GuidesBest SeasonsOctober Delights: Exploring Iceland's Autumn Splendor
Relaxing in geothermal hot pool under northern lights in Iceland in October
Go Car Rental Iceland travel writer Aron Freyr
By Aron FreyrJul 19, 2024 • 9 min read

October Delights: Exploring Iceland's Autumn Splendor

Iceland, the land of fire and ice, becomes even more enchanting during October. With a unique blend of stunning autumn landscapes, fewer tourists, and the chance to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights, Iceland in October offers an unforgettable experience. Ready to explore this magical destination? Let’s dive into the wonders that await you on your October trip to Iceland!

Short Summary

  • Explore Iceland in October 2024 for perfect temperatures, Northern Lights and amazing attractions!
  • Enjoy stunning autumn hues of Thingvellir National Park & spot wildlife like humpback whales.
  • Experience Reykjavik International Film Festival, Lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower & soak in hot springs!

Iceland in October: Weather Overview

Northern lights in Iceland during winter season

October in Iceland is truly a magical time, as the landscapes transform into a breathtaking blend of colors and textures. With the average temperature ranging between 2°C and 7°C, the weather in October is pleasantly cool, perfect for exploring the Icelandic countryside.

The daylight hours gradually decrease from 11 to 8, providing ample opportunity for daytime activities and Northern Lights hunting.

As the month progresses, the seasonal changes bring about a delightful mix of autumn colors, lush green mosses, and snow, making the Icelandic landscape even more stunning during the winter season.

Temperature Averages

Visiting Iceland in October is a great choice, as the temperature averages from a comfortable 2°C to a pleasant 7°C.

The weather patterns during this time can be quite exciting, with a mix of rain, wind, and occasional snow, adding a unique charm to the Icelandic landscape. Even in remote areas like the Highlands or the Westfjords, temperatures remain pleasant, and you might even spot blue whales during your visit.

October typically sees around 3 inches (77 millimeters) of precipitation, so be prepared for some rain and pack waterproof clothes.

Daylight Hours

The daylight hours in Iceland during October are quite generous, starting with around 12 hours of daylight early in the month and gradually decreasing to an ample 8 hours by the end. These daylight hours provide fantastic opportunities to explore the Golden Circle, embark on an adventure on the South Coast, and soak in the hot springs and geothermal pools.

As the night falls, the dark skies become a perfect canvas for the awe-inspiring Northern Lights, making your Iceland trip even more unforgettable.

Seasonal Changes

October is a delightful transitional month in Iceland, with landscapes showcasing a mix of autumn colors, green mosses, and snow. This season is a great time to witness the beauty of Icelandic nature, such as the enchanting Thingvellir National Park, adorned in brilliant autumn hues.

Wildlife enthusiasts can look forward to spotting amazing wildlife during their October visit to Iceland, including:

  • Humpback whales
  • Puffins
  • Dolphins
  • Porpoises
Puffins in iceland during October

With such diverse and captivating scenery, an October trip to Iceland is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Top Attractions and Activities in October

Visiting Iceland in October - Hot springs, golden circle, magnificent waterfalls and south coast

With the captivating landscapes and pleasant weather, Iceland in October offers a variety of attractions and activities to make your trip extraordinary. Here are some highlights:

  • Chase the mesmerizing Northern Lights
  • Explore the iconic Golden Circle
  • Embark on an adventure along the South Coast
  • Relax in the soothing hot springs and geothermal pools

The possibilities are endless, and each experience promises to leave you with unforgettable memories.

Chasing the Northern Lights

One of the biggest highlights of visiting Iceland in October is the chance to witness the spectacular Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. As the daylight hours decrease, the night sky becomes darker, providing ideal conditions for hunting the mesmerizing natural phenomenon.

To make the most of this unique experience, book a small group Northern Lights tour operated by knowledgeable local experts. With their guidance, you’ll venture into the Icelandic countryside, away from the city lights, to marvel at the breathtaking display of colors dancing across the sky.

Exploring the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is an incredible route in Iceland, featuring stunning attractions such as Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir geothermal area, and Thingvellir National Park. This popular tourist route, often referred to as the “golden circle tour,” is conveniently located just 25 miles east of Reykjavik and offers a variety of exciting attractions to explore.

When visiting the Golden Circle, be sure to bring a camera to capture amazing memories, wear comfortable shoes to explore the attractions, and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. With its breathtaking landscapes and historically significant sites, the Golden Circle is a must-see on your Iceland itinerary.

Adventure on the South Coast

Discover the stunning South Coast of Iceland, with its awe-inspiring black sand beaches, majestic waterfalls, and glaciers. The picturesque village of Vik is a perfect base for exploring the region, and its famous black sand beach, Reynisfjara, should not be missed.

Nearby, you’ll find Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, a mesmerizing lake filled with icebergs that have broken off a distant glacier tongue. Exciting boat tours of Jokulsarlon are available until the end of October, offering a unique opportunity to witness this natural wonder up close.

Hot Springs and Geothermal Pools

Man relaxing in a small geothermal hot spring pool in Hrunalaug, Iceland

Iceland is home to numerous hot springs and geothermal pools, offering a relaxing and rejuvenating experience for visitors.

The famous Blue Lagoon and the lesser-known Secret Lagoon are among the best hot springs and geothermal pools to visit in October. These mineral-rich waters are known for their soothing effects and are perfect for unwinding after a day of exploring the Icelandic countryside.

Be sure to include a visit to one of these natural wonders on your October trip to Iceland, and immerse yourself in the healing powers of Iceland’s geothermal waters.

October Events and Festivals in Iceland

Iceland hosts several exciting events and festivals in October, adding to the charm of your visit. The Reykjavik International Film Festival showcases independent films from local and international filmmakers, while the Lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower, created by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon, emits a beam of light into the night sky.

These events offer unique opportunities to immerse yourself in Icelandic culture and make your October trip even more memorable.

Reykjavik International Film Festival

The Film Festival is an amazing opportunity to celebrate independent films from local and international filmmakers. The festival offers:

  • A diverse selection of innovative films from over 40 countries
  • Inspiring workshops
  • Concerts
  • Captivating exhibitions

Screenings are held in a variety of unique and interesting locations, such as traditional movie theaters, swimming pool halls, and hot baths. Don’t miss the chance to experience this exciting event during your visit to Iceland in October!

Lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower

Lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik on John Lennon's birthday

The Imagine Peace Tower, created by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon, is a beautiful memorial that promotes peace and love. The tower is lit each year from his birthday, October 9th, to December 9th, emitting a beam of light into the night sky.

Witnessing the magical lighting of this incredible monument is a unique experience and a perfect way to celebrate peace and love during your October trip to Iceland. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this stunning tribute to John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s message of peace.

Travel Tips for Visiting Iceland in October

Exploring Iceland in October - waterproof clothes, golden circle, bus tours, north Iceland

Prepare for your October trip to Iceland with these essential travel tips. From packing recommendations to driving advice and accommodation options, we’ve got you covered.

With a little planning and preparation, your visit to Iceland in October will be smooth, enjoyable, and unforgettable.

What to Pack

When packing for your Iceland trip in October, it’s essential to be prepared for the unpredictable weather. Pack warm, waterproof clothing, such as a coat, hat, gloves, and scarf, to protect yourself from the elements. Comfortable, durable, and waterproof shoes are also a must for your outdoor adventures in Iceland.

Remember to pack layers of cozy clothing, like sweaters, thermals, and long underwear, to accommodate the changing weather conditions throughout the day.

Driving and Car Rental Tips

Driving in Iceland in October can be challenging due to rain, slippery roads, and strong winds. To ensure your safety while exploring the country, consider renting a 4x4 vehicle with winter tyres. Although the main roads are generally safe, always check the weather forecast and road conditions before embarking on your journey.

We recommend you browse the available rental cars to find the best fit for your journey. Depending on the number of passengers, you might consider a medium-sized car, a 4x4 SUV, or a minivan.

Alternatively, consider joining guided tours, such as a Golden Circle or Northern Lights tour, to explore Iceland’s incredible sights without the stress of driving when you explore Iceland.

Accommodation Options

Iceland offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and budget. From hotels and guesthouses to self-catering cottages, there’s something for everyone. To secure the best deals and ensure availability, book your accommodation in advance.

Some of the best accommodation options in Iceland in October include downtown Reykjavik near the Laugavegur shopping street, Egilsstair for nature lovers, and Husavik for families. With so many choices, you’ll be sure to find the perfect place to rest and recharge after a day of exploring Iceland’s wonders.

Sample Itinerary for an October Trip to Iceland

Sample Itinerary for an October Trip to Iceland - Northern lights, hot springs, golden circle tour, south coast

Create a memorable itinerary for your October trip to Iceland by including the top attractions and activities mentioned in this guide. Begin your adventure with a Northern Lights hunting tour, followed by an exploration of the iconic Golden Circle.

Venture along the stunning South Coast to discover:

  • black sand beaches
  • waterfalls
  • glaciers
  • the picturesque village of Vik

Finally, relax and rejuvenate in the soothing waters of Iceland’s natural hot springs and geothermal pools.

With this incredible itinerary, your October trip to Iceland is sure to be an unforgettable experience.


In conclusion, Iceland in October is an enchanting destination, offering a unique blend of breathtaking landscapes, captivating attractions, and unforgettable experiences. From exploring the Golden Circle to adventuring along the South Coast to relaxing in geothermal pools, your October trip to Iceland promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime journey.

So pack your bags, embrace the magic of Iceland, and embark on an adventure that will leave you with memories to treasure for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is October good time to visit Iceland?

October is an excellent time to visit Iceland, with comfortable temperatures and the beginning of the aurora season. Renting a car to watch the northern lights makes for a magical experience.

How cold will Iceland be in October?

October in Iceland is usually cold, with average temperatures ranging from 2 degrees Celsius (36 F) to 7 degrees Celsius (45 F). Though it might feel colder due to the wind and rain that can often occur.

Do I need a winter coat in Iceland in October?

Yes, you should definitely pack a warm winter jacket if you’re planning on coming Iceland in October. Temperatures there can drop to 0 degrees or even below.

When is the best time to visit Iceland for the Northern Lights?

Winter is the best time to visit Iceland for the Northern Lights, with October offering a particularly stunning experience.

How many daylight hours are there in Iceland in October?

October in Iceland is abundant with daylight, ranging from 11.5 hours per day early in the month to 8 hours by the end of the month.

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