Iceland is known for its sublime glaciers, snow capped houses, Northern Lights and blue icy caves. However, visiting Iceland in July can make it seem like an altogether different country. You get to see flowery moors, sweeping pastures, hot springs and the midnight sun along with of course, the snow covered mountains.
The summer festivals, mildly warm weather and the warm hearts of the local people along with their medieval sagas can take your holiday experience to another level. This guide will give you an idea of all the good attractions and activities you can try out to make the most of the endless Icelandic summer days.
Weather In Iceland In July
The weather in Iceland in July is at its best. July temperatures average in the 8-13 degrees Celsius range and can reach upto a scorching (for the locals, of course) 20 degrees Celsius. Nights are quite cold though with respect to world standards. However, the main draw in July are the endless summer days. There is bright sunlight and sometimes the days can last upto 22 hours. Here you can see the sun at midnight which gives you an almost out-of-this-world experience.
There are a few things you need to pack during summer in order to enjoy the weather fully:
- Although there’s little rainfall, a raincoat will come handy
- Thick sweaters and jackets, it may be summer for them but not for the visitors
- Sunglasses to brave the 22 hour long days and the slanting sun rays
Why Should You Visit Iceland In July
As is mentioned in the above section, Iceland in July has freakishly long days. Tourists go to Iceland to experience this phenomenon. Summer is the best season to visit Iceland since the days are long and you can plan your trips, hikes and excursions late into the night. You will find little to no traffic at night time which is actually daytime (yeah, freaky).
Since so many people come out to play, a lot of summer festivals also take place during this time. Some of them have been listed below:
1. Reykjavik Fringe Festival
Some bold and radical thinking artists take part in this festival. Here, you witness an interdisciplinary and groundbreaking artform. Not like your usual plays around the rest of the world, you get to see some really progressive plays in a manner you’ve never seen before.
This festival is celebrated in Heimaey to mark the end of the most catastrophic volcanic eruption in Iceland back in 1973. You can join the locals in this festival who put up art exhibitions, plays, music concerts and hikes.
3. Irish Days
The humble people of Akranes celebrate this festival every year in the first week of July to commemorate their Irish roots. Here you can see two cultures fuse and mark this with barbeques, sandcastle making competitions. You can enjoy strolling the market along with a pint of beer.
The small town of Neskaupstadur plays host to the music festival, Eistnaflug. Local and international rock and metal bands bring the house down every year for four days in the 2nd week of July. You can also take part in a competition and play in this festival.
5 Places To Visit In Iceland In July
The summers call you to Iceland in July to visit the following places and have some unique but fulfilling experiences:
Going to Reykjadalur can give you a unique experience provided you are brave enough. Not too far from Iceland’s capital city is Reykjadalur which translates to “Steam Valley”. A natural geothermal spring warms the river which runs through this valley which makes it a popular place among locals to take a dip in it buck naked. Here you can find your own secluded spot to watch the midnight sun set in the buff (hence, the bravado).
Reykjavik, the charming capital city, becomes the city of festivals and parties in Iceland in July. All day the sun encourages locals and tourists to come out and party their heart out. Various museums and attractions are open throughout the 24 hours in the day. This gives you a chance to get out and visit places at anytime you see fit.
A small fishing town in the northwest, Siglufjordur is the northernmost town of Iceland. This beautiful village can only be visited in summers as the road remains closed for the rest of the year. The valleys and Fjord around this laidback town give you the perfect opportunity for hiking the area and exploring its wildlife. You can also head to nearby villages if you want to spot some whales.
Suggested Read: 10 Things To Do In Iceland You Shouldn’t Miss At Any Cost!
4. The Westman Islands
If you want to see some local wildlife then head to The Westman Islands. The warm town of Vestmannaeyjar is considered to be the best place to spot Puffins. Here, the locals are gracious enough to accompany you on these wildlife tours. Don’t need to worry about food as they will bring some bread and soup with them.
5. The WestFjords
If you want to escape the city crowds and relax then, The WestFjords is the perfect area for you to go to. Since it’s summer, the uninhabited jungles of Hornstrandir are accessible. Here you can pitch a tent and enjoy the terrain in all its preserved natural glory. You can also set up camp in Dynjandi, which is a great place to witness the glittering sun in the waterfall during sunrise.
5 Things To Do In Iceland In July
There are a host of activities for you to try out in Iceland in July. We have tried to list down some of them:
1. Indulge In Puffin Spotting
Visiting Iceland in July is a great time to visit various places to spot magnificent Puffins. Found on rock cliffs or the sea, Iceland is home to the largest population of Puffins. They live in colonies and rear and tend to families in the summer. You get to see these beautiful winged creatures in their natural glory by taking a boat ride from the capital city of Reykjavik and other coastal towns.
2. Get On A Boat For Whale Watching
Another popular attraction in Iceland is whale watching. Iceland is considered to be one of the best places in the world to witness members of this endangered species. You can spot as many as ten whale species around the various fjords and seas in Iceland. Eyjafjordur and Husavik are two of the most popular places to hitch a boat into the fjords for whale watching.
3. Float In The Blue Lagoon
Going to the Blue Lagoon should be on every traveller’s itinerary. Famous among its locals and visitors alike, the Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa situated inside a lava field. This makes the water steamy and warm. The blue and milky water covers a huge area and is stunning to look at. Here you can float in the relaxing water and let the therapeutic water heal you.
4. Camping By The Waterfalls
Camping is a popular activity to do in Iceland in July. The mild summer months are good and for many locals the only time to camp around Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. There are free public campsites set up by the Icelandic Government for visitors to camp at. Along with enjoying the natural beauty, you can also save some money by camping and not opting for hotels.
Suggested Read: 10 Things To Do In Iceland In Winter Apart From Making A Snowman
5. Enjoy The View From Dyrholaey
Iceland’s dramatic terrain offers you the opportunity to gape and awe at the sheer power of nature. Stand at the top of a 400 foot coastline and stare into the great rock formations, huge glaciers and an endless sea of black coastline.
Further Read: 8 Iceland Food Favourites To Taste On Your Euro Vacation
For travellers as well as locals, the beauty of Iceland in July is unmatched with respect to any other time in the year. The nearly endless days aid in exploring the country deep into the night. The wildlife comes out to play and the natural vegetation blooms in colourful bliss. If you wish to encounter stunning scenery, the midnight sun and frolic in the festivals, then July is literally the perfect time to plan a trip to Iceland. Hope this guide was helpful and you come back with some great memories.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Iceland In July
A. The summer months of July and August are Iceland’s warmest months yet they are pleasant and one of the best times to visit Iceland. June, with 24 hours of daylight, also sees a heavy footfall of tourists, like the summer months.
A. No, you won’t be able to see the Northern Lights in the month of July or in fact, any of the summer months.
A. You can engage in a variety of activities including: Whale Watching in Reykjavik, the Puffin Boat Tours, visit the Blue Lagoon and Snaefellsnes Peninsula and explore the Exploration Museum in Húsavík.
A. It’s an interesting phenomenon in Iceland, which is also called the land of the midnight sun. From May 21 to July 30, the sun barely sets in summer. In the southern part of Iceland, the sun sets below the horizon on the summer solstice, but only for a couple of hours.
A. There are some amazing food items you can get to taste in Iceland like Kjötsupa, which is the traditional lamb meat soup, Svið or Sheep’s head, Plokkfiskur and Harðfiskur, a dry fish jerky.
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