What To Do In Iceland In July
What to do in Iceland in July? Can you see the northern lights in Iceland in July? What are the best places to go to? What’s the Iceland weather in July? Continue reading to find out some of the top things to do in Iceland in July.
July is the best month to visit Iceland as the day only gets dark for a couple of hours a day and the temperatures are at its highest. Almost every single road is open for travelers to drive past and there are lots of tours running in summer giving you a taste of this stunning country.
Things To Know When Visiting Iceland
- What to pack for Iceland: this all depends on which season you’ll be visiting Iceland. In summer temperatures are averagely 12°C but can go up to 25°C. Make sure to bring walking shoes, a thick sweater and a rain jacket.
- Getting Around: public transportation in Iceland is a extremely slow. The best way to get around is by renting a car. Find more info here.
- Data & WiFi: WiFi is quite hard to find in Iceland, except restaurants and accommodations. It is much easier to carry your own data device which can be used for navigation. More info here.
What To Do In Iceland In July: Overview
July is definitely the best month to visit the country if you really want to enjoy the beautiful nature in all its glory. The month is perfect for all sorts of activities from camping, to horse riding, puffin & whale watching tours, kayaking, hiking, music festivals and soaking in one of the many hot springs.
Whale Watching Tours In Iceland In July
It’s not everyday you’ll see these huge whales up close in their natural habitat. Whale watching boat tours normally go for about 2 or 3 hours and take you to the spots where it’s most likely to see whales.
1. Whale Watching in Reykjavik
From Reykjavik’s old harbour there are multiple companies sailing out into the Atlantic Sea on the lookout for whales. The most commonly spotted animals are humpback whales, minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises.
Most boats have an outdoor public viewing deck and an indoor seating area. You can also borrow life jackets and a special overall to keep you warm. These whale watching boats are experienced in finding the whales and during summer the chances are extra high of seeing one of these amazing creatures.
The ocean waters around Reykjavik are mostly calm but double check with the boat crew if you’re prone to sea sickness.
** During our first trip from Reykjavik we were lucky enough to spot a couple of small whales and one humpback whale towards the end of our trip. He came jumping right out of the water only 20 meters away from our boat. We took a tour with Special Tours Iceland which we would strongly recommend.**
How To Buy Tickets & Prices
Tickets for the whale cruises can be bought at the port itself, but it is recommended to book in advance if you want to leave at a specific time.
The prices for most companies are quite similar and start around 10 800 ISK (100 dollar) for a 3 hour boat tour.
Recommended Tour Company: Special Tours Iceland. The leading sea tour company who runs two boats from Reykjavik’s old harbour. Check latest prices here.
2. Whale Watching In Husavik
Situated on the northern coast of Iceland, Husavik is known as one of the best places in the world for whale watching, which is a thriving local industry. This stretch of the Northeast Atlantic Ocean is one of the world’s heaviest populated areas for whales, with over 20 species known to pass through the waters. For whale watchers, the most commonly spotted are minke, humpback and blue whales.
There are a few different whale watching companies in Husavik which means that there are several tours a day. The ocean waters can get very choppy, and all whale watchers are provided with heavy duty full body waterproof clothing. The weather in July is mixed, occasionally sunny but there is frequent rain, so expect to get at least a little wet.
A whale watching tour lasts around three hours, and the guides on board provide a commentary on the life and behaviours of the whales that live in this part of the ocean. Each company has a ticket office in Husavik harbour, as well as multi-lingual staff. Some tour companies even offer a warming cup of hot chocolate as you sail back to the harbour // By James from Where You’re Between.
Recommended Tour Company: Gentle Giants Whale Watching. This company has been running whale tours for over 150 years from Husavik. Check latest prices here.
Puffin Spotting In Iceland In July
Iceland is home to one of the largest puffin colonies. The population of puffins in Iceland is estimated to 8 – 10 million birds. They can be found on the sea or on rock cliffs.
1. Puffin Boat Tours From Reykjavik
Apart from going on whale boat tours you can also join a puffin boat tour. These boat trips are much cheaper than the whale tours.
Boat tours are leaving from the Old Harbour of Reykjavik and are most likely going to Faxafloi Bay and to the two islands Lundey and Akurey which are filled with these colorful birds. Other birds that you will likely see are Gulls, Arctic Terns, Black Guillemots and Northern Fulmars.
Recommended Tour Company: Special Tours Iceland. This certified company runs whale and puffin boat tours from Reykjavik’s Old Harbour. Check latest prices here.
Wedding Photo Shoot In July
Doing a wedding photo shoot in Iceland is the best way to capture one of the best days in your life with a professional photographer at your side. During the shoot, they’ll take you to some of the most beautiful places to capture your favourite moments. Find more info here.
Hot springs To Visit In Iceland In July
1. The Blue Lagoon
Visiting the blue lagoon is one of the most famous things to do in Iceland — but it’s popular for a reason! The lagoon is actually a geothermal spa, located in a lava field that makes the water warm and steamy. It’s also visually astounding, a giant milky-blue pool of water that covers a huge area, and is so hot it literally smokes. While you’re relaxing in the water, you can also soak in a mud pack — mud masks are free for everyone who visits the lagoon, and they are apparently really good for your skin.
You can visit the Blue Lagoon year round, but in winter temperatures in Iceland are absolutely FREEZING, so I think summertime is the best time to visit. Plus, because of summer daylight hours, the Blue Lagoon is open until 10pm in July. So you can visit later in the day when there is still light, but it’s much less crowded.
It’s easy to get to the blue lagoon as it’s only a 30-minute drive from Iceland’s capital city, Reyjkavik. // By Maire from Temples and Treehouses.
Address: Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
Other Fun Things To Do In Iceland In July
1. Visit The Snaefellsnes Peninsula
The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is located in Western Iceland, about a 1,5 hour drive from Reykjavik. It is known for it’s stunning national sights like the Snaefellsjokull vulcano, Budir Black Church, the Kirkjufell mountain and much more. The peninsula is the setting for the Laxdoela Saga, which tells the story of the first West Norse Varangjan Guard member which was born in this area. Going to Snaefellsnes is a must when visiting Iceland in July. Check here for the best things to do on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
2. Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
The long daylight hours in July make it the perfect time to visit Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon on Iceland’s south coast.
With stunningly blue iceberg drifts, the glacier lagoon has an other-worldly feel to it. The icebergs, which have broken off from Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, can float in the lagoon for up to five years before floating out to sea via the Jokulsa River.
Huge blocks off ice constantly break off the glacier and float in the lagoon, and although the lagoon isn’t very deep, it is the deepest lake in Iceland, with a depth of 250 meters. Both amphibious and zodiac boat tours are available on the lagoon and it’s quite a surreal experience to see these huge chunks of ice floating past. Boat tours book out well in advance so it’s wise to book ahead.
If you miss out on a boat ride, it’s also possible to see the ice up close as you walk along the lagoon’s shoreline.
Jokulsarlon is 380 kilometers from Reykjavik (about a four-and-a-half-hour drive) and whilst it can be visited on a day trip from the capital, if you have time, I highly recommend staying close by. // By Carolyn of Holidays to Europe
3. Exploration Museum in Húsavík
In the center of the sleepy fishermen’s town of Húsavík in North Iceland, you can find the small, but interesting Exploration Museum. It was founded in 2011 by hotelier and space enthusiast Örlygur Hnefill Örlygsson, who dedicated the museum to the feats and accomplishments achieved by explorers of different times. Trying to capture the history of human exploration, Örlygsson started collecting the stories and artifacts of the early viking explorers, all the way to the Apollo astronauts that trained in Iceland in the 1960s. Besides these main exhibitions, you can also find information on the exploration of the polar regions and the races to the north and south poles.
You can visit the museum from June to August between 2PM and 6PM. During the rest of the year, there are irregular opening hours, but you can always call to organise a visit as the volunteering staff is very dedicated to give you all the information you need! There is no set entrance fee, but any contributions will go toward the expansion of the museum and are highly appreciated.
4. Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
One of the must see places in South Iceland is the colossal Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon. The canyon sees dramatic cliffs stretch for 2 kilometers, with the Fjaðrá River racing below. A trail leads you along the canyon edge, offering spectacular views of sheer drops of up to 100 meters. Formed around 9,000 years ago and carved out by glacial waters, the canyon is home to distinctive moss covered walls and is simply unforgettable.
Thankfully, it’s possible to visit in July unless your trip is subject to some very unfortunate weather. Your best option is to rent a car and drive yourself to the car park from which the trail starts. It’s a 3-hour drive from Reykjavik but there are many great places to see on the route. Like many of Iceland’s attractions there is no entry fee, but even if there were it would be worth it for some of the most incredible scenery in the country!
Weather in Iceland in July
In the July the temperatures in Iceland are at it’s max. The average temperature in Reykjavis is around 12°C but can go up to 25°C during the day.
Most days will be dry and sunny, but be prepared for wind, rain and cloudy skies. July has the least rain fall compared to the other months, but still has and average of 50mm rainfall during the month.
In certain parts of the Westfjords and Highlands it can still snow during July, so be prepared. Check out these Iceland summer packing tips to dress appropriately.
Check the Icelandic Meteorology Website which will give you the present and expected weather forecast. In July most roads are open, but if there is a flood or unexpected snowfall some of them still might be closed. Check to Road and Coastal Website for more info.