A Guide to Visiting Iceland in November

November in Iceland

blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

    It's hard to plan a trip for November in Iceland. The weather is unpredictable and there are so many things to consider.

    Forget about the cold, the rain, and the wind! If you're visiting Iceland in November, you need this guide. It'll help you plan your trip and make sure you have the best time possible. This guide will give you all the information you need to plan a successful camping trip in Iceland in November. It'll help you decide where to go, what to pack, and how to enjoy your stay.

    Iceland Weather in November

    Iceland's weather in November is unpredictable (to be honest, it’s unpredictable no matter the time of year), and can change in a matter of minutes. However, if you intend to visit Iceland during autumn or winter, November is a good choice as it’s slightly calmer than the other winter months.

    The average temperature in Iceland in November is around 10ºC (50º F) during the day. At night, the average is 1ºC (41ºF)

    It’s worth remembering that the temperature in Iceland in November will be slightly warmer in built-up areas like Reykjavík. On the contrary, temperatures are colder in the rural areas such as the highlands.

    There is an increased chance of rain and snow when travelling to Iceland in November. Reykjavík can receive around 3.4 inches (8.7 centimeters) of snow during November. This is six times the amount of snow than in October!

    The higher levels of precipitation when visiting Iceland in November are the reason Iceland has such beautiful ice sculptures in its glaciers and caves. So, although the extra rain can be annoying, it’s actually a good thing.

    Iceland weather in November

    Camping in November in Iceland

    Camping in November in Iceland is a great option, even with the temperature in Iceland in November being a little on the chilly side.

    The freedom with which camping in Iceland provides, and the exhilaration of waking up surrounded by snow-capped mountains and flowing waterfalls, more than makes up for a little cold weather. Imagine sitting in a campervan, wrapped up with a mug of hot chocolate, and seeing the Northern Lights of Iceland in November. Sounds magical, right?

    Although camping in a tent is an option, we wouldn’t suggest it in November. Iceland weather in November isn’t the best for tent camping. It’s a much better idea to hire a campervan or hire a motorhome if you’re planning on visiting Iceland in November.

    New camping regulations that came into effect in November 2015. That means it’s illegal to spend the night in a campervan outside organized campsites. So make sure you spend the night on an official campsite to avoid fines.

    There are hundreds of campsites in Iceland. If you’re visiting out of season, like in November, you’ll have little issue finding a campsite with space. However, many campsites only open in summer, so it's still best to check ahead.

    The campsites that are open in November in Iceland might not have their facilities open, such as showers. Don’t panic, though, because this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of Iceland’s geothermal hot springs. You will find Icelandic geothermal pools in every little town you drive through. Luckily, most of them will have changing facilities, hot showers and bathrooms.

    Iceland in November: camping

    Driving in November in Iceland

    The best way to see the country if you’re visiting Iceland in November is by car or campervan. Iceland weather in November is a little fickle and the roads can be dangerous, so it’s a good idea to plan your routes in advance.

    The Iceland Ring Road is cleared of snow and ice regularly, so you should be able to drive around Iceland in November without too much hassle.

    If you're traveling to northern parts of Iceland in November, the road conditions and weather conditions will likely be worse. Roads in these areas are not always gritted, and because less people live there, the roads are used less frequently.

    If you're a nervous driver, it might be a good idea to consider organized tours when travelling to Iceland in November.

    Reasons to Visit Iceland in November (and Reasons Why Not)

    There are many people who are interested in spending November in Iceland, and why not! They have heard the country is beautiful, and they want to see it for themselves. However, they are worried about traveling to Iceland in November because of the cold or the fear that attractions will be closed. The truth is that Iceland can be a great destination for travelers in November.

    Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of taking an Iceland trip in November.

    Pros to Visiting Iceland in November

    It’s Cheaper

    Organizing an Iceland trip in November is a great idea because the prices are cheaper than during other seasons. Iceland is considered an expensive country, so by visiting in November, you’re able to watch the pennies.

    Some companies will offer discounted prices at attractions in November. Check with the attractions directly to see if there are any out of season discounts.

    Iceland cheaper price season

    It’s Quieter

    The biggest pro to vacationing in Iceland in November is that there are fewer crowds, and it's much quieter. This can be a huge relief for those who don't like the bustle of summertime Iceland. Or for those who want to avoid the crowds of tourists during their vacation time!

    Northern Lights

    The Northern Lights in Iceland in November are a must-see for anyone. The best time to catch the Northern Lights in Iceland is November because the sun sets earlier in the day.

    Reykjavík Christmas Markets

    If you’re visiting Iceland in late November, then take a trip to one of the many Reykjavík Christmas markets.

    • The Christmas village in Hafnarfjordur usually runs from the end of November to the end of December, weekends only. The locals decorate their houses, shops and streets, giving this Christmas market a magical feel. The stalls include gourmet cakes, crafts, and gifts.
    • The Christmas market at Ellidavatnsbær usually runs from the end of November to the end of December. This market is run by the Reykjavík Forestry Association. Here, families can enjoy a pleasant walk through the woods while browsing the Christmas gifts and tree ornaments.

    Geothermal Hot Springs

    Sitting in your swimming costume in the almost freezing cold doesn’t look like a good idea at first. Trust us: taking a dip in a hot geothermal spring in November in Iceland is one of the most relaxing things you can imagine.

    There are a plethora of spas in Iceland from which to choose, including the luxurious Blue Lagoon, the unusual Beer Spa, and the natural Djúpavogskörin hot spring.

    Iceland in November guide

    Cons to Visiting Iceland in November

    Weather

    The unforeseeable weather in Iceland has many people wondering what’s going on. Not to mention, the average temperature in Iceland in November is around 10ºC (50ºF) during the day, and 1ºC (41ºF) at night. The unpredictable nature of the weather is because of the jet stream, which is a band of strong winds that blows from west to east across the Northern Hemisphere.

    Road Conditions

    In November in Iceland, there is a lot of snow and ice on the roads. If you intend to bring your own vehicle to Iceland in November, you may want to consider snow tires.

    No highlands access

    Even if you have a 4×4, you won’t have much access to the Icelandic highlands via F-roads. This partly because of the weather conditions and road conditions, but partly because some roads are not open at all out of season.

    Darkness

    At the beginning of November in Iceland, you’ll get around 8 hours of daylight. Iceland in late November only gets around 5 hours of daylight. This means you’ll have limited driving time and exploring time to get around all the sights.

    Iceland weather in November

    November in Iceland Tips and Tricks

    Visiting Iceland in November takes a little bit of planning, so make it easier; here are a few tips and tricks for your Iceland trip in November.

    1. Be flexible: The changeable weather might mean roads are temporarily closed, or attractions are shut. Have a back-up plan if things don’t go your way.
    2. Make the most of the limited daylight: At the start of November, there is around 8 hours of daylight. However, by late November, there will only be 5 hours of daylight. Get out there and enjoy your day!
    3. Use a hotel as a basecamp: If the weather looks set to turn bad, consider booking an inexpensive hotel room for the night.
    4. Use geothermal springs: If your campsite has facilities which are closed, seek out local geothermal pools for a hot shower.
    5. No guarantee of seeing the Northern Lights: It might be cloudy on your trip to Iceland in November, or the lights might not be strong while you’re here. It’s disappointing to come all this way and not see them, but there is no controlling Mother Nature.
    6. Heed wind and weather warnings: Keep track of the local weather conditions. Wind warning and road closures and follow road closures to keep yourself safe. Visit the Iceland weather forecast website for up-to-date information.

    Packing List for Iceland in November

    The Iceland weather in November demands warm and sensible clothing. Think function over fashion! Don’t be afraid to invest in some new clothes for the trip.

    Here are some suggestions for things to pack when battling the temperature in Iceland in November:

    • Winter boots: Winter boots that are waterproof are a big yes on an Iceland trip in November, as they will be keeping you warm and dry the whole trip.
    • Winter jacket: Consider investing in a jacket with multiple linings for maximum warmth, and a waterproof outer shell.
    • Swimsuit: You can’t go swimming in Iceland’s famous geothermal hot springs without one! Make sure to pack your swimming costume.
    • Fleece-lined leggings: It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman; fleece lined leggings will make you feel cozy and warm during your trip to Iceland in November.
    • Polarized sunglasses: The sunlight may be waning in November in Iceland, but it’s still bright! If you’re in an area of the country with snow in November, the glare will be pretty intense. Invest in a pair of polarized sunglasses to stop the squint.
    • Knitted hat: Buying a knitted wool hat doesn’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of good ones available in high-street camping and hiking shops. Bonsu points if it has fleece lining to match your leggings.

    Packing for November in Iceland

    10 Things Do In Iceland

    There are hundreds, if not thousands, of amazing places to go and things to see in Iceland. We couldn’t list them all, so here’s a little taster to inspire you before your trip to Iceland in November.

    1. Gaze upon the Northern Lights,
    2. Take a soak in a geothermal hot spring,
    3. Hike your way across a glacier,
    4. Explore an ice cave,
    5. Jump aboard a boat and go whale watching,
    6. Visit the sights on the Golden Circle,
    7. Be stunned by beautiful waterfalls,
    8. Tour the Snaefellsnes Peninsula,
    9. Horseback ride on an Icelandic horse,
    10. Relax and enjoy the cafe culture in Reykjavík.

    November In Iceland: Is It Worth It?

    Yes, it’s definitely worth visiting Iceland in November. The weather hasn’t yet turned into full winter, and there are still many hours of good light left to explore the island. Whether you decide to book a campervan to opt for a hotel in the capital of Reykjavík, you’re sure to have an amazing experience.



    Let’s go on an adventure!

    Unbeatable prices. Premium customer service.

    Book now
    Book now