Is it the best choice to visit Iceland in August? Well, August is a peak visitor month in Iceland for so many reasons. The weather, the sights, the festivals – it’s the perfect storm for good times in Iceland! With very little chance of an actual storm! And we’re here to tell you all about them, especially why Reykjavik is so much fun in August.
Your Friend in Reykjavik is waiting to help you make the most of your visit to our island. Join one of our Reykjavik walking tours and explore our capital city and discover the joys of Iceland in August!
August 2020 is a Good Time to Visit Iceland
As the world slowly gets back to traveling after COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, there will be fewer people visiting Iceland this year. So, you can take advantage of smaller crowds and relatively lower prices. But no matter which August you plan to visit us, we’ll be here, ready to show you around.
Weather in Iceland in August
Summer can still be rather cool to many travelers who visit Iceland in August. The temperature wanders between 50°F to 60°F (10°C to 15°C). And there’s not much rain during the summer. It still could rain, but nothing like autumn and winter here! A bonus to this lovely weather is the long days. You get around 16 hours of daylight to enjoy the experiences of the island.
Nature Puts on Amazing Light Shows in August
Days are starting to get shorter in Iceland, but you can still experience our midnight suns in August. Sunsets are at around 10 pm at the beginning of the month and around 9 pm towards the end. But since dawn is only six or seven hours away, the skies take on a wondrous golden pink gleam, barely touching darkness.
You may ask, can you see the famous Northern Lights in August if the sun is shining. Well, there is a chance, especially later in the month, when the night skies darken a little longer as we head to longer evenings in Iceland. If you join us on our Reykjavik folklore walking tour, don’t forget to ask who shouldn’t look directly at the Northern Lights!
Spot These Animals in Iceland in August
You don’t have to travel far to get a glimpse of wildlife when you visit Iceland in August. In Reykjavik, you can go birdwatching by the Pond. If swans, geese, and ducks aren’t your thing, walk over to the harbor, and you might see a puffin or two. And maybe land your eyes on a dolphin or a whale!
Summertime is an excellent time for whale-watching from any port in Iceland. Blue whales, minke whales, and humpbacks are easier to spot in the calmer waters. They also share these waters with seals, orcas, and dolphins. So, have your camera ready!
Venturing further into the island, you may make friends with an Icelandic horse or get lucky and see an Arctic fox. Polar bears sightings are extremely rare since they need to catch a ride on some ice from Greenland to get here. But we do have reindeer!
August Festivals Fill the Island with Fun
Summertime is great for festivals. And Iceland is no different!
The first weekend of the month is a holiday weekend, so try to make it for Verslunarmannahelgi. If you prefer, call it Merchant’s Weekend. For epic music, camping, and family fun, head southwest to Vestmannaeyjar for Þjóðhátíð. If you have a thing for history, especially as it relates to herring, you may want to look into the Síldarævintýri festival in the northern town of Siglufjörður. And still, in the north, Akureyri hosts the Iceland Summer Games, complete with BMX races and beach volleyball tournaments.
After all, that fun, head back to Reykjavik for Culture Night on the first Saturday after the 18th of August. There are outdoor performances and markets, but also everyone pitches in with museums, theaters, and businesses hosting events. Or join in the Pride weekend festivities or catch some fantastic music at the Reykjavik Jazz Festival.
The Best Things to Do When You Visit Iceland in August
Clear skies and warmer weather in August means exploring more of the island! Take a driving tour or rent a car and explore the open countryside. Road conditions are ideal so you can soak in the scenery. Skim the water on a kayak – you may make some aquatic animal friends along the way. Or take advantage of the long days and go hiking. You can get up close to one of our many volcanos or lava cave, but we suggest going on a tour for that. Better to be safe! After all, we are due a volcanic eruption as it’s been seven years since the last one, and the average wait between eruptions in Iceland is 4-5 years.
In Reykjavik, you can explore the town on your own. Check out the local wares, and people, at Reykjavik flea market. Wander around the Pond or the harbor, visiting the gardens and museums along the way. Make sure to snap a pic of the Sun Voyager, and maybe dip your toes in our geothermal beach. Don’t worry, the water’s fine! There is a real cool hottub there, some changing rooms and it’s a perfect combo to swim in the cold ocean a bit before soaking into the hottub, so they say at least as I am not crazy for such torture.
Not sure what to do first? Join us for some great fun on our Reykjavik walking tour! It’s a Walk With a Viking, where you get a good introduction into our country.
It will help you get your bearings and make the most of your stay in Iceland.
What to Pack for Iceland in August
Summer is pleasant in Iceland, but there are a few things you might want to make sure to pack. Even if you don’t plan on any big hikes, hiking or at least comfortable walking shoes are always a good idea. Prepare to dress in layers, and make sure to have a sweater and some rain gear. If you forget, no problem. Plenty of shopping tips for Reykjavik here!
Because the nights are short, you may want to pack an eyeshade or some sleeping tablets. Sixteen hours of daylight may not be for everyone! If you’re planning a road trip while you’re here, don’t forget your driver’s license. And pack your swimsuit. You may want the unique experience of a dip in a geothermal pool somewhere in the countryside or the one and only Reykjavik beach.
August or Anytime, Visit Us in Reykjavik!
Whenever you do make it to Iceland, we hope you stop by Reykjavik and see us! Our guides would love to share their insights, welcoming you with the best in Icelandic hospitality! Walk with one of our Vikings, or let us show you how we locals enjoy our food and drink. If you have any questions about your visit, just let us know. We can recommend things to do or help organize a private tour to give you the perfect experience!