June, without a doubt, is one of the most beautiful times to visit Iceland. Long fields of wildflowers, fresh temperatures, migrating birds, longest days, midnight sun, parades in the street. June is the perfect time to discover the magnificent landscapes, soak in adventure, and get submerged in the culture of the country.
Our comprehensive account on ‘June in Iceland’ will help you know all you need for your vacation to Iceland.
Iceland Weather in June
June as the first summer month in Iceland is characterized by steadily rising daily high temperatures resulting in warm days. The average temperature can be as low as approximately 5.5°C (42°F) and the average high temperatures go to 13°C (55°F). Even what is called the warmer month, the temperature in June does not consistently rise more than the averages and it’s not consistently warm. Even if the temperature goes up to 2 digits, it’s warm for the Icelanders. These temperatures are alleviated by the Gulf Stream, which brings moderately warm water up from lower latitudes.
June gets the least amount of rain in Iceland, generally the lowest in the year. The normal rainfall in June is approximately 45 mm (1.8 inches). This precipitation comes in the form of light rain with minimal or no chance of snow unless you are on the high mountains.
In Iceland, June sees the longest days of summer with lots and lots of daylight i.e. around 21 hours of daylight. In contrast to the inadequate daylight during the winters, the summer months are characterized by long days. June starts with the sun rising at 3:20 am, and setting at 11:30 pm (over 20 hours of daylight). By the month-end, the length of the day increases to almost 21 hours; the sun rises around 3:00 am, and sets around midnight (around 21 hours of daylight). The Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year occurs on June 21st, and the weeks surrounding this start getting shorter again with constant daylight.
Pros and Cons of Visiting Iceland in June
The biggest advantage of visiting Iceland in June is the weather. It is a proper summer month; the average temperatures are pleasant and rainfall is much less which is always a plus. The summer festivals are in full swing, the conditions of roads are good for your long road trips. The best thing about June is the midnight sun as the sun hardly sets. A day is almost 21 hours long so it gives you get plenty of time to explore the magnificent landscapes. The downside though is due to hardly any darkness in June, you would not be able to experience the quintessential Icelandic tradition of Northern Lights. The perpetual daylight can interrupt diurnal rhythms, so you might want to bring a sleep mask or book the accommodation that offers blackout curtains that might help you fall asleep a little easier. There’s also an upswing in the tourist activity in Iceland during June. So, you can expect huge crowds at the main attractions like the Golden Circle and the South Coast. If you wish to stay in smaller crowds, you can travel to east Iceland and explore the region and then to the northern region to enjoy beautiful little towns and stunning sceneries.
What to Do Around Iceland in June? Mark These Things on Your To-Do List
Glymur is the highest waterfall in Iceland. Only accessible on foot, it takes about a four-mile hike to reach there. It is a peaceful beautiful trail that takes you through Þvottahellir cave or laundry cave.
Silfra Bright Night Snorkeling
The ultimate summer tour in Iceland is snorkeling in Silfra. The Summer Snorkeling Silfra Tour is held between June 1st to July 31st. Exceeding 100 meters (328 ft) in visibility with clean water, Silfra is considered to be one of the best snorkeling place in the world because here you can snorkel between two continental plates.
Picnic at Austurvöllur Park
Chase the Midnight Sun Down
Soak in Natural Hot Spring and Geothermal Pools
Relaxing in a natural hot spring on a bright summer day is something that you will never forget. The most popular and closest geothermal pools to Reykjavík are the Blue Lagoon, Hot River of Reykjadalur, and the Secret Lagoon. There are many outstanding natural hot springs around the country where you can relax in the hot swimming pool with magnificent views of the surroundings.
Meet the Puffins
Climb Mount Esja
A 30-minute drive from Reykjavík, Mount Esja, or Esjan is perfect if you are into hiking. Mount Esja is 914 meters (2,999 feet) high with a well-marked path and is easy to climb during summer. You can easily see this magnificent mountain from Reykjavik. Go to Harpan Concert Hall to get the best view.
This mountain is very popular among locals since it is located so close to Reykjavik. You are not a true Icelander unless you have hiked Mt. Esja.
Summer months in Iceland are also the peak season for whale watching as there are over 20 species of whales and dolphins that can be spotted in their natural habitat.
The chances to see the most common ones like Humpback, Minke, and Harbor Porpoises are higher on a boat tour in the North of Iceland.
Kayak Tour Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Experience the Nightlife
The nightlife or as Icelanders say “Djammið” is unique in Iceland as partying under the midnight sun is a special experience. You can try some local bars in Reykjavík for a wide range of local beers or taste the golden drink.
June is the month of the colorful Lupine Fields. When you are driving around Iceland in June you will see the purple fields all over. They make the perfect photo opportunities so don’t forget to bring your camera when you are going for a drive.
Celebrate Seasonal Festivals: Events around Iceland in June
Festival of the Sea, Sjómannadagurinn
Sailor’s Day, or Sjómannadagurinn, is a Festival of the Sea celebrated in every coastal town and village around the island, dedicated to people involved in Iceland’s fishing industry. Sjómannadagurinn, now a legal public holiday for Icelandic fishermen, has been celebrated around the first weekend of June every year since 1938. The festival honors the role that fishermen have played in the history of Iceland. Grindavík, a fishing town 45 minutes away from Reykjavík, is a great place to celebrate the special day. The scenery around this town is incredibly diverse and beautiful with sea cliffs being home to 60,000 bird pairs.
The Color Run Reykjavík
It is the most colorful marathon you’ll ever participate in! The Color Run is a 5-kilometer race in which colorful powders are splashed on the runners after each kilometer. This event also funds some charitable organizations that work for children’s rights and welfare. This international festival is held around 40 countries worldwide. It was first held in Iceland in 2015 and with its growing popularity, it has been sold out every year.
Iceland Independence Day
Icelanders gained independence in 1944. This day is celebrated every year on June 17th in the memory of the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson (1811-1879), the leader of the country’s independence movement. The day begins with the ringing of church bells in Reykjavík. The government organizes a ceremony outside Alþingihúsið (House of Parliament), Austuvöllur Square. Icelanders celebrate this day by cladding up in a national costume called Skautbúningurinn, marching downtown. An Icelandic woman plays Fjallkonan, ‘The Mountain Woman’ and she recites poetry as part of the ceremony. Playgrounds are filled with stalls selling candy floss, hot dogs, and ice cream. Towards the end of the day, a concert is held at Austurvöllur with an accordion ball.
Secret Solstice Festival, Reykjavík
Secret Solstice music festival is held during June 21st– 24th which are the brightest days of the year. This is a 4-day event packed with music where best well-known as well as budding artists come together. Popular artists including The Prodigy, Foo Fighters, and Radiohead have performed at the festival; the festival has been described as the ‘One of the Top Festivals on Earth’ by Time Magazine. Held at Laugardalur park, over 150 acts are performed, the three most unique ones that make the event even more special are, Into The Glacier, the Geothermal Pool Party and The Lava Tunnel. The 96-hour festival has people party in the sun and under the midnight sun.
Hafnarfjörður Viking Festival
The Viking Festival is a 5-day long festival that takes place in mid-June in the town of Hafnarfjörður. The festival demonstrates Viking culture, traditions, reenactments of the battle scenes. You can enjoy storytelling, handicrafts, archery, cuisines, and music. Viking weddings also take place during the festival making the day an unforgettable experience.
Jónsmessuhlaup Midnight Sun Run
Held in Laugardalur, Reykjavik on June 21st, Suzuki Midnight Sun Run is perfect if you like an unusual beautiful landscape. This is the longest day of the year with around 21 hours of daylight. The run is special as it begins in the evening and ends around midnight. The event is held in three parts: first is the half marathon (21km) for people above 15 years of age, second is a 10km race for young people over 12 years old; and third, a 5km race which is open to all age groups. When the run is over, the participants are welcomed to Laugardalslaug, the geothermal swimming pool for a cool down.
Cyclothon Around Iceland
The Cyclothon is the largest cycling event and the longest road race in Iceland. The participants ride around the island for about 1358 km within 72 hours. The race is organized into four categories: A (team of 2-4), B (team of 5-10), Solo, and Hjólakraftur. The event is a big fundraising opportunity.
Down to Every Last Detail: Pack the Essentials
Although June is the driest month in the year and tends to see lesser rainfall, Icelandic weather is extremely unpredictable. You should always be prepared for a cold breeze and some rain especially if you are looking to explore the countryside.
This list will give you a good base for your packing essentials:
- Clothes: When packing, be sure to include a range of clothing items, from shorts and t-shirts to sweaters and stretchy travel pants. Remember Iceland gets most sunlight in June but it doesn’t mean it will always be warm. Dressing in layers is always a safe bet, pack quality layers- woolen outerwear, flannel shirts, waterproof jackets, lightweight sweaters, travel hoodies, windbreakers. If you’re sensitive to cold, pack a winter hat, scarf, gloves. Also, pack 3-4 pairs of good socks and you’ll be set for whatever. Despite the temperature, plentiful pools, and hot springs are eccentric to Iceland culture, make sure you pack a swimsuit to be ready to take a dip in the geothermal pools. The party scene in Reykjavik is quite hip, so you might want to pack a party outfit for the nightclub and bar.
- Shoes: Besides your all-day footwear, if you plan to explore the country’s ruggedly beautiful terrain, do include a sturdy pair of hiking boots in your travel bag. Also, pack a pair of flip flops to the pool.
- Toiletries, Fast-Dry Towel
- Medications, motion-sickness medication
- Sleeping Mask
- Travel Pillow
- Lightweight Day pack
- Umbrella handy in case of pop-up showers
- Coffee mug
- Water Bottle
- Power Converter
While every season has its own highlights, June seems a delightful time to visit Iceland with a plentiful supply of daylight for exploring the country’s theatrical and beautiful scenery, including rocky mountain peaks, scenic waterfalls, steaming geothermal fields and vast glaciers.
We hope this article about Iceland in June will help you figure out if it’s the best month for you to visit Iceland or not.
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