Iceland in June: Things to See & Do

April 15th, 2021

Written by:

Camila Contreras-Langlois

7 min read

So you’re planning to visit Iceland in June? Or thinking about traveling and not sure if that’s the best month for your vacation? Our expert’s blog will give you all the information you need.

Read on to find out why June is an excellent month for your trip, the best places to see in Iceland at that time, and our favorite activities. We’ve even included some tips regarding the weather and a useful packing guide.

Why travel to Iceland in June?

June marks the start of the summer holiday season and is a popular month for visitors. You’ll soon see why!

This summer month is a great time to visit Iceland for many reasons. There are long, bright days thanks to the midnight sun and you can celebrate the summer solstice and the national day along with the locals.

To convince you some more, here are the top reasons to visit Iceland in June:

  1. The midnight sun
  2. Perfect conditions for a road trip
  3. The weather is at its best
  4. The opportunity to celebrate the summer solstice
  5. The sea is calmer for whale-watching tours (and there are more whales!)
  6. The highland roads open
  7. You could join the locals during their national day festivities
  8. Ideal weather to go camping
  9. Good time to go hiking
  10. Puffins can be found nesting along the coast

There is also plenty more for you to be excited about for a June getaway. Loads of outdoor activities are available and some areas of Iceland are more accessible. This means you could see more of the country and experience even more memorable excursions.

Stokksnes cape, Vestrahorn (Batman Mountain), Iceland

What to expect in June: weather and daylight

During the summer months, you can expect the warmest and most stable weather of the year. In June, average temperatures go up to 15°C (59°F) with potential lows of 8°C (46°F).

Don’t be surprised if a few days reach the low 20s°C (68°F) during your stay. But keep in mind that Mother Nature can be unpredictable in Iceland. For that reason, be ready for rain, wind, and sunshine.

Midnight sun

In late June, Iceland experiences the summer solstice. This marks the longest day of the year and, in Iceland, that is a truly long day. You can expect around 22 hours of daylight at this time of year.

You’ll experience the phenomenon called the midnight sun. This is when the sun barely sets over the horizon. In fact, for almost the entire month the sunset takes place around midnight in Iceland.

Can I see the Northern Lights in Iceland in June?

In June, it is unlikely you’ll see the Northern Lights in Iceland. You need proper darkness to spot them in the sky and the midnight sun will make it very difficult. Take a trip to Iceland in winter to come admire the Northern Lights.

Top things to do in Iceland in June

June is one of the best times to travel to Iceland and take part in fun activities. Here are the best things you could get up to in June:

  • Drive around the Ring Road
  • Take a cold dip in the sea or have a warm soak in hot springs
  • Hike in the rugged mountains or along sea cliffs
  • Walk inside a volcano or a glacier
  • Party at international music festivals
  • Snowmobile atop awe-inspiring glaciers
  • See whales and puffins in their natural habitat
  • Admire glittering icebergs in the sunshine
  • Wander along imposing waterfalls and feel the mist of the water
  • Explore the national parks with hikes or other guided excursions
  • Kayak or take a cruise on a glacier lagoon
  • Relax at the famous Blue Lagoon
Whale watching, Reykjavik

Events and festivals in Iceland in June

June is a busy month of festivities and celebrations. So if you want to join in some fun events, this is a good time of the year to visit.

On the first weekend of the month, fishing villages across the country celebrate Seafarers’ Day (Sjómannadagurinn). As mentioned previously, you could also celebrate independence day with the Icelanders on 17 June.

A few days later, it’ll be parties and bonfires galore to mark the midsummer solstice. One of the top music festivals of the year is actually the Secret Solstice. It is held yearly in Reykjavík.

Best places and top things to see in Iceland in June

Now you know to see glaciers and take a fun road trip, but where should you go in Iceland in June? Here are our top suggestions:

1. The highlands

One of the highlights of visiting between June and August is that you’ll have access to the highland region. If you’re an adventurer, you won’t want to miss your chance to see the colorful mountains of Landmannalaugar and to take on its thrilling hiking trails.

Please note that the roads into the highlands open depending on the weather. This means it can change every year. Come from late June for the best chances.

2. Reykjavík

Iceland’s modern and charming capital is a great location for a city break all year long. In fact, there is simply no bad time to visit Reykjavík. But June has its advantages and you won’t want to miss spending some time here to discover the world’s northernmost capital city.

As mentioned previously, you could join in fun events and festivals, along with the locals. You could also hike Mount Esja for a nearby challenge. If you’d rather relax, why not explore the nature trails of Viðey Island? Or go dip your toes in the ocean at the city’s beach, Nauthólsvík?

From the capital, you could also book a variety of day tours, from whale-watching cruises to bus trips around the Golden Circle.

Colored Street, Reykjavik

3. Golden Circle

Speaking of the Golden Circle, you should include it in your itinerary. Whether you’re on a short weekend getaway or driving the Ring Road, it’s a must-see.

Admire some wide and thundering waterfalls, Faxifoss and Gullfoss, before seeing geysers in action. The ancient Geysir isn’t very active these days, but on the same site, you’ll find Strokkur. This geyser sends hot water shooting through the air every 6-10 minutes.

Your tour of the Golden Circle isn’t over without taking some time to wander around Þingvellir National Park. It is one of the country’s World Heritage sites and the original location of the AlÞing, Iceland’s ancient parliament.

Because this site has a lot of titles under its belt, this is also where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. Did you know you could snorkel in the gap between them?

4. Seljalandsfoss waterfall

You can’t take a trip to Iceland and not see a waterfall. No, it’s not illegal or anything, we just think you shouldn’t miss your chance! This is why so many falls make our list, as standalone or as part of a loop.

Seljalandsfoss is a 60-meter-high (197-foot) waterfall located on the south coast. It is particularly fun to visit in June, or during the wider summer, because of its special feature. Thanks to its shape, you can walk behind the curtain of water for an awesome photo opportunity.

Nearby, don’t miss the Skógafoss waterfall in Skógar. It is another shimmering fall that is worth the detour. In fact, because of the mist it emits, you’re likely to see rainbows on sunny days.

5. Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

Further along the south coast, you’ll encounter a (literally) shining landscape of glaciers and icebergs. If you’re journeying around Iceland, you’ll want to stop along the way at the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

Dotted with floating icebergs, this impressive sight sits at the foot of Iceland’s highest mountain, Hvannadalshnúkur. In summer, you can take boat tours for an adventure onto the lagoon.

After visiting Jökulsárlón, cross the Ring Road to witness the Diamond Beach. It is named like that because of the chunks of ice that sit along the black sands. The contrast is impressive!

6. North Iceland

While you’re out on your road trip around Iceland, take a few days to explore the gems of North Iceland. June is a great time to see the unique landscape of the region and spend time exploring them.

Take a walk through the lush canyon of Ásbyrgi, witness Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss, and dive into the otherworldly scenery of the Lake Mývatn Nature Reserve.

You could also wander through the pseudo-craters of Skútustaðir, and see Iceland’s largest sulfurous hot spring areas, Námaskarð. Or add yet another waterfall to your count and stop by the roaring “Waterfall of the Gods”, Goðafoss.

Finally, we couldn’t mention North Iceland without recommending the two capitals of the region. Spend some time discovering Akureyri, the second largest city in Iceland and “Capital of the North”. Wildlife enthusiasts will want to stop by the whale-watching capital of Iceland, Húsavík.

The most powerful waterfall in Europe called Dettifoss

7. Westfjords

Here’s another remote region of Iceland to add to your June vacation. If you’re seeking coastal scenery, wildlife galore, beautiful hiking trails, and tranquil fishing villages, the Westfjords are for you.

In the Westfjords, you could:

  • See puffins on the Látrabjarg cliffs
  • Visit the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
  • Admire the red sand of Rauðisandur beach
  • Learn more about local history in the town of Ísafjörður
  • Hike along tall sea cliffs 

8. Snæfellsnes peninsula

This western peninsula is easy to add to your itinerary even if you’re staying near Reykjavík or journeying on a countrywide road trip.

The beauty of the Snæfellsnes peninsula is that it is often called “Iceland in miniature.” It means you’ll find scenery that represents the country as a whole, from mossy lava fields to ethearal waterfalls, sweeping cliffs, quaint fishing villages, and more.

We recommend popping by the Snæfellsjökull National Park and exploring along the coast. You’ll find impressive cliffs like Gerðuberg and Arnarstapi and rugged beaches like Djúpalónssandur. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you’ll probably recognize the local Kirkjufell Mountain.

What to pack to travel to Iceland in June?

Although June is a summer month and you can expect the warmest temperatures, Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable. For that reason, you’ll want to pack for a range of possibilities.

In the Nordics, we have the saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”. Keep that in mind and bring plenty of layers to adapt. This way, if the days are warmer or cooler than expected, you can take off or add on clothing.

Here is a list of packing essentials for your travels to Iceland in June:

  • Short-sleeved shirts and lightweight layers
  • At least one or two fleeces or lightweight wool jumpers
  • A waterproof and windproof jacket (or shell layers)
  • A pair of waterproof trousers
  • Gloves, scarf, and warm hat
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Sturdy walking or hiking boots
  • Thermal underwear and socks
  • Binoculars for wildlife watchers
  • Swimwear, flip flops, and towel to go for a dip
  • An eye mask to help you sleep in the midnight sun

Planning your June trip to Iceland

Ready to visit Iceland in June? With the longest days of the year and plenty of fun activities, you won’t regret it!

Why not let a local plan your trip? Iceland Tours offers a range of packages, whether you want to camp, stay on a city break, take a road trip, or tour with a private guide.

Booking through our website is easy. Browse our tried-and-tested Iceland packages and pick the one that’s right for you. We have crafted itineraries based on popular routes with plenty of added benefits for you to have a memorable summer vacation.

You can always ask our travel experts based in Reykjavík for advice.

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Written by:

Camila Contreras-Langlois