Iceland in April: The Ultimate Guide
As Iceland’s cold and dark winter begins to come to an end, spring fills the air. This starts in April, a great month to visit the country. It is known to be a part of Iceland’s shoulder season, which means you can expect fewer tourists, cheaper rates, and local festivals. If you are lucky, you will have a chance to spot the Northern Lights since they are still active this time of the year. Enjoy the extended daylight hours, which means you can road trip to Iceland’s landscapes and hidden gems. Here is our ultimate guide to visiting Iceland in April!
What time does the sun set and rise in April?
April starts to show Spring’s sunlight hours. The sun rises around 6:45 AM and sets at about 8:20 PM, depending on the time of the month you are visiting.
What is the average temperature in April?
April is still pretty chilly but not freezing cold like winter in Iceland. You can expect average lows around -2.8 °C or 37°F, with highs around 5°C or 41°F. The temperature will continue to rise throughout the month too!
Does it snow in Iceland during April?
Yes, it could snow in April when visiting Iceland, but it brings less snowfall than in March. You will notice most of the mountains will still be snow-capped, which provides breathtaking views throughout the country. We still recommend renting a 4X4 vehicle during April since snowfall could happen.
Are roads closed in April?
Main roads, such as Ring Road and the Golden Circle, will be clear and reasonable to drive during April. You will still need to check road conditions in Northern Iceland or Eastern Iceland during this time. F roads are still closed since they are located in the mountains.
What to pack for Iceland in April?
When visiting Iceland in April, you’ll want to pack for both spring and winter. A base layer, mid-layer, and warm winter jacket are a great start. A hat, gloves, and scarf will also provide comfort. Hiking boots with a good grip are essential during wintertime. T-Shirts will also be worn on those sunnier and warmer days.
Best Things To Do in Iceland In April
Celebrate Easter Weekend
April 7th-April 9th
Celebrate Easter Weekend when visiting in April! The weekend kicks off with Maundy Thursday commemorating Jesus Christ's Last Supper with his thirteen disciples. This day marks the beginning of Easter. From April 6th to April 10th, schools and many shops will be closed. However, there are still plenty of places open for you to enjoy.
First, you should go to the nearest chocolate shop to pick up some Páskaegg or chocolate Easter Eggs. They were created for children to enjoy on Easter Sunday morning. The parents will even put clues out so the children can find them on a chocolate Easter Egg hunt. They are often filled with more treats inside of them, a children's dream!
Attend the Aldrei Fór Ég Suður Music Festival
April 7th - April 9th 2023
Do you want to attend a music festival in Isafjordur in the Westfjords on Easter Weekend? You can by getting tickets to Aldrei Fór Ég Suður Music Festival. This is one of Iceland’s favorite local events, and it truly attracts Icelanders from all over the country. The festival is also more than welcoming to tourists too, so you should feel comfortable attending.
Aldrei Fór Ég Suður translates to “I Never Went South” in English. It was created to help people enjoy the Westfords with a weekend of live music. The rock festival features plenty of performers for you to rock out to. The best part is, the whole festival is free to attend! There are places to enjoy food and drink during your time there too. This is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy Icelandic music in the heart of the country.
Go Dog Sledding
Dog sled tours are mainly held during the winter months in Iceland, thanks to all of the fluffy snow. With Dog Sledding Iceland HQ, you can still sign up for a dryland or snow DogSledding tour, which runs until April. The ride takes 45 minutes, and the tour will be operated on snow, if there is any. If there is no recent snow, your tour will be operated on dry land instead of being canceled.
The Dog Sledding facility is a short 30-minute drive from Reykjavík, perfect for a quick day trip with your Iceland rental car.
Enjoy Live Music at Reykjavík Blues Festival
Listen to soulful blues while relaxing at the Reykjavik Blues Festival. Every year, blues artists from Europe, Iceland, and North America come together to provide live music for Icelanders and visitors. They also have a Bluesday, which takes place in downtown Reykjavik. Enjoy delicious food and drinks while enjoying your favorite Blues artists.
The festival takes place in April with different dates every year. Check out their website for an update on this year's dates.
Whale Watch in Husavik
Whale Watching seasons kick off in April in Iceland, so you should take a weekend road trip to Husavik. This Northern Iceland town is about five and a half hours from Reykjavik, next to Skjálfandi Bay, which is northeast of Akureyri. Húsavík is known to be the oldest settlement in the country and is commonly referred to as the Whale Watching Capital Of Iceland.
As of right now, there is a 97% average success rate of sighting a whale within the last three decades. Book a Whale Watching Tour with North Sailing, Húsavík’s Original Whale Watching tour. The tour includes hot chocolate and cinnamon buns, an expert whale-watching guide, warm overalls, and raincoats if needed.
It is only 11,300 ISK or $79 per person. A low price to pay for getting out on the sea and viewing these majestic creatures.
Children's Culture Festival
April 18th-23rd 2023
Depending on when you visit Iceland in April, The Children’s Cultural Festival is a great activity to bring your whole family to. This year, the festival will take place from April 18-23 in downtown Reykjavík.
The festival's principles are quality, diversity, equality, and reasonable access to children's culture, with children and for children. The events take place in elementary schools, kindergartens, leisure centers, cultural institutions, art schools, and elsewhere. The Children's Culture Festival accommodates all art forms for children and their families. Their schedule is packed with fun events for your children to enjoy! We should probably mention, the festival is free too!
Take Photos at the Sun Voyager
If you are an art lover, you have to visit The Sun Voyager in Reykjavik. This famous sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason is next to the downtown Sæbraut Road. The Sun Voyager is commonly referred to as a dreamboat or an ode to the Sun. The sculpture is made out of steel, representing a promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress, and freedom.
It is an excellent place for a photo opportunity, especially at sunset, as the sun will reflect off of the water behind it. A quick stop you can make during your tour of Reykjavik.
Soak in Hvammsvik Hot Springs
Located only 45 minutes from Reykjavik is one of the local’s favorite hot springs, Hvammsvik Hot Springs. These springs are unique because they sit next to the Atlantic Ocean and offer eight different pools for you to soak in. Each pool has a different temperature, so you can work your way up to the hottest one if you want.
Their rock pools are distinctive and are some of the best ones to soak in. You will walk down an old bridge until you reach the ocean. The pools sit a few inches from the ocean; you will even feel the light sea mist hit your face.
Here is a list of the pools and the temperatures that you can experience. The Lounge Pool is 38°C or 100°F, the Upper Rock Pool is 37°C or 98.5°F, and the Lower Rock Pool varies by the ocean temperature, around 37°C or 98.5°F, depending on the tides. The Ocean Plunge Pool varies by Ocean temperature; Tidal Pool varies by Ocean temperature, around 35°C or 95°F depending on the tides. The Old Hot Spring is 40°C or 104°F, the Upper Beach Pool is 38°C or 100°F, and the Lower Beach Pool is 36°C or 97°F.
The admission cost to Hvammsvik Hot Springs is the following. Weekdays are 6.900 ISK or $49, and weekends are 7.900 ISK or $56. Please note that guests need to be at least 12 years or older. The price also includes admission into their steam bath and the use of their paddle boards!
Celebrate Sumardagurinn Fyrsti
April 20th, 2023
Celebrate the first day of summer when visiting Iceland in April! While the first day of summer in other countries is usually the end of June. The first day of summer in Iceland is different. It is from the old Norse calendar, so expect this to be something other than a beach day, as it's still pretty cold in April. The first day of summer always takes place on the last Thursday in April, and this year it falls on Thursday, April 20th.
You can expect parades to fill the streets throughout the entire country. This is also a time to showcase your best summer attire! This includes girls wearing their favorite summer dresses or bright-colored outfits. So pack your summer best and get ready to celebrate!
Walk Around The Árbær Open Air Museum
April is a great time to spend your day outside, which is why the Árbær Open Air Museum made a list. Árbær was once an established farm in the 20th century, and the museum opened there in 1957. It is now an open-air museum with over twenty buildings forming a town square, a village, and a farm. Most of the buildings have been relocated from central Reykjavik.
Some of the exhibits they have are the small car workshop, which displays old cars. A Toy Exhibition that focuses on children's culture, toys, and games in the last century. It is housed in a former church and sports hall called Landakot.
The Árbær Open Air Museum is a fantastic place to explore to learn all about how Icelanders used to live. It costs 2,150 ISK or $15 for adults, and children are free to enjoy the open-air museum.
Visit the largest church in all of Iceland, Hallgrímskirkja. The church sits at 74.5 meters or 244 feet into the sky and is located right in downtown Reykjavik. Architect Guðjón Samúelsson used Scandinavian Modernism to bring out Icelandic nature to the building. The columns are known to represent volcanic basalt. The architecture is one of the reasons it attracts tourists from all over.
The church is free to wander and explore. But, if you want to visit the exclusive tower, you will need to purchase an admission ticket. Check out their calendar as they host Winter and Spring musical events throughout the year.
Shop at Lucky Records
Shop Vinyls at Iceland’s infamous Lucky Records. This is Iceland‘s biggest record store and offers a variety of vinyl and CDs, posters, and T-shirts. They opened in 2005 in the Kolaportið flea market, and since then, they have blown up in the best way possible.
Now you can visit their storefront, which has over 50,000 items covering a wide variety of musical genres, from jazz to soul, funk, afro-beat, rock and pop, punk, electronic and classical music.
Want to explore local Icelandic bands? Then check out their Icelandic section, which has plenty of records and CDs for you to explore. Even if you do not own a record player, you can still walk around the store and admire the mass amount of old records. There is even artwork on the walls which adds to its charm.
Ride Horses & Eat Waffles at Ishestar Horse Riding Centre
Want to ride a horse and eat homemade waffles? You can by heading over to the Ishestar Horse Riding Centre in Hafnarfjörður. The Centre is only a 40 minutes drive from Reykjavik, so all you have to do is get in your rental car and head over.
Ishestar Horse Riding Centre has been open since 1982 and has become a leader in equine tourism ever since. They offer both shorter day tours to longer multi-day tours. The Horses and Waffles Tour is hard to pass up since there is no better combination than waffles and horses. This tour is offered during both winter and spring, which is great for those coming to Iceland during the shoulder season.
The ride brings you through the snowy landscape for about 50 minutes. Once the ride is over, you will enjoy freshly baked waffles with toppings of your choice as well as hot chocolate, coffee, or tea. For just 13900 ISK or $96, we can’t think of a better way to spend a lovely spring day.
Hike to Fagradalsfjall Volcano
Hiking is such a popular activity in Iceland, but most trails will still be inaccessible in Iceland’s Highlands. This is why hiking to Fagradalsfjall Volcano in Geldingadalur made out April list. This hike is near Keflavik airport, making it a quick drive from Reykjavik. The Fagradalsfjall volcano is continuously erupting and is currently active too. Scientists have no idea how long it will be active, so hiking it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The hike to the new eruption site is not rated as easy and will take a whole day to complete since it is 8.4 miles in total, with an elevation gain of 1,984 feet. To be able to hike a currently active volcano is a bucket list item for many, so we recommend giving it a shot.
Please check for more information on Safetravel.is before attempting, as the volcano paths can be closed due to lava.
Drink Beer in Southern Iceland
Spend some time in Southern Iceland by visiting The Brothers Brewery. In 2012 friends Jóhann Guðmundsson and Kjartan Vídó had a dream to start brewing beer. Jóhann and Kjartan initially brought their brothers Davíð and Hlyn into the team, and the homebrew was called The Brothers Brewery. Hannes Eiríksson replaced Davíð in 2014, as Hannes had a garage and is a steelworker, so he was a perfect fit for the team. In 2015, Jói invited his friend Einar Birn to the garage to watch the brewing process and taste the products, so Einar wanted to sell the beer at his restaurant Einsa Kalda in Vestmannaeyjar.
You can taste all of the hard work this team put into their beer. Try the Volcano Red Ale, which is fitting for Iceland. The Easy Brother Amber Ale and the Golli IPA are a few other favorites. You really can go right with all of their beers! Stop by their brewery to try them for yourself next time you are in Vestmannaeyjabær,
Is April a good time to visit Iceland?
Yes, as you can see, you will have plenty of activities to do when visiting in April. Enjoy the longer daylight hours by trying all of them!
Is Iceland still covered in snow in April?
Yes, most places are still covered in still in April. On sunnier days, you will notice the snow melting.
Is it rainy in Iceland in April?
It is not as rainy as in other months. In fact, the average sliding 31-day rainfall during April in Reykjavík has been decreasing over the years.
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