Please sign in to post.

Iceland in November

Our family has decided to brave the elements by taking a trip to Iceland in late November with our three adult children. We are considering a five-day trip. We recognize the predictable daylight constraints and, of course, are worried about the restrictions that unpredictable weather might deliver. We are looking for advice and experiences!

Posted by
715 posts

The Travel Iceland Facebook page has great advice about driving in the winter (see announcements). First question is -- how experienced are you with driving in snow and ice and possibly strong winds on narrow two-lane roads?

Personally I like Iceland all of the other seasons except winter. I love seeing the green and flowers in the countryside and being able to hike to waterfalls and go out on a boat in the glacier lagoon. And there were times even in summer when I was cold and needed extra layers. However, going in winter will give you the opportunity to possibly see northern lights.

Posted by
1528 posts

In 2019 we spent one week in Iceland beginning December 27. We were a family group of 7 over three generations and stayed in Rekyavik. We had about 4 or 5 hours of daylight but I guess because it was such a novel experience we didn’t mind. The weather was cold but not unbearable and we had little rain and no snow. We didn’t do any driving but we took two tours, one was a day trip and the other was an overnight trip to walk on a glacier among other exciting activities. We did always wear hiking boots because of ice and layers of clothing but that’s normal for most winter travel.

Of course, our weather experience will not be yours but at least you now have our experience to add to your research. And, no, sadly we didn’t see any northern lights :(.

Posted by
2223 posts

Three of our trips have been in mid October, late Oct/early Nov, and then February. So obviously we like winter there;)

As mentioned, make sure you are honest with yourself on your driving experience. You will need to check weather and road conditions multiple times a day during this time as weather changes on a dime there. If you are not comfortable with any of that, then book multi day tours such as a 3 day tour along the south coast and a 2 day tour of Snaefellsness. Yes with 5 it can get expensive. We did a ring road trip with our 4 adult kids a couple years ago and basically I didn't want to know what we spent, but it was so worth it;)

During these three trips we have seen the northern lights. The best ones were late October, but of course that was just our particular luck. February we only saw them upon arrival as the rest of that trip was back to back storms. The south coast is not the best area to see the lights though due to the weather and cloud coverage there. But then again our best showing was right in Reykjavik up at the church, which normally would be horrible conditions with light pollution etc. but it turned out to be just uncanny. So you never know!

Posted by
2 posts

We plan to find a tour company to do the driving. Would it make sense to stay outside of Reykjavik for two or three days or should we use Reykjavik as our base? Would you recommend using an Airbnb in Reykjavik?

Thank you!

Posted by
2223 posts

I would only stay in Reykjavik for one night and do the rest outside of the city. Take a look at a multi day south coast trip with Troll. We have used them and they are fantastic to work with. We have not stayed in Airbnb's in Reykjavik, but have stayed in 4 hotels there. One of them was Hotel Fron, which we stayed at when our 3 adult kids were with us. We had one regular rook that slept two, and then a penthouse apartment with 2 full bedrooms. That worked out ideal for 5 of us and gave us plenty of room.

Posted by
1 posts

We are planning to go to Iceland in December. We will not have a car. What is the best way to get from the airport to the hotel ?

Posted by
2500 posts

Replying to wendiehb - the airport Flybus is easy transport, buy in advance or on the bus. It drops you off at the main bus station where you can catch a smaller shuttle that will get you to a variety of numbered stops inside the city. Keep in mind it does take 45-60 minutes to reach the bus station from the airport. https://www.re.is/tour/flybus/