March rolls around you get nearly 12 hours of daylight. We found that to be plenty of time to pack our days full of outdoor adventure.
- The Crowds Are Low
March still falls in the off-season for Iceland’s tourism before summer rolls around and the country is trampled by foreign tourists. If you visit in the summer, expect every parking lot of every waterfall, of every hiking trail, and every beach to be absolutely packed. In March, we were joined by a small group of tourists at the more popular attractions, and in some of the more remote areas, we were completely alone.
- Costs Are Lower
On the same note as the low crowds, costs for things like flights, housing, car rentals, camping, and tours will generally be lower than if you tried to visit Iceland in the dead of summer, during its peak season. These low costs allowed us to extend our trip a few extra days since we were able to save more money on our trip than we had initially predicted.
- Some Of The Summer Only F-roads May Be Open
The main paved roads around the coast of Iceland, like the Ring Road, are well maintained and plowed in the winter (at least along the south coast). On the other hand, there are a tremendous number of roads that branch off the ring road that are typically unmaintained in the winter, and many of which are the only way to access some of Iceland’s coolest attractions. Now, this depends completely on the year, but when we went to Iceland in March of 2016, some of the F roads were open and though driving on them was a bit exciting due to the fresh potholes and mud pits, we were able to visit areas usually only accessible in summer.