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Everything You Need to Know About Summer in Iceland

The Icelandic summertime offers endless opportunities for the eager traveller. The most popular time to visit the country, visiting Iceland in the summer in 24/7 sunlight days in late June through July. You could very well return to your home country with a sunburn from Iceland - something few travellers can check off their travel bucket list.

As the fair weather opens mountain passageways and with them, the unrivalled beauty of the highlands, such as the stunning Þórsmörk area. Whale watching season is in full flow as well, and the puffins return to the islands dotting the seaside. Here’s a few things to keep in mind before you head on over.

Weather


Although summers in Iceland offer copious amounts of sunlight, the weather can change at a moment’s notice. So, bear in mind that conditions can change quickly. Summers are generally quite cool, with average temperatures of 9°C (48°F) to 11°C (52°F) in the high summer month of June, July, and August. Note that wind will often be a factor, and rain showers are not uncommon. Having said that, a normal summer will have its fair share of sunny and (relatively) warm days – so do enjoy while the sun is out. There’s nothing like a long, beautiful summer day out in Icelandic nature.
The all time high in the country is 30.5°C (86.9F), which happened in Teigarhorn in East Iceland on June 22, 1939. It’s about time we reach those heights again, so feel free to head to Teigarhorn this summer – it’s bound to happen at one point or another!

Packing


Although you should bring shorts with you, we recommend taking the windbreaker and some rain gear along for the ride as well, just in case. If you plan on going for some hikes, sturdy boots are a must. Wearing your favourite Converse pair will look good, but you’ll regret that choice pretty quickly once you’ve started the trek. The Landmannalaugar area is one of the most breathtaking hiking routes you’ll find this side of the earth. Remember to take a fleece sweater with you so you can enjoy the midnight sun to the fullest!



What to do


What not to do?! Visit massive glaciers, vast lava fields, impassable mountaintops, endless volcanoes (Including one you can enter), breath-taking black sand beaches. Geysers, glacial melt rivers, and geothermal hot zones. It might seem too much to handle at first, but Iceland is a perfect day trip country – with some of the most beautiful areas of the country a stone’s throw from the Reykjavík capital area. The Golden Circle, the South Coast, and Snæfellsnes peninsula can all be covered in a day each.
Although the arctic fox was the only animal native to Iceland at the time of settlement, there’s many options for nature lovers. The seas surrounding the country are a hot spot for whale watching, and the gentle giants of the sea can be seen up close and personal. Seeing them together along with the beautiful yet clumsy Atlantic puffin is a scene you won’t soon forget. On land, the sturdy and beautiful Icelandic horse is loved all over the globe for its gentle nature, intelligence and varied walking style.

Don't leave before...


Whatever you do, don’t leave the country without having tried some of the things Icelanders themselves love. Which means… head over to your nearest swimming pool and let yourself simmer in a hot tub and grab an Icelandic hot dog to punch away the post-swim hunger. Since you’re on vacation, why not indulge yourself with some fresh Icelandic ice cream for dessert? We recommend getting an ein með öllu hot dog (one with everything) and a bragðarefur ice cream (blizzard style mix of candy and ice cream). Of course, there’s too many tasty options to mention in Iceland, but these are some of the local favourites. You’re going to need some extra calories for all those hikes, anyway!