Iceland is one of those countries that I just keep to seem going back to. It’s nature is unlike anything I have ever seen before. So when the opportunity popped up to also visit this beautiful country during it’s summer solstice, I could barely contain my excitement. And to give you an idea of what you can expect I listed my 10 reasons why you should visit Iceland in summer.
Even that Iceland has some beautiful hotels, for me there is only one way to discover the island: by camper van! I went with the same company as I did during my winter trip: Happy Campers! Since I was traveling on my own this time I went with their original Happy 1 camper van!
If you want to know more about my experience with Happy Campers, click here.
Why should you visit Iceland in summer?
There are several advantages to visiting Iceland in summer. In this post I will break them all down for you and compare it to my experience in Iceland during winter season.
1. There is a lot more daylight!
The first time I visited Iceland was during it’s winter season, which gave me approximately 7 hours of daylight. Since there are no road lights, driving after dark can be tricky. Especially when you consider the ever changing weather conditions and often small roads.
During my summer trip I had at least 21 hours of daylight. 21!!!! It’s needless to say that during these months you can see a lot more of Iceland in a shorter time span.
2. A lot more camp sites are open
During winter season a lot of the camp sites tend to close which means a lot of unnecessarily driving back and forward to reach one. On top of that, not all of the facilities are always available during winter season. A common area can be closed which means either trying to stay warm in your van or hanging out in the bathroom (been there, done that).
In summer all of the camp sites are open and they are often located in the most stunning scenery!
My favourite camp sites in Iceland
- Vik camping – Wake up with a beautiful Icelandic church in the background, surrounded by a field of lupines.
- Skaftaffel camping – Located at the start of the beautiful Skaftaffel hike.
- Ólafsvik camping – Only 10 minutes from Kirkjufell and by far the most beautiful camp site in the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
3. It’s lupine season
My main reason for visiting Iceland in summer! From the beginning of June until mid July entire Iceland is covered in a field of purple lupines. You really don’t have to worry that you won’t bump into any cause you can spot them as soon as your plane lands!
To make things a little easier for you I have linked my favourite lupin fields below.
- Skógafoss lupin field – You can find this one next to the ring road a few meters before you take the exit to Skógafoss.
- Vik lupin field – You’ll find a beautiful Icelandic church surrounded by a field of lupines.
- Hjörleifshöfði – A beautiful lupin field that goes as far as the eye can see!
4. There are flowers EVERYWHERE
It’s pretty easy to make me happy. Put me in a field surrounded by flowers and I will jump for joy! During summer entire Iceland is green and covered in a field of wild flowers!
5. You can spot puffins
Atlantic puffins spend most of their lives at sea, but return to land to form breeding colonies during spring and summer!
Iceland is the breeding home for about 60 percent of the world’s Atlantic puffins. Puffins can be seen in Iceland from early April until September each year.
6. It’s easier to avoid big tourist groups
A lovely consequence of more daylight hours is that you can easily avoid the big tourist crowds! They usually operate between 8am and 6pm. So if you visit the most popular places before or after these hours you’ll most likely have them almost all to yourself!
7. The average temperature is way better compared to Winter
It’s safe to say that during my trip in November I was freezing my but off 90% of the time. I would always have on thermal underwear, an Icelandic sweater and coat, a scarf, mittens and a wool hat. And I was still cold :p!
If you want to read more about my experience in Iceland during winter, click here
This wasn’t the case in July! Temperatures are way nicer and when the sun breaks through the clouds it’s actually warm. I didn’t wear these dresses just to take the photos. I was walking around like that the entire time.
8. You need less days to visit
Another advantage of long summer days and 21 hour daylight. In November we needed 11 days to drive around the entire island. Plus because a lot of camp sites aren’t open during winter seasons, you’ll have to do some unnecessary driving back and forward. During summer you’ll need an average of 5 days to drive the entire ring road, make it 7 if you also want to visit the West Fjords.
9. You can see the midnight sun
Seeing the midnight sun is one of those bucket list items that definitely makes me want to go back to Iceland. During summer season it doesn’t really get pitch black dark and when the sun rises again it causes the most magical show. Below you can see exactly what I mean!
10. You can explore the highlands
During winter season almost all of the roads going inland are closed off due too weather conditions. Basically you can pretty much only drive the ring road and some other spots BUT exploring the highlands is something that is saved for summer season. Except of course if you’re an experienced driver with a 4×4 specifically designed for these kind of roads. Don’t try it with a regular camper van ;).