February in Iceland

Quick facts about the weather and daylight in February 

Average temperature: 0.29°C /  32.52°F
Average hours of sunlight: 57
Average of lowest and highest recorded temperature in February: Low -9.88°C / 14,22°F –  High 7.81°C / 46.06°F
Length of day on February 1st: 7 hours and 8 minutes

A friend of mine once said that the best thing about February in Iceland is how short it is. The country is still in full on winter mode and harsh winter storms are still quite common. I actually like February for many different reasons, one of which my birthday. So maybe I’m a bit biased when I say it’s not that terrible.

Although the locals will probably ask you why on earth you would want to visit Iceland in February I, on the other hand, think it’s a great month to visit if you want to experience a real Nordic winter. There’s just something about the darkness, the harsh weather and the atmosphere that makes it different from most of which you are probably used to from home. But to really experience what I’m talking about you have to go out of the city and off the main tourist trails.

A good thing about traveling to Reykjavík in February are all the events that take place in the city during this month. The city is finally out of its Christmas hangover phase and the winter lights festival reminds us that the darkness also has its perks: pretty lights. February is also considered one of the best months of the year to gaze at the Northern Lights so that’s a definite plus.

Because of all the events and festivals, Reykjavík attracts quite a few visitors in February which makes the city busier than you would think. Outside of the city things happen at a much slower pace and better deals can be found.

For inspiration, check out this post about visiting the north of Iceland in February.

Annual events and festivals in February worth checking out.

Winter Lights Festival: A festival to celebrate the winter and the days getting longer after a period of darkness in abundance. During this festival all kinds of fun events take place all over the city center

Rainbow Reykjavík: A small and friendly winter pride festival organized by the nice folks at Pink Iceland. More intimate than Reykjavík pride in August, which means more chances to meet new friends!

Stockfish Film Festival: This not-for-profit film festival screens up and coming art house films in the world and offers Q&A sessions with international filmmakers and more. Small and friendly and lots of fun.

Reykjavík Bar Summit: A festival where bars and bartenders from all over the world come and compete to determine who is the best.

Tours you might want to consider in February

Northern Lights Tours: Like January, February is a good  time for the northern lights  If you want to try something different from the normal bus tours you might want to check out the Northern Lights Boat Tour from Reykjavík or this tour that combines a hunt for the Northern Lights and a lobster feast.  Speaking of food and the northern lights, the Golden Circle and Magical nights tour combines both with the main sights on the Golden Circle with a bonus dip in Fontana spa. Definitely worth considering.

Ice cave tours: February should be good for the ice cave tours since it ‘s one of the colder months. If you are going to drive around the south coast yourself I recommend this ice cave tour that starts at Hali in Suðursveit. If you are not renting a car I think this 2-day south shore trip including an ice cave tour is a great option and good value for money.

This post is part of a series about the best time to visit Iceland where we go through things to consider before visiting Iceland for each month of the year. All the weather related statistics come from the Icelandic Met Office but the rest is based on our feelings and experience. 

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56 thoughts on “February in Iceland”

  1. Amanda says:

    I am visiting Iceland for my second trip in February, last time was in October 2015 so I am looking forward to seeing how different the country looks and feels covered in snow! I guess all the tours are still accessible depending on how bad the weather conditions are?

    1. mm Auður says:

      Most tours are available all year round – except the tours that are specific to winter conditions like the northern lights tours or the ice cave tours.

  2. Wendy says:

    I love February in Iceland. It’s one of my favorite months to visit?

  3. Zoe says:

    We are flying into Reykjavik in February, straight from the blistering Australian Summer ….. Going to be a shock to the system! I’m so excited! ! ????❄☃

  4. Cheryl says:

    My birthday is in February also! And I’m coming for my 50 th birthday in 2017! So excited! This will be my first ever trip to Iceland. Can’t wait! Thanks for the blog. I think it would be fun to come back in the summer to see the difference!

    1. mm Auður says:

      Are you a fellow aquarian? Happy birthday and enjoy! 🙂

      1. Zoe says:

        My husband and I are coming in Feb 2017 for his 40th. We are both Aquarians too ♒♒

    2. jimmy says:

      Hi Cheryl, im planning to travel for my 50th as well, 2/18, if you’re there then let’s meet for a drink, peace, jimmy

      1. Lorraine says:

        Hi Jimmy and Cheryl; I’m traveling Feb for my 50th as well!! But Feb 2-6. Have a great time!!

  5. Captain says:

    I am visiting next February, will there be much snow around..? I have visited Latvia in winter. It was very cold 25 celsius below zero, it warmed up to minus 10 one day. Can I expect these conditions?

    1. mm Auður says:

      It’s impossible to know, it’s not unlikely that we’ll have snow but it all depends on what kind of winter we have. So far it’s been quite mild.

      As for -25°C, you will not experience temperature like that, maybe -10°C at most but you can see averages at the top of this post.

  6. Vania says:

    I have just booked my trip for late February / early March. So excited!!! I am loving reading your posts!

    1. Amar says:

      we r going around your time to tour Iceland too. Lets share things that will help us.

  7. Anj says:

    Just an FYI, your rainbow reykjavik link is to .com when it should be .is


    Thanks for the info tho! I did find it.

  8. Amar says:

    We r planning to visit between February 20to 27. Would appreciate you input . We plan to rent a car and also take advantage of the tours available and plan to stay in hotels outside & in Reykjavik.
    Lastly chase the Northern Lights.
    Await your suggestions,


    1. mm Auður says:

      If you want help to plan your trip I suggest you send us an e-mail

  9. Anna says:

    My birthday (2-27) AND anniversary (2-6) are both in February; my husband and I will be visiting in Feburary with our son and my parents! We are so excited and ready for quite an adventure. I have your walking tour written down as something I want to do and possibly combine with a whale watching tour. We are adventurous and up for all kinds of things, and will dress for the weather. Currently in Chicago it is very very cold; way colder than lowest recorded temps for you guys in February! So we are ready!

    1. mm Auður says:

      Iceland is ready for you too!

  10. Kathleen says:

    I will be heading to Iceland from February 15th-24th, looking forward to it! I can’t wait to see the Northern Lights! *Fingers Crossed*

  11. Silke Janssens says:

    Just booked my first trip to Iceland in February?. Can’t wait to visit this beautiful country together with my 10 year old son❄️?.

    1. mm Auður says:

      I hope the weather cooperates with you 🙂

  12. Betty says:

    Do you recommend snow boots or sturdy hiking boots for a February visit? I am most concerned about falling.

    1. mm Auður says:

      Depends completely on what you are going to be doing while you are here. I usually just wear my hiking shoes for everything but they can be slippery at times in which case I have spikes to put under my shoes. I also have snow boots that I recently purchased and I’ve enjoyed having them for the city as they are a bit cuter than hiking boots.

  13. Letita Trejo S. says:

    Yo quiero conocer Islandia ?? … someday ☺️

  14. Marie says:

    Ive enjoyed reading your blog and it has inspired me and given me the courage to take my 20 month old to Iceland this coming February! We’re coming all the way from Los Angeles, so this will be a nice taste of real winter for us. We’d love to meet you if feasible! All the best!

    1. mm Auður says:

      I’m always fairly busy but you’re welcome to send me an e-mail closer to the date 🙂

  15. Cheryl says:

    My husband and I are also visiting in February, and are thrilled to see so many others making the trip at the same time. we have seen countless photos and made bucket lists of things to see and do. But I have seen one in particular of a basalt columns that are colored and have a river or stream running through them. can you tell me where this is?

    1. mm Auður says:

      I’m sorry, this doesn’t ring a bell. Basalt columns are usually not colored – was it maybe just the light in the photo?

  16. Silvio Ramos says:

    Hello All,
    I’m very excited about my trip to Iceland on 02/02/17, I’m planning to check out few places and of course see the Northern Lights, I rented a car to have little more freedom, and be able to see more interesting places within my 5 day visit. See you around …

  17. Lisa Portelli says:

    Hi can you recommend some good but cheap places to eat in Reykjavik. We are going next Sunday and can’t wait but on a bit of a budget especially after our tour company changed our hotel to a more expensive one. Looking at the menus at the hotel, food and drink prices are pretty high! So any advice or tips would be great. Thank you

  18. Teresa says:

    I will be visiting for my first time in a mere 20 days! I will also be celebrating my birthday when I arrive and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m planning on driving the ring road, but now I’m getting a little nervous. Are the conditions acceptable to drive? I’m from Upstate New York and I’m used to snow but that hasn’t been making me feel any better! Any advice for driving?

  19. Malia says:

    I’m visiting Iceland at the end of the month, but the weather forecast looks very gray and rainy. What do you think are the chances of seeing the Northern Lights and being able to enjoy the Golden Circle Tour? Thanks for all your great tips!

    1. mm Auður says:

      You can’t look at the weather forecast at the beginning of the month for the end of the month and it’s impossible to say at this point.

      1. Lisa Portelli says:

        Ive just come back this week and it was predicted rain everyday but it seemed to be more during the night rather then the day as it predicted. We had one day of rain but it was on and off all day and clear in the evening but very strong winds then by 11pm rain again but the weather report said rain storms and thunder all day!
        As for the Golden Circle its in a different area so the weather conditions were different to Reykjavik, we left in drizzle but arrived to snow everywhere and strong, blustery winds!
        The day we left we had hurricane form winds and torrential rain but it all suddenly stopped at 1pm and we had no wind but it was very cold suddenly! You can’t predict or go by the weather reports for Iceland as the weather changes rapidly and can be unpredictable and thats even what the locals say. Its all part of the experience of visiting Iceland.

        1. malia says:

          Thanks! It does seem to be the consensus to prepare for any weather, especially this time of year:-)

  20. Vania says:

    As for Northen Lights, one piece of advice I can give is travel for all the amazing sights and places you will see, and treat the lights as a bonus if you happen to see them! Of coursd we all would love to enjoying a northern lights show in the sky, but it’s beyond our planning. I have been to the Yukon, Canada few times and did not see them until last time. That didn’t make any of my first trips worth less, as I still had so much fun. On that note, I will be in Iceland in 2 weeks and cannot wait! I will keep my fingers crossed for lights, but I know I will love it regardless!

  21. Jude says:

    We are here in Reykjavik at the end of 5 incredible days. We came expecting cold weather & ice but it’s been exceptionally mild, and we’ve been blessed with little rain. It’s been cloudy, so no Northern Lights, but I agree that seeing them was never a priority for us. It’s impossible to guarantee. Bring layers, be prepared to walk lots so bring good walking shoes. Walking is the best way to see Reykjavik I think.

    1. mm Auður says:

      I agree with the walking part – which is why I came up with our walking tours 🙂

  22. dramaqueen says:

    We just got back from Iceland, was expecting to see snows covering the whole Iceland the moment we exit the airport, instead it was all rainy & cloudy with brown vegetation everywhere (feels like autumn)…we were there for 13 days from 11-23 Feb & it rains day & night for 8 days, the night skies were so cloudy that we didn’t manage to catch any aurora..

    We decided to change our itinerary last minute & travel up north to Akureyri, according to our horse riding guide, it only started snow a few days before we come & luckily on our 1st night stay in Laugar, we manage to see the aurora!! Not a very clear one as there’s still some cloud cover, that’s the one & only night we had it..the next few days we had snow storms until we left Iceland..

    Despite the rain, I could say we had a very unique travel experience in Iceland..autumn in the south (rain) & winter (snow) in the north during winter time..Its just a pity that we couldn’t go the ice cave because it was flooded with water =(

    1. mm Auður says:

      This has been an unusual winter and you just missed the snow here in the south. But I’m glad you were able to enjoy your trip regardless.

  23. Sharon says:

    Can I say, we’v just had the most amazing holiday in Reykjavik. We landed Feb 26 to the view if snow, snow n a bit more snow, staff from the tour operator were on hand as usual and nothing seemed to stop, busses running, shops open, tours still going ahead, this was so awsomw to see this place like this, friends had been recently and enjoyed it but which all the snow the falls, geysers, mountains and lagoon were all the more inspiring, not a once in a life time as will definitely be going back

    1. mm Auður says:

      Glad you had such a good time and you really got a lot of snow – record amount actually 🙂

  24. char hingle says:

    I want to visit in February as well!!! That is my birthday month. I was just told today by a friend that there are a lot of things closed in February. Is this true?

    1. mm Auður says:

      No, things generally don’t close in February.

  25. katie says:

    Hi! I love reading your posts. My husband and I are taking a very belated honeymoon to Iceland in February (10-14th, 2018) – coming from Florida, USA. We are staying about 10km south of Reykjavik, and want to see as much as we can, in the short time we’re there. Would we be crazy to rent a car in the winter conditions? We don’t have a lot of experience with winter driving due to our tropical home climate. Thanks so much for your input!

    1. mm Auður - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      It’s not crazy but just be prepared that the weather can be all over the place and the conditions unpredictable.

    2. Cheryl Robson says:

      We went last February and are still talking about the trip. We rented the car, I will tell you we are from Chicago and used to winter and we took tours and drove. We did run into a total whiteout and it came out of nowhere. I will also say that the cost of the car rental for 5 days cost more than our airfare. I will suggest tours to the Glacier Lagoon, was amazing, and also into the glacier. If you want to see the Northern lights, and who doesn’t. I can not say this more emphatically. GO WITH ARTIC SHOTS and ask for Bragi.OMG the cost is well worth it. Though most tours leave from Reykjavik. You may find it difficult to get tours especially the that are full day leaving at 7am.

  26. Anita Lucia says:

    I am so happy to have found your blog! My husband and I are going to visit in February this year . We have one day/night booked on a Golden Circle/buubble tour which we are particularly excited about. I was happy to read that there is a city card as we love exploring new cities and have found that to be the best way to go. Thanks so much for an entertaining and informative blog! Look for us on the Day 1 walking tour!

    1. mm Auður - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      Glad to hear you are enjoying the blog – I’ll keep my best men on the lookout for you 🙂

  27. jimmy D says:

    Audor, I leave for Iceland on January 30th till Feb 4th and can hardly contain myself. You blog is a God sent for my travel itinerary plans. I so hope to see the Norther Lights and soak in the local pools as in on a budget. Isn’t there a public pool on the beach in Reykjavik? Is there any pools that you can be naked, lol, i have no shame. Money wise, if its 7.500 IK does that mean 7.50 US? Thanks for all you help and HAPPY BIRTHDAY COMING! Best Regards, Jimmy D from New Jersey

    1. mm Auður - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      There are hotpots in Nauthólsvík geothermal beach but they have limited opening hours in winter (possibly they’re only open during the lunch hour or something like that). You need to wear a swimsuit to all the public pools but you can go naked to any nature pool if you feel comfortable.

      7.500 ISK is seven thousand five hundred and it’s roughly 75 USD. I tried explaining this in this post: https://iheartreykjavik.net/2016/01/how-to-book-your-activities-in-iceland-like-a-pro/

  28. Julia says:

    Hello Auður,
    I have quite a strange question to you: what can you suggest for someone who is planning to go to Iceland in February fro the 6th time? :)))

    1. mm Auður - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      It all depends on what you did in the previous 6 trips 🙂

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