Iceland is a popular holiday destination for many. Its dramatic landscapes, rugged scenery and intriguing attractions make it somewhere worth visiting. Whether you’re looking for tours across Iceland, a driving adventure, the chance to catch a glimpse of fascinating wildlife, or just want to spend your time adventuring, there is something for all in this stunning part of Europe.
Those who choose to visit Iceland in February typically discover icy terrains and breathtaking mountain views. There is so much exploring to be done here, you will find yourself needing more time just to do it all. From hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, snorkelling and more, the activities in Iceland are endless.
If you’re planning a trip to Iceland in February, you’re likely in need of more information for your break. Luckily for you, we have put together a guide brimming with things to do, events not to miss, plus what to expect from the weather during this time. Keep reading to learn more about this magnificent island, alongside all that it has to offer in February.
Weather in Iceland in February
When deciding to go to Iceland in February, expect unpredictable weather and an adventure like no other. The climate during this time is known to range from snow, rain and windy days. It is hard to know what the weather is going to do from one day to the next. However, don’t let this deter you from visiting, as no matter what the weather, you will find lots to do and see throughout the country.
The temperature in Iceland in February averages around 1°C, with some days dropping below this. It is renowned for being one of the wetter months of the year, with around 83 millimetres of rain during this time.
There are some great advantages to Iceland’s weather in February. With a high chance of snow during this time, the darker nights become brighter with a blanket of white across the landscapes. The climate also creates the perfect time to catch a glimpse of the impressive Northern Lights. Tourists find plenty of other adventures throughout the month, many of which can be found below.
Driving in Iceland in February
With fascinating terrains and breathtaking landscapes, it comes as no surprise that many choose to partake in a road trip in Iceland. Those planning to do so are likely in need of a little more information, as the unpredictable weather often creates trickier driving conditions for tourists and locals alike.
If you’re planning on driving in Iceland in February, it’s important to take all precautions necessary to keep yourself and other road users safe. With ice, rain and snow present during this time, you must go steady whilst navigating through the country. The days are also shorter in February, meaning visibility will be reduced for many motorists.
We highly recommend hiring a 4×4 vehicle if you plan to drive in Iceland during the winter months. These cars provide better stability for the weather conditions and can tackle the roads far easier than a normal 2-wheel drive.
A benefit to driving in Iceland in February is that the roads are generally much quieter. With fewer tourists visiting the country, this allows motorists to navigate popular routes such as the Golden Circle with ease. It’s important to ensure you pack all the necessary equipment for your trip, as you may end up in remote areas with little to no interaction with others.
What to Do in Iceland in February
Below are just some of our top recommendations for those planning a trip to Iceland. Visitors often find that after adventuring across the island, there are many more areas worth exploring. Some of which are hidden away, waiting to be found!
Witness The Northern Lights
One of the most popular draws of Iceland is the wonderful Northern Lights display. This provides visitors with a true bucket list adventure, alongside memories to last a lifetime. Pair these outstanding lights with Iceland’s breathtaking landscapes and you’re in for a real treat!
The chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland in February are great. This is a particularly favoured time to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis, as the fewer tourists and shorter days provide perfect conditions for watching them in utter tranquillity.
Some of the best places to watch the Northern Lights in Iceland are just outside of Reykjavik. There are several excellent tours situated in the city which will guide you to the best places to watch as the skies light up with colours of green, pink and red.
Go Ice Caving
Ice caving is a favoured activity for many in Iceland. The number of glaciers scattered across the country makes it the perfect place to explore these underground beauties. These natural structures are formed in the warmer months when the melting ice carves its way through the glacier, creating a cave. After the caves have frozen in place, this is when visitors can explore below the surface.
As you make your way into the cave, breathtaking colours of blue shine through the icy formations. It is worth noting that visitors are only able to explore the caves with an experienced guide. The nature of the icy structures needs to be approached with caution, making a tour the perfect way to see all that they have to offer safely.
Catch a Glimpse of the Whales
The wildlife in Iceland is utterly fascinating. With chances to spot the Arctic fox, reindeer, whales, seals, dolphins, puffins and much more, it comes as no surprise that so many go here to see all that the country’s wilderness has to offer.
Tourists head out throughout the year to get up and close to whales. This provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience, allowing you to witness these giant beauties as they bob in and out of the water.
Tours are available from Reykjavik and operate year-round. However, with fewer tourists visiting in February, this makes for the perfect time to go whale watching without the busy crowds. Look out for orcas, pilot whales, beaked whales, dolphins plus much more of Iceland’s fascinating marine life.
Experience a Snorkeling Adventure
You may be thinking that the water is far too cold in Iceland in February to even attempt snorkelling, and you are right in making this assumption! However, in the right place, with the correct gear, visitors can explore all that Iceland’s marine life has to offer.
Usually, tourists head to Silfra for a snorkelling tour in Iceland. This is situated in Thingvellir National Park and is considered one of the best diving spots in the world. The crystal clear water and excellent visibility provide the perfect opportunity to explore Iceland’s vast waters.
Silfra’s position in the national park also makes this a favoured snorkelling spot due to the incredible surroundings, made even more special when dusted in snow. With a chance to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights from here, plus natural beauty in abundance, a snorkelling tour provides the perfect way to spend your time in Iceland in February.
Hike on Iceland’s Glaciers
Glacier hiking is an extremely popular activity for those visiting Iceland in February. These natural beauties shimmer under the winter sun, creating a stunning environment to enjoy a hike. The ice lights up and appears blue, providing a spectacular sight for all when exploring the glaciers.
Tourists often choose to hike on either Solheimajokull Glacier or Svinafellsjokull Glacier in February. These both require experienced guides to roam. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and teach guests more about the environment as they go. Plus, with unpredictable weather and tricky terrain, it’s important to explore here safely.
Drive The Golden Circle
For anyone seeking a road trip in Iceland, the Golden Circle is a favoured choice for many. This route combines some of Iceland’s best attractions and most magnificent scenery. Along the way, stop off at places such as Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area and Gullfoss Waterfall.
With opportunities to catch a glimpse of some of Iceland’s beautiful natural wonders and landscapes shimmering with ice and snow, this provides an unmatched adventure. Be sure to pack all your essentials for the trip and take care when driving during this time. It’s important to also use a reliable hire company when renting a vehicle, as this will help you navigate the country with ease.
Key Events in Iceland in February
After you have spent some time making the most of the sights and activities in Iceland, you should explore some of the country’s culture. There is no better way to immerse yourself in all that this wonderful island has to offer than partaking in key events. Below are just a few festivities in Iceland in February to help you make the most of your time here.
Much like many other countries throughout the world, Iceland also celebrates Valentine’s Day. A trip here in February provides the perfect place to enjoy a romantic break with a loved one. Stroll through Reykjavik where restaurants are decorated with hearts and pretty lights. Or make the most of your time together by getting out and exploring Iceland’s natural wonders.
If you prefer to spend your time in utter relaxation, a trip to the Blue Lagoon spa is the perfect way to unwind with your partner. The lagoon sits in a picturesque setting and with a range of spa treatments on offer, you can spend hours here in true paradise.
Sónar Music Festival
A trip to Iceland in February isn’t complete without experiencing the Sonar Music Festival. This is one of the biggest events in the country, with famous artists playing for three nights. It provides the perfect way to dance, party and make the most of your time in this stunning country in February.
If you’re a foodie visiting Iceland in February, this special event is the one for you. Six weeks before Christmas, many people across Iceland celebrate ‘bun day’. Restaurants, bakeries and cafes create cream buns in a variety of tastes and sizes. These delicious buns are a great way to immerse yourself in Iceland’s culture, all whilst enjoying a tasty treat!
The Winter Lights Festival
This special festivity takes place and lasts for three days in February. The Winter Lights Festival is in Reykjavik and celebrates the longer days to come. Buildings throughout the city are illuminated with bright lights, with lovely colours brightening the capital for all to enjoy. This provides an excellent opportunity to take in the stunning architecture around Reykjavik, alongside being amongst the lively city during this time.
What to Pack for Iceland in February
When planning a trip to Iceland in February, it’s important to pack appropriately. The unpredictable weather means that visitors are advised to pack for a variety of temperatures and conditions. Here are a few key things to consider:
- Thermal layers
- Waterproof trousers and jacket
- Warm coat
- Jumpers and fleeces
- Thick socks
- Warm trousers
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Hat, gloves and scarf
- Bathing suit
The list above should help with packing for your holiday in Iceland. We recommend that you start packing for your trip early, this way you can add things as you go!
We hope that after reading this article, you can now visit Iceland in February with all the information you need. No matter when you choose to visit, you will discover a country brimming with fascinating wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and activities at every twist and turn. A trip to Iceland allows for a true bucket list adventure for the whole family.
If you’re planning to explore Iceland in February, you’re likely in need of transport. Fara Car Rental have an excellent range of vehicles, suitable for varying travellers. You must be well-equipped to travel the country in winter and Fara can help you do just that. This way you can enjoy all that Iceland has to offer without having to worry about getting from A to B!