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What to Expect from Your Summer Adventure in Iceland in August

28-05-2024

Iceland in August

    August is prime time for a visit to the island. You’re still in the middle of summer, where the weather and extended daylight hours are just waiting for you to fill up your days with all sorts of adventures, especially those of the outdoor variety. Visiting Iceland in August means getting the very best of what the island has to offer and making the most of your holiday.

    This article will tell you exactly how to do that. We dive into everything from what to expect weather-wise, and what to pack, as well as provide you with a list of must-do activities and must-see attractions to create the ultimate trip itinerary. 

    Is August a Good Time to Go to Iceland?

    Every season brings along seasonal changes wherever you are in the world, and there will always be pros and cons to any potential trip. The trick is to find the one that aligns the most with all your needs, requirements, and expectations. We’ve compiled this handy overview of the pros and cons of visiting Iceland in August so you can see if it’s the right fit for you:

    Pros

    • Iceland’s weather in August is some of the best you can experience all year round. Our harsher weather elements are calm, and it’s nice and warm (at least in Iceland terms).
    • You have loads of daylight hours to fill with all sorts of exciting attractions and activities.
    • It is the perfect time to explore Iceland via road trip since all the roads are open (some of our roads are closed throughout the colder months of the year), and you don’t need to worry about challenging road conditions due to things such as ice and snow.
    • August is one of the best months for wildlife fans to come and visit the island. It will be official Puffin as well as whale season. This means that you will be able to spot our local giants of the sea as well as a few visiting migratory species. By the time you visit, you will also not only get to see our Puffins, or “clowns of the sea” as they are so lovingly called but also their cute little babies called Pufflings!

    Cons

    • August is summer, and summer in Iceland is peak season. This means you’ll need to make peace with our peak season crowds, possibly “crowding” the streets, local attractions, etc. You’ll also need to book things such as transport and accommodation well in advance to avoid disappointment.
    • Whenever you have peak season in the world, you will inevitably see those peak season price hikes, and Iceland is no different.
    • If you’re wondering whether you can see the Northern Lights in Iceland in August, you might not like the answer. While the many daylight hours are great for jam-packed trip itineraries and outdoor adventures, it also means that the odds of being in Iceland in August and seeing the Northern Lights are practically zero.

    The Weather in Iceland in August

    As we already mentioned, a trip to Iceland in August includes amazing weather. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what you can expect:

    The Temperature in Iceland in August

    When it comes to Iceland’s August weather, most want to know, “What is the temperature in Iceland in August?” That’s probably because the warm summer weather in Iceland is definitely not the same as the warm summer weather in the Caribbean. But in August, you will never have to worry about temperatures dropping below the 0-degree mark. In fact, temperatures range between 8 and 13 degrees Celsius, with the average staying around 10 degrees.

    Weather in Iceland in August

    The Rainfall in Iceland in August

    Although the odds of dealing with some rainfall during your August trip to Iceland are good, August is definitely not one of our wettest months of the year. You’re looking at about 87.5 mm of rainfall throughout the month.

    The Snowfall in Iceland in August

    Snowfall will be the least of your worries when traveling to Iceland in August. There will be absolutely no snowfall – not even sleet!

    The Wind Speeds in Iceland in August

    The wind speeds in Iceland in August are a far cry from the extremes one can experience mid-winter here on the island. Where our wind speeds can reach more than 35 kilometers an hour, you’ll only experience average wind speeds of about 13.5 kilometers an hour during August.

    The Daylight Hours in Iceland in August

    You can look forward to about 15 hours of daylight every day during your August trip to Iceland (almost 4 times the mid-winter average of 4 hours a day!).

    What to Pack and Wear when Visiting Iceland in June

    It’s fairly simple to pack for a summer trip to Iceland, but these are a few essential items you cannot afford to forget:

    • Swimwear (for a dip in one of our swimming pools, the ocean, or our infamous hot springs and geothermal pools).
    • Flip-flops (to use at Iceland’s hot springs as well as other public changing rooms).
    • A quick-drying towel (do not bring a regular towel; you will only be left lugging around a bunch of wet things).
    • A raincoat and waterproof clothing, gear, and boots (these are not just to prepare for the potential rainfall, but will keep you dry on hiking trails, along the muddy and wet trails of the hot springs, and will ensure that you stay dry at our powerful waterfalls that will drench you in their mist and spray).

    The Best Things to Do in Iceland in August

    If you’re looking for things to add to your trip itinerary in August, the following are not to be missed:

    Go Camping

    There is no better time to immerse yourself in Icelandic nature than during the summer season. Not only is camping one of the most affordable ways to stay in Iceland, but certain spots will have some of our most famous attractions almost on your doorstep! If this is the accommodation route you’re planning on taking, get yourself the Camping Card. This will give you even further discounts at various campsites across the country.

    Camping in Iceland in August

    Take that Road Trip

    As we mentioned, there’s no better time to hit the road; conditions are pristine, and all roads, including the F-roads in Iceland, are open. Chat with your rental agent about your planned routes to ensure that you get the right vehicle (for example, the F-roads legally require a 4x4), and so you have sufficient insurance coverage.

    Once that’s been settled, you have numerous popular road trip routes to choose from, such as the Golden Circle, the Ring Road, the Diamond Circle, and the South Coast Way.

    Go Horseback Riding

    We have horse farms all over the country where you can explore the surrounding landscape on horseback or just get up close to these magnificent animals. You see, our horses are a breed of its own (literally!). The Icelandic Horse can famously perform a fifth gait, sports a thick, fluffy coat during the wintertime, is known for their friendly nature, and looks a bit more like ponies than full-grown horses.

    Take a Dip in a Hot Spring

    The volcanic activity on the island heats up our underground water supply, so you will find natural hot springs all across the island. Some can be enjoyed in their natural setting, while others are used in Iceland’s geothermal public pools. The latter obviously has more amenities and facilities than those you can still find “out in the wild”. Some of our most famous hot spring hot spots are Sky Lagoon, Reykjadalur, and the Myvatn Nature Baths.

    Hot Springs in Iceland in August

    Check Out Our Interesting Museums

    There are few places on earth with such interesting and intriguing museums as here in Iceland. You can dive into local history, myths, and legends with museums such as the Saga Museum.

    Or you can experience our own “Harry Potter” period of history at the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft. You can explore all of Iceland’s natural wonders indoors at Perlan. Or you can even go to see the ultimate penis collection of every mammal on the island at the Icelandic Phallological Museum.

    Explore the Capital

    Reykjavik is usually the first stop after visitors land at Keflavik Airport. And before just making this the starting point of your Iceland adventure, be sure to explore this incredible city with all its amazing sights first.

    If you book a spot on the Reykjavik Food Walk, you will not only get to learn all about the capital from your experienced guide, but you’ll also get to taste some of our local cuisine and craft beers at a few popular eateries. 

    Visit Our Spectacular Waterfalls

    Iceland boasts over 10 000 waterfalls, the one almost more spectacular than the next, and it can be hard to decide which to include in your trip itinerary (especially if you have limited time on the island).

    Some of the must-visit waterfalls include Svartifoss (the inspiration behind Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik), Seljalandsfoss (the waterfall you can walk behind), Dettifoss (the 2nd most powerful waterfall in all of Europe), and Glymur Waterfall (one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland).

    Marvel at Our Architecture

    As one of the countries seeped in history with one of the most creative nations on the planet, Iceland boasts incredible structures that will have your jaw on the floor. From old-timey classics to modern builds, you will find a few must-visit architectural gems here in Iceland. A few are Budakirkja, Harpa Concert Hall, the Nordic House, and Hallgrimskirkja.

    Go for a Stroll on the Past

    That’s not a typo. Here in Iceland, you can literally take a leisurely stroll on the past. That’s because our infamous black sand beaches are all remnants of the past.

    Each tiny kernel of black sand was once part of hardened lava of past eruptions of thousands and thousands of years ago that has been eroded by time and the weather elements to what we see and walk on today. Simply incredible! Don’t miss out on Diamond Beach and Reynisfjara Beach, which are considered to be some of the best black sand beaches in Iceland.

    Icelandic Festivals and Events in August

    If you are looking to add a few festivities to your social calendar while here on the island, consider the following:

    Reykjavik Pride

    Reykjavik Pride is a highlight each year. This event includes festivities all across the city, from parties at various venues to concerts and, of course, the famous parade. Come and celebrate people’s diversity if you’re in Iceland this August.

    Reykjavik Pride Day

    Reykjavik Jazz Festival

    The Reykjavik Jazz Festival celebrates all things jazz with various local and international artists performing various jazz genres all over the city. This is definitely not to be missed if you’re a jazz fan.

    The Great Fish Day in Dalvik

    The Great Fish Day, aka. Fiskidagurinn Mikli, is an annual festival celebrated on the second Saturday of August. On this day, things get fishy in all the right ways as Icelander’s incredible connection to the sea and the fishing industry is celebrated. One of the highlights of the festival is the seafood buffet that’s held at the harbor – completely free of charge!

    Visiting Iceland in August is an Outdoor Adventure Waiting to Happen

    Traveling to Iceland in August means spending the maximum time outdoors. Whether you’re just taking in the incredible weather with breathtaking views while lounging in a hot spring, hitting the road on the ultimate road trip, visiting some of our most famous attractions, or partaking in some of our outdoor activities such as hiking or kayaking – August is the perfect time to do so.

    Visiting Iceland in August

    If you rent a motorhome in Iceland, you’ll not only have both your transport and accommodation sorted, but you’ll also be able to make your holiday budget stretch further and get a few of those camping spots we mentioned where you can find yourself mere meters away from all the action. So, use this article as a guide and start planning the ultimate August road trip adventure today!