What to Do in Iceland in November - Hotel Rangá


What to Do in Iceland in November

Where to go, what to do and how to dress for the Icelandic weather in November.

November in Iceland is a cozy month filled with cooler temperatures, dark nights and starry skies. As the month progresses, the days become shorter and shorter. This means that there is even more time to hunt for the aurora. If you are lucky, you will see bands of green, purple and even pink light dancing across the night sky. Keep reading to learn all about Iceland in November.

Green northern lights dance above Hotel Rangá luxury hotel in south Iceland.
Green northern lights dance above Hotel Rangá. Photo by Herman Desmet.

Is November a good time to visit Iceland?

November is a great time to visit Iceland. With temperatures dropping and days getting shorter, it is safe to say that winter is in full swing. However, there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy despite the winter weather. Our Hotel Rangá receptionists can help you to plan the perfect day in south Iceland.

First, go on an epic snowmobiling adventure atop a majestic glacier-volcano. Next, head back to our property and eat a delicious gourmet dinner at the Rangá Restaurant. End your night with a relaxing soak in the geothermal hot tubs outside Hotel Rangá. Perhaps you will even see the aurora while you sip a cocktail under the stars.

A sunset turns the sky orange, pink and purple outside Hotel Rangá in south Iceland.
Hotel Rangá at sunset.

What is the best place to stay in Iceland in November?

Hotel Rangá is the best place to stay in Iceland in November. Our luxury hotel is located in the Icelandic countryside, offering guests serenity, privacy and the chance to experience some of the best stargazing in all of Iceland. What’s more, we offer gourmet dining at our Rangá Restaurant and an excellent drink selection at our Rangá Bar.

At Hotel Rangá, our receptionists can help you book a wide variety of tours in south Iceland. We only book with local tour operators who we trust. Explore Iceland with an expert guide who knows all the hidden gems and tells the best stories. Make a booking at Hotel Rangá today.

What time is the sunrise and sunset in Iceland in November?

During November in Iceland, our days get shorter and shorter. On November 1st, sunrise is at 9:10 and sunset is at 17:11. By November 30th, sunrise is at 10:42 and sunset is at 15:49. Despite the darker days, there is still enough daylight to explore.

Gullfoss waterfall seen from behind during the autumn.
A view of Gullfoss waterfall from behind. Photo by Herman Desmet.

What is the weather like in Iceland in November?

Brrrr… it’s cold in here – it must be November in the atmosphere! That’s right, we are dipping into freezing temperatures this month. The average temperature hovers  around 4°C or 40 F. As always, Icelandic weather in November can be very unpredictable. You can expect to see rain, fog and even sun during the same day. What’s more, it is very likely that you will see some snow during your visit.

Check vedur.is to see detailed forecasts. Don’t know Icelandic? Just click the ‘English’ button up top. You can see wind and precipitation forecasts as well as a helpful northern lights forecast.

A group of friends stand side by side before snow-covered mountains in Landmannalaugar.
A day trip to Landmannalaugar is always a good idea. Photograph by Paige Deasley.

What should I wear in Iceland in November?

It is still not time to snowsuit up unless you are headed up the mountains. However, you should pack a warm winter jacket, sweaters, scarves, beanies, gloves – the works! As always, you will want to check the weather forecast each morning before leaving the hotel. On occasion, November in Iceland can unseasonably warm. However, even for the warmer days, it is good idea to bring an extra layer along. You never know what those pesky Icelandic weather gods are going to throw at you.

And remember, you are not just dressing for the day time. November in Iceland is often a time for amazing northern lights. Dress warmly, because the northern lights are best enjoyed outside in the cold night air. Don’t fret if your jacket doesn’t quite cut it, we have snowsuits on hand for those in need.

A band of pink and green northern lights shimmer above a paved country road in south Iceland.
Northern lights shining bright above a country road. Photograph by Stefan Liebermann.

What are the road conditions in Iceland in November?

Road conditions in November can vary based on the weather. If temperatures are below freezing, there can be the possibility of slippery or icy roads. However, Icelandic roads are regularly monitored and cleared from snow and ice.

It is extremely important to check the weather forecast and road closures before driving. If the roads are passable, they will remain open. Yet, it is very important to be cautious, drive slowly and pay attention. If road conditions are very bad, roads will be completely closed. You can see detailed information about road conditions at road.is.

Woman drives a buggy on a tour in south Iceland.
Woman drives a buggy on a tour in south Iceland. Photo by Robb Leahy

Should I rent a car in Iceland in November?

We always recommend that our guests rent a car, even in November. Renting a car gives you more flexibility to see Iceland at your own pace. What’s more, it is more cost-effective to rent a car compared to using a taxi service. If there are any road closures due to weather, all cars will be required to stay off the road – even taxis and private drivers. You can be confident that open roads are considered safe for all drivers. Simply drive slowly, pay attention and drive cautiously.

The Krossá River winds between mountains in the Þórsmörk Valley.
The Krossá River winds between mountains in the Þórsmörk Valley.

What are the best outdoor adventures in Iceland in November?

November is a great time to explore Iceland’s beautiful landscape. Visitors can go snowmobiling on a volcano-glacier, explore a mysterious ice cave or even try ice climbing. It is also possible to go horseback riding on an Icelandic horse. This special breed has been isolated for centuries and is known for its friendly nature.

If you want to go on an epic adventure, we highly recommend that you book a super jeep tour. An expert guide will pick you up at Hotel Rangá and take you into the Icelandic highlands. Visit Þórsmörk, a beautiful nature reserve filled with glacial rivers, rocky cliffs and black sands. Or travel to the majestic Landmannalaugar – a unique geothermal area that is home to colorful rhyolite mountains and natural hot springs.

Woman sits in a small reading nook at the end of a hallway in Hotel Rangá.
One of the many cozy corners found throughout Hotel Rangá. Photo by Rowell Photography.

What are the best indoor activities in Iceland in November?

November in Iceland is the perfect time of year to get cozy indoors. Relax after a day outdoors with a warm cup of hot chocolate in Hotel Rangá’s upstairs lounge. If you are more in the mood for games, you can play pool, poker or do a puzzle in Hotel Rangá’s comfortable game room.

If the weather is a bit rainy, why not visit a local museum? The Lava Centre is just a 5-minute drive from Hotel Rangá. This interactive exhibition will give you the chance to have fun while you learn more about volcanic activity in Iceland. Drive a little further down the south coast and you can explore the Skogar Museum. This unique cultural museum houses over 8,000 regional artifacts.

Hotel Rangá luxury resort underneath a starry night sky.
Located in the Icelandic countryside, Hotel Rangá is an amazing spot for stargazing.

Can I go stargazing in Iceland in November?

Iceland in November is an excellent time to go stargazing. Hotel Rangá is located in the Icelandic countryside, far from any light pollution. This makes our property one of the best places to go stargazing in Hotel Rangá. What’s more, our Hotel Rangá Observatory has two high-powered telescopes our guests can use to see the stars. On clear nights, we even welcome local astronomers who will guide our guests on a tour of the night sky.

Pink and green northern lights shimmer above the mountain Vestrahorn in south Iceland.
Pink and green northern lights dance about Vestrahorn. Photograph by Stefan Liebermann.

Can I see the northern lights in Iceland in November?

November in Iceland is prime aurora season. As the days get shorter, the longer nights give us plenty of time to look for the northern lights. In order to see the northern lights we need clear skies, dark nights and solar activity. Worried about waking up in time to spot the northern lights? At Hotel Rangá, we offer a special northern lights wake-up call service. Our staff will call your room at any time of the day or night should the northern lights appear. This way, you can rest easy knowing that you will not miss a sighting of the magical aurora.

What is Iceland Airwaves?

The music festival Iceland Airwaves is in full swing this weekend. There are numerous off-venue events in Reykjavik but you can also find the 2023 Iceland Airwaves playlist on Spotify. It boasts a great mix of Icelandic and foreign acts, just like the festival itself and is the perfect soundtrack for a road trip on the south coast, combining culture and nature in the best way.

Lobster soup with a leaf garnish in a white bowl at the Rangá Restaurant.
Foodies will love the Rangá Restaurant.

What foods do Icelanders eat in November?

In the darkness of winter, the human body craves comfort food and there is nothing quite as comforting as a hot beverage and some kleinur. This fried pastry is a kind of Icelandic doughnut, and they are absolutely delicious – especially when homemade.

In other countries in northern Europe, kleinur are most commonly enjoyed around Christmas time but us Icelanders love them all year round. Dip them in hot chocolate or coffee and feel the crunchy buttery crust make way for the soft, full goodness inside.

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In November, Hotel Rangá offers guests the chance to experience our Wild Game Menu. Iceland’s main hunting season takes place during September through November. We are proud to feature local wild game on this special seasonal menu. Enjoy cured cod and sous-vide puffin as well as reindeer paired with a wild crowberry sauce. Our Wild Game Menu is available at the Rangá Restaurant on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until the end of November.

Three men soak in the Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River in south Iceland on a snowy winter's day.
Three men soak in the Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River in south Iceland on a snowy winter’s day.

Can I visit geothermal hot springs and swimming pools in Iceland in November?

There’s nothing quite as exemplary of that quintessential Icelandic lifestyle as the geothermal heated swimming pools. Our ancestors bathed in natural hot springs surrounded by nature and modern day Icelanders found a way to make it a part of urban life.

Even some of the smallest villages in the countryside have their own outdoor community pool. There, people of all ages gather to exercise and play or relax in the hot tubs. There are two lovely community pools in our neighboring towns of Hella and Hvolsvöllur. We also have several geothermal hot tubs surrounding Hotel Rangá. These are the perfect spot to relax while you look for the northern lights.

Having a warm soak in freezing temperatures is a must when visiting Iceland in the winter – but we do recommend drying your hair thoroughly in the changing room before heading back out into the cold.

Christmas is in the Air

If you visit Iceland in November, you will notice that it is beginning to feel like Christmas. In grocery stores, you notice that special Christmas cakes and drinks are on sale. Various shops around the area will begin to sell Christmas ornaments and various gifts. Icelanders love to celebrate Christmas, so it is no surprise if some decorations go up a bit early.

All in all, November is an excellent month to visit Iceland. Whether you explore outdoors or relax inside, you are bound to have an unforgettable experience at Hotel Rangá.

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