Inside: Fun things to do in Iceland in March & our family itinerary.
When planning a vacation, just going through the list of activities that are offered in the region and picking your favorite ones may not be a smart move. I found this to be so true when planning our family trip to Iceland in the spring.
In the case of Iceland, if you plan to visit this country in July, hoping to witness icy waterfalls, northern light or and glacier tunnel treks, you may be left disappointed. What’s more, despite the misleading name, witnessing any snow in Iceland may prove to be a challenge any time of year.
This is why it is necessary to create an itinerary depending on the season you are visiting. Follow my planning for our Iceland in March for fun the whole family will enjoy.
No matter what time of the year you visit Iceland, you will find a bunch of fun activities to participate in.
If you’re planning to visit Iceland in March, here are some of the activities we loved doing the best!
Here is a download PDF of our exact Itinerary we planned to use for your week in Iceland.
The Drawbacks Of Traveling To Iceland In March
The thing about going to Iceland in spring is that you have to be very flexible because the weather can change VERY quickly. You can spend the whole three months planning everything down to the last detail and have it all change on you when you get there. As long as you go in knowing this and having a flexible mindset… it’s bound to be a great trip!
We ended up hitting the end of a large storm cycle so a few of our tours and adventures had to be rescheduled. Luckily, the local companies there (especially the ones I suggest in our spring trip itinerary) were great with helping us adjust and reschedule as needed.
A great thing about choosing to go to Iceland in Spring is that oftentimes you’re still able to catch the Northern Lights (bucket list YAY!), while also benefitting from the nicer weather. Instead of going in the dead of winter to see these.
How To Get To Iceland In The Spring
We flew direct on Iceland Air from Seattle to Reykjavík. It was a quick and easy flight to get to the other side of the world. I’ve heard that you can even plan a trip like this as a stopover now if you are heading to Europe, you can stay for up to a week in Iceland on the way without being charged extra!
Now onto our list of the best things we did on our family trip in March
The Blue Lagoon Hotel For Breakfast
I had read information that said, we should go straight from the airport to the Blue Lagoon since our flight landed early in the mornin, so that’s what we did! And it was a great decision.
The area around the lagoon and the actual hotel on property was so beautiful, I couldn’t believe it. It felt like a fairy tale!
There was snow covering everything and the lagoon itself was breathtaking. It was such a fun way to kick off our Iceland Experience.
One thing I will say though, is if you’re not gonna get breakfast at the airport, there’s not much in between the two. We ended up eating at the hotel that’s connected to the Blue Lagoon, which was kind of a pricey buffet breakfast. But we needed to sit and recoup after our flight, and the space was relaxing and so nice to sit and enjoy the scenery – that’s the window above. So it was well worth the money, not to mention the breakfast itself was fancy. Win-win!
After we enjoyed the Blue Lagoon and our breakfast, we all took our dip in the lagoon. We got the face masks, the drinks and throughly enjoyed ourselves. It was an experience that was one of a kind and I 100% think it’s worth the hype of the space.
Afterwards we grabbed some much-needed coffee and headed into town.
Stay In Reykjavik
We stayed at this hotel right in the center of Reykjavik. It was a great location to walk the city with a cute bakery across the street and a great bar downstairs.
We had been told by people to get an early check-in. In hind site, I wish we would have listened; that is something I would definitely do next time we go. After the day of travel, it would have been nice to be able to get there and take a quick nap. Instead, we explored the town, and it was beautiful. There are so many colorful houses. Something as simple as walking down the streets is a fun activity in Iceland.
It has such a rich history and is really different than where we live on the West Coast of the United States. Eventually were able to check into the hotel and settle in.
Iceland In March: Eat The Local Food
On our first night there, we had what was probably one of the best meals of our trip. We ate at a local Icelandic bar and tried traditional foods like fermented shark and dried cod, which was so fun. It was a fun way to kick it off the trip.
They also had great burgers and other things as well, so I would definitely recommend going there. The shark was not as bad as I anticipated it to be. It actually tasted a little bit like cheese curds, oddly enough. And they served dried cod with it which I loved! Think of it like a mix of cod and beef jerky, which was really-really tasty. It’s actually one of my favorite things I ate the whole week.
After dinner, we wandered around and found this frozen yogurt sort of place. It was a teen hangout spot, and it was a lot of fun for the kids to see how other teens lived on a Friday night in Iceland.
If you are visiting Iceland in March, try to plan your trip in the first week so you can attend the Food and Fund Festival. What sets this apart from any other food festival that you may have attended is that chefs from all around the world are invited to collaborate with local restaurants.
These chefs then use local ingredients to create the most mouthwatering and unique dishes for the attendees. A contest is held to determine the best dishes. If you have a refined palette and love to try new and unique cuisines, this Culinary Circus is a must for you.
See The Northern Lights
There is a low chance that there is any bucket list on the planet without ‘See the Northern Lights’ scrawled somewhere on it. Yes, the best place to witness this natural phenomenon is in Norway, but it isn’t the only place where you can experience it.
From November through March, you can witness mesmerizing Northern Lights in Iceland as well. Although these lights tend to be purple, pink, or red instead of the signature green lights that may spring up in your mind, they are certainly worth the experience. Ours sure looked green!
Make sure to check the forecast and use this app which was so helpful. It will tell y0u based on location the chances of seeing them, and what time to try every night.
By the time we got back to the hotel, it was dark, and we opted not to do a whole tour of the Northern Lights. But thankfully, our hotel had a balcony looking out over the harbor, which I would 100% recommend, and we were able to see the Northern Lights right from the balcony of the hotel!
There is no way to be able to predict these things, so it was such a lovely surprise. It’s all luck, but I was really grateful for that opportunity.
On the northern lights. I will say that it was cool to see them, and I feel like I can show you a picture I checked off whatever bucket list I would have. However, I will say that they did not look in person the same as you would imagine.
I think cameras make them look even better because, to me, they just kind of looked like green-painted clouds. But I was grateful to have had a chance to see the magic in the sky. We went to sleep to get some much-needed rest to prepare for our next day of plans, which went quite astray.
Be Flexible With Your Plans!
Drive The Golden Circle
Any list of activities in Iceland would be incomplete without mentioning the Golden Circle. This popular tourist trail is open all year round and brings you to three famous sites; Gullfoss Waterfall, Thingvellir National Park, and Geysir Geothermal Area.
Within the Icelandic mainland, the Thingvellir National Park is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site. This alone makes the spot worth visiting.
The site also houses Althingi – the world’s oldest parliament assembly.
As I said, our plans went off the rails a bit. There was a big storm, and the original tour that we had planned was canceled, but we decided just to take our chances and do part of the ring that day anyways. I go into more detail about our day exploring the Golden Circle here.
Stay Out In The Country
We stayed right down the road on this horse farm, which I 100% Recommend; it was so huge.
The house we stayed in had a loft area that the kids slept in, and we slept in the bedroom downstairs. There was even a hot tub! This place was basically in the middle of nowhere, so on nicer days, you could just sit out in the tub and relax.
We probably could have also seen the northern lights at night as well. So if you’re trying to find the northern lights… instead of planning a tour, try to stay at places that you may be able to see them from. Using the northern lights app you can even set an alarm to go off when they are in your area. So that is a super simple way to get a glimpse without a lot of tour booking work.
I also think staying in the country helps. Obviously, the further you get out into the wilderness, the better when it comes to seeing them. And just in general, exploring smaller towns is always really fun.
Explore The South Ring Road
Also known as Route 1, the Icelandic Ring Road circles the entire island. The pleasant weather during the month of March makes it a great time to cover the entire route. The route begins along the South Coast, and takes you through The Eastfjords, then across North Iceland, and down the west.
These roads are also very well-maintained, so you wouldn’t have any issues even if you choose to drive by yourself. However, make sure to keep a paper map on you as you may lose reception in some areas.
Because of all the snow still present we stuck to the south ring road, I wrote an entire post on our south ring road adventure here.
Iceland In March: Do A Glacier Tour
If you visit Iceland in March, caving tours should be on top of your travel bucket list. Even though the snow starts to melt by the time March rolls around, the lava tubes still remain decorated with mesmerizing ice formations. The ice stalagmites and stalactites, combined with the icicles dangling from the ceiling, would make you feel like you’ve entered Princess Elsa’s castle.
If you’re with family or want a stress-free trip, the Vidgelmir Lava cave tour is an easily accessible option to consider. We did the Katla Volcano Ice Cave Tour from Vik which was just the best! Though keep in mind that you’ll have to do a lot more climbing with this one.
The tour took basically all day, so we finished that and ended up staying overnight, getting some rest before heading back the next day.
There’s a lot more on the north part to see if you have another day or two; I would add the Glacier Lagoon Passage if we had more time & better weather.
In the summer, I would love to get a tour around the whole island, but I don’t think it’s possible to do that driving in the winter unless you’re very willing to drive in what could be treacherous conditions.
More Things To Do In Iceland In March
In Iceland, whale watching is an activity that takes place all year round. From white-beaked dolphins to harbor porpoises, there is a lot to look forward to. However, March is arguably the best month for this activity.
The whales start returning to the breeding grounds, the weather is pleasant, and it generally makes for an enjoyable and memorable day. If you want to increase your chances of spotting a humpback whale or minke whale, taking a whale-watching tour is recommended. You may also be able to witness blue, okra, fin, beaked, sperm, pilot, or beaked whales.
Snorkeling and Diving
If you want to take things one step further, you can also dive into the water to closely witness underwater life. Snorkeling and diving during the month of March is a pleasant yet adventurous activity. Thanks to the unique sights you may witness underwater, these activities are becoming increasingly popular among travelers who go to Iceland.
Battle Of The Bands
If you want to witness something fun and unique, you must attend the Battle of the Bands that takes place in March in Iceland. This Icelandic Music Experiment invites teens and 20-something musicians to participate in a competition and showcase their musical talents.
Each year, there are fifty competitions to find the best band. Once in a while, a band or two gain enough popularity after the competition to make it big in the music industry, such as the Of Monster and Men. Either way, you’ll have a fun time and can discover music that you likely wouldn’t have listened to otherwise.
Should you bring the family to Iceland in March?
Overall, there is a lot that you can do in Iceland in March. Just sightseeing through the country is a great experience in itself. Another great thing about visiting Iceland in March is that you don’t have to endure icy winters or harsh summers.
The weather is perfect for most activities. Just make sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast, as it can be pretty unpredictable in the region.