Iceland in the summer, the magical land of the Northern Lights and fairy tale winters, is not all about never-ending snowy days. Summers too are surprisingly beautiful and a tad strange, ideal for adventurous travelers who want to leave the beach vacations behind for a while and delve into the mystical warmer months of Iceland.
Iceland in the summer unveils (really!) long days. As a matter of fact, the midnight sun reigns supreme over the land. There’s no fear of ever losing the light in Iceland during this period, which only means more time spent hiking, whale watching, or simply photographing Iceland’s breathtaking beauty.
Visit the fascinating Iceland between June and August if you want to enjoy the land’s brightest months. You will have plenty of daylight to try a plethora of fun summer activities, especially if you love the outdoors. Iceland is above all a destination for travelers who love nature’s embrace.
Hike all day long
As soon as summer comes, all Iceland is once again open for exploration. If the harsh winter months make many of the country’s regions unreachable, summer opens all doors and invites hikers to explore its splendor by foot. Idyllic villages come to life and the mountains get dressed in the purest green you’ve ever seen.
The landscapes in Iceland in the summer are truly otherworldly, and treks like the 55-km long Laugavegur trail lure ambitious hikers to dedicate at least 4 days to nature’s calling. This is the most famous trek in Iceland but you’ll find plenty more routes adapted to your fitness level. Try the multi-day trek Fimmvörðuháls hike that connects Skógar to Þórsmörk and will take you to the Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano, the Víknaslóðir trail in the east, or the easier routes in the Hornstrandir nature reserve.
Watch puffins and whales
Summer is the perfect season for puffin and whale watching. Over 20 species of whales visit Island in the summer, including the orca, humpback, and blue whale. Many of them can be seen near the shores but it’s best to book a whale watching tour with an experienced tour guide to find out all there is to know about these majestic creatures.
Whale watching tours usually depart from the Old Harbor in Reykjavik. Puffins flock to Iceland and the country becomes their official residence for the summer. Iceland houses the biggest puffing colony in Europe in the warmer months. You’ll find them mostly around the coastal areas or on islands like the Westman Islands and Cape Dryhólaey. With 8 to 10 million puffins flying around Iceland, you’ll certainly have your share of cute encounters.
Reach the forbidden land
Summer opens the paths to one of the most beautiful regions in Iceland – the Westfjords, otherwise closed due to heavy snowing. The craggy roads of the Westfjords are now easier to access and secret villages spring to life along the way.
The land offers splendid hiking trails, like the one to Hornstrandir, Dynjandi Waterfall, and Látrabjarg Cliff, where all that awaits is resounding silence and the serenity of beautiful fjords. The hiking trails will also lead your steps to the superb white sand beaches of Rauðasandur for unforgettable moments under the midnight sun.
Go on a road trip
Summer is the ideal season for a road trip in Iceland. The roads are open and the scenery is amazing. Plan a trip to the Golden Circle, the stunning realm of the Geysir Geothermal Area, Thingvellir National Park, and Gullfoss waterfall. Spectacular and surreal, these sights await only a two-hour drive from Reykjavik, and you’ll be able to visit them all in one day, especially since roads are now snow free. Another classic road trip adventure in Iceland is along the Ring Road that surrounds the island and will take you to different regions of Iceland.
Summer in Iceland brings back the joy of bathing in natural pools and rivers heated by the bubbling magma underground. Most villages in Iceland have their own geothermal pool, so you won’t have any problem finding a body of warm water at every turn. The pool is usually surrounded by raw nature and…nothing else!
Perfect for a tranquil day! If you long for a boost of adrenaline, submerge into the depths of Iceland’s marine world. Yes, Iceland has its share of snorkelling and diving adventures. The experience is truly memorable especially since you’ll be going underwater between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates.