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Navigating the Seasons: Your Guide to Summer in Iceland

BR-header summer24
02/07/2024 11:07

We can officially say summer is here, but in general, summer happens in phases in Iceland. Our seasons are not typical: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Instead, we have the first day of summer, followed by the third winter, first spring, fourth winter, second spring, fifth winter, second spring again, false summer, sixth winter, sprummer (a mix of spring and summer), summer-ish, first fall, last summer, second fall, first winter, third fall, second winter, and third fall. Did you manage to follow our complicated season system? No worries, we don’t either!

But what is summer in Iceland? It’s mostly about enjoying the plentiful nature around us, whether you go hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, or camping. The options are endless, and so are the different types of weather you can experience. Depending on where you visit on the island and the day, week, or even month, you can encounter anything from bright arctic summer nights and light drizzles to pouring rain, refreshing sea breezes, gale-force winds, and even snowstorms. For many visitors, this brings a relief from the summer heat back home. Icelanders will complain endlessly about the weather, which is not surprising for a country that gets an average of only 52 and a half days of sunlight per year—that accounts for just 14% of the days in a year. But for visitors, this is a great relief in these times of climate change. If you’re wondering what to pack for your Icelandic trip, click here for our "What to Pack" blog.

What do we recommend during your visit in the summer? In July, Reykjavik stays mostly quiet as many Icelanders are on holiday. We recommend going on whale and puffin watching tours, horseback riding, or making use of the many geothermal pools the city offers. Public pools like Sundhöllin, Vesturbæjarlaug or Laugardalslaug, and the many spas that have opened in recent years, such as Grandi SPA located in Grandi by Center Hotels, Sky Lagoon, or Hvammsvík, are great options.

August becomes quite lively, starting the first weekend of August with the merchant’s day off on the first Monday of the month. The merchant weekend is now three days of festivals all around the island, notably Innipúkinn in Reykjavik for those who did not evacuate the city for the many summer cabins and campgrounds all over Iceland. The second weekend of August is always marked by Reykjavík Pride, held on August 10th this year, with a week-long program starting Tuesday, August 6th. On August 24th, the yearly culture night in Reykjavik will be held, starting with the Reykjavik Marathon in the morning, various entertainments throughout the city center during the day, and ending with a firework display in the evening. We highly recommend getting a spot in SKÝ Lounge and Bar that evening to make the most of the fireworks. The summer season then ends with the Reykjavik Jazz Festival from August 27th to 31st.

In conclusion, summer in Iceland is a unique experience filled with natural beauty, varied weather, and exciting activities. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors or relaxation in geothermal pools, Iceland offers something for everyone. Despite our complex seasonal phases, the charm of the Icelandic summer is undeniable. From quiet July days to vibrant August festivities, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. So pack your bags, embrace the unpredictable weather, and get ready to make unforgettable memories in the land of fire and ice. Happy travels!

For more information on airport transfers or parking in Reykjavik you can also check our two blogs "Hassle-Free Airport Transfers in Iceland: A Guide for Travelers" and "Parking in Reykjavik Made Simple: Tips and Tricks for a Hassle-free Experience"

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Navigating the Seasons: Your Guide to Summer in Iceland
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