Iceland short breaks travel guide

The test of a top notch shortie is when you come home feeling as if you have been away for a fortnight. And the timeless nature of short breaks in Iceland has that effect. If you travel during summer, you enter the realm of the midnight sun, when itís best just to leave your watch at home and let the universe guide you. Or in winter months, when the Aurora abounds, you may be whisked off in the middle of the night if she decides to come out to play.
the best thing about taking a short break in Iceland is that, with so many otherworldly highlights, it feels like you've been away much, much longer...
Whatever time you decide to go, do explore beyond the tourist trail and into the mountains or fjords. Or go on a foray into the islandís lava fields and crater lakes, where you enter timeless landscapes touched by myths and magic. These arenít just short breaks. In Iceland, they are mind boggling and all consuming short stories.
Read our Iceland short breaks travel guide for more details.

Is an Iceland short break for you?

Go on an Iceland short break holiday ifÖ

... you need just a quick dose of living the dream. Iceland is as close to waking up on another planet as you can get on a short European break. ... you want to see the Northern Lights. New Year and Valentineís Day trips are popular for seeing the Aurora too. ... you want a half term trip with a difference for your children. Iceland is one big outdoor classroom, with a lot of fun on the agenda too. ... you want to rock out in Reykjavik, one of the coolest capitals right now. You can rock out in all the geological gorgeousness on its doorstep too, of course.

Donít go on an Iceland short break holiday if...

... you donít like being outdoors. Itís volcanic and vibrant. Itís a landscape that is always on the move, and so are most people who holiday here. ... you arenít flexible about plans if the weather doesnít turn out good. Itís volcanic and vibrant. Itís a landscape that is always on the move, and so are most people who holiday here. ... you want a cheap getaway. Like all Nordic holidays, they come at a price. But
their landscapes are priceless.
... you only have a weekend. It may only be a three-hour flight away, but youíll need a good five days to experience Iceland.

Best time to go on an Iceland short break

We were so glad that we had been told about the Orcas passing by in February, as we made sure we added on an excursion out to see them
The majority of short break holidays to Iceland are aimed at seeing the Northern Lights. Small group holiday companies are experts at timing these to enable a good chance of catching the Aurora, with February, March, September and October the best times, when the equinox is doing its thing and there are still plenty of daylight hours. For tailor made trips, go anytime, with summer months glorious for those long midnight sun days giving extra time to catch as much as you can on a short trip. New Year and Valentine’s Day special trips are available, too.

Iceland Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
-4
1
99
FEB
-3
2
97
MAR
-3
2
99
APR
-1
5
75
MAY
3
9
60
JUN
6
11
67
JUL
7
13
66
AUG
7
12
83
SEP
4
9
86
OCT
1
6
115
NOV
-2
2
97
DEC
-4
1
100

Our top Iceland short breaks Holiday

Iceland holiday, Valentine's Day special

Iceland holiday, Valentine's Day special

Adventure and romance in the northernmost capital

From £1100 to £3000 6 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip is available over Valentine's day
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Iceland short breaks or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

WHEN TO GO ON AN ICELAND SHORT BREAK & WHEN NOT TO

Iceland in winter can be spectacular – short breaks to see in the New Year or celebrate Valentine’s Day run now – but temperatures can plummet as low as -30°C, particularly in the north, with December, January and February the iciest months. Wind chill can make apparent temperatures feel even lower, so it’s essential to pack proper thermal gear. Winter road closures make access to some areas difficult. By late January, there is daylight for about seven hours.
Winter is dark, too. Late November through December and into January are seriously lacking in daylight – not an issue for aurora seekers, but frustrating for photographers or outdoor adventurers.
The Northern Lights appear from September until April, but February and March are two of the best months for seeing them at their most dramatic (September and October are also excellent) and lots of short breaks run at this time and with this aim. Cloud can be an issue, though, particularly in February which is the snowiest month, with over 30cm falling.
April can still be snowy, with average temperatures around 3°C, but by May the days are stretching, from almost 17 hours of daylight at the start of the month, to 20 hours by the end.
Conditions are usually suitable for small ship cruise expeditions from May until September. Short break cruises to see whales, catch the Northern Lights and visit remote corners of the island running in September and October.
June, July and August are great times to be active in Iceland. Short breaks to go walking, cycling and exploring make the most of the endless daylight from June to August and temperatures in the low 20°Cs.
Snow comes as early as September (and can linger to May).
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Moyan Brenn] [Is an Iceland short break for you: Joshua Earle] [Temp box: Paul Morris]
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