July marks the peak of summer in Iceland, with approximately 20 hours of daylight daily, creating an endless feeling of exploration. Despite technically shorter days, the abundance of light showcases the Icelandic summer uniquely. Many claim (and we agree) that visiting Iceland in both summer and winter is like experiencing two different worlds—the landscapes and atmosphere are remarkably different, providing an entirely distinct adventure.
In July, Iceland hosts festivals and offers numerous opportunities for nature walks, hikes, and even picnics. The variety of possible excursions is at its peak, and places less accessible in winter become popular summer destinations. The mountainous regions shed their snow cover, revealing warm geothermal springs, inviting natural hot pools, and vibrant landscapes. Read on to prepare adequately for your July journey in Iceland.
Check these two itineraries - Suitable for July!
14 Days / 13 Nights
Vehicle – All types are suitable
Season – May – Sep
Main areas of this itinerary:
Ring Road, Golden Circle, Iceberg Lagoons, East Fjords, Dettifoss, Myvatn, West Fjords, Snæfellsnes Peninsula. … Read More
Weather and Daylight Hours in July
The average temperature in Reykjavik is around 15 degrees Celsius, but the extended daylight, as cherished by the locals, makes it feel much warmer. Icelanders can be found basking in gardens, sitting in café courtyards, absorbing natural vitamin D. The warmest day ever recorded in Iceland was in 1901 in the east, reaching 38 degrees Celsius. While July might bring occasional wind and possibly some rain, witnessing snow is an extremely rare sight.
July is the warmest month of the year, generally characterized by the least variation in weather. It also marks the beginning of the decrease in daylight hours after the solstice. Nevertheless, with up to 20 hours of daylight, there’s ample time for limitless exploration. The western fjords and the northernmost regions start to notice a decline in daylight towards the end of the month. Sunrise in Reykjavik occurs around 03:00 am, with sunset at approximately 23:56. By the end of the month, the sun rises around 4:30 am and sets around 22:30.
Activities in July in Iceland
Explore the Western Fjords:
The western fjords, located outside the typical tourist route, offer some of the most beautiful scenery in Iceland. Charming villages, friendly locals, natural hot springs, and mesmerizing walking trails make this area a must-visit.
The best time for hiking and trekking is from mid-June to late August when hiking trails are in their prime condition. July is undoubtedly the best month for hiking in Iceland, with an infinite selection of trails. A trek to Landmannalaugar-Thorsmork is one of the most beautiful hikes globally.
Central Highlands Exploration:
While the Ring Road is open year-round, the central highlands become more accessible in early July. Landmarks like Landmannalaugar, Thorsmork, colorful rhyolite mountains, geysers, and the active volcano Askja are open to visitors. A jeep tour in the highlands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Events and Festivals in July in Iceland
July is festival time in Iceland, with celebrations taking place across the country. Towns and villages celebrate summer in style, with each corner awakening. Warm weather and midnight sun ensure that festivities can extend into the small hours. From music festivals to art exhibitions, there’s a wide array of events to explore. Some notable festivals in July include:
Bolungarvik Weekend Market (First weekend of July):
A fantastic music festival and a family celebration held in the charming fishing village of Bolungarvik in the western fjords.
Westman Islands Volcano Festival (First weekend of July):
Commemorating the eruption of the Eldfell volcano in 1973, this festival has grown over the years, attracting visitors every first weekend of July.
Eistnaflug – Metal Festival (Second weekend of July):
Held in Neskaupstadur in the eastern fjords, this metal festival is known for its friendly and safe atmosphere, beloved by locals and international visitors alike.
LungA in Seydisfjordur (Fourth weekend of July):
Artists from Iceland and abroad gather in Seydisfjordur in the east for this charming arts and music festival, perfect for younger travelers.
Braedslan Festival (Last weekend of July):
Indie music enthusiasts may find the Braedslan Festival appealing. It takes place in Borgarfjordur Eystri in the remote northeast of Iceland, attracting Icelandic and international artists.
When traveling in July, be cautious of free-roaming sheep on the roadsides. Icelandic sheep wander freely during the summer, and the small lambs born recently may not pay much attention to traffic rules. Also, avoid stopping in unsafe roadside areas, maintain the maximum allowed speed, and ensure a safe and ticket-free conclusion to your journey.