September marks the end of the summer season as winter approaches. In Iceland, September is the transitional period between summer and winter, a very brief season that vanishes as quickly as it arrives. Due to its proximity to summer rather than winter, September is considered a classic transitional season in Iceland, offering numerous advantages.
Check these two itineraries - Suitable for September!
Weather and Daylight Hours in September
September allows experiencing both the long days of summer and the dark nights of winter. In simple terms, it means enjoying activities suitable for both seasons and embracing the diversity of Iceland in one month. Daytime temperatures range between 8-10 degrees Celsius, relatively warm compared to the average temperature of 12 degrees Celsius in July, with not much of a significant difference.
Despite these warm conditions, it’s advisable to pack warm clothing and a raincoat because if there’s one thing Icelandic weather is known for, it’s its unpredictability. Rain can fall in Iceland at any time of the year, so being prepared is essential. Good clothing is a guarantee of a successful trip. As the month progresses, the chances of rain increase, and in some cases, there might even be snowfall towards the end of the month, although it’s unlikely to snow during this period.
In September, there are approximately 13 hours of daylight on average. Sunrise occurs around six in the morning, and the sun sets around ten in the evening. This is the month when Iceland bids farewell to the midnight sun and welcomes the Northern Lights.
Northern Lights in September
One characteristic of a trip in September is the red hues of autumn. The greenish moss changes its color to a fiery red that appears like a burning flame in the landscape, and these vibrant colors last for a few weeks before fading away. The lengthening nights showcase the first appearances of the dancing Northern Lights in the night sky. The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, become visible in the night skies of Iceland from early September and continue until the end of March.
As September is similar in many respects to the summer months, it’s the only month when one can combine (at least in the first half of the month) off-road jeep tours in mountainous areas with excellent chances of observing the Northern Lights. All of this, along with the fact that tour prices usually drop by up to 15% from mid-September compared to the busier summer months.
All optional activities are available throughout September, and until the first half of the month, it’s even possible to visit the inland areas of the central highlands. Sites like the colorful Landmannalaugar nature reserve and the accessible volcanic mountain Askja can be visited until mid-September by 4×4 vehicles or by joining day tours.