March is definitely a good time of year to go to Iceland. The country has just started to shake off the cold of winter (though not by much), the Northern Lights are still visible, and as we make the transition into spring, more hours of daylight slowly creep back into our daily lives. So how cold is Iceland in March? Does it snow? And what clothes should you pack for your trip? There are a lot of things to do in Iceland in March. Let’s look at some crucial information regarding March weather in Iceland that you need to know if you plan on driving around Iceland during this special time of year.
Is March a Good Time to Go to Iceland?
Many people think that it is always cold in Iceland. In fact, due to its name and northern latitude, many people picture an icy tundra, devoid of life. While it’s true that summers in Iceland are warmer, March is still a great month to go to Iceland. We’re no longer in the dead of winter, so you’ve got more daylight and slightly warmer temperatures. We also haven’t completely arrived in spring, so winter and cold weather activities still abound. You can hike Skaftafell glacier in Vatnajökull National Park, trek through ice caves and even explore those otherworldly turquoise blue glacier caves. And what about beautiful frozen waterfalls like Gullfoss and Godafoss? A wintery cascade of ice and snow stopped in suspended animation is one of the more haunting and elegant sights you will ever see.
And let’s not forget about the Northern Lights. During March in Iceland, you’ll have plenty of sunshine and daylight hours to take part in your daytime exploits. You’ll also have enough nighttime hours (and hopefully high aurora activity) to make a Northern Lights expedition worthwhile. The cold, clear nights in March make great conditions for viewing the Aurora Borealis in Iceland.
Average Temperatures – How Cold is Iceland in March?
Although this month sees a gradual increase, the temperature in Iceland during March is still quite cold. The warming effects of the Gulf Stream can be felt all winter long, but it still doesn’t change the fact that the island touches the Arctic Circle. Average temperatures in Iceland in March are similar to winter temperatures in most places: close to the freezing mark. So what does the reading on the thermometer say?
The average high temperature in March in Iceland is 38 ºF (3.3 ºC), and the average low is 28 ºF (-2.2 ºC). Remember that these are only weather averages for Iceland, so actual temperatures will vary every year. The southern part of Iceland is warmer than the northern part, so that will also affect temperatures.
- Average High Temperature in Iceland in March: 38 ºF (3.3 ºC)
- Average Low Temperature in Iceland in March: 28 ºF (-2.2 ºC)
Does it Snow in March in Iceland?
March is one of the wettest months in Iceland in terms of precipitation. Reykjavik receives an average of 3.2 inches (8.2 cm) of rainfall in March. And because temperatures hover right around 32 ºF (0 ºC), much of this precipitation comes in the form of snow, sleet, hail, ice, and freezing rain. You’re more likely to encounter rain as there might not be much snow on the ground, except maybe in the mountains.
How Many Hours of Daylight Does Iceland Get in March?
March sees a huge shift in the number of daylight hours in Iceland. We go from having 10-hour days at the beginning of the month to a full 13.5 hours by the end. Here are the sunrise and sunset times in March in Iceland so you can get an idea of how to plan your excursions to the Golden Circle, Vík, and more.
- March 1st: Sunrise at 8:36 am | Sunset at 6:45 pm
- March 15th: Sunrise at 7:47 am | Sunset at 7:27 pm
- March 31st: Sunrise at 6:50 am | Sunset at 8:15pm
Is March the Best Month to See the Northern Lights in Iceland?
The fall months of September and October and the winter months of February and March are usually the best ones for seeing the Northern Lights. They’re somewhat visible from Reykjavik, but in order to have the best view, you need to get away from the light pollution of the city. You can go it alone or hire a tour company that does Northern Lights excursions. It’s up to you!
What Clothes Should I Pack for Iceland in March?
When selecting which items to pack in your suitcase for your Iceland trip, the most important thing is to pick the right layers made from appropriate materials and put them in the correct order. You need a base layer made from a material like Merino wool. It both wicks moisture from the skin and traps precious body heat. Next, you’ll want a mid layer that serves a similar purpose. Fleece and wool are great here. Your third layer needs to be an insulating layer like a parka. And your fourth, outer layer needs to be a shell layer to keep the rain, wind, and moisture out. With the combination of these four layers, you’ll stay warm and dry by dressing correctly for Iceland in March.
March Weather in Iceland – Snow, Temperatures, Daylight Hours
When planning your trip to Iceland in March, I hope this information about the weather, temperatures, daylight hours, and what to pack proves helpful. March is a great time of year to visit Iceland; you just need to know what to expect!