A Weather Guide to Iceland in June
Bright as you sleep, bright when you wake up
It’s broad daylight. Nothing out of the ordinary here. You go to bed, it’s still bright outside. Not broad daylight, as you would expect in the middle of the day, but pretty bright.
Golden 5 hours
The month progresses. The night time brightness gets brighter. One day, there are no clouds, and there is a spectacular, brilliant sunshine over the whole land. These days are rare. The light gradually becomes more and more golden. It’s orange at midnight, and lasts well into 1, 2 and 3 am. This is the golden hour light. The difference is that In Iceland, it’s not an hour. It’s 5. Golden five hours. That’s what we always tell people.
Land of the midnight light
Despite this, and contrary to popular belief, the sun DOES set below the horizon. Only briefly, but it does set. There is no midnight sun, in the true sense of the term. What we have is “midnight light” and it is quite strong. On June 21st, it is possible to see the midnight sun. For about 5 minutes. To get an understanding of what we mean, take a look at the table below for the essential facts about the light in June. Bare in mind also that you can gain up to 30 minutes extra daylight by being in the North of Iceland or in the Westfjords.
A photographer’s dream
You can imagine the photography in Iceland in June in this golden period. For anybody who is very serious about their photographs, you will swap night for day; rising in the mi-afternoon just in time to catch the beginning of the golden light and then all the way through the night until the small hours of the morning, when the light begins to be too harsh and people start to arrive on location.
June is the most remarkable month in Iceland, justifiably the most popular time to visit, along with July of course. There will be more people around. However, if you know where to go, you can always lose the people.
“Iceland Rules” still apply
We like to throw a bit of wanderlust into our weather guides. Now, on to more practical matters.
Even though we have said all of this, and June is generally the month with the best weather in Iceland, standard “Iceland rules” apply. What do Iceland rules mean? Be ready for almost anything. Unless you are hiking at very high altitudes and in alpine conditions, you are highly unlikely to encounter any snow. There will be plenty of multi-directional wind and rain however, but there is usually a good proportion less in June. Still, this is why you need to be prepared for it. Temperatures range hugely depending on whether you are at the coast or in the highlands, but in June the daily highs can reach between 10-15 celsius and a low of 2-3 celsius at night.
What Should I bring?
In Iceland, the saying goes, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”. So what will you need?
A good GOR-TEX, eVent or similar waterproof membrane jacket and waterproof hiking boots if you are considering hiking. More basic items include long shirts and pants (besides jeans, our general advice is to avoid cotton altogether) sweaters, wool socks, and a base layer will help a lot.
Want to know something specific? Get in touch!
We hope this weather guide gives you some idea of what to expect and some background info to get you start with your planning, as well as a pinch of wanderlust. Do you have any specific questions that you might want to ask us? Leave a comment below and get in touch!
About the Author
Hailing from London and born into a British/Brazilian/Italian household, Joseph came to Iceland originally to complete a master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Iceland: the rest is history.
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