Planning on visiting Iceland in August and wondering what to expect? With mellow temperatures and 18 hours of sun, August is the perfect time to visit the land of fire and ice.
This incredible corner of the world boasts some of the most remarkable geography and landscapes. With black-sand beaches, active volcanoes, hot springs, and cascading waterfalls and glaciers, you’re sure to love this country.
The guide below will take you through the top things to do for a memorable vacation and what to expect from the Iceland weather in August.
Iceland in August Weather
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If you’re looking to visit Iceland, August is an excellent time of year to do so. It’s one of the warmest months of the year, with Iceland’s temperatures in August reaching around 10-15 degrees Celsius. For some, this may even be enticing enough to whip out the bathing suits.
This certainly seems to be the idea that the locals have. You will see them out and about in nothing more than shorts and t-shirts.
During this summer month, the daylight hours stretch from about 4 am to 10 pm, so there is certainly no shortage of sightseeing time.
What to Wear in Iceland in August
You may be wondering how to dress in Iceland in August. While the locals may be comfortable in shorts and t-shirts, 10-15°C (50-59°F) will still feel relatively cold if you’re travelling from a warmer part of the world.
Iceland’s weather can be very unpredictable, even in the summer months. Below are some of the top clothing essentials to pack for Iceland’s August weather.
- Waterproof jacket with a hood
- Long and short-sleeve t-shirts
- Layering items (e.g. wool sweaters and vests)
- Waterproof, lightweight pants
- Waterproof shoes and socks — especially waterproof hiking boots if you’re hitting the glaciers.
- Gloves, scarf, and hat for colder days or areas.
Can You See The Northern Lights in Iceland in August?
Thousands of travellers flock to Iceland every year to see the renowned Northern Lights. However, you’ll only be able to see these from mid to late August in Iceland.
During the early summer months, the sun essentially never sets. And because the Northern Lights can only be seen after dark, your chances of spotting them are significantly reduced in summer.
If you would like to ensure that you see the Northern Lights in their full glory, consider visiting Iceland in November. And if experiencing a full day and night of sun is on your bucket list, you may want to visit Iceland in July.
What to Do in Iceland in August
While the Northern Lights are a huge pull to this area, there are many other natural wonders to behold and interact with. There are tons of exciting things to do in Iceland in August, both during the day and night.
From wholesome whale spotting and sightseeing tours to lively music festivals and beer tours, there’s something for everyone and every mood.
Food Walk: Reykjavik in August
One of the most highly recommended things to do in Iceland is the Reykjavik food tour. For this experience, we suggest you skip breakfast and come prepared to eat till you drop. You will be visiting around six authentic restaurants and trying over ten Icelandic cuisines.
The Reykjavik food walk also offers a culturally rich and informative day. You’ll get to learn about Icelandic culture, heritage sites, stories, and city highlights from your local guide. And, of course, if you like food, you’ll be in your happy place!
The South Coast Tour
It’s no secret that Iceland’s biggest pull is its unmatched natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes. So your trip would simply not be complete without seeing the fascinating South Coast.
A South Coast tour is one of the best ways to see a variety of Iceland’s top attractions and promises to be a jam-packed trip.
The tour features breathtaking waterfalls, incredible lava formations, and a massive black sand beach. If you’re lucky, you will also spot the famed Atlantic puffins. These feathered cuties usually nest in the cliffs on the South Coast and migrate around late August.
The Golden Circle and the Geysir Hot Spring
The Golden Circle boasts some of Iceland’s most remarkable natural wonders and is one of the most popular tourist stops in Iceland. One of the stops is the famous Geysir, a hot spring near the geothermal area of the Haukadalur Valley.
While Geysir is not very active, this area boasts many other hot springs and geysers. The very active Strokkur geyser is one such example. It can be seen spraying water almost 30 metres in the air every few minutes.
The weather in Iceland in August is perfect for exploring this wondrous area on a Golden Circle day tour. This full-day tour will take you to top sights like the Gullfoss Waterfall, a volcanic crater, and the place where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet.
Festivals in Iceland
For the social butterflies and night owls, Iceland has no shortage of fun events and festivals to keep you busy. These vary from food and drink festivals to music, arts, and sports. Around the summer months, like August, you will find a festival happening almost every weekend.
If you are around in early August, the Þjóðhátíð (Thjodhatid) is the biggest annual festival in Iceland and is an absolute must-see. Thousands of tourists and locals flock from the mainland to the Westman Islands to be a part of this spectacular display. You can expect to experience local Icelandic musicians, fireworks and camping with incredible views.
Whale Spotting Tours in Iceland
One of the most remarkable natural marvels of this little country is its high population of magnificent marine life. Whale spotting tours are extremely popular here as you are almost guaranteed to see some beautiful and sizable creatures in these busy waters.
On a whale-watching tour, you can expect to spot anything from humpback and minke whales to porpoises and dolphins.
Final Thoughts on Iceland in August
So if you were wondering what to do in Iceland in August, you can rest assured that there is certainly something for everyone. Whether you’re a foodie, a nature enthusiast, or the life of the party, you can’t go wrong with a summer vacation in Iceland.
Be sure to check out this guide on where to go in August for more memorable mid-year getaways.