The 2026 Total Eclipse in Iceland will undoubtedly be an otherworldly experience for many. Photo: Sævar Helgi Bragason /

Experience the 2026 Total Solar Eclipse in Iceland

If you have always dreamed of visiting Iceland or are eager to return, mark your calendars for August 12, 2026. This date offers a rare and unique opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse in one of the most beautiful settings on Earth.

Why You Can't Miss It

A total solar eclipse is an unforgettable event. During totality, the Moon completely covers the sun, revealing the sun's outer atmosphere, the corona, in a breathtaking display. The sky darkens suddenly, stars and planets become visible, and the temperature drops, creating an almost otherworldly atmosphere. This experience vastly differs from a partial eclipse, where the sun is only partially obscured, and the dramatic effects of totality are absent.

Total solar eclipses are rare. While a total eclipse occurs somewhere on Earth approximately every 18 months, any specific location will only experience one roughly once every 360 to 410 years due to the narrow path of totality, which is typically around 100 to 200 kilometers (60 to 120 miles) wide.


The first and last beam of light just before and after totality is called the Diamond Ring for obvious reasons, and it can only be witnessed in the path of totality. Photo: Sævar Helgi Bragason /

The Path of the 2026 Eclipse

The path of totality for the 2026 eclipse will begin in Northeast Greenland and cross the western parts of Iceland, including the Westfjords, the Snæfellsnes peninsula, and the Reykjanes peninsula, before ending in Portugal and Spain. While a partial eclipse will be visible over large parts of Europe, North America, and Africa, only within the narrow path of totality can observers experience the whole spectacle of the eclipse.

Why Iceland?

Iceland is an ideal location for viewing the 2026 total solar eclipse for several reasons:

Proximity to Maximum Eclipse: Iceland is closest to the point of maximum eclipse, which is located just outside Breiðafjörður Bay, between the tips of the Westfjords and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. This location offers the longest duration of totality (2 minutes 18 seconds), maximizing the time viewers can experience the full splendor of the eclipse.

Low Light Pollution: Iceland's sparse population reduces light pollution and enhances the viewing experience.

Favorable Weather: Although Iceland may not be known for the best weather generally, August is one of the best times for clear skies, with about a 40% chance of clear weather. While Spain and Portugal may have better statistical chances for clear skies, they offer shorter durations of totality and are more affected by light pollution.

Historical data and long-range predictions can provide insights but are unreliable for precise forecasts. For example, during the 2024 eclipse in the USA and Mexico, Texas was expected to have the best weather conditions. Still, with lower statistical odds, the northeastern part of the country offered the best viewing conditions.

Additional Benefits of Iceland

Beyond the eclipse, Iceland's dramatic landscapes provide an astonishing backdrop for the event. Visitors can explore natural features such as glaciers, geysers, volcanoes, waterfalls, and coastal scenery. August also marks the beginning of the aurora season, so there's a chance of witnessing the northern lights, especially if you extend your stay after the eclipse. Additionally, ongoing volcanic activity on the Reykjanes Peninsula could offer a unique opportunity to see an eruption during your visit.


The maximum point of the 2026 Total Solar Eclipse will be just off the west coast of Iceland (marked by the black dot), with the path of totality crossing the western part of the country. View interactive map on:

Best Viewing Spots in Iceland


The Westfjords of Iceland are known for their remote and dramatic landscapes, and travel guides frequently highlight them as a destination of excellence. This region features cliffs, deep fjords, and a sparse population, making it an excellent location for unobstructed and low-light viewing of the eclipse. The isolation and natural beauty of the Westfjords provide a stunning backdrop for the celestial event.

Snæfellsnes Peninsula

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula, often called "Iceland in Miniature," is famous for its diverse and scenic beauty. The peninsula is home to the iconic Snæfellsjökull Glacier and Mt. Kirkjufell, one of Iceland's most picturesque and significant landmarks. This area combines mountains, lava fields, beaches, and quaint fishing villages, perfectly blending natural splendor and cultural charm.

Reykjanes Peninsula

The Reykjanes Peninsula is conveniently located near Keflavík International Airport and Reykjavík, Iceland's capital. This proximity makes it easily accessible for tourists. The peninsula is known for its geothermal activity, volcanic landscapes, and the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. Being close to major transportation hubs and tourist facilities, the Reykjanes Peninsula offers a comfortable and practical option for viewing the eclipse while providing a dramatic and beautiful setting.

Reykjavík Capital Area

The Reykjavík area will see totality start at 17:48:12 for about one minute. Reykjavík, the vibrant capital of Iceland, is a city of stunning contrasts where modernity meets natural beauty. Known for its colorful houses, thriving arts scene, and rich Viking history, it offers a unique blend of cosmopolitan charm and rugged landscapes. Visitors can enjoy geothermal pools, is a perfect starting point to explore glaciers and volcanoes, check out the art and music scene, and find some delcious food. Perfect bookends to seeing the eclipse!

While there are no skyscrapers in Reykjavík, make sure no tall buildings block the view towards the east in the afternoon of August 12. 

The Rest of Iceland

Everyone in Iceland will experience at least a deep partial solar eclipse. In most places, the sun will appear as a thin crescent, casting an enchanting, slightly alien, silvery glow over the landscape and creating unusually sharp shadows.

The least partial eclipse will be seen in Neskaupstaður (95.19%) in East Iceland. In South Iceland, the town of Höfn will experience 96% partial coverage, while Akureyri in the North will see 97.91% of the Sun obscured.

Only two populated areas are on the edge of the path of totality. In Hvanneyri, a small village in West Iceland, totality will last 1-5 seconds, depending on the observer's location. Just a few meters away within the village, a 99.99% partial eclipse will be seen. The other area is Mosfellsdalur, near Reykjavík.

View an interactive map and detailed map for the 2026 total solar eclipse


From the Total Eclipse in the US on 8th of April, 2024. Photo credit: Sævar Helgi Bragason /

Start Prepping: Iceland will be sold out

Experiencing the total solar eclipse in Iceland on August 12, 2026, is a rare and extraordinary opportunity. Plan your trip carefully, stay flexible, and prepare to be amazed by one of nature's most incredible phenomena.

  1. Accommodation: Book well in advance as hotels and guesthouses will fill quickly. Consider renting an RV to stay mobile and adapt to changing weather conditions. Planning a stay at Iceland's countless campsites is also a great option.
  2. Transportation: Ensure you have reliable transportation. Renting a car allows flexibility to move to the best viewing spots based on weather forecasts. Booking an Eclipse tour will also be a good option.
  3. Weather Monitoring: Check weather forecasts regularly leading up to the eclipse. Be prepared to relocate to areas with clear skies.
  4. Avoid Traffic: Heavy traffic is expected, so plan your travel route and leave early to secure a good viewing spot.

For more information on the total eclipse in Iceland, check out this helpful website: Provides detailed information about the 2026 total solar eclipse, including maps, viewing tips, and local events. This source will help you plan your trip, understand the event, and ensure you have the best viewing experience possible.

See you in Iceland on August 12, 2026!

Experience the 2026 Total Solar Eclipse in Iceland