July is one of the busiest months in Iceland. Tourists flock to experience warmer temperatures and endless daylight hours. With many of the country’s attractions accessible, Iceland in July is a great time to explore Iceland’s unique landscapes and natural wonders.
However, this high season can mean higher prices and more crowds, making some popular destinations more challenging to navigate. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of visiting Iceland in July and provide tips to help you plan your trip.
About Iceland in the Summer
Summer is one of the best times to visit Iceland, with longer days, milder weather, and stunning natural scenery. During this time, you can experience the famous Midnight Sun, where the sun never truly sets and the days are incredibly long.
This makes it a perfect time to explore Iceland’s national parks and hiking trails, including the popular Landmannalaugar and Thorsmork areas. You can also enjoy whale watching tours, camping, and outdoor festivals like the Secret Solstice music festival and Reykjavik Pride.
However, with the warmer weather comes an increase in tourists and higher prices for accommodations and activities. This means that you’ll need to book your tours and accommodations well in advance to secure your spot.
You’ll also want to be prepared for unpredictable weather, as even summer days can be chilly and windy in Iceland. But with the right gear and mindset, you can enjoy all that Iceland has to offer during the summer months.
For a deeper dive into the best time to visit Iceland, please see our comprehensive guide to the best time to visit Iceland.
Pros and Cons of Iceland in July
As with any month of the year, there are going to be advantages and potential disadvantages to exploring Iceland in July. Keep in mind, every month is wildly different for Icelandic adventures. July is no exception. Below are some of the pros and potential cons of Iceland in July.
Iceland in July: Pros
July is one of the warmest months in Iceland, with average temperatures ranging from 10-15°C (50-59°F), making it a great time to explore Iceland’s incredible landscapes. In July, Iceland enjoys almost 24 hours of daylight, providing ample time for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and sightseeing.
The famous puffins also return to Iceland in early April and stay until early September, making it a great time to see these cute seabirds.
The warm weather and long days also make it a great time to visit Iceland’s many geothermal pools and hot springs, like the Blue Lagoon, where you can relax and soak in the warm water while enjoying the beautiful scenery around you.
Additionally, July is the peak season for whale watching, with humpback whales and orcas migrating to Iceland’s waters during this time. It is also the month of the famous Reykjavik Culture Night festival, where locals and visitors come together to celebrate the country’s culture, music, and food.
Overall, July is a great time to visit Iceland if you are looking for warm weather, long days, and lots of outdoor activities and events.
Iceland in July: Cons
Visiting Iceland in July can have its downsides, despite being one of the most popular months to travel there. One major con is the crowds, as it’s peak tourist season and many attractions can become crowded and busy.
Accommodation prices can also be higher during this time, so travelers on a budget may need to plan accordingly or consider visiting during a different month. Additionally, while the weather is typically mild and pleasant, there is always a chance of rain and overcast skies, which can dampen outdoor activities and sightseeing plans.
Finally, it’s important to note that July is also the month of the Midnight Sun, which means that it never gets truly dark. While this can be an exciting and unique experience, it can also make it difficult to sleep for some travelers who are used to total darkness.
Events in Iceland in July
There are plenty of events taking place throughout Iceland in the month of July. Here are just a few of the events in Iceland in July:
- Independence Day (July 4th) – A national holiday celebrated across Iceland with parades, concerts, and other festivities.
- Reykjavik Culture Night (first Saturday in August) – Although technically not in July, this event is worth mentioning as it often spills over into the last days of July. The streets of Reykjavik come alive with art installations, music, dance performances, and more.
- The Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður – A week-long festival in mid-June that showcases Iceland’s Viking heritage with reenactments, markets, food, and more.
- LungA Art Festival in Seyðisfjörður – A three-day festival in mid-July that brings together local and international artists for workshops, concerts, exhibitions, and more.
- The Great Fish Day in Dalvík – A seafood festival that takes place on the first Saturday of August, but often begins in late July. Visitors can enjoy fresh fish dishes, music, and other activities.
- Eistnaflug Music Festival in Neskaupstaður – A popular metal music festival that takes place in mid-July and features local and international bands.
- Folk Music Festival in Siglufjörður – A three-day festival in mid-July that celebrates Iceland’s traditional folk music with concerts, workshops, and dance performances.
- The Bræðslan Music Festival in Borgarfjörður Eystri – A music festival held in late July that features Icelandic and international musicians in a scenic coastal setting.
Tips for Visiting Iceland in July
Visiting Iceland in July is a great option for travelers who want to experience the country’s long summer days and warmer weather. However, it’s important to note that July is also one of the busiest months for tourism in Iceland, so visitors should plan ahead and book accommodations and activities well in advance.
One of the top things to do in Iceland in July is to explore the country’s stunning natural attractions, such as the Golden Circle, glaciers, and waterfalls. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, horseback riding, and whale watching. July is also a great time to visit the many festivals and events that take place throughout the country, including the Reykjavik Culture Night, the Icelandic Horse Festival, and the Siglufjörður Folk Music Festival.
However, visitors should also be aware that July can bring unpredictable weather and occasional rain. It’s important to bring warm layers and waterproof clothing, as well as good hiking shoes for exploring Iceland’s rugged terrain.
Additionally, visitors should be aware of the high cost of travel during peak season and plan accordingly to stay within their budget. Overall, with proper planning and preparation, visiting Iceland in July can be a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
As always, if you’re looking to get up-to-date information on the unpredictable weather in Iceland, there is one primary source. That source is Vedur.is.
Visiting in June Instead
If you’re considering visiting Iceland in July, it’s worth noting that the country experiences a high tourist season during this time, with more visitors arriving than any other month. While this means more events and activities to enjoy, it also means more crowds and higher prices.
If you’re looking for a quieter and more affordable alternative, consider visiting in June. The weather is still pleasant, and you’ll have more opportunities to experience the stunning natural scenery without the crowds.
For a deeper dive, please see our full article on Iceland in June.
Visiting in August Instead
While July is the height of the tourist season in Iceland, August is also a busy month with plenty of events and activities to enjoy. However, if you’re looking to avoid crowds and save some money, visiting in August instead of July may be a good option.
The weather is still pleasant, and there are fewer tourists around, meaning you can explore beautiful landscapes and natural wonders without crowds.
For a deeper dive, please see our full article on Iceland in August.
Our Final Thoughts
Overall, visiting Iceland in July can be a wonderful experience with plenty to see and do. However, it’s worth considering the high tourist season, which can mean higher prices and more crowds. If you’re looking for a quieter and more affordable alternative, consider visiting in June or August instead.
No matter when you visit, be sure to pack warm clothing and plan ahead to make the most of your trip to this stunning country.