Iceland in July - The Ultimate Guide
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If you’re thinking about travelling around Iceland in a campervan, you might be wondering about what Iceland in July is like. And with good reason – this is the most popular month of the year for travel, with the best weather, lots of daylight, and complete access to all areas of the country.
Here’s everything you need to know about Iceland in July for campervan travel.
Is July a Good Time to Visit Iceland?
July is a great time to visit Iceland. There’s plenty of daylight for exploring in your campervan, the best weather of the year, and a vibrant calendar of festivals and life around the country. You’ll be able to go whale watching, admire the sheep and horses around the countryside, and have all the hiking trails open for those with itchy feet.
Is Iceland Crowded in July?
The caveat to this is that July is the busiest month in Iceland for tourism. The good weather brings thousands of visitors from around the world, keen to explore the fantastic landscapes, wonderful cultural activities, and stunning natural beauty of Iceland.
Luckily for you travellers with a campervan, for the most part, you’ll be able to skip out on the crowds. Away from the South Coast and the Golden Circle, things are far quieter, and you won’t feel the crowds nearly as much. Most people stick to these well-trodden areas, so escaping for a road trip around the ring road is a great way to avoid the crowds in Iceland.
We’ve also rounded up a few more tips for avoiding the crowds in summer in Iceland – check it out here.
The Weather in Iceland in July
What’s the weather like in Iceland in July we hear you ask? It is an essential part of planning your campervan trip around the country. In general, expect the best weather of the year, with long, sunny days, and temperatures that can reach up to the double digits!
It’s important to note that summer in Iceland isn’t like summer anywhere else – you’ll still need to bring your layers and a good jacket.
Average Temperatures in July in Iceland
Of course, it depends on where you are in the country, but in general, Iceland in July gets an average high of 14°C (57°F) and an average low of 9°C (49°F).
Icelanders in Reykjavik love to joke that the east and north of the country get much better summers, which is in part true. At times, the temperatures there can reach around 20°C and above while the capital is grey, rainy, and cold. Although it goes without saying that warm temperatures are never guaranteed.
For planning purposes, you should pack expecting the weather to be hovering around a brisk 10°C (50°F) in July.
Does it Rain in Iceland in July?
Despite the summers being mild in Iceland, the location of the country means that it still rains in the summer. Low pressure systems sweep over the country, bringing rain and storms, and the weather can be volatile – even in July.
In July, Iceland gets an average of 10 rainy days, with an average rainfall of around 50 millimetres (2 inches). Compared to other months of the year, this is relatively little, and there’s still a lot of opportunities for sunny days.
It really is impossible to predict what the weather will be like during your campervan rental in Iceland. It could be sunny your entire trip or overcast and rainy. More than likely is that you’ll get a good mix of different weathers – that’s very typical of Iceland.
How Much Daylight is There in Iceland in July?
Even though the Summer Solstice passed in June and the days are technically getting shorter, you likely won’t notice it. There’s still a whole lot of daylight to enjoy during July in Iceland.
On the 1st of the month, the sun will set just before midnight and rise again around 3am. By the end of the month, expect the sun to set at around 10:30pm and rise at around 4:30am.
Even though the sun technically sets and isn’t visible, don’t expect it to get very dark during these hours. The twilight in Iceland is still bright.
The Best Things to do in Iceland During July
You’ve booked your campervan and are about to undertake an adventure through Iceland. You’ve made a great choice there; here are just some of the best things to do in Iceland during July.
Hike Iceland’s Best Trails
With good weather in July comes great opportunities to go hiking in Iceland. All the trails are open, there’s hardly any mud, and you’ll be able to strike out at any time of the day. Evenings are a great way to avoid the crowds in Iceland, and that goes for hiking as well. For some of the best hiking in Iceland, it’s hard to go past Skaftafell; there are also plenty of easy trails around Lake Mývatn in North Iceland. Hit the trails in July and you won’t regret it.
With the best weather of the year, July in Iceland is a time for camping. With a campervan, setting up in the evening after a day of adventure, cooking a meal, and admiring the beautiful light conditions will be a memory you’ll take with you long after you’ve returned home.
In July, you can also expect to meet a lot of Icelanders camping as well. When the weather is good somewhere in the country, people make a beeline towards that destination – no matter how far the drive is. The atmosphere at campsites is exciting, with people grilling, sunbathing, and playing games long into the evenings.
Enjoy the Midnight Sun
Even though technically the sun sets before midnight in July, you can still expect plenty of daylight during the nighttimehours. It’s a beautiful time to explore the country. Tour buses have returned home, and the other travellers are asleep in their hotels – you will essentially have some of the country’s best sights to yourself.
If you’re in a busy area of the country and are looking to avoid the crowds, staying up late can be a great way to do it.
Explore the Icelandic Highlands
For those looking to delve into the awesome Icelandic Highlands, July in Iceland is a great opportunity. The rough F-Roads that trace the country’s interior are closed for most of the year, too dangerous and impassable thanks to the insane weather, heavy snow, and powerful storms.
But in July, the F-Roads are open, letting you drive yourself to places like Landmannalaugar, the Askja Volcanic Caldera, and Kerlingarfjöll. Of course, you’ll still need to rent one of our 4x4 campervans – these are the only ones that are allowed on the F-Roads, some of the toughest driving conditions in Iceland.
For more information about travelling in Iceland’s Highlands, we’ve written a guide about driving on the F-Roads and rounded up some of the area’s most exciting places to visit.
Go Whale Watching
July in Iceland is also the best time to go whale watching in the country. A combination of long, sunny days and shallow fjords make Iceland a fantastic location for whales to feed during the warmer months – and going on a whale watching tour lets you get up close and personal with these gentle giants of the sea.
The most famous spot for whale watching in Iceland is of course Húsavík, dubbed the whale watching capital of Iceland. There are other places to do tours as well, including Reykjavik, the Westfjords, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and North Iceland.
Admire the Icelandic Puffins
Speaking of wildlife, July in Iceland is also the time when the Arctic Puffins are at their busiest. These iconic birds have become synonymous with Iceland and viewing them in all their quirky glory is a great way to enjoy a day in Iceland during July.
Puffins nest on cliffs around the country, burrowing into the ground to lay their eggs. They’re most active late at night (around midnight and later) when they’re coming back from the sea after a long day of carting fish back from the water to feed their young.
If you’re wondering where to see puffins in Iceland, look no further – we’ve rounded up the best locations to see puffins here.
Go Snorkelling or Diving at Silfra
Iceland in July is also a great time to enjoy a snorkeling or diving tour in the Silfra Fissure. If you haven’t heard of it before, this is a rift in the tectonic plates located at Thingvellir National Park. You’ll be able to dive or snorkel between the Eurasian and North American plates – the only location in the world where such a thing is possible.
Experience a Glacier Tour
With the good weather in Iceland during July, it’s a great opportunity to explore a tour of one of the country’s glaciers. These behemoth ice caps offer a wonderful way to experience the raw nature of Iceland, getting up close and personal with the ice.
You could join a glacier hike, go snowmobiling, or do ice climbing. Other activities include kayaking or a boating trip on one of the glacier lagoons, Jökulsárlón or Fjallsárlón.
Visit Flatey Island
For a unique thing to do in Iceland in July, campervan travellers can visit the island of Flatey in Breiðafjörður. This is a sparsely populated island and the only one among the hundreds of islands in the fjord with people living there year-round. To get there, you can book a passage on the ferry from Stykkishólmur to the Westfjords.
To get there with a campervan, you can take the morning ferry and hop off on the island. The ferry will then take the camper to the other side, leaving you to explore the island for a few hours before getting the afternoon ferry across to your camper.
Get Off the Beaten Track
Another great thing about July in Iceland is that even the roughest of dirt tracks become accessible with a campervan rental. You’ll be able to explore the far reaches of the country on roads often closed during the other months, or too muddy to drive along. For example, the Westfjords are a wonderful destination for travelling in Iceland during July – the least-visited region in the country.
The Best Events on in Iceland in July
If you’re wondering what events are on in Iceland in July, look no further. Here are the most popular things going on in this summer month.
Reykjavik Fringe Festival
Although it begins at the end of June, the Reykjavik Fringe Festival extends into the early days of July. This festival offers everything from comedy and poetry to films and theatre shows. If you’re in Reykjavik before or after your campervan trip, attending some events is a great way to experience the culture of Iceland’s capital.
Siglufjörður Folk Festival
In the far north of country, the Siglufjörður Folk Festival is another great event happening in Iceland in July, from the 6th until the 10th. This event offers live music performances at different spaces around the town, a once-bustling place at the heart of the herring industry. Today, Siglufjörður is one of the main stops along the Arctic Coast Way.
Einstaflug Metal Festival
A festival that you may have heard of before is the Einstaflug Metal Festival, a heavy metal music festival that takes place in Neskaupstaður, East Iceland. From the 7th until the 9th of July, metal music fans flock to this small town for some head banging music and good times.
Iceland’s National Horseriding Tournament
Held in the town of Hella in the south of Iceland, the National Horseriding Tournament is a cultural spectacle. From the 3rd of July until the 10th, equestrian fans in Iceland and around the world gather to watch the Icelandic horses perform their five gaits (one more than any regular horse), with a special event purely for the best horse and rider who can do the unique gait known as the Tölt.
Bræðslan Music Festival
Another music festival that takes place in Iceland in July is the Bræðslan Music Festival, held toward the end of the month in the small town of Borgarfjörður Eystri. Held in a former fish factory, this special event only sells 900 tickets every year – a unique experience to have in Iceland in July.
LungA Art Festival
Finally, in the artsy town of Seyðisfjörður in the East Fjords, the LungA Arts Festival takes place in July. This week-long festival celebrates all things art and creativity, with everything from dance performances to open-air galleries on offer. For dates and what’s on, stay up to date on their website.
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