While most European countries begin to feel the arrival of spring in March, in Iceland, March is still considered a winter month. Nevertheless, March signifies the end of winter and the beginning of summer, bringing forth numerous advantages. The characteristic frost that defines the months from January to December has subsided, and despite the relatively cold temperature, it’s an opportune time for extensive trips across the country.
March in Iceland is a tranquil time, less crowded, with open spaces and mountains often still covered in snow. The untouched nature extends as far as the eye can see. This period allows for exploring the landscapes and natural phenomena while emphasizing the cultural aspects of the country.
Planning wisely your itinerray for March
Check these two itineraries - Suitable for March!
Activities to include in your itinerary:
Visit the captivating open ice cave, Vatnajokull, open until April—an opportunity of a lifetime!
Enjoy hot springs; March offers a delightful experience with various open ones in Iceland.
Embrace indoor activities to adapt to the outside snowfall. Notable options include Flyover Iceland and the Lava Exhibition in Vik, both highly recommended.
Weather and Daylight Hours in March
The weather in Iceland in March is typically around 0 degrees Celsius. The average low temperature is approximately 2.2 degrees Celsius, while the high averages around 3.3 degrees Celsius. March can be somewhat rainy, so it’s advisable to bring a raincoat and waterproof shoes. In the far north of Iceland, there’s a higher chance of encountering more substantial snowfall.
The amount of daylight undergoes a significant change from early to late March. From March 1st to March 31st, around ten minutes of daylight are added each day. At the beginning of the month, there are about 10 hours of daylight, but by the end of the month, it reaches approximately 13 hours.
Northern Lights in March in Iceland
March is an excellent month to witness the colorful Northern Lights in the dark night skies. Typically, the display is more pronounced in the early part of the month compared to the end. The primary difference is that to see the Northern Lights, you might need to stay out a bit later because the days are getting longer as the month progresses. The Northern Lights are not visible until it’s completely dark.
What to Do and Places to See
There’s so much to do and experience during March in Iceland. Similar to January and February, the Northern Lights are still visible, likely for the last time in the year.
Ice caves are open for exploration, allowing visitors to tour caves filled with crystal-like ice formations.
March is considered the best time for whale watching, as many whales have finished their winter hibernation and are preparing for the summer season. Various whale species, including humpback whales, minke whales, and dolphins, can be observed near the coasts of Iceland.
There are also unique festivals during March, such as the Food and Fun Festival, where international chefs collaborate with local chefs to create culinary celebrations emphasizing the use of local ingredients. Additionally, the Design March fashion festival showcases collections inspired by local nature, held over several days in Reykjavik’s concert hall.
Towards the end of March, the “Moustache March” social event takes place, where many Icelandic men grow thick beards and mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health.
March in Iceland offers a plethora of options for exploration despite the weather conditions. With accessibility to certain places like the central highlands limited, there are still many touring possibilities.
You can embark on a complete circumferential journey on the Ring Road, starting with the Golden Circle featuring the Geysir and Gullfoss waterfall, continue along the southern coast, visit the eastern fjords, and reach the northern part of the country, exploring places like Lake Myvatn.
As the days get longer, and the feeling of summer is in the air, March is indeed a wonderful time to visit this enchanting island and enjoy a combination of winter landscapes, activities, and festivals.