June is a great month to explore Iceland. In fact for many it is the very best month of the year for an all-out Icelandic adventure. The summer solstice falls in June so summer season is really beginning to take off. The days are long with the midnight sun bringing plenty more hours of daylight to enjoy the great outdoors in. The average temperature in June is pretty mild too. You can expect anything between around 10-20 degrees Celsius. At this time of year Iceland’s notoriously fickle weather often calms down a little. Having said that storms and showers can come out of nowhere and an icy northerly wind will take the temperature down a notch or two. The weather in Iceland always keeps you on your toes, so be sure to pack waterproofs and thermals just in case.
Another great reason to visit Iceland in June is that the roads and the campsites will all be open. You will be able to navigate the full ring road with ease, as well as the South Coast and the interior of the country. Many roads and campsites close for the winter months and begin opening again from April to June. So this is a great time of year to hire a camper van and take a road trip. The whole Island will be accessible to you. June is also what is known as a shoulder month, falling just before the high season months of July and August. This means that the roads, campgrounds and beauty spots will all be a little quieter than in the height of the season. You might also find that some activities and campgrounds are a little lower in price. Read on for our full guide to the top ten things to do in Iceland in June.
Spend plenty of time outside
With all those hours of sunlight you will really be able to make the most of the great outdoors. Spending time in nature is the absolute highlight of a trip to Iceland. In June you will really be able to take your time with no rushing to get back to home base before nightfall. There are so many outdoor activity options open to you. From seeing some of the many natural wonders of Iceland to boat trips, hiking, horse riding and bird watching. It’s also a great time to camp and you are very likely to be able to enjoy cooking and eating outdoors or in your motorhome.
Hiking in the National Parks
June is a great month for walking and hiking enthusiasts to enjoy Iceland’s outstanding national parks. You might choose to head to the vast Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland’s southwest. Or perhaps to the stunning multi coloured hills of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve in the Southern Highlands. Wherever you go, Iceland’s national parks will be at their best in June. Meadows will be nice and green after the spring melt with wild flower blossoms opening up and (fingers crossed) blue skies.
Help celebrate Icelandic National Day
If you visit Iceland in June and are there mid month then you’ll get to experience Iceland’s National Day. This falls on the 17thJune and marks the day that Iceland became independent from Denmark. In most the towns and cities there will be events and celebrations to mark the day. You will see parades and people in traditional dress as well as musical performances. It is always a fun day with a lively carnival atmosphere. Ice creams and hot dogs all round!
Go Whale watching
Whale watching tours are well underway in June. You will have a really good chance to spot whales of several different types. Iceland’s cold Atlantic waters welcome Minke Whales, Sperm Whales and Humpback Whales. Boat tours set out from several towns around the coast.
Bird watching enthusiasts will enjoy a June visit as this a great time to spot puffins. There are several colonies around the island. Puffins arrive in April and May to breed and to incubate their eggs. So by June they are well settled in. They will often choose steep seaside cliffs to make their summer homes. A prime puffin watching spot is Látrabjarg in the far west of Iceland.
Explore on horseback
One lovely relaxing way to experience Iceland’s beautiful landscapes is to explore on horseback. Icelandic horses are a friendly and sturdy bunch known for their good nature and strong build. Horseback riding day tours can easily be arranged and will suit novice riders well.
Soak in the thermal hot springs
Iceland is well known for its abundance of geothermal activity and its warm swimming pools and hot springs. The Blue Lagoon is the most famous natural hot spring of all and June is a good time to visit it. This popular pool is likely to be a little quieter outside of the high season. However, it is still best to book your bathing slot in advance. There are many, many more hot springs and thermal spas to enjoy right across Iceland. Many are completely free to soak in too.
See the waterfalls in full flow
With the rise in average temperature that we see in May and June comes the spring melt. Iceland’s many glaciers and snowdrifts thaw out and release their waters into the rivers. So the waterways and waterfalls will be in full and spectacular flow at this time of year. From Gullfoss Waterfall on the Golden Circle route to many more tumbling, cascading falls right across the country. Cameras at the ready!
Ride a snowmobile across the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier
The westerly Mýrdalsjökull Glacieris one of the few glaciers that can still be safely traversed outside of the winter months. Snowmobile day tours operate across its icy surface year round. So June visitors to Iceland can get a little bit of the thrill of winter without such an extreme chill.
Dance at Secret Solstice music festival
June is a fun time to be in the capital city of Reykjavik. After the long winter the city is waking up and coming outside to enjoy the warmth and light of the sun. The Secret Solstice Music Festival is a great way to celebrate the longest day of the year. Revellers dance to the light of the midnight sun and many stay up all night. There is always a good line up of acts at the festival. Radiohead headlined one year, as well as Signor Ros, so these are big name international acts. You will also see lots of local and Scandinavian musicians taking to the stage. Book your tickets and campsites well in advance if you’d like to welcome the summer solstice in Reykjavik.