Top 15 Things to do in Iceland in June
To many, June is the month that really marks the beginning of summertime here on the island. But we think it has a lot to do with the summer solstice being celebrated during the month. The weather on the island is some of the best you’ll experience all year round. There are plenty of things to do in Iceland in June and more than enough daylight hours to do them.
So, have you been planning a trip to Iceland in June, or are you still wondering which month will suit you best? Read on for an overview of what to expect on the island, including must-do activities and attractions.
What Iceland in June is Like
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 the summer season is really beginning to take off.
The days are long, with the summer solstice bringing plenty more hours of daylight to enjoy the great outdoors. The average temperature in June is a far cry from the freezing below-0 temperatures experienced only a couple of months ago. You can expect anything between around 10-20 degrees Celsius.
Iceland's harsh weather elements, such as snow and the legendary Iceland winds, seem to have taken a break during summer. But the weather in Iceland always keeps you on your toes, so be sure to pack waterproofs and thermals just in case.
The Best Things to do in Iceland in June
As we already touched on, there’s no lack of things to do in Iceland in June, and it can be tricky to decide what should make it onto your trip itinerary. Below you’ll find our top picks:
1. Take on a Road Trip
June is one of the best months to go on that cross-country Iceland road trip. Roads/routes closed during winter have reopened with the clearing of weather and the road conditions are in good shape. This means that places such as the Westfjords and the 4x4 F-road trails in the Highlands are 100% accessible again.
With plenty of daylight, you have plenty of time to head out on an adventure or your camper or motorhome in Iceland. The summer is the perfect season to explore the rugged landscapes and scenic routes at your own pace.
If you are considering going on a road trip and adding some of the best things to see in Iceland in June as stops along the way, we highly recommend the following popular routes:
South Coast Way
2. Go Camping
As is the case with the roads, the amazing Iceland weather in June has also allowed a much-loved activity on the island to come out of its winter slump. You’ll find campsites that were completely closed during the colder months open again, and being enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. You also don’t need to be the next Bear Grylls to enjoy this outdoor activity.
By renting a campervan in Reykjavík, you not only take care of both transport and accommodation, but you can also go camping in comfort and make your vacay budget stretch even further.
Going camping is one of the top things to do in Iceland in June if you want to truly immerse yourself in the Icelandic landscape. And, at the same time, get the most bang for your buck on your trip. A few of the campsites here on the island that come highly recommended are:
3. Get Wild With the Icelandic Wildlife
One of the best things to do in Iceland in June is to get up close and personal with the wildlife on the island. June is the perfect time to go on a whale watching tour here on the island.
It will be full-blown whale season, with many migratory whale species calling Iceland home till September. You’ll be able to see the fin of a Blue Whale just a couple of meters away from the boat, or see a Sperm Whale breach. Other regular sightings include Orcas, Minke Whales, and Humpback Whales.
The other creatures you will find on the island in the month of June are what we lovingly refer to as “the clowns of the sea”. The Iceland Puffins make out a staggering 60% of the world’s Puffin population.
Every year, from May to September, these peculiar penguin-like birds make the island their breeding ground. And while you won't be able to see their adorable pufflings by June, spotting them waddling around is a one-of-a-kind experience.
4. Ride an Icelandic Horse
It's not just the wildlife that impresses here on the island. In fact, Iceland has its own breed of horse called the Icelandic Horse (yes, not the finest work of one of the most creative nations in the world). These horses are known for their pony-like stature and friendly nature. They also sport a thick, fluffy coat during the wintertime and are renowned for being able to perform a fifth gait called the tölt.
This gait is said to be so smooth that it has inspired a local challenge called the beer tölt. During a beer tölt, a rider is given a pint of beer and challenged to perform the gait without spilling a drop. But whether you want to test your tölt skills or just explore the Icelandic landscape on horseback, riding an Icelandic Horse is one of the top things to do in Iceland in June.
5. Splash Around in One of Our Hot Springs
Okay, splash is not considered hot spring etiquette, so rather stick to a long, relaxing soak. Due to all the volcanic activity on the island, the underground water supply gets heated up. This is why you will find hot springs all across Iceland. Some you’re able to use in their original and natural form, whilst others are too hot or hidden away and are utilized in the geothermal public pools.
The natural Iceland hot springs can give you intimate settings with breathtaking views. The geothermal pools can give you all sorts of added extras and amenities, such as restaurants, bars, and spa treatments. If taking a relaxing soak in a hot spring is on your Iceland trip itinerary, then these are a few of the must-visit spots:
6. Visit a Waterfall
The island is not just known for its healing hot spring water, but also for the 10,000 waterfalls that can be found all across the island. And this is not a case of “seen one, seen them all”. Each waterfall has a different appeal, whether it’s the backstory or look. But, a word of caution; be sure to wear your raincoat and other waterproof clothing and gear.
The waterfalls in Iceland are pretty powerful and create incredible amounts of mist and spray. That usually leave many a visitor with photos where they resemble something like a drenched cat. Some of the waterfalls that fall (couldn’t resist) in our list of top things to see in Iceland in June are:
7. Experience a Midnight Sun
We have already mentioned that the Summer Solstice takes place on the 21st of the month. For those who are not aware, the solstice is the longest day of the year, and here in Iceland, we certainly take it to the next level.
In June, Iceland experiences nearly 24 hours of daylight, making it the perfect time to explore the island and take part in activities all day long. Each day boasts 22+ hours of daylight, and even though the sun might disappear over the horizon for a couple of hours, darkness never falls.
This phenomenon is known as the Midnight Sun and is one of the most unique things to see in Iceland in June. Just be prepared, this phenomenon is a wonderful experience, it can also really mess with your sleeping patterns. So, bring along a sleeping mask and some earplugs (the Midnight Sun is a good excuse for a party), and remember to set your alarm as a reminder of when to go to bed.
8. Take a Hike (Literally)
One of the best things to do in Iceland in June is to take a hike. We have a wide variety all over the island, differing in terrain, difficulty levels, and length. Whether you believe yourself to be an amateur or a pro, or prefer a day outing to a multi-day trek – there will be a hiking trail for you here in Iceland. And with all these extra daylight hours, you won’t feel as pressured by time and a looming sunset. Some of the most popular hiking trails you can try are:
Mt Esja Trail
Glymur Waterfall Trail
One of the Landmannalaugar Trails
9. Attend a Local Event or Festival
Look, Icelanders don’t need a reason to celebrate. With the summer solstice and all these extra daylight hours, events and festivals can be found all over the country. And is one of the top things to do in Iceland in June. Here are some of the festivals/events you can consider adding to your trip itinerary:
The Secret Solstice Music Festival
June is a fun time to be in the capital city of Reykjavík. After the long winter, the city is waking up and comes outside to enjoy the warmth and light of the sun.
One of the best things to do in Reykjavík in June is going to the Secret Solstice Music Festival. As the name suggests, it is an event celebrating the longest day of the year. Revelers dance to the light of the Midnight Sun and many stay up all night.
There is always a good lineup of acts at the festival, with many big-name international acts. Radiohead headlined one year, as well as Sigur Ros. You will also see lots of local and Scandinavian musicians taking to the stage. Book your tickets and campsites well in advance if you want to welcome the summer solstice in Reykjavik.
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 17th of June and marks the day that Iceland became independent of Denmark.
In most 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 abound!
10. Pop into a Few Museums
Iceland boasts a wide variety of museums that offer unique and fascinating exhibits, making them far from boring.
And even though this is one of the best things to do in Iceland in June when the weather turns on you a bit, you might want to dedicate a couple of days to scouting out the museums since they are so amazing and so many. We recommend prioritizing the following on your Iceland to-do list:
Perlan (especially if your time on the island is limited)
11. Try Out the Viking Lifestyle
We’re not advocating raiding the shops in Laugavegur Street, but there are plenty of other ways that you can get a taste of the Viking lifestyle here on the island.
One of the ways that has been officially named one of the best things to do in Reykjavík in June by Tripadvisor, is visiting Mink Studios. Here you can dress in traditional Viking garb and gear, including weapons, and have your portrait taken by a renowned photographer that worked on the Game of Thrones set.
You can also go sailing on an authentic Viking ship in the Westfjords. Or eat and sleep in an authentic Viking Village. If you plan your trip just right, you might catch the Viking Festival which is usually held on the second weekend in June. During this festival, you’ll see re-enactments of infamous Viking battles.
You can try your hand at axe throwing, eat authentic Viking dishes, shoot a bow and arrow, buy some souvenirs in the form of jewelry or leather goods, and dance to some live music. Definitely one of the top things to do in Iceland in June.
12. Stroll on One of Our famous Black Sand Beaches
Hot springs are not the only result of the volcanic activity here on the island. Our black sand beaches also serve as a reminder that you are indeed in the Land of Fire and Ice. The black sand is the result of a process that takes thousands of years. Red, hot lava flows across the land after a volcanic eruption and cools down in the cold Icelandic air and as soon as it touches the freezing ocean waters. When it cools down, it turns into a big mass of black sediment.
The sediment erodes due to waves and weather until it becomes the sand we see today. Just as a word of caution! Iceland’s black sand beaches are beautiful to walk on, but they are not swimming beaches (no, not even a quick dip because a friend dared you).
There are extremely strong undercurrents at play in the ocean, and getting pulled out to open waters is definitely not anyone’s idea of a good time. Some of the must-visit black sand beaches here on the island are:
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
13. Snowmobile Over a Glacier
This is the opposite of the fiery side of the Land of Fire and Ice. Many would not expect this to be one of the best things to do in Iceland in June, mid-summer, but the glaciers in Iceland are open to the public all year round. You just can’t go and explore it all by your lonesome due to safety concerns. There are many snowmobile tours that can be found at glaciers such as Myrdalsjökull, Vatnajökull, and Langjökull.
14. Explore the Jökulsarlon Glacier Lagoon by Boat
The Jökulsarlon Glacier Lagoon is one of the must-see things in Iceland in June. It is an absolutely magical place with gigantic floating icebergs, and drifting sheets of ice. There, seals can spend their lazy days floating, with the majestic glacier as a backdrop. If you take one of the boat tours, especially the Amphibian boat tour, you can get within arm’s reach of the glacier and the icebergs! Definitely an Instagrammable moment!
15. Stuff Your Face during the Reykjavík Food Walk
The Reykjavík Food Walk tour is one of the best things to do in Reykjavík in June. Not only will you learn all there is to know about the capital city, but you will also get treated to all sorts of local cuisine and craft beers. Eat some of our famous lamb dishes, try fermented shark, and drool over our homemade ice cream. This is a tour that you definitely want to come hungry for.
Is Traveling to Iceland in June Worth it?
Without a doubt! There are so many outdoor activity options open to you during summer in Iceland. From seeing some of the many natural wonders of Iceland to boat trips, hiking, horse riding, and bird watching.
It’s also one of the best months in Iceland to camp, and you are very likely to be able to enjoy cooking and eating outdoors or in your motorhome. And with so many daylight hours to spare, you’ll never be crunched for time doing any of it. So, rent a campervan in Reykjavík and let your Iceland road trip adventure begin!