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Iceland in March, between winter and summer

March is a transitional month here in Iceland. The days are getting longer, we have more and more daylight and it is also the last month when you can enjoy the Northern lights and some Ice Caves. It is also a nice period to travel if you want to experience the Land of Fire and Ice during the cold season. 

Photo by Rory Hennessey on Unsplash

In the Old Norse calendar, March corresponds to the month of Góa which is the penultimate month of winter and starts always on a Sunday between February 18th and February 25th. Góa is the daughter of King Þórri, the whole month is dedicated to women hence at the beginning of the month of Góa, Icelanders are celebrating Konudagur-Wife’s Day. The month of Góa lasts for 30 days which means that the 24th of March is the last day of the month. 

On the 25th of March starts the last month of winter in Iceland, Einmánuður. The Old Norse calendar follows the sun and the weather changes. That is why March and April are transition months. 

During March the average temperature stays at 0℃, 32℉, the sun rises at 7:42 am and sets at 19:28 pm. This means much more mobility for exploring Iceland than in the first months of winter. It is also the last and the perfect month for seeing the Northern Lights because the weather is not so moody and the temperatures are more friendly during the night.   

You can do more than just sightseeing in Iceland and here are some activities that you can do in March. 

Hunting the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

There is a higher chance to see the Northern lights in March because the weather is milder, there are not so many storms, the sky is clearer and this is an important condition when you want to “hunt” them. 

So if you are travelling to Iceland during March take warm clothes with you because during your stay you will most probably be outside chasing the Northern lights. It is not a thing to miss, right?

Pssst, the Northern Lights has witnessed many engagements and at the same time has offered the best views for such a special moment. 

Exploring an Ice Cave

The cold season is the best one for exploring the icy part of Iceland, especially the ones under the glaciers. Exploring a Blue Ice Cave is one of those activities and I can guarantee that is something you will never forget. Plan and book in advance your tour at the Blue Ice Cave as many people come to Iceland during winter and want to explore the ice caves.

You can pair the Blue Ice Cave tour with a glacier hiking tour. You can choose a tour either on Vatnajökull which is the largest glacier in Europe or you can hike on Mýrdalsjökull located north from Vík í Mýrdal town.

Experiencing a dog-sledging tour

There is a higher chance to still find snow in Iceland in March so a dog-sledging tour will be the cutest part of your trip. Our furry friends here in Iceland are ready to give you a memorable experience. There are also many other activities that are COOLer during the winter: snowmobile tour, enjoying a geothermal bath, enjoying museum exhibitions.

Bolludagur, sprengidagur and öskudagur

This is probably the best time to be in Iceland because the Icelanders are celebrating Bun day, Explosion day and Ash Wednesday and this year all these festive days are happening between the 28th of February and the 2nd of March. 

Bolludagur – Bun day

On this day Icelanders are eating pastries filled up with cream, jam and covered in chocolate. The buns are either homemade or bought from bakeries. Children are dressing up kinda like on Halloween and they made their own “bolluvöndur” which is a paper decorated wooden stick.

Sprengidagur – Explosion day

This day took its name from the fact that Icelanders are eating so much soup with vegetables, salted meat and lentils until they metaphorically “explode”. This is the last day before Lent. Lent lasts from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday and it is a religious-related period that is happening before Easter. 

Öskudagur – Ash Wednesday

On Ash Wednesday children have the day off from school, they are dressing up and go from house to house or from shops to different companies to sing for treats. It is like an Icelandic Halloween. 

Photo source: Reykjavik Excursions

Rainbow Reykjavik Winter Pride

Iceland ranks on top for having the highest gender equality rate. Gender equality is a valuable thing in Iceland with a long tradition and you will see this once you come to Iceland. Pride parades from Iceland are very known worldwide and there are many parades and events throughout the year. 

There is not an exact date for Rainbow Reykjavik Winter Pride for this year, but from the experience of the last years, this event takes place at the beginning of March.

Rainbow Reykjavik Winter Pride is a small festival dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community across the world and there are limited places for those who want to participate. The festival consists of travelling and exploring Iceland, participating in parties, group dinners and trips, meeting the locals. 

The official website is Rainbow Reykjavik and you can find more information about activities, hotels, the period of the festival, programs and tickets there. 


Photo source: Visit Reykjavik
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