July is undoubtedly the most popular month of the year to visit Iceland. And there are a variety of reasons for that; good weather, unique natural beauty, a high supply of fun trips, extended daylight and midnight sun, excellent road conditions, and other factors. July is the month when the whole country is flourishing, nature and culture-wise. Roads into the highlands are open in July, allowing travelers to explore the unspoiled natural beauty of the highlands. Many town festivals are held in July and Icelanders take advantage of the good weather to be outside and have fun. The southern and northern regions shine with green fields and extraordinary landscapes while the western fjords welcome travelers with unique natural wonders and adventures. It is safe to say that Iceland is THE place to visit in July!
Weather in Iceland in July
July is the hottest month of the year in Iceland where the temperature can reach 15-20 ° C, with an average around 15°C. The weather, however, varies between years, with some parts of the country having a good summer one year, but perhaps the next bad, and vice versa. In 2018, summer in Reykjavik consisted mostly of cloudy and rainy days, but the north-east region had sunny days and warm temperatures. In 2019, it reversed. That shows the weather in Iceland is continuously changing. Therefore it is necessary to prepare for all kinds of weather while planning a visit.
When it comes to daylight, July is truly a dream for all travelers. Simply because the number of daylight hours is around 20 hours a day at the beginning of the month and only goes down to 18 hours a day at the end of July. Meaning you can explore and gaze upon beautiful waterfalls and glacial lagoons, or explore other attractions that spark your interest, for almost 18-20 hours a day. Goodbye, sleep!
Although there is plenty of daylight and warmer weather, there is still a decent amount of rainfall on average. But don’t get too bummed, the rain is still some of the least of the year with an average of 52 mm (2 inches). This will generally come in the form of light precipitation. Bring a raincoat just in case.
What to pack for a July visit in Iceland
As mentioned before, the weather can be somewhat unpredictable and therefore, important to take that into account. Pack for sunny days and rainy days. T-shirts, shorts, raincoat, wind- and water repellent jackets and trousers. Bring good walking shoes and sneakers. If you plan on exploring the nightlife in Reykjavik, make sure to bring something for that as well. Don‘t forget your passport, wallet, phone, medication, chargers, etc. If you are coming from the US or UK, you will need an adaptor for all your electrical chargers as the sockets are different in Iceland compared to the US and UK.
Attractions in Iceland in July – what to see and do
At this time of year, the possibilities are almost endless when it comes to choosing which attractions you want to see and experience. With good weather, fantastic road conditions and extended daylight, you can enjoy all the most exciting attractions from morning until night.
Hiking in Iceland in July
Hiking in Landmannalaugar is one of the most famous mountain trails in the country and July is the perfect month to walk this famous route. In Reykjavik, you can also find fun hiking trails, for example on mount Esja, mount Helgarfell and mount Úlfarsfell, all withing 20km distance from the downtown area.
Another fun walk worth mentioning is the Reykjadalur hot springs area in Hveragerdi, only 30 minutes drive from Reykjavik, on your route to the southern parts of Iceland. This hiking trail is relatively easy but also very rewarding and ends up in Reykjadalur where you can bathe in hot springs in the middle of nature.
However, if you are heading north, then there are various fun walks in that area. Eyjafjörður, home of Akureyri, has a lot of fun walking trails that are suitable for beginners as well as further afield.
The West fjords
When people ask what they should see and do in the Westfjords, the most straightforward answer is “the Westfjords.” Every turn brings something new. Every fjord is its little world. Every mountain competes for your attention. Even the least remarkable parts of the Westfjords glow with natural beauty and surreal landscapes. In summer, all the most exciting sights to explore in the Westfjords are reachable by car and can easily be discovered by foot. The most popular places to visit are Patreksfjordur, Latrabjarg, Isafjordur, Hornstrandir, Red Sand beach, and Dynjandi waterfall. However, while driving the Westfjords, you will run into many other magnificent places that will take your breathe away.
The Snaefellsnes peninsula
The Snaefellsnes peninsula has been gaining more popularity in recent years and is nowadays one of the most popular routes for travelers visiting Iceland. The peninsula is easily reachable from the capital region and can be explored in a day or two, depending on how much time you want to spend at each place. If you are about to travel to Iceland in August and want to head west, the Snaefellsnes peninsula awaits you with all its amazing attractions. Including Helgafell, Kirkjufell, Arnarstapi, Hellnar, Stykkisholmur, and Budir.
Self-drive – the ring road
In July, road conditions are excellent and the month, therefore, one of the best for driving the ring road in Iceland. Driving the ring road is a dream for most people who come to Iceland, as you can see all the major attractions that Iceland has to offer along the way. In the south, you will be able to explore waterfalls, black sand beaches, glacier lagoons, canyons, glaciers, and extraordinary nature. In the north, you will stand on volcanoes, see beautiful lakes, canyons and birdlife, mountain ranges, waterfalls and much more. If you are heading to Iceland in July for a week or longer, we advise you to consider driving the ring road and catch all the beauty along the way.
Events in Iceland in July
Numerous events in July are fun to see and experience. For example, it may be fun to visit town festivals around the country or enjoy the culture in Reykjavik.
Irish Days at Akranes in West Iceland
In early July each year, the town of Akranes host the so-called Irish festive days to commemorate the Celtic heritage and its festivities at the same time. People attend from all directions to absorb Irish-Icelandic cultural mix, show themselves, and see others or meet friends and relatives. Flags and banners, ribbons and ornaments decorate the town as a reminiscent of Ireland. This is truly a town festival with diverse entertainment for all; sports, market, beach fun, ice fishing and last but not least, the competition for the most red-haired countrymen. You will find cheering and festive spirits all around town and fun and entertaining events in the town center.
Mærudagar – Candy Days in Husavik
The Candy Days festival in Husavik is an annual festival taking place the last weekend in July. The town is divided into three districts: Pink, Orange, and Green, and people decorate their houses, businesses, light posts and themselves in their colors. The population more than doubles during the festival, as many people who have moved away pick this weekend to come back for a visit, and the whole town is buzzing with life. During Mærudagar, there is something for everyone: art exhibitions, open-air theatre performances for kids of all ages, a parade, a golf tournament, a market and a small carnival at the harbor. The shops & restaurants are open longer, and there is live music all over town. In the evening, the port fills with people enjoying the music and meeting old and new friends.
The northern lights in July in Iceland
Unfortunately, for those wanting to experience the northern lights, the month of July is the worst time to visit Iceland. You will not see northern lights in July. It is as simple as that. If you want to catch the northern lights, try visiting during the darker winter months, ideally January or February.