What is Iceland like in the month of September?

What is Iceland like in the month of September?


Everything you need to know about Iceland in September

Iceland in September is full of surprises. It is a transitional month when the summer colours start fading and the captivating fall colours paint the Icelandic landscape. September is also the perfect time for admiring the unmatched beauty of the Northern Lights when the sky is clear and darkness prevails. The weather is warmer and spending time outdoors is easier when compared to winters. Roads are usually accessible with no ice except in the mountainous highlands where snow has just started falling.

Read on to know more about things to do in Iceland in September.


Attending the Nights of Lights Festival

The region of Reykjanes hosts an annual 4-day event, the Nights of Lights Festival. It is a grand finale usually held at the beginning of September and gives visitors a taste of Icelandic culture. Starting from art to music, food and fireworks, this cultural fest has something to offer everyone. Artists display their work in galleries, the musician performs in different venues and traditional delicacies are served. However, the main highlight is the magnificent firework display that lights up the night sky. It takes place over the Bergið cliffs and is quite a sight! If you are travelling to Iceland in September, this festival is worth seeing.

Soaking up the charm of Hraunfossar Waterfall

Hraunfossar Waterfall is truly magnificent. As it gushes down with force from the cliffs of the Hallmundarhraun lava field, it is often termed as ‘Lava Fall’. In September, the surrounding flora transforms into a pretty orange shade that adds to the beauty of this region. No wonder, it is one of the best places where you can witness mind-blowing fall foliage accompanied by the blue glacial waters. There are several viewpoints around the waterfall that offer a spectacular view. Indeed, Hraunfossar Waterfall is one of the bucket list attractions if you are travelling to Iceland in September.

Hraunfossar Waterfall

Relax in a hot spring

September is a great time to relax in a hot spring. There is a chill in the air and soaking yourself in a warm pool is rejuvenating to the mind and body. It is also a great place to converse with a local and know more about the Icelandic culture. The Blue Lagoon in the Reykjanes Peninsula is one of the most popular pools in Iceland. The milky blue waters rich in minerals boasts of therapeutic properties and treats joint pains. Other wonderful pools include the Myvatn Nature Baths, Laugardalur Swimming Pool, Landmannalaugar Hot Pot and more.

Chase the Northern Lights

Experiencing the Northern Lights is one of the unforgettable things to do in Iceland in September. It is one of the peak months to enjoy the marvellous aurora displays lighting the sky. The nights are dark and clear resulting in higher visibility. It is recommended that you visit the Westfjords to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. This region has longer hours of darkness and offers ample opportunities for aurora borealis viewing. The Grotta lighthouse near Reykjavik is one of the best spots for witnessing the Northern Lights. The tranquil settlements outside the city are darker and less polluted. Hence, those are the ideal places to take in the enriching views of the aurora. If you are not sure, just book a Northern Light tour packages or better- Iceland tours from India itself.

Witness the annual sheep gathering

Held in September, Rettir, the annual sheep round-up is a sight to behold. It is one of the oldest traditions in the country that takes place before the winter sets in. The sheep farmers in the countryside invite visitors to help them collect their flock of sheep from the mountains. After the sheep are back in the farms, everyone indulges in delicious dishes made from lamb meat. The Icelanders are welcoming and they love when tourists take part in this annual event. Rettir is an important festival in Iceland and witnessing the event is one of the amazing things to do in Iceland in September.

Réttir starts by bringing all the sheep to a round fence that’s also called a réttir.

Explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

If you are travelling to Iceland in September, Snaefellsnes Peninsula should be added to your itinerary. This region is a stretch of natural spectacles famed for its lava fields, jagged cliffs, serene hamlets and glacial volcanoes. Snaefellsnes Peninsula in fall looks straight out of a fairytale and offers numerous photography opportunities. During this time the crowds are smaller and you might have the opportunity to witness the first snowfall in the mountains. Some of the wonderful sites that you shouldn’t miss include Gerðuberg Cliffs, Ytri Tunga Beach, Búðakirkja Black Church, Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge and Bjarnarfoss.

Experience the Westfjords

Away from the tourist circuit, Westfjords is Iceland’s crowning jewel. This pristine land is a great escape from the fast-paced life in the city. Westfjords never fail to entice nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts who are seeking a unique experience in the countryside. In September, roads are clear and the surrounding is calm. This region is the home to the epic Dynjandi Waterfall. The waterfall is the stuff of dream and its beauty cannot be expressed in words. It plunges from the top of the cliff at a very high speed and depicts a picturesque frame in mind. If you are a photography aficionado, this is the place to be. However, the road leading to Dynjandi Waterfall is treacherous. Opt for a four-wheeler if you want to visit the attraction. Westfjords also hosts a myriad of swimming pools and hot springs. These are the best spots to rejuvenate after a long day of sightseeing.

Enjoy the Golden Circle Tour

Iceland in September is incomplete without traversing the Golden Circle route. This region is a definite highlight and the unmatched fall colours add to the charm. The Golden Circle features three of the most stunning attractions namely Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall and Geysir Area. A day trip from Reykjavik will allow you to explore this magical location. The first stop is the Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site famed for its spectacular geology. Second is the Geysir area which houses two incredible geysers. The Gullfoss Waterfall is another beautiful site where you can stop at different vantage points and admire the mesmerizing views.

In Geysir area, Strokkur erupts every five to ten minutes; just make sure to have your camera ready.

Key Facts about visiting Iceland in September

  • You can expect around 14 hours of sunshine
  • Roads are accessible and clear of snow
  • Some cafes and attractions are closed
  • Puffin watching is not possible
  • The crowd is less and prices are cheaper


September in Iceland is a transitional month between summer and winter. The average temperature is around 8 degrees Celsius and the chilly winds often make it cooler. With around 12 to 14 hours of daylight, you may also experience rainy and cloudy days. However, the beginning of the month is more about long hours of sunshine but it keeps on decreasing as the month ends. The sky is clear and pitch dark which makes it apt for witnessing the Northern Lights.

Useful Tips

  1. Pack waterproof and windproof coats, thermals, socks and gloves
  2. Experience berry picking which is possible between August and September
  3. Adventure lovers can include glacier-hiking to their itinerary
  4. Cards are accepted everywhere around Iceland
  5. Light beer in Iceland has 2.25% alcohol content which is not a beer
  6. For having alcohol outside bars and pubs, visit Vinbudin, Government-run alcohol outlets
  7. Before getting into any of the pools, shower well and put on the swimsuit
  8. Locals can speak English and free Wi-Fi is available everywhere
  9. Iceland is expensive. You can save money by grocery shopping or eating at a gas station
  10. Gandhi Indian Restaurant or Bombay Bazaar is known for the Indian dishes
  11. You can fill your bottle with the water from the faucet
  12. For flavoured water, try Kristal with lime
  13. Experience the happening nightlife in Reykjavik
  14. If you have less time, try exploring the sites in and around Reykjavik
  15. In remote areas, cafes and attractions might be closed
  16. Plan for a minimum 6 days holiday

Are you travelling to Iceland in September? We at WOW Club would love to plan an unforgettable vacation for you if you want to book Iceland trips from India or Iceland tours for women only. Please contact us for further details to know more on Iceland tours from India or any part of the world. We may even plan Northern Lights Tour packages for you and your family.

Also read:
A Traveller's Perfect Guide to Iceland
Planning a solo trip to Iceland?
All about Iceland in the month of August