When is the right time to explore glaciers on Your Solo Trip to Iceland?

If heaven can be found on earth, it is probably Iceland. A country with its extremely contrasting landscapes, ‘the land of fire and ice’ is abounding with glaciers, volcanoes, mountains, and waterfalls. 

Do glaciers fascinate you? They definitely leave me speechless! For me, exploring the glaciers in Iceland was a big part of my trip. 

The most popular months of visiting Iceland are July and August, with visitors thronging the attractions to make the most of the long day hours. On the flip side, you may find the popular destinations overcrowded! But I believe you can always find your calm in Iceland, even in chaos. 

While there is no right or wrong time to explore Iceland and its beautiful glaciers, I will try to give you a roundup of the plus and minus of each season. As tourists, we have different expectations from nature’s attractions! Some of us like to gaze at the gorgeous milky white glaciers moving with the huge ice masses, while some like to go all adventurous and take a long hike! So decide what you want to experience and pick a season accordingly.

When it comes to Iceland, 11 percent of its land is covered with ice. So name it—ice caps, mountain glaciers, rocky glaciers—you can witness in Iceland. Can you guess the number of identified glaciers in Iceland? 269!

Even though you are spoilt for choices, let’s rank the top five glaciers for you! Vatnajökull or ‘the water glacier’ is Iceland’s largest glacier and a must-visit, followed by Svínafellsjökull and Falljökull located in the Skaftafell National Park. 

Breiðamerkurjökull and Mýrdalsjökull should make it to your bucket list!

Let’s find out now which glaciers are the most fun during which season!

1. Glaciers in summer

Iceland’s glaciers are extremely welcoming during the summer months. Visiting Iceland in summer will not deprive you of any beautiful sight of the glaciers. It is not for nothing that summer is the season for crowds, advance bookings, and steep hotel prices. Find out why:  

21 hours of daylight!

Oh yes! That’s right. Iceland gets over 20 hours of daylight during the summer months. This practically means that you can pack your itinerary with activities. The sun shines from 3 am to midnight. If you want to do glacier gazing where you want to see the midnight sun shining bright on the moving chunks of ice and catch the hue of pink and gold playing out, then summer is your perfect month to visit the glaciers! You can stay up till late in the night and enjoy the magical views of this gorgeous land.

Go hiking 

Glacier hiking is not reserved for the months of winter alone! Even though the weather will be on the warmer side, there is plenty of ice to carry on with the glacier activities. 

The hike on the Sólheimajökull glacier is an easy and accessible one and is available throughout the year! Here you will find blue ice and ice chunks. This sightseeing will leave you overwhelmed with emotions! You can even hike on top of the glacier and climb on the ice with the help of an ice axe. One of the sad facts is that this glacier is shrinking, so it is best that you explore it as much as you can!

There are round-the-year glacier walks along the Vatnajökull glacier too, which you should take advantage of! You can even consider skiing and snowmobiling on the glaciers in summer. 

I would suggest you book a hiking tour guide so that you have professional help with you! There are many organised tours which you can look up. It may not be a good idea to go about on your own as glaciers are tricky areas, and you do not want to play with safety, especially on a solo trip! 

Plenty of time to explore the surroundings

Going in summers also means that you have a lot of time to explore the surrounding waterfalls, volcanoes, and beaches. Iceland has hidden waterfalls every few steps. There is no way that you can miss these hidden gems. Long days in the summer will help you pack more into your itinerary and discover the beautiful areas around the glaciers.     

You can roam around in warm weather

Iceland’s weather is quite unpredictable and changes at the drop of a hat! Summer months are no exception! But we can safely assume that you will find relatively warm weather during the long hikes and do not have to deal with the icy cold wind and sub-zero temperatures! So you can have a comfortable hike. But do not forget to pack your scarf and jacket! You never know what the moody weather is up to next!

Explore every nook and corner

During the winter, roads are often closed due to snow, and some areas become inaccessible around the glaciers. In the summer, you can go on exploring every nook and corner of the countryside without a worry in the world. Do remember to take your map everywhere when you are going to the areas around the glaciers, and do go with experts!

I know now you are totally tempted to take advantage of the long summer days! But remember to slow down and not make it too hectic for yourself. 

Take jeep tours 

If you are looking to catch the majestic look of glaciers in summer, consider jeep tours on them! The jeep tour of glaciers gives you an absolutely classic experience which you will keep thinking of long after your trip is over!

This is available throughout the year, so you have no worries if you are making a trip to Iceland in the summer!

2. Glaciers in autumn

This is another grand season to explore the glaciers. You can do the regular activities of jeep tours, ice hiking, and snowmobiling during this season. There is another advantage to going in the autumn—you will not find the areas too crowded. It is not as peak a tourist season like the summer.   

Have you thought of ice cave excursions in the autumn? Wee, if you haven’t, you should definitely give it a thought!

Visit the ice cave on Langjökull

You can reach this ice cave easily from Reykjavik. If you want to experience this ice cave which is measuring 7 by 10 meters with 25 meters of ice above your head in the autumn, then definitely visit the ice cave on Langjökull.  

Visit Katla ice cave

You can visit the Katla ice cave during the autumn. This ice cave is located on the Mýrdalsjökull glacier. It has stripes of black volcanic ash in the ice walls. The stunning views will leave you mesmerised for the rest of your life!

Autumn lends beautiful colours to the glaciers

The hue of autumn lends a beautiful colour to the milky white glaciers. As you go about with the ice excursions, see the colour palette on the glacier reflecting the breathtaking autumn views of Iceland!

3. Glaciers in winters

If glaciers are going to be the highlight of your trip, then perhaps you should close your eyes and book your tickets for the winters to Iceland. 

The long list of winter activities with glaciers at the centre of the solo travelling is an exhilarating feeling! I am also biased to winters in Iceland because you can catch the Northern lights during this season. The auroras are the major attractions in this wonderland, and why not make use of the two most beautiful gifts of Iceland? 

The list for why winters are an absolute delight to visit the glaciers is quite long! Get your warmers out, pack your wind jacket and winter boots, and be ready to brave the sub-zero temperatures!

Go for multi-day glacier exploring

You cannot get enough of the winter snow! So why don’t you book a multi-day glacier tour with a reputed company? As you move from one glacier to another, you will know of the fun facts around each of these geographical marvel. The itinerary around this super cool winter activity will be taken care of. The base point of the trip is likely to be Reykjavik, from where you will be picked up. You will be camping along with a group during this five-day period or more!

The beauty of exploring the glaciers on a solo trip during winters with a bunch of new friends that you make during the excursion is just amazing! Do take plenty of pictures of the glacier in its winter dress!

Road trip to the glaciers

You must have heard a lot about the beautiful road journey to the glaciers during the winters. Well, whoever told you that it is one of the most treasured experiences of life did not exaggerate!

For this, too, your starting point is likely to be Reykjavik! But I would highly recommend that you do not venture out on your own during the winters as the roads can be quite dangerous if you do not have enough knowledge of driving in this area. You also need the right equipment to move around the glaciers in this season. So be all prepared for this beautiful road trip.

Ice tunnel tours       

Ice tunnel tours are super fascinating! Did you know that scientists made the Langjökull ice tunnel on top of the Langjökull glacier? The ice tunnel is 1,800 ft. long and the largest man-made ice tunnel in the world. It allows visitors to see the insides of a glacier, so you are definitely in for a visual treat! You can pair this with a snowmobiling tour or take a ride to the top of the gorgeous glacier in a monster truck!

Snowmobiling tours in Iceland’s glaciers

Snowmobiling is one of the most fun activities in winter on Iceland’s glaciers! In fact, Iceland is unique that way. It is among the few places in the world where you can snowmobile on the glacier’s surface! 

Go snowmobile even on a volcano top covered with glacial ice (how cool is that?)! I can only imagine your adrenaline rush thinking about this!

Though available throughout the year, the winter adds a definite charm to this activity. 

Lagjökull remains the most popular destination for snowmobiling. Iceland has a culture of snowmobiling, and many locals even own snowmobiles! 

Did you know snowmobiling is not just a recreational activity in the Icelandic culture but also used in rescue operations?

Snow hiking, walking

I have already mentioned before that summer offers a great snow hike experience. But the glacier hiking experience in winters is pure joy! The overdose of snow will leave you with the best memories and pictures. 

Dress up warmly as you will feel very cold when you reach the top of the glacier! Spend a white Christmas amid the glaciers—this will be one of the most defining moments of your life.   

Ride on dogsled

Have you thought about exploring the glaciers on the back of a dogsled? You can opt for a two-hour drive with around three more people on each sled. The sled is carried by Siberian husky dogs, which are super energetic! Around eight dogs carry the sled! You can go dogsledding on Langjökull glacier and on Lake Mývatn in northeast Iceland.

Take glacier lagoon tours

Go for a glacier lagoon and south shore tour. You can take an overnight driving tour to this beautiful lagoon and mesmerise yourself! This will include an ice cave tour, and do not forget to chase the Northern lights dancing in the night sky! 

Now there is no good or bad season for the glaciers. Every season is perfect for exploring the glaciers in Iceland. Each season will come with its own pros and cons. 

Iceland’s glaciers will give you a bit of both—calm in the wilderness and enough adventurous opportunities!  

There is no reason to mull over the best season to visit the glaciers. Instead, be spontaneous and book your tickets for your ultimate solo travel experience in Iceland! 

Look for the word ‘jokull,’ meaning glaciers in the Icelandic language, and go enjoy! 


An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.

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