Today I’m so excited to talk to you about September because it’s one of my favorite months of the whole year. September means a lot to me because it’s when we first traveled to Iceland for our honeymoon, fell in love, decided to move, you know the story! And not only that, September is really, really beautiful. So we’re going to talk today all about the daylight hours, the weather and all of the things. So let’s get into it!
Daylight hours in September
The most important thing when planning your trip any month, that is the daylight hours. The beginning of September we’re seeing 15 hours of daylight and towards the end, it’s down to 13. So we’re losing daylight people. We’re far off of the summer solstice and we’re going down, down, down into dark days of winter.
However, this is by no means a dark time of the year. You’re still getting plenty of daylight hours to explore, and it actually feels like a normal day to anyone else. But to locals, it’s a great time because we can finally start getting some more restful sleep.
Speaking of darkness, my all-time favorite thing of September is that this is full force Northern Lights season! September and October have classically been when I have seen the biggest Northern Lights and the best light shows available. So really, really, really get excited if you’re coming in September because you have the potential to see some of the best Northern Lights.
Weather in Iceland
This is the start of the time when we say that you can experience all four seasons in one day. So it’s really one of the most unpredictable months of the year. You should be expecting high winds, rain, sun and possibly snow, just depending on where you are and what the year is doing. Temperatures can range from 6-11 degrees Celsius or 42-59 degrees Fahrenheit.
The beginning of the month tends to have still those beautiful green summer colors, then at the end of the month we’re starting to lose some of that bold green color and things are turning more of a yellow-brown.
This is a really hard time of year to time if you want to come during the changing of the colors. They turn over really, really fast. So this time does not last very long in Iceland because the wind is blowing the leaves off the trees quite quickly.
Make sure you have rain gear literally from head to toe. September is notoriously rainy and I don’t want you to get caught in the rain and not be able to have the best adventure.
During September you’re going to be able to go pretty much everywhere. And I say that with one caveat and that is that the Highland roads begin closing sometime in September.
This always depends on the temperature and the conditions of the road and when it decides to start snowing, but they will start closing down access into the Highlands some point in September. So if you’re coming in the beginning of the month you will be able to access all of the roads yourself. You always want to check with the road association just to be sure about availability. Other than that you are totally free to roam around all areas of Iceland including Ring Road, Snæfellsnes, Golden Circle and the Westfjords.
Another thing to note about sightseeing in September is that the animals are becoming less and less. Some of them have gone out to sea like the puffins, sometimes the whales have already left. It all depends. So because of this, certain tours are not running as often. Just be aware of this as you’re booking in your excursions.
One a really good thing about September, however, is that the tourists really start dropping off. So there are fewer crowds at the major attractions. You’re kind of in shoulder seasons, so things might not be expensive and definitely not as busy in the hotels.
Driving in September
For driving in September, I’m going to say it’s relatively easy and that is because you still have pretty clear roads unless you’re running into snow. In that case you’re getting really unlucky. But for September you should usually be pretty good to use a 2wd vehicle unless you’re going into the Highlands. In that case, you also have to make sure that the Highland roads are still open, but you’ll get the point.
The last thing I’ll say about driving is, like I said, if you are planning on taking trips into Landmannalaugar, Thorsmork or the Highland area, then just make sure to be aware of the road conditions. You won’t be able to rely on tour companies during this time, but it might be possible to drive yourself in just according to the road conditions.
Festivals + events
- Reykjavik International Film Festival. This is obviously a movie festival where they’re showing over 100 movies from 40 different countries and they’re happening in venues all throughout Reykjavik. So this is a really fun thing to experience.
- And another really cool thing that happens in September is called réttir and that is the sheep Roundup. So in September the farmers go out and they herd the sheep back into the farms. It’s very likely that you will see one of these roundups happening, but I would suggest that you are very careful in terms of drivings because you could come across a whole herd of sheep that’s coming across the road and then the farmers are behind it. This is a really fun community event that happens. A lot of friends and family will go out and help the farm, get the sheep back into the sorting pins and it’s just really cool to see.
Remember, if you loved this information, you can get this and so much more inside of my Ring Road ebook! It even comes with my handy map, which helps you navigate all around the country, finding the hidden gems and just making sure that you don’t miss out on any of the sites.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me today, friends. I hope you loved this video. I’ll see you next week for another Iceland planning video!