Summer’s just around the corner! And if you’ve got an Iceland road trip planned, you are probably beyond excited. While you can only see the Northern Lights during the winter months, don’t worry. There are plenty of activities and things to do in Iceland in summer 2019 to keep you occupied. The summer months were made for festivals and outdoor activities, so let’s get started!
#1 See the Most Famous Waterfalls in Iceland
With over 10,000 to choose from, it’s hard to know where to begin! You definitely want to hit the main ones, so here’s a quick list for you. Gullfoss, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Svartifoss, Godafoss, Dettifoss, and Kirkjufellsfoss are considered some of the best and most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland.
#2 Go Hiking in Landmannalaugar
The Highlands reopen in June and July, so it’s time to head there with our 4×4 vehicles. Landmannalaugar and the Laugavegur trail are some of the best areas for hikers in Iceland. Strap up those hiking boots and let’s go!
#3 Do a Whale Watching Tour or Puffin Excursion
Every summer the whales and puffins return to Iceland, and nature lovers flock to see them in droves. Icelandic waters are home to about twenty different species of cetaceans, including blue whales, fin whales, minke whales, killer whales, humpback whales, and dolphins. Head north to Húsavik, Iceland’s whale watching capital, to have the best chance of spotting one of these gentle beasts.
In the Westfjords, North Atlantic puffins make their way to the Látrabjarg bird cliffs to mate, form colonies, and socialize. Come see them in action, chattering and toddling around by the thousands.
#4 Take a Day Trip
One of the great things about Iceland being such a small island is that it’s easy to take a day trip. The Golden Circle route makes the perfect one-day outing from the country’s capital. Be sure to stop by the Secret Lagoon as you make your way around the circuit.
Another option is the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. There are several points of interest in this area of West Iceland. Some highlights are Snaefellsjökull glacier and Mount Kirkjufell.
There are plenty of tour operators running day tours from Reykjavik if you don’t feel like planning the logistics yourself.
#5 Party at Summer Festivals
Some say that summer is the best time to visit Iceland and the country’s numerous outdoor festivals are no doubt one of the reasons. Not only do we have the endless light of the Midnight Sun giving us extended hours to explore Iceland, but it also means we get to party longer! Here’s a list of the best summer festivals in Iceland and events throughout the year.
#6 Go to Lake Mývatn
Lake Mývatn is one of about a dozen attractions in this gorgeous zone in northeast Iceland. It’s a beautiful, turquoise volcanic lake with lots of birds in the surrounding areas. While in the zone also try to make a stop at Askja caldera and Hverir geothermal area.
#7 Visit a National Park
Iceland has a national park for every type of interest. Thingvellir National Park has the Silfra fissure, where you can see the earth cracking apart due to the activity of tectonic plates. Vatnajökull is where you’ll find Iceland’s largest glacier and several glacier-related activities. And Snaefellsjökull National Park is home the great glacier and unusual energy centers.
#8 Walk Among Lava Fields
In a land filled with over 30 active volcano systems, you know we’re going to have a lot of volcanic activity. After the lava flows through fields and valleys, it eventually cools and hardens. What we are left with are craggy lava fields like Búrfell. The ones at Eldhraun are covered in volcanic moss.
#9 Take a Dip in the Blue Lagoon
No trip to Iceland would be complete without a stop at the Blue Lagoon. Iceland’s largest geothermally-heated spa has become a go-to destination for travelers in search of a little rest and relaxation. Give your self a mud face mask, get a massage, or just soak in the silica-infused waters.
#10 Bathe in a Hot Spring
Iceland’s volcanic and geothermal activity means you’ll be able to find a hot spring or geothermal pool just about anywhere you look. Take a dip in the “people’s pools” of Landmannalaugar or bathe in the hot river in Reykjadalur valley.
#11 Travel Along the South Coast
Many of the island’s best sights and beloved attractions lie along the South Coast. It’s no wonder that many travelers stop here first on their journey around Iceland’s Ring Road. In addition to quick access to Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, and Vatnajökull National Park, there’s also the small fishing village of Vik with its volcanic black sand beaches and hexagonal basalt columns.
Summer 2019: The 11 Best Things to Do in Iceland
This only scratches the surface of everything there is to see and do. I think you can see why summer is one of the most popular times of year to visit Iceland. What are you most looking forward to?