Traveling in Iceland in late August 2012
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Aug 8, 2012 7:44 PM Last Post By: ctlim76
Dec 29, 2011 12:30 PM
Traveling in Iceland in late August 2012We are looking to travel to Iceland either during the last week of August or the first week of Sept for 9-10 days.
I have read that there is a major difference of temperatures and weather conditions in August and in Sept?
How cold/rainy/snowy can it be one-two weeks apart?
I understand that, nevertheless, the weather is very unpredictable.
I am a travel photographer and will be looking to drive the ring road for the usual tourist sights, but we are also interested in driving through the interior of the country to see more off the beaten path attractions. How feasible is this during late Aug/Early Sept, especially in case of a snow storm?
Do we really need to rent a 4WD to see the major tourist sites and drive through the interior?
What day tours (glacier hiking, kayaking to a waterfall, etc) are recommended?
How soon should we start booking accommodations?
What are the slim odds of catching the northern lights at this time of the year since it gets dark at or before 9pm?
Dec 30, 2011 5:09 AM
1Well I don't think there is a major difference in that period, but there can be a difference, every week is getting closer to winter and sunlight is getting shorter, I would recommend August if possible. You don't need 4WD for the ring road, however I would strongly recommend 4WD if you plan to drive into the highlands. It is even possible to get snow late August in the highlands.
The best time to see the northern lights are between November and April, but then again it really depends on the weather conditions. I would say that your changes are slim of seeing the northern lights in your travel period.
Dec 30, 2011 1:40 PM
Dec 31, 2011 6:30 AM
3As #2 wrote 4x4 is mandatory for F-roads, but for rental 4x4's even some F-roads are off limit, check
with your rental company which ones you can use, crossing a ford and drowning the car you bought it no insurance will cover that.
For the normal ring road and getting to the attractions on it a 2x4 is enough even if you get gravel roads.
The interior has only F-roads, so no chance at all with a 2x4, but if you're unlucky you pay a 4x4 and the interior
is closed already.
Edited by: tempelton
Jan 4, 2012 10:22 PM
4Thanks so much for all the comments! I will definitely continue my research and will get back to this thread with more questions. I think if the price difference between a 2X4 and a 4X4 is not that different, than I'll rent a 4X4 but than again gas consumption might be a huge difference....
What particular impressive sites are recommended to see in the highlands? Will we need to carry a extra container of gasoline when driving around this area?
Is it worth driving to the West Fjords region to find stunning scenery?
Can we explore Vatnajökull Glacier on our own or is it more feasible to do a day tour of the glacier lake?
Jan 5, 2012 12:44 AM
5Gasoline will not be such a big problem.
Prices are natually at European level (taxed) and not the give-away prices in the US - and the actual car may dirve from say 8 to 20 km/liter - BUT the country is relatively small so the 2-3 times you must fill the car will be peanuts relative to food, flight tickets, accommodation and the rent itself. And the difference between a small 2WD and a small (but not a S.Jimny) 4WDwill be significant larger than the price of those 2 or 3 tanks
Jan 5, 2012 3:55 AM
Jan 5, 2012 4:50 AM
Of course, you may still experience light snow, falling short of road closure, in interior locations in late August/early September.
Jan 13, 2012 9:26 PM
8I just came across Hornstrandir nature reserve in the Westfjords. The place is a must go for us. We would probably stay there 2 days and one night late August (27th onwards) is that too late to visit this area?.
I read that the only way to get there is by boat and that tents,sleeping bags and food must be brought over. We are not looking to bring any of that on this trip because we are also visiting other countries. Is there a nearby town where we could rent these things? Any specific place that we could park our 4WD for 2 days?
From where the non tour boat drops you off, how long is the hike to the Hornbjarg bird-cliffs? and on the next day, how long to hike the Hornstrandir peninsula all the way to the tip and back to the boat pick up location?
How reliable are the boats to get there and come back on the scheduled time, weather-wise?
Are we better off taking a hiking day tour instead of doing it independently?
Jan 14, 2012 5:36 AM
and you will see, as an indication of possible conditions, that last year regular boats stopped on 22 August, but there were two final sporadic boats on 26 and 28th.
You'll have to wait and see this year's timetable to be sure what you can do.
There is little point going to visit bird cliffs as late as 27 August, there won't be much left to see. If it's birds you are interested in, you are coming far too late in the season, come in July.
There are some open buildings at Hornstrandir you can shelter in, so you don't necessarily need a tent, but you will need sleeping bag and mat, provided you have researched precisely where they are. It's unlikely that there will be much competition for space late in the season. It's a good idea to bring a sleeping bag to Iceland anyway as it saves considerably on accommodation costs.
Jan 14, 2012 2:04 PM
10I saw they had the tour as late as 8/16/11 last year, so, i might have to move the arrival to mid August if it's the same for this year. Is this also a better time to travel everywhere else in Iceland than in late August/early Sept, especially if also visiting the highlands?
Aug 8, 2012 7:44 PM
11hello, im going to iceland with a group of friends from manila from aug30 - sept11. we are taking a landscape photo tour with tim vollmer and iiure belegurschi.
there is much difference between august and september in terms of hours of daylight
august 15 sunrise 5:18, sunset 9:36 / total daylight 16h 18m
august 22 sunrise 5:39, sunset 9:12 / total daylight 15h 32m
august 29 sunrise 6:00, sunset 8:47 / total daylight 14h 47m
sept 1 sunrise 6:08, sunset 8:36 / total daylight 14h 28m
sept 8 sunrise 6:28 sunset 8:12 / total daylight 13h 42m
sept 10 sunrise 6:34 sunset 8:05 / total daylight 13h 30m
you will get a "chance" to see the aurora if the nights are longer and would not want to head to iceland during winter, as there will be very few shots taken in the day (or in sunrise and sunset light). do take note that you are only given 8 hrs of night AUG 15, in September it rises from 10-11 hrs of night, which is enough to go aurora hunting.
you will have to be at the right location where it is often hunted at and very very dark, the nights are colder so it is favorable, plus 2012 is a favorable year for the northern and southern light due to the extreme solar activity. Look around enough and you will see tons of photos taken in Iceland with an aurora on September months. (again weather permitting)
if you want to drive into the interior you will need a 4wd SUV. temperature will be at a high of 12 at a low of 5, sometimes colder due to wind. you can expect four seasons in one day, and chances for now as well during late august to early september.
this is a shoulder month, summer tourists are usually heading back home, but do book now if you are going. also, as I have been told some areas in the interior have been closed by the government already in the past two weeks.
also the transition from summer to autumn has started already it has been raining the past days and for the coming weeks with the weather starting to improve by august 31. of course it is still a baseline since there are still a couple more weeks to go.
for more info you can inquire from:
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