Best Things to Do in Iceland in the Summer - AdventureTripr

Best Things to Do in Iceland in the Summer

Marjorie Geling · May 26, 2022
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In summer, Iceland is full of color.
In summer, Iceland is full of color.

Summer is a great time to visit Iceland! You'll not only be able to take advantage of the longest days of the year and the warmest weather, but you'll also experience Iceland's rich bird life, trek on glaciers, and see the vivid colorful environment without being weighed down by heavy, warm layers of clothing. There are a few things that may be unavailable during the summer, usually ice-related such as ice cave excursions, but there are plenty of activities that you may enjoy like powerful cascading waterfalls, horse riding, self-driving tours, and puffin watching trips. However, some activities are exclusive to Icelandic summers, like summer festivals.

 

Summer weather in Iceland

Temperatures will often range between 10 and 13 degrees Celsius (50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit). Every year, however, there are warm days in the low 20s°C (68-77°F). Even if you are visiting Iceland in the summer, remember to take an adequate number of warm layers as well as some waterproof shell clothes because the weather in Iceland is as unpredictable as it can be. Make certain that you are prepared for anything that may arise.

Summer days in Iceland are a delight, with an average of 21 hours of sunlight every day. There are few days when it is dark, which means you will have more than enough time to enjoy everything Iceland has to offer. However, falling asleep will be difficult with the sun shining brilliantly most of the day. It is recommended that you carry a cozy sleeping mask with you to create a comfortable resting environment.

 

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Top Activities to Do in Iceland during Summers

1. Hiking

Prepare for all types of weather when trekking Iceland on summer
Prepare for all types of weather when trekking Iceland on summer

Summer is the best season for trekking in Iceland. With so many mountains and hiking paths to choose from, summer in Iceland is a hiker’s paradise!

Here are a few recommendations:

·         Enjoy panoramic views of Reykjavik from Mount Esja.

·         Hike in the mountains to the colorful Landmannalaugar.

·         Visit Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the Westfjords to see the animals.

·         Hike the glaciers at Snaefellsjökull National Park.

Prepare for all types of weather when trekking, and don't forget to bring all necessary equipment. This includes waterproof hiking boots, activewear, a cap, a water bottle, and a packable rain and windproof jacket.

2. Glacier lagoon kayaking

 glacier kayaking in Sólheimajökull
glacier kayaking in Sólheimajökull

Glacier kayaking is a popular summer sport in Iceland, attracting a large number of visitors each season due to the unique sense of tranquility and pleasure that it provides. Jökulsárlón, Fjallsárlón, Sólheimajökull, and Heinabergsjokull glacier lagoons are among the most popular glacier kayaking destinations in Iceland.

3. Experience the midnight sun

Iceland is one of the few countries that experience Midnight Sun.
Iceland is one of the few countries that experience Midnight Sun.

Long days and nights allow you to stay up late, see more, and do more! Because of Iceland's northern latitude, the sun does not set during the summer, especially in the north. Imagine going along a fjord and seeing the sun barely touch the surface of the lake before rising again — a memorable moment.

4. See the puffins

Iceland is home to more than 60% of the world's entire Atlantic puffin population
Iceland is home to more than 60% of the world's entire Atlantic puffin population

Iceland is home to one of the world's largest puffin colonies, and these endearing creatures are well worth spotting. Puffins arrive in April and leave in August and can be seen all along the coast throughout this time. Bird watching is excellent at Cape Dyrhólaey in the south, Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) off the south coast, and Látrabjarg Cliff in the Westfjords.

5. Enjoy the hot springs

 Blue Lagoon and the Myvatn Nature Baths are the most popular hotspring in Iceland
Blue Lagoon and the Myvatn Nature Baths are the most popular hotspring in Iceland

Geothermal baths and spas have become one of the most popular tourist experiences in Iceland. Most are open all year, however some of the natural pools may be difficult to access once the snow falls.

The major ones, such as the Blue Lagoon and the Myvatn Nature Baths, are, of course, open all year. These locations have on-site spas, hotels, restaurants, and all you need for some serious family relaxation, in addition to soaking in the soothing naturally heated and mineral-rich waters.

6. Take a road trip

Summer will give you the best weather conditions for driving and enjoying the stops along the way.
Summer will give you the best weather conditions for driving and enjoying the stops along the way.

The majority of the year, Icelandic roads are frozen, and some are clogged with snow. However, the roads are in excellent shape in the summer, so the possibilities for exploration are endless!

We suggest renting a 4x4 to access unpaved roads and taking advantage of the opportunity to discover the hidden treasures of the north or the highlands that are inaccessible in winter.

7. Explore the waterfalls

Summer is the best time to visit waterfalls in Iceland
Summer is the best time to visit waterfalls in Iceland

Iceland's waterfalls are on par with the most stunning waterfalls in the world. The most popular waterfalls in Iceland are Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss.

Summer is the best time to visit these spectacular cascades. Even the smaller ones aren't frozen over during the warm season. So you can safely investigate even the most inaccessible ones. Whether you're taking the Golden Circle or the Ring Road, you'll undoubtedly stop at the numerous waterfalls that dot the country.

8. Sail on icebergs

Sail through the icebergs in the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Sail through the icebergs in the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

If you're a fan of Iceland, you've probably seen photographs of the gleaming Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. This breathtaking setting is set against the backdrop of the Vatnajökull National Park on Iceland's south coast, close to East Iceland.

The icebergs that break off the Vatnajökull glacier and bob their way along the ocean and out to sea are what make this lagoon unique. Their blue coloration is very appealing to many people and makes for striking photographs.

9. Visit the Stuðlagil Canyon

Stuðlagil Canyon can be found in East Iceland in the Glacier Valley called Jökuldalur.
Stuðlagil Canyon can be found in East Iceland in the Glacier Valley called Jökuldalur.

Stuðlagil Canyon is one of the world’s most enchanting basalt rock formations. It’s one of the most stunning spots you'll see in Iceland, and you'll want to bring your camera. The azure blue river, encircled on two sides by a castle of basalt pillars, will fascinate you. This freshly discovered Iceland geological treasure is a visual feast that will leave you speechless.

10. Explore the black sand beach

The black sand beaches may be among the most beautiful sights in Iceland
The black sand beaches may be among the most beautiful sights in Iceland

If you decide to take a trip to Iceland's South Coast, make sure to see the black sand beaches along the way. Reynisfjara is the most well-known of these black sand beaches. Reynisfjara beach, like many of Iceland's most beautiful locales, draws its beauty from its harsh and melancholy scenery.

The black sand beaches may be among the most beautiful sights in Iceland and there are endless golden hour photo opportunities during the summer months. However, swimming here is prohibited. Because of the freezing water temperatures and powerful currents, the sea is perilous. The sneaker waves that unexpectedly sweep onto the shore make Reynisfjara exceptionally dangerous.

 

Tips for traveling to Iceland in the summer

Iceland in summer is packed with flowing waterfalls, colorful flowers
Iceland in summer is packed with flowing waterfalls, colorful flowers

1. Get up early

There are many things to do in Iceland during the summer, but it is also a popular period for vacations, so you will see a lot of tourists at each attraction, lake, waterfall, or natural scenery.

The best way to avoid crowds is to wake up early. This way, you'll arrive at most places first thing in the morning, avoid long lines, and explore Iceland without the crowds!

2. Prepare ahead of time

Iceland is congested in the summer, so in addition to getting up early,  plan your trip ahead of time and look for less touristy sites, restaurants, and trails.

3. Bring your camera

Iceland’s nature is majestic, and you will definitely want a way to try and capture the moment. Also, if you get up early enough, you can shoot photos without crowds of people, which many photographers prefer. Don't forget your tripod and enjoy the great photography that Iceland has to offer!

4. Rent a vehicle

When visiting Iceland, renting a car or motorhome and seeing the country on your own schedule is the best option. It gives you a lot of freedom and allows you to make stops whenever you want to take photos or relax.

Now you know about Iceland in the summer. The next step is to make the leap and book a trip! If you want to visit this gorgeous country this summer, head over to our Iceland Trips!

 

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