July is generally known as the best month to visit the island. The weather is good, the roads are clear, and outdoor activities are booming. But will Iceland in July be the right fit for you?
In this article, we provide you with all the information you need to make your decision. We'll also provide prep if you’ve already decided that you’ll be visiting Iceland in July.
Why Visit Iceland in July: the Pros and Cons
The best way to make a decision is to weigh up the pros and cons. Below you will find a handy overview for your convenience:
July is the epitome of amazing weather in Iceland. Temperatures are high (in Iceland terms) and all those extreme weather elements such as the wind and the snow have died down.
There are more daylight hours than you’ll know what to do with. A jam-packed trip itinerary is pretty much the order of the day.
All these daylight hours allow you to experience one of Iceland’s most famous phenomenons; the Midnight Sun. This is when there is technically no sunset in Iceland in July!
If you’re someone who enjoys wildlife, you couldn’t have picked a better time to visit the island. Whale watching in Iceland in July is an absolute must-do activity. Many migratory whales call the Iceland coast their home during this month. Another treat is spotting the Puffins in Iceland in July. These funny, penguin-like birds with their colorful beaks also make the island their breeding ground this time of year.
The secret is out, so we’re not the only ones who know how amazing Iceland in July is. That’s why you’ll need to contend with some pesky peak season crowds. Not only can this be annoying when it comes to attractions and activities, but you’ll need to ensure that you book everything in advance. Otherwise you might end up without accommodation or a car, and you might miss out on a few items on your Iceland bucket list.
The peak seasons crowds bring peak season prices along with them. Your Iceland budget might not stretch quite as far as when you’re visiting other times of the year.
All the extra daylight hours might come in handy in some ways, but it has also been known to cause problems in other ways. The lack of darkness can create havoc on sleeping patterns. And some get overly excited and go completely overboard with their itineraries, and end up burnt-out by their third day on the island.
Since there is practically no darkness, it would take a miracle for you to see Iceland’s Northern Lights. If that’s on your Iceland to-do list, you’ll need to plan your trip for another time.
What the Weather Will be Like When Visiting Iceland in July
As we said, the weather in Iceland in July is practically unbeatable. It might not be what you're used to back in the USA or Australia, but it is still warm and calm. You won't have to worry about harsh winds or blizzards. Perfect time to visit!
The temperature in Iceland in July never drops below the 0-degree mark. You can look forward to temperatures ranging from 9 to 25 degrees Celsius. Daylight hours are more than 20 hours each day.
This is also not an illusion that’s exclusively found in the capital city. It can be experienced in any of the more densely populated cities/towns on the island.
A Packing List for When You’re Traveling to Iceland in July
If you are still wondering what to wear in Iceland in July, never mind what to pack for Iceland in July – we’ve got you. It’s difficult to know how to pack for Iceland in July (spending summer in a country called Iceland can’t be more of a contradiction). But that’s why we created this helpful Iceland in July packing list that you can use as a guide:
A raincoat or a waterproof jacket
Warm woolen sweater (just pack one or two, so you can stock up on real Icelandic woolen sweaters – they are amazing!)
Waterproof hiking boots (irrespective of whether you’re going hiking or not)
T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts
Warm hat and gloves
A sleep mask (just to be prepared if you’re affected by all those daylight hours)
Earplugs (whilst you may not have issues sleeping, noisy party goers and early risers may disturb your sleep)
Bathing suit for the hot springs
Quick drying towel (so you don’t have to walk around with wet stuff in your bag all day)
Flip-flops (to use at the hot springs and other public changing rooms)
Moisturizing cream and lip balm (despite being known for its abundance of water, Iceland's climate can cause dry skin and cracked lips.)
Water bottle (the water quality in Iceland is very high, so you can simply top up at the taps)
Backpack (for day outings and hikes)
Toiletries & medication (double-check flight restrictions, so you don’t end up leaving half your vanity behind at the airport)
Electronic devices: chargers, cables, adaptor, power bank, etc.
Check our dedicated post for more tips on what to pack for a road trip in Iceland.
Go Camping in Iceland in July
As you can imagine, with great weather conditions and all these extra daylight hours, camping is one of the top things to do in Iceland in July. The attraction of camping in Iceland isn't just the proximity to attractions. It's also the unique experience of camping in a country that is known for its natural beauty. And let's not forget about the most affordable option when it comes to accommodation.
You also don’t need to enjoy living like one of the cast members of Survivor to make use of this opportunity. By using a campervan, you can go camping in comfort. If camping sounds like an exciting time and a nice way to save money, we’ve got even better news for you. You can stretch your budget even further by purchasing a Camping Card!
A Camping Card will leave you only €159 out of pocket. It gives a family of 2 adults and up to 4 kids access to various campsites across Iceland for up to 28 nights. We’re talking about massive savings when you consider that camping generally costs between $10-$20 per person per night.
If you’re ready for your camping adventure, the following campgrounds come highly recommended:
What You Need to Know About Driving in Iceland in July
July in Iceland is perfect for a road trip as the weather is ideal and there are long daylight hours. Additionally, all the roads in Iceland that close during the colder months have reopened! Since you don’t need to be afraid of getting stuck in snow or skidding on a patch of ice, nervous drivers can now also get behind the wheel with peace of mind.
Just remember to chat with your rental agency about your planned road trip routes, as certain roads/routes on the island can only be accessed via 4x4. Some are simply because of road conditions and others are a legal requirement (such as the F-roads in Iceland). If you are keen on exploring the island via road trip, the following routes are extremely popular:
Even More Things to Do in Iceland in July
There are plenty of things to do in Iceland in July, so if you’re ever bored, you’re not doing your Iceland trip right. Here are a few ideas of things that you can add to your itinerary:
Explore Reykjavík in July by going on the Reykjavík Food Walk.
Take on a one-day or multi-day trek when going hiking in Iceland in July.
Explore the Jökulsarlon Glacier Lagoon by going on one of the boat tours in Iceland in July.
Turn yourself into a Viking at Mink Studios.
Attend a festival or event (check out the Iceland festivals in July 2023).
Have a relaxing soak and some spa treatments at the Blue Lagoon when visiting Iceland in July.
Dive or snorkel the Silfra Fissure.
Visit a glacier (Vatnajökull is the largest in Europe!).
Explore a lava cave such as Grjotagia (which was featured on the popular series, Game of Thrones).
Go horseback riding on a real authentic Icelandic Horse.
Take a few snaps at the Solheimasandur Plane Wreck (don’t worry, no one died or was injured in the incident).
Take a stroll on one of Iceland’s infamous black sand beaches, such as Diamond Beach.
Shop till you drop in the capital city’s Laugavegur Street (one of the things to do in Reykjavík in July)
A Few Tips for When You’re Visiting Iceland in July
Here are some tips for a safe and memorable trip to Iceland in July. Whether it's your first time or not:
Always Keep an Eye on the Weather and the Road Conditions
We have a local saying here on the island; “you can experience all four seasons in a day in Iceland”. And even though this doesn’t include the harsher weather elements such as snow in July, a chilly wind can still blow, a bit of rain can fall, and a clear, sunny sky can quickly become overcast.
This can really throw a spanner in the works of any road trip and outdoor activity. So, always check the Iceland weather forecast and the Iceland road conditions, especially right before you’re heading out for the day.
One of the top tips when it comes to clothes for Iceland in July is to always dress in layers. Remember our local saying? Well, this will ensure that you’re always dressed (or can get undressed) for the occasion.
There is also a big difference between the indoors and outdoors in Iceland. And the same applies to temperatures between activities (for example, hiking vs. exploring an ice cave in Iceland). By dressing in layers, you’ll always be able to take something off or put something on depending on the circumstances.
Be the Early Bird
Remember those peak-season crowds we talked about? Well, if you’re not a fan of others invading your personal space, standing in long queues, or almost needing binoculars to see the attraction you’re visiting, then you need to have an early start to your day. This way, you might always be one step ahead of the crowds.
Waterproof Clothing and Gear Should Always be a Priority
Sure, the waterproof clothing and gear we mention in the packing list definitely come in handy considering our local saying. But the weather isn’t the only time you’ll need to reach for these items.
You’ll be thanking your lucky stars for your waterproof hiking boots when traversing the muddy trails around a hot spring. And you’ll be laughing up your waterproof jacket sleeve when visiting one of our waterfalls and watching everyone else get absolutely drenched by the powerful mist and spray.
Iceland in July; All Your Questions Answered?
After reading this article, you should know everything you need to know about Iceland in July. You now have all your questions such as “is July a good time to go to Iceland?” and “can you see the Northern Lights in Iceland in July?” answered.
You should also have a pretty comprehensive list of what to see in Iceland in July, along with a bunch of fun activities. All that’s left to do is plan that road trip, rent a car in Iceland, and start your exciting travels in Iceland in July.