Welcome to Iceland in June! This is when the weather is at its finest, the days are the longest, and there’s so much to do and see here on the island. So, compiling your trip itinerary can be a tricky task.
In this article, we discuss everything you can expect from Iceland in June, what to pack, and what you should consider adding to your Iceland to-do list. So, without further ado, let’s jump in!
Is June a Good Time to go to Iceland?
June on the island is considered the peak season, and with good reason. But that’s not to say that June will be the right fit for you. We’ve compiled this helpful overview of pros and cons, so you can consider whether visiting Iceland in June is the right move for you:
As we already touched on, the weather conditions in June are some of the best you’ll experience here on the island (but more on this a little later).
Daylight hours have taken things to a new level and there will be no ticking clock till sunset, putting pressure on your trip itinerary and plans.
The amazing weather and all the daylight hours are a powerful combo. They certainly make traveling to Iceland in June the perfect time for those who love to be outdoors and take part in all sorts of outdoor activities. Luckily, the island has plenty of those.
All these daylight hours make it possible to experience one of the natural phenomena the island is famous for, called the Midnight Sun.
In June, things can get pretty wild here on the island. No, we’re not referring to all the Midnight Sun celebrations we mentioned. Some of the top things to do in Iceland in June is to go on a whale watching tour. This way, you can spot some of the migratory whale species that call the island their home during this time. You can also view some Puffins who call Iceland their home during their breeding season from May to September.
The road conditions that can become quite tricky to navigate during the colder months have improved significantly. The roads and routes that are usually closed during the colder months each year have reopened, making it the perfect time for that island road trip
Iceland in June is amazing, and everyone knows it. That’s why it is one of the busiest times on the island, and why you’ll need to contend with a lot of peak season crowds.
These peak season crowds make impromptu travel decisions nearly impossible. You’ll really have to book everything well in advance to avoid disappointment. There’s a very real chance that you won’t find any available by the time you get to the island.
Peak season crowds also bring peak season prices. Your vacay budget might not stretch as far as it would during other parts of the year here on the island.
There are certain downsides to the drastic increase in daylight hours. Some experience great difficulty sleeping with no darkness. Others may try to do too much during the extra daylight hours, leading to burnout by the second day.
Here on the island, experiencing the Midnight Sun means missing out on another of Iceland's famous natural phenomena. You won’t be able to see the Northern Lights in Iceland in June.
The warm weather during summer is ideal for outdoor activities in Iceland, but it can make some other activities impossible. For example, you will find most of the ice caves closed during the warmer months (as Olaf in Frozen found out the hard way – ice melts in warmer weather).
Weather in Iceland in June
The Iceland weather in June can best be described in the famous words of Tina Turner, coz it’s “simply the best”. June’s weather has everything that the summer in Iceland has to offer: mild temperatures and long hours of daylight.
The General Weather Conditions in Iceland in June
The Icelandic weather in June doesn’t have any of the extreme weather elements that can plague the island throughout the year. Elements such as blizzards and those legendary Iceland winds common in the preceding spring season in Iceland.
Rainfall in Iceland in June
know that it will be overcast approximately 60% of the time. However, the month of June has the lowest amount of rainfall, with an average of 45 mm recorded every year.
The Temperature in Iceland in June
The temperature in Iceland in June is also pretty toasty (for Iceland) and you can look forward to anything between 9-15 degrees Celsius. The average temperature in Iceland in June hovers somewhere in the middle. But the most important thing to take note of here is that there won’t be a time that the temperature dips below that dreaded 0-degree mark.
Is it Warmer in Reykjavík in June?
There is also a myth that the Reykjavík weather in June is somehow better than the rest of the island. This is because the buildings create a form of shelter against the weather elements and can make it feel warmer within the city limits. This phenomenon is also not limited to Reykjavík and is experienced in any of the bigger cities and towns on the island.
Daylight Hours in Iceland in June
As we already mentioned, daylight hours have increased dramatically. From the mere 4 hours, one gets to experience mid-winter. You can now look forward to 20+ hours of daylight at the beginning of the month and 22+ hours by the time you reach the summer solstice on the 21st of the month.
What to Pack and Wear when Visiting Iceland in June
We understand that it can be difficult trying to pack for a trip to Iceland. Even more for a summer trip to a place that literally has the word “ice” in its name. Overall, packing for a trip to Iceland in June requires a balance of practicality and comfort, here you have some tips:
Pack appropriate clothing for the unpredictable weather in Iceland during June. Temperatures can range from mild to warm, but there can still be wind and rain, so waterproof and windproof clothing is essential.
To make it much easier, simply follow the “onion principle”. Layers, layers, and more layers! Remember, the weather can change quickly throughout the day. Do bring a warm sweater or fleece, a waterproof jacket, sturdy hiking boots, and comfortable walking shoes.
Additionally, it is important to pack a hat, gloves, and a scarf for colder mornings and evenings. Sunscreen and sunglasses are also recommended (yes, even in Iceland) as the sun stays up for a long time in June. Finally, it is always a good idea to bring a swimsuit, as Iceland has many hot springs and thermal pools to enjoy. You are now ready to fully enjoy what Iceland has to offer!
For a more in-depth look at what to pack and what to wear, read our article The Ultimate Iceland Packing List.
Best Things to do in Iceland in June
The summer months (June, July and august in Iceland) are the perfect period to enjoy summer activities like camping or horseback riding. You will find plenty of things to do in Iceland in June. So, if you’re still wondering, what to add to your trip itinerary, below are a few of our favorites to consider:
Camping is popular all summer long. Many campsites open until the very last month of “summer” in Iceland: September. They offer visitors an affordable way to experience Iceland's natural beauty up close.
Not only that, but camping in Iceland it’s also the most budget-friendly option (especially during peak season). You can save even more money by buying a Camping Card. This will leave you only €159 out of pocket, but will give an entire family of 2 adults and up to 4 children access to various campsites across the country for 28 nights!
To put these savings into perspective; campsites generally charge between $10-$20 per person per night. If camping might sound like a fun and budget-saving option for you, these are some of our best campsites here on the island:
Explore the Capital City Whilst Stuffing Your Face
In our opinion, there is no better way to explore Reykjavík than with the Reykjavík Food Walk. During this tour, you will be led throughout the city by an experienced guide who will tell you all about the capital city.
But, best of all, you’ll be stopping at venues all along the way to get a taste of our local cuisine and guzzle down some of our delicious craft beers. And since there’s no better time for a walking tour in Reykjavík in June when the weather is incredible, we highly recommend that you give this tour a try.
Not a fan of walking? No problemo. Completing a bike tour in Reykjavík is a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city's highlights. Including its stunning coastline, colorful architecture, and vibrant street art.
Go on a Road Trip
A road trip is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Iceland. It allows visitors to explore the country's stunning natural beauty at their own pace. Road conditions are easy to navigate during summertime and all routes open after winter, it's then the perfect time to explore the Westfjords and the Highlands.
Just keep in mind that there are certain things to consider when driving in Iceland. Some Roads that can only be accessed via 4x4, such as the F-roads in the Highlands. This is not just because of (literal) rocky road conditions, but because of the law.
So, if you are caught on these roads with the wrong type of vehicle in Iceland, you’re going to be in heaps of trouble (if you didn’t manage to get yourself in actual car trouble by that time).
Chat with your rental agency and discuss your itinerary and proposed routes to ensure that you get the right vehicle for your road trip. If you want to start looking into some road trip options, the following routes are some of the most popular road trip routes:
Have a Relaxing Soak in a Hot Spring
You will find hot springs all over the island. This is because all the volcanic activity here on the island heats up the underground water supply. The warm underground water in Iceland is used to heat up public geothermal pools. But there are still some places where you can relax in a hot spring in its natural form. These natural hot springs may lack certain luxuries but offer breathtaking views and solitude.
Most of these hot springs are also free to use. The geothermal pools come with all sorts of extra amenities, such as restaurants and spas. However, they will charge an entrance fee along with any other services or products you make use of.
Whichever type of Iceland hot spring you prefer, you can’t visit the island and not take a dip. The following hot springs come highly recommended:
Go Horseback Riding
If you are still wondering what to do in Iceland in June, horseback riding Icelandic horses should be at the top of your list. This is because horseback riding is a very unique experience here on the island.
Iceland actually has its own breed of horse called the Icelandic Horse (yes, it was not the country’s most creative moment). But these creatures are exceptional. They have a wonderfully friendly nature and look more like ponies than full-grown horses.
They also sport a thick, fluffy coat during the winter months and can perform a fifth gait called the tölt. During a tölt, the horse always has one hoof on the ground, making it a smooth ride. This has inspired the beer tölt challenge, where a rider attempts to ride with a pint of beer without spilling a drop.
Visit One of Our Museums
Iceland has many museums that offer unique and interesting exhibits. Our museums are interactive, filled with heroes and mythological creatures, and even rides. So, visiting some of our museums is an absolute must when you’re in Iceland in June. A few particularly interesting ones to consider include:
The Saga Museum
Take a Stroll on a Black Sand Beach
The hot springs are not the only result of the volcanic activity here on the island. You will find beautiful and dramatic black sand beaches all across the country. These beaches are formed after volcanic eruptions caused red, hot lava to flow across the land, only to cool down by the cold air and the ocean water.
Once the lava cools down, it forms a large mass of solid black sediment. This sediment is then slowly broken down over time by the weather elements and the crashing waves (and this can take thousands of years!).
Once it’s completely broken down, the only thing left will be millions of tiny black grains of sand lining the coast. Some of the most impressive black sand beaches in Iceland are:
Check Out Our Waterfalls
After the winter season and all the melted ice, our waterfalls are at full capacity and the most impressive. We have 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland, so it's impossible to visit all of them. However, there are quite a few must-visit waterfalls when it comes to what to see in Iceland in June. They include:
Svartifoss. A waterfall with a dramatic backdrop of hexagonal basalt columns that inspired many artists here on the island.
Dettifoss. The most powerful waterfall in all of Europe.
Seljalandsfoss. A waterfall where you can walk behind and get a bird's-eye view of the Iceland landscape through a veil of water.
Godafoss. Where the symbolic conversion of the island to Christianity was believed to have taken place.
Ride a Snowmobile Across a Glacier
Glaciers in Iceland are open to the public all year round, making it a unique must-do activity even during summer. In some cases, you can even mix this activity with a visit to a typical Icelandic Ice cave. It is a thrilling way to experience the stunning views of many glaciers and glacial lagoons across Iceland.
Take note that this is an activity that can only be done on a guided tour due to safety concerns. So please ensure that you book your spot in advance during the peak season in Iceland in June. Otherwise, you might be left thoroughly disappointed.
Dive or Snorkel the Silfra Fissure
This is yet another incredibly unique experience one can have in Iceland in June. The Silfra Fissure is a fissure or tear in the earth where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates push apart.
This tear is now filled with the clearest glacial water where one can go snorkel or diving in. You will be lying literally suspended in between two continents. Just take note that if you want to dive the Silfra, you’ll need a valid diving license and sufficient experience underneath your belt. Otherwise, you’ll need to pick up the snorkel gear with the rest of us.
Explore Our National Parks
Iceland has three official national parks: Vatnajökull National Park, Thingvellir National Park, and Snæfellsjökull National Park. Each of these parks has different types of terrain and landscapes along with all sorts of activities and attractions.
It is completely free of charge to visit the national parks here in Iceland. It is the perfect outing if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle and connect with nature again.
Take a Hike
With a landscape such as Iceland, it’s no surprise that we have plenty of hiking trail options here on the island. And whoever you are and whatever your skill and experience level, you will be able to find a trail that suits you.
If you plan to hike in Iceland, know that trails vary in difficulty level and length. They range from easy to challenging day outings and multi-day treks. If you would like to take a hike whilst visiting Iceland, the following are definite favorites:
Mt. Esja Trail
Glymur Waterfall Trail
The Hornstrandir Trek
The Landmannalaugar Trails
Icelandic Festivals and Events in June
Icelanders don’t need an excuse to celebrate. Still, the amazing weather and all the additional daylight hours definitely add to the overall uplifting mood in June. That’s why you’ll find all sorts of festivals and events across Iceland. From music festivals to traditional celebrations. These are a few you can attend:
Iceland's Independence Day is celebrated on the 17th of June and marks when Iceland gained its independence from Denmark. Independence Day is a nationwide celebration and not just one event. The entire country will have parades, live music, and all sorts of other things to look forward to.
The Secret Solstice Music Festival
This is really one for the books if you consider yourself a music fan. The Secret Solstice has a lineup of both local and international artists and has boasted big names such as Radiohead, Björk, and the Wu-Tang Clan.
The Viking Festival
The Viking Festival is usually held on the second weekend of June and is quite the experience. During the festival, you can watch reenactments of legendary Viking battles, throw axes. You can also join a Viking feast, and purchase all sorts of interesting jewelry and leather work. We highly recommend it if you’re traveling with kids.
Iceland in June; Plenty to Celebrate
Is it the summer solstice, the great weather, a festival, or just some of the things to do in Reykjavík in June? Whatever it may be, make sure you celebrate summer in Iceland with road trips, festivals, and amazing sights to see. Rent a car in Iceland, choose a road trip route, and visit some of the must-see places in Iceland in June.