What to do in October

Things to Do in Iceland in October

Visiting Iceland in October? Here are some events and things to do in Iceland and Reykjavik in this dramatic and moody fall month.

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James Taylor

26. September 2018

The Reykjavik International Film Festival

27th of September – 7th of October

Taking centre stage at the beginning of the month in Reykjavik is the widely acclaimed Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF). In what is one of Iceland’s most culturally diverse events on the yearly calendar, RIFF takes over the city for 11 days each year to screen the latest and greatest films from around the world. On top of that, guests of the festival can meet and talk with the directors and attend interesting panels and workshops.

This year, the talented actor Mads Mikkelsen will be attending to collect the prestigious RIFF Creative Excellence Award for his impressive body of work. Mads rose to international fame after his impressive portrayal of the Bond villain ‘Le Chiffre’ in Casino Royal and has since been one of the most highly rated actors in the world.

For more information, a look at the program, and tickets, visit www.riff.is


5th of October – 7th of October

The Icelandic landscapes often feel like you’ve ended up in an imaginary fantasy world, full of supernatural wonders and magic. That’s why the country is the perfect setting for IceCon, a science fiction, fantasy, horror and comics fan convention.

A celebration of all these genres with the focus being on literature, for one weekend in October you’ll be able to enjoy readings and discussions on various topics relating to the field. The entire program will take place at IÐNÓ, a creative house in downtown Reykjavik. Klaustur Bar just next door will also be a meeting place for like-minded fans to relax with some discounted drinks and food.

For more information and the full program, visit the event's website.

The Imagine Peace Tower

8pm, 9th of October

This outdoor visual artwork was conceived by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon. Situated on Viðey Island just off the coast of Reykjavik, the tower of light shooting up into the sky symbolises Yoko’s and John’s campaigns for world peace.
Each year on John Lennon’s birthday (the 9th of October), Yoko Ono attends the official lighting of the tower on the island, attended by thousands of fans. If you can’t make it live, you’ll be able to stream the whole event on the official website.

Inscribed onto the walls of the tower base are the words ‘Imagine Peace’, translated into 24 different languages. The light tower interacts with the moody Icelandic weather and can be seen from all over the city. Iceland was chosen as the location for the tribute and peace symbol because the country doesn’t have a military, and the cheap geothermal energy that can power the light tower.

peaec tower lit up on videy island

Photo courtesy of imaginepeacetower.com

International Children’s Literature Festival

11th of October – 14th of October

Started as a counterpoint to the Reykjavik International Literature Festival, this month Reykjavik will again celebrate its status as a literary capital of the world with the International Children’s Literature Festival. Held at the Nordic House near the University of Iceland, you can experience readings, panels, interviews, and more, from some of the leading children’s literature authors from all corners of the globe.

For more information on who is attending, the events taking place and when, head to the official website.

ABBA Tribute Concert – Harpa Concert Hall

27th of October

Harpa later this month will play host to an ABBA tribute show, presented by some of the best Icelandic musicians and artists. Although ABBA are of course from Sweden, the Eurovision winner’s who then went on to conquer the world with their catchy pop tunes no doubt holds a special place in the hearts of Icelanders; a Nation that enjoys a good Eurovision Song Contest like no other.

If you’re in town at the end of the month with an evening to spare, you can buy your tickets from the official Harpa website.

Harpa concert hall at dusk.

Tours and Museums

With autumn having descended quickly onto the country, the dark skies mean the return of one thing; the northern lights. Northern light tours are back in full swing since September, and so far, this season has gotten off to a great start with some spectacular showings.

Read: The Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Iceland

Northern lights over Kirkjufell in the snaefellsnes peninsula.Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com.

The Wonders of Iceland exhibition held inside the Perlan in Reykjavik has recently opened some new areas for public to enjoy. Now on top of experiencing the only ice cave built indoors, you can experience the Látrabjarg sea cliffs through augmented reality, Iceland's westernmost point and one of the world's best bird-watching spots. Also, recently opened and worth checking out is the virtual aquarium, where you’ll learn about the diverse sea life that populates the Icelandic waters. Book your tour now!

Perlan in Öskjuhlíð on a summer's day.

Getting Active

Fall in Iceland is the perfect time to go for some hikes around the country. Read this article here for some suggested routes. And even though the weather is turning, road trips across the country are still one of the best things to do. But don't forget to read our tips for what to pack for an autumn trip to Iceland, ensuring a successful trip.

Majestic mountains in the dark, partly covered in snow. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com.