June begins Iceland’s busiest travel season. With never-ending daylight hours and Midnight Sun tours, the country is alive with festivals and an all-access pass to hiking in the highlands. Find out what to do and where to go with this June guide.

Weather

Given the milder temperatures, uniquely longer days, and nice weather, it’s no surprise that Iceland sees an upswing in tourist activity in June.

Indeed, June is one of the warmest months of the year with the least amount of rain where you can expect 21+ hours of daylight a day with lows of 48 degrees and highs of 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Pack your shorts if you’re not sensitive to the cool weather and bring layers, including some thermals and windproof gear, sunglasses, and a good pair of hiking boots.

Visiting Iceland in June is particularly unique if you come around the Summer Solstice (June 20th-22nd) for the Midnight Sun, a natural phenomenon that occurs before and after the solstice (where the sun remains visible at the local midnight).

Crowds & Costs

In early June you’re still ahead of the tourist crush, though as the month progresses so too do the tourist numbers and prices. Reserve your hotel and car rental well in advance as accommodations throughout the country book up months ahead of time. For those looking to avoid the crowds, this is the ideal time to head inland away from Reykjavík and the southern coast to smaller towns elsewhere like along the eastern coast of the country, West Fjords, or to the Troll Peninsula.

Where to Go

Early June is a great time to explore Norway's best-loved gems before the peak crowds. Most travelers will either start or end their trip with a few days in or around Reykjavík—a great jumping off point to major attractions in the Reykjanes Peninsula, like the Golden Circle and South Shore routes.

If you’re interested in exploring less-visited, but equally stunning areas of the country, head to Snӕfellsnes peninsula in West Iceland located just an hour outside of Reykjavík. Alternative regions that see few tourists are the isolated Westfjords, many areas here are accessed mainly by foot and boat, and the East Fjords that receive next to no attention from tourists. Seyðisfjörður is one of the top places to visit in the country though often overlooked.

Read Best Local Experiences in Iceland for more on where to go.

What to Do

Take advantage of the midnight sun and load up your itinerary with island hopping, whale watching, kayaking, and hiking under a never-setting sun. Reykjavík’s parks (like Austurvöllur) and cultural attractions will be in full swing and its nightlife or Djammith will be particularly livelier than most other months.

For a more relaxed trip, consider exploring quiet fjord-side villages like Seyðisfjörður on the east coast, renting a sumarbústadur (summerhouse) in a secluded area, or staying in the Kvíar Lodge in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. To avoid crowded, mainstream hotels, consider any of these unique lodging options

For more active types, consider the plethora of hiking options at your disposal, the 35-mile route between Landmannalaugar in the Highlands and Þórsmörk is Iceland’s most famous—and one of the world’s top trails (according to National Geographic). Shorter day hikes abound as well, Mount Esja and Glymur Waterfall hike just outside of Reykjavík is such an example.

Not interested in hiking? Join a Super Jeep tour for an off-roading excursion near the Hekla volcano. Traverse Landmannalaugar’s rugged lava fields and end the day in one of the many hot springs.

For a truly unique experience, head to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon to kayak amid the icy behemoths; you may even encounter seals along the way. For more wildlife sightings, consider a whale-watching excursion from Reykjavík or Húsavík or a lundi (puffin) tour where by this point in the season you’re likely to see baby lundis in the Westfjords or the Skaftafell area.

Events in June

Festival of the Sea. The first weekend of June sees fishermen take part in rowing and strongman competitions around Reykjavík, and freshly caught seafood and brewed beers are sold at reduced prices to celebrate those who make a living from the sea.

Viking Festival. For 10 days in mid-June, the western town of Hafnarfjörður goes back in time, with streets decorated with sheepskin tapestries, Viking hordes roaming the streets in search of victims, and pitched battles with British and German Christian competitors. 

Independence Day (June 17). Iceland's Independence Day marks a large celebration across the country and its 1944 secession from Danish rule. A parade marches through the main street of cities and towns, followed by music and local celebrations. 

Listahátíð í Reykjavík (Reykjavík Arts Festiva). For 16 days in June (sometimes in mid-May) the capital city comes to life with artists, theater, music, and crafts. World famous singers join their lesser-known Icelandic counterparts and offer free concerts in Reykjavík’s parks and open areas.

Humarhátíð á Höfn (Lobster Festival). A three-day event in the small fishing village of Höfn that offers up tasty langoustine (Icelandic lobster).

Traveling to Iceland in June? Check out these great itineraries.

Best Sights of Snæfellsnes Peninsula: 1-2 Day Driving Tour. Take a 1-2 day trip to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula as a great alternative to the Golden Circle; avoid the big crowds and see more incredible sights along the way.

Hiking & Camping in Þríhyrningur - 2 Days. Go off the beaten path on this moderately easy hike around Þríhyrningur and its incredible, historic landscape. Camp out overnight at the foot of the mountain and share your favorite stories from the day as you sit around the campfire. Explore the stunning Þórsmörk valley, see remote farmsteads, and discover the Vikings' former hiding spots.

More Helpful Information

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