When Is the Best Time to Visit Iceland?

Iceland is a beautiful country with countless tourist attractions. But visitors must plan their trips carefully to ensure they get the most out of their time there.

The best time to visit Iceland is during the summer. The weather between June and August is warmer, and the landscape is lush green. The days are also longer, so tourists can spend more time outdoors in the sunlight.

Apart from the landscape, tourists can enjoy many summer festivities and events. From sports tournaments to sightseeing, there is plenty of activity.

This article will discuss why summer is the best time to visit Iceland and the things tourists can do. 

Also, see 9 Fun Things To Do in Iceland to learn more.

Visiting Iceland in the Summer

Winters can be freezing in Iceland. Plus, the days get shorter, and the nights get long and dark.

Tourists may even get only four hours of sunlight, which limits their daytime activities.

The snow can also cause road closures, so travelers may not be able to access some areas. 

It’s best to visit Iceland in the summer because the days get longer and warmer.

This season has many festivals, and tourists can enjoy hiking adventures and other outdoor activities.

They can also attend many sports, arts, music, etc., events. Traveling between cities also becomes easier.

The weather during summer also gets relatively dry. So, tourists can stay outdoors for long hours. 

The only downside of visiting in summer is that it’s the peak tourist season. This means that travelers may have to deal with crowded tourist spots, shopping malls, and restaurants.

Plus, the Northern Lights are in their full glory during the winter season, between September and March.

So, visiting during the summer means missing out on this heavenly spectacle.

What Are the Best Places to Visit in Iceland?

Even though Iceland’s landscape itself is a huge tourist attraction, there is so much more to see and do.

The best thing about a summer trip is that the days are longer and warmer [1].

So, tourists can visit multiple places in a single day. They can enjoy nature, aquatic life, adventures, hiking, lush green landscapes, and more. 

Some of the best places to visit in Iceland are:

  • Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve: Located about 110 miles (180 km) from Reykjavik, this beautiful spot is ideal for hikers and horse riders. During a hike, they can see lava fields, the Hekla volcano, and beautiful mountains [2]. The visiting months are from June to September. 
  • Vatnajokull National Park: This park’s key feature is that it has Europe’s largest glacier. Adventure lovers can also visit the blue natural Ice Cave [3]. Though winter is the best time to see the cave, the park arranges off-season tour groups for tourists. 
  • Dettifoss Waterfall: Known as the strongest European waterfall, Dettifoss is a magnificent sight. 328 feet (100 meters) in width, the waterfall flows down 150 feet (45 meters). Tourists can also see other waterfalls in Dettifoss’ surroundings. However, they must exercise caution while witnessing the magnificence of the waterfall. 

What Are the Best Festivals During Summer?

Summer in Iceland is a happy time full of activities. Some of the events are world-famous for their creativity and diversity.

Some tourists even plan their trips specifically to attend these festivals. 

Some of the most famous festivals are:

  • The Secret Solstice Festival: This is a June music festival where locals welcome summer. The attendees wait until midnight to witness the midnight sun. The music and activities continue throughout the night until the day breaks. Some of the best musicians in the world share their music at the Solstice festival.
  • The Culture Night Iceland: Tourists who love art and culture can enjoy car-free roads and take bike rides and long walks in the streets in August [4]. They can even ride the buses for free to wherever they want to go. The museums and art galleries offer free entry until 11 pm. 
  • Camping festivals: Camping festivals known as Verslunarmannahelgi are the locals’ way of saying goodbye to summer. These festivals are held in the last week of July or the first week of August and last for three days. The camping festival in VestmannaeyjarIslands is the biggest one. Tourists can participate in the celebrations and enjoy non-stop partying, music, fun, and food.

Summer Activities in Iceland for Adventure Lovers

Tourists visit Iceland for its lush green beautiful landscape and festivals. But it is also an excellent place for adventure lovers.

From hiking and bike rides to rafting and paragliding, the country has many adventures in store.

Here are some activities tourists can enjoy:

  • Hiking: The country’s landscape makes it a dream location for hikers. They can explore the highlands and enjoy camping on the way. Hikers can also discover wildlife, glaciers, and stunning waterfalls.
  • Walk on the glaciers: Tourists can visit the glaciers even during summer. They can go with family or join tour groups. Going with a tour guide is also a good way to learn about these ice features. The adventure of walking on the glaciers and going inside them will create unforgettable memories.
  • Dog sledding: Dog sledding tours take tourists on an unforgettable Arctic adventure, even during the summer. It’s an excellent adventure sport for adults and children alike. Tourists can opt for both ice and dryland sledding. 
  • Scuba diving: Summer is the perfect time to go scuba diving, and Iceland has some of the world’s best scuba diving spots. It’s the only place in the world where divers can dive among tectonic plates. Silfra Fissure and Strytan are two famous scuba diving spots.

Things To Do in Iceland During the Winter

Even though summer is more suited for tourists, winter also offers unforgettable experiences for those who don’t mind the cold. The country’s landscape changes entirely and takes on a more mystical look. 

Tourists can enjoy adventures like ice caves, glaciers, skiing, sledding, and many other activities in freezing temperatures. Here are some things tourists can enjoy during winter:

  • The Northern Lights 
  • Festivities and celebrations on Christmas and New Year’s
  • A day trip exploring the Golden Circle 
  • Winter music festivals 
  • Winter Solstice 
  • The Blue Lagoon, which becomes exceptionally blue in winter

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Christian Christensen

Christian started Scandinavia Facts to explore his family heritage, raise awareness of one of his academic interests as a professor, and civilly promote the region. Please see the About page for details.

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