There is plenty of daylight to enjoy and the weather is not bitterly cold, which opens the doors for many nature activities and cultural events. This guide will introduce you to everything you’ll need in order to experience Iceland in June to the fullest, from packing tips to top activities and tours.
Why June Can be the Best Time to Visit Iceland
Let's rip the band-aid off immediately – you’ll miss out on the Northern Lights if you visit Iceland in June. As the auroras are one of the country’s main attractions it’s quite unfortunate for keen tourists.
That being said, exploring Iceland in June has massive perks:
The Midnight Sun. The Midnight Sun is an incredible phenomenon in its own right but it’s the precise reason for the absence of the Northern Lights in the June sky. The Sumarsólstöður (Summer Solstice) happens anywhere between June 20-22. That’s Iceland’s brightest night, meaning the daylight lasts for almost 24 hours.
Nature activities. Harsh winter weather limits access to various nature attractions and makes many hikes impossible. June, on the other hand, is the perfect time to enjoy hiking in Iceland and experience its magical nature attractions. Don’t forget your sunscreen though!
Road trips. Iceland is best explored by car and there is no better time to do that than June. Vast horizons, great road conditions and plenty of daylight offer a spectacular road trip experience. It’s one of the reasons so many people flock to Iceland.
Weather in Iceland in June
Iceland’s temperature in June isn’t what most of us would typically associate with summer, but it’s pleasant and mild. The average temperature of 9°C (or 48°F) can sometimes spike up to 15°C (or 59°F), which makes June the third warmest month in Iceland.
Gentle temperatures are paired with the fact that June sees the least rainfall compared to other months. That doesn’t mean it won’t rain, so do pack a raincoat!
Top 3 Things to Do in Iceland in June
Go Puffin Watching
Puffins are some of the most adorable birds in the world. And you can get a dose of their incredible cuteness in large quantities if you go puffin watching!
In June, they are found in huge flocks on the shores of Iceland and hopping on a puffin watching tour will give you the best chances of seeing puffins flap their wings and dive into the ocean. If you’re looking to see even more of the local Icelandic fauna, pair puffin watching with a whale watching tour for a combo experience.
Watch the Midnight Sun
One of the biggest highlights of traveling to Iceland in June is the Midnight Sun. Not only will you get to experience that never-ending daylight, you also have the option of doing activities that would otherwise be restricted to daytime.
Visit toward the end of June, and you’ll be there for the Summer Solstice. It’s the longest day in Iceland, which happens around June 20-22. It’s the perfect time for a midnight hike or a night-time swim in a hot spring!
Snorkel Between Two Continents at Silfra
Snorkeling is exciting enough already but imagine doing it between two tectonic plates! Well, if you are fascinated by water activities, you’re in luck, because that’s exactly what Silfra snorkeling tours offer.
Silfra is a crack between the North American and Eurasian plates filled with crystal clear water. That means you’ll get to see the underwater wonders that lie between two continents with a whopping 100-meter underwater visibility.
Why is June the best time to snorkel in Iceland? Because it’s a lot more pleasant to enjoy your post-snorkel cookies, hot chocolate (provided by the guides!) and share memories under the warm evening sun instead of during a winter blizzard.
Festivals and Events in Iceland in June
Secret Solstice (June 20-22)
First held in 2014, it is a fairly young music festival that has already managed to take Reykjavik’s art and culture scene by storm. Secret Solstice has featured headliners such as Foo Fighters, Radiohead and Of Monsters and Men over the years and has quickly made a name for itself – even on the international scene!
Its hook lies in its name – there is one secret headliner every year, leaving crowds with some extra excitement. The price won’t hurt too badly either. It is approximately 24,900 ISK (180 USD) for four days.
The Icelandic Independence Day (June 7)
Is there a better occasion to visit a country and experience the local spirit than during an Independence Day celebration? Well, if you’re around on June 17, you will have the chance to experience it.
Streets in cities and towns overflow with locals eager to wave the country’s flag and rejoice that the Republic of Iceland was founded on this exact day back in 1944. Rest assured you’ll get to sample some local street food, buy souvenirs, and become part of this unique country’s history.
Reykjavik’s Art Festival (May or June)
Reykjavik’s Art Festival is a must-visit whether you consider yourself an art critic or a simple admirer. Ever since 1970, the festival has gained international acknowledgment and is among the oldest art festivals in Europe.
Artists in dance, theater, visual arts, design and many more art disciplines come together and display the best they have to offer in the streets of Reykjavik over the course of several weeks. It happens every other year in May or June, so do your research in advance if you’re determined to see it!
Packing Tips for Iceland in June
Even though it is a summer trip, Iceland is unlike any other country. So the question naturally arises – what to wear in Iceland in June?
Here is a list of packing essentials for Iceland in June:
- Sunscreen and sunglasses (yes, the June sun gets harsh in Iceland)
- A bathing suit (you’ll want to take a dip in a hot spring)
- Raincoat (the weather is full of surprises)
- Warm clothes and woolen socks (for those chilly days and evenings)
- Hiking boots (there is no exploring Iceland in June without them)
- Eye mask (try sleeping with 24 hours of daylight if you’re not used to it)
- Reusable water bottle (Iceland has some of the best running water in the world)
- Gloves and hat (better be safe than sorry)
A rule of thumb when packing for Iceland is to overpack. Iceland is incredibly expensive – if you end up needing gloves, you might need to put down around 80 USD for them.