Weather Guide to Iceland in July - What to See & Do

06. July 2020 —
Shape Arinbjorn Hauksson
Strokkur Hot Spring at the Geysir geothermal area

There’s something special about embarking on a journey to Iceland during the summer months. The long hours of daylight, greenery spread throughout both the flat and mountainous landside, and the endless opportunities to explore Iceland’s nature are some of the many perfect reasons to visit Iceland in July.

The locals of Iceland find July to be one of the favorite times of year, with plenty of festivals and reasons to go on a road trip to the countryside. Hiking, camping and glacier explorations are just a few of the many activities that both locals and tourists alike can take part in during the summer months.

July and August are the warmest months of the year in Iceland, and have the least amount of rain. Coupled with nearly a day’s worth of daylight, July is the perfect time for outdoor lovers who enjoy the mild summer sunshine. Not until the end of the month, will dusk slowly start to make its way into the Icelandic night, only to be completed with a long colorful sunset. Iceland in summer is truly at its liveliest, and whether you’ve visited before in winter or not, this makes for the perfect reason to plan a summer trip.

Quick Facts on Iceland in July

Average temperature: 11°C/52°F
High temperature: 13°C/55°F
Low temperature: 9°C/48°F
Average Daylight: 21 hours
Average Rainfall: 20mm/0.75 inches
Average Rainy Days: 21 days

Weather conditions in Iceland in July

Driving conditions in Iceland during summer are at their best - no concerns of snow, or road closures, and the entire island is accessible for exploration. Weather conditions are also at their most favourable, making the summer a very popular time for tourists to visit Iceland.

Average temperature

In July, the average temperature is normally 11°C or 52°F, meaning you can finally bust out some of the warmer clothes during your trip. It’s not beach weather, but much warmer than what you can expect during the cold, long winter months. In Skaftafell south of Vatnajökull and lake Mývatn in the north east, higher temperatures can be found when the sun is out and shining, and in the right condition with low winds, it can feel quite warm.

Daylight hours during July in Iceland normally reach over 21 hours per day, so you won’t be seeing much of the night sky during this period of time. High temperatures in July usually hit 13°C or 55°F, with the lows getting only slightly cooler at 9°C or 48°F.

Shape Andrea Burgherr
Lake Mývatn

Daylight in Iceland during July

July is one of the best months in Iceland if you’re a daylight lover. Nearly 21 hours of the day, light will encompass the island, making it possible to take excursions and adventure around Iceland for almost the entire day long.

The midnight sun is another natural phenomena to take in during a visit to Iceland during the summer months, with it hitting is pique on the 20th of June. During this time, the sun is up for 24 hours straight, also reaching deep into the months of July.

Precipitation & Snow

There won’t be any snow on the radar during the summer months, so forget having to pack extra clothes for wintry weather. Instead, Iceland still usually has some rain during the summer months, with July seeing rainfall normally 21 days of the month. Luckily, the average rainfall is only about 20mm or 0.75 inches, meaning when it rains, it normally shouldn’t last for such long periods of time.

What to Pack & Wear in July

During the month of July, you can pack much lighter than you would in the winter, but you still want to pack the right items for your trip. You’ll still want to pack a light coat for your visit, and you’ll definitely want to be well-equipped with some rain and windproof gear. Both fleece and wool are still great items to pack in July, and a pair of gloves will also be advisable for the late nights after the sun sets and temperatures tend to cool down a bit. For all times of year in Iceland, if you're planning to get out and explore, you'll want to have a sturdy pair of hiking boots at the ready. Normal shoes do great for city activities, so you should have both on hand to easily make the switch when the time is right.

Driving in July

Driving in Iceland during July, and during the summer in general, is a much easier experience than during any of the other times of year. You won’t need to worry about road closures, or difficult driving conditions that are normally present on the island. Normally, in the highlands, you’ll still need a 4x4 vehicle for more difficult passings.

Nonetheless, you should always remember that driving in Iceland is probably a bit different than back home. Remember - off-road driving is not only frowned upon, but is illegal in Iceland. Only drive on clearly marked roads, in order not to sustain damage to your vehicle, or even a large fine.

Also remember not to stop off the side of the road, and only in designated areas where parking is allowed. When you stop off the side of the road, you put not only yourself, but others at risk of life-threatening injuries.

Shape Jan Zelina

Potential Storms & Driving Conditions

Generally, the worst thing you have to be concerned with during the summer months in Iceland would be quick and heavy rainfall. There’s no immediate threat of snow storms, or any other types of storms that could prohibit driving all together.

It’s recommended to utilize the 112 Iceland App, just as an option in case you get stuck at some point and require being rescued. It’s best to avoid any type of dangerous situation, and although driving in Iceland can be both very rewarding and safe, you need to be fully prepared and have a well-planned route. Along with this, you must stay up to date on current conditions, as they can change very quickly.

Shape Jordi Pujola

Activities & Tours in Icelandic Nature in July 

Hiking in July

The Landmannalaugar - Thorsmork Trek & The Fimmvörðuháls Trek

July is certainly one of the most popular months in Iceland to go out on a hiking trip, and to truly explore the outdoors. Take a journey to one of Iceland's most popular trails, The Landmannalaugar - Thorsmork Trek way deep into the highlands, where glacier rivers, colorful mountains and black sands await. Truly breathtaking scenery will be scattered along your entire route as you make your way through this trek. Take in everything Iceland has to offer, as you visit the flora, fauna, and landscape along the way with your hiking guide. At the end, you’ll even have the chance to extend your hiking excursion further, with a trip onwards to the Fimmvörðuháls Trek.

If you like to get more off the beaten path, don’t forget to check out the Volcanic Trails a true wilderness adventure in the dramatic landscapes east of Vatnajökull Glacier.

Self-drive tour

Magical West & the Pearls of South Iceland

Southern Iceland is one of the most touristed parts of all Iceland, and for good reason. One of the best ways to experience Southern Iceland in the summer is with a self-drive tour. like the Magical West & the Pearls of South Iceland. With so many stops on the way, you’ll constantly be in awe of everything this part of Iceland has to offer.

Geysers, waterfalls and black sand beaches are all part of the plan. Visit the edge of the southern highlands to avoid the crows, and take in the stunning Landmannalaugar geothermal area. The Westfjords are one part of Iceland that is more difficult to access during the colder months, so just another reason to visit them during the warm months when they're in all their glory. And if you’ve never enjoyed a tour set in the background of raw nature, this is a self-drive tour you’re not going to want to miss.

Shape Gudrun Johannsdottir

If you really want to kick up the adventure a notch, you’ll also want to stop by the glaciers of Southern Iceland for a glacier hike adventure, or jump on a snowmobile for a guided tour around this iconic part of the island. 

There’s also the chance to join the Glacier Panorama trail for a true summer day hiking experience. Get a glance at the geological wonders of Iceland, and learn how glaciers have helped to construct its landscape for thousands of years. This is the perfect adventure for those looking to not expend too much time or energy, but get the most out of the South's flawless landscapes. On top of that, the Southern part of Iceland is much warmer in the summer months, so you might even be able to hike in a t-shirt!

Shape Jan Zelina

A Glacier Adventure

Glacier hikes are extremely popular in the summer months. Take a trip upon the ice field of glaciers with an experience guide as you experience this frozen world. The outlet glaciers are considered one of the gems of Iceland's nature, which is home to Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull.

Along your glacier experience, you'll have the chance to encounter water cauldrons and ice sculptures, as well as stunning panoramic views of the surroundings. ATV rides are another summer favorite as well as whale watching tours or snorkling. Take the time on your trip during the summer months to experience a an outdoor activity out in nature, as it’s truly an unforgettable experience that is like none other.

Shape Björgvin Hilmarsson

Events & Festivals

Reykjavik Fringe Festival

Join a celebration of art at Reykajvik's Fringe Festival. Enjoy both local and international musical performances, that include all forms of art: dance, comedy, poetry, burlesque, magic, and even children's shows. If you’re in the city, this will be a great chance to experience a local festival that makes Reykjavik truly unique in the summer months.

Siglufjörður Folk Festival

Take the chance to enjoy a five-day international folk music festival in one of Iceland's northern towns. This festival's primary focus is on Icealndic and Scandinavian folk music, but also includes worldwide folke music and dances at the same time. There's over 19 concerts spread throughout the city of Siglufjörður. You'll also have the opportunity to enjoy local workshops on both handicraft and music. This is the perfect opportunity if you want to get outside of Reykjavik, and experience some local culture.

The National Icelandic Horse Competition

Icelandic horses are known for their long-fur and unique appearance, and this will be the perfect chance to get up close to see these beauties with your own eyes. During this event, there will be a horse riding competition where rides of different ages compete, showing off all five gaits of the Icelandic horse. There's also a competition to show the breeding of horses, where the best local stallions are shown and rated. The entire Landsmot area becomes a village, which acts as a camping site with children's playgrounds, top Icelandic performers and a number of different Icelandic food vendors with tons of foods ready for all tastes.

ArrowRead More

Holidays in Iceland during July

There are no public holidays in July, and everyone is outside enjoying the daylight and warmth of the summer months. So luckily, there’s no closures or any special public holidays to keep in mind!

About the Author

IMG Staff Writer

An anonymous but well informed member of our team that enjoys sharing their knowledge of Iceland & Greenland’s stunning nature.

Subscribe to the Icelandic Mountain Guides Blog

Outdoor adventure in Iceland is our specialty. Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter to learn when to go, what to do and where to have the best adventures in Iceland.

Reader’s Comments