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Iceland in August. Goodbye summer!

The month of August is the last month of proper summer here in Iceland. The daylight is increasing considerably that by the end of the month the northern lights can be seen again in the late night sky. 

Also, there are some summer activities that are still available by the end of the month and you should take advantage of puffin watching, boat tours, hiking in the Icelandic highlands, paragliding, kayaking, zip-line, and snow-cat tours. 

Many festivals and national days are also happening in Iceland in August and if you come this month you should check them.

Photo by Ivars Krutainis

Commerce day – Fridagur verslunarmanna

1st of August

On this day everyone gets a day off, especially the commercial workers. This idea of a Commerce day came from Denmark and in Iceland happened for the first time in September 1984. 

Commerce day was established to happen on the first Monday of August so Icelanders are enjoying a long weekend with family and friends. Icelanders are going camping, travelling and attending concerts and different fun activities. 

This day has a big celebration on Westman Islands. Þjóðhátíð is a National Festival and is happening every year on Commerce day on Vestmannaeyjar. The festival was held for the first time in 1874, one day before the first Commerce day and the people from the Vestmannaeyjar could not make it to the mainland due to the bad weather so they decided to make their own celebration. Nowadays the festival is very popular and hosts almost 13 000 people. 

For more info about the festival you can find it on their website dalurinn.is.

Photo source: dalurinn.is

Reykjavik Pride – Hinsegin dagar 

2-7 August

This is a festival that brings all the nation together.  “Six-day festival filled with exciting events, lectures, queer cruise, gay walks, a family festival, concerts, gallery openings, parties, big queer dance on Saturday after the parade and of course the Pride parade.” (Gaytravel4u.com

Celebrate and enjoy being and living as you are at the Reykjavik Pride festival. More info can be found on the official website

Photo source: Gaytravel4u

Reykjavik Jazz Festival

13-19 August

“The annual Reykjavík Jazz festival is an increasingly prestigious event on the international jazz scene. Founded in 1990 it is the second longest-running music festival in Iceland.

The festival hosts performances in a variety of styles, from contemporary jazz and the avant-garde to Latin jazz, gospel and big bands. It features many acclaimed international jazz players as well as Iceland’s leading jazz musicians. Against a backdrop of imposing volcanoes and mountains this small, clean coastal town is an unusual and inspiring location for live jazz.” (Reykjavikjazz.is)

Photo source: Reykjavikjazz.is

Culture Night, Reykjavik

20th of August

The event is both created and enjoyed by city residents and takes place all across central Reykjavik, with celebrations in the streets and squares, in museums, businesses and residential gardens! The event’s slogan ‘come on in!’ is a reference to the good old-fashioned customs of Icelandic hospitality. Reykjavik Culture Night marks the start of the city’s cultural year when museums and theatres and other cultural institutions launch their annual programme of events. The main objective of Reykjavik Culture Night is to deliver a diverse and rich offering of cultural events from 1-11 pm, ending with a magnificent firework show by the harbour. All events are free of charge for everyone to enjoy.” (Culturenight.is) 

Check their official website for more information. 

Photo source: Facebook.com/menningarnott

The Reykjavik Marathon

20th of August

This event is for sports lovers of all ages. “The atmosphere surrounding a race is also a hugely important factor for most runners, and the atmosphere at the Reykjavík race is electric. While the Icelanders would enthusiastically support the race anyway, it is actually planned to coincide with ‘Culture Night’ (Menningarnótt), a national event that brings up to a third of the entire population of Iceland onto the streets of the capital.”

“The race offers an atmosphere which is both relaxed and welcoming. Around 1,000 runners participate in the marathon and 2,000 in the half marathon, making both races less crowded than is generally the case in larger events. Since the Reykjavik Marathon also includes 10k, fun run and children’s run distances, it’s also a family event.” (rmi.is)

Fireworks at Jökulsárlón

Middle of August

Imagine the glacier lagoon lighten up by the colourful fireworks lights. Every year in the middle of August, a firework show is hosted at Jökulsárlón by the volunteers in the search and rescue (SAR) team in Höfn, Björgunarfélag Hornafjarðar.

“Tickets can be bought at the entrance at Jökulsárlón the night of the event, but we recommend to buy tickets in advance if possible, just to make things faster. It is also better to have cash, but it is possible to pay with card if needed. All fee goes to support the SAR team and their volunteer work.” (Visitvatnajokull.is)

Photo source: Visitvatnajokull.is

The activities you can enjoy during August are some of the most beautiful. So if you are in Iceland in August, try them. 

Hiking in the Highlands

Is the last month when hiking in the Highlands is possible. After August the weather and the temperatures are making this dangerous to do and all the tours in the Icelandic Highlands are unavailable.

Landmannalaugar

Laugavegur – Iceland’s most famous trek from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk lives up to the hype. The magical and diverse landscape combined with the long and bright Icelandic summer days will capture your nature-loving heart.

This trail takes adventurers from the geothermal valley of Landmannalaugar and the southern highlands, over the southern highlands to the Þórsmörk valley, at the foot of the world-famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The trail crosses many spectacles, including the third biggest geothermal zone in the world, through yellow rhyolite mountains, over black deserts, past incredible canyons and finally into the verdurous valley of Þórsmörk. It is no coincidence that the “Laugavegur” hike each year attracts travellers worldwide and is an excellent favourite amongst locals.

These hikes are long hikes, for about five days, and include camping and many hours of continuous hikes. Some tours will take you hiking in Landmannalaugar. 

5-Days Laugavegur Trek in Huts

5-Days Laugavegur Trek in Huts

Iceland’s most famous trek
from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk

6-Days Laugavegur & Fimmvörðuháls Trek in Huts

6-Days Laugavegur & Fimmvörðuháls Trek in Huts

Also named one of the 20 best
treks in the world by National Geographic

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Snorkelling at Silfra

Snorkelling at Silfra should be on your bucketlist. Described as one of the top dive sites globally by National Geographic, Silfra is located in the historically rich Thingvellir National Park – part of the famous Golden Circle route. Snorkelling in Silfra is a once-in-a-lifetime transcontinental experience.

The guides will show you what National Geographic has described as one of the top dive sites in the world. As you glide between tectonic plates floating on pure, filtered glacial meltwater, you’ll find out for yourself and tick off your bucket list for the ultimate tour on breathtaking underwater views only available in Iceland in the world’s most transparent waters.

Snorkeling between Continents in Silfra | Free Underwater Photos

Snorkeling between Continents in Silfra

Free Underwater Photos

Hot Spring Snorkeling Tour

Hot Spring Snorkeling Tour

Snorkeling at a geothermal area at Kleifarvatn

Diving & Snorkelling

Diving & Snorkelling

Unique adventures to try

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Boat tours 

The warm weather in the summer is melting the ice on the glacier lagoons, and the boat tours can operate again. The most famous glacier lagoon of Vatnajökull is Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, full of icebergs broken from Breiðamerkurjökull tongue. All the icebergs from this lagoon are taken by the ocean currents and brought back to land at Diamond Beach, right next to the lagoon.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is one of the most visited places in Iceland, and for an excellent reason. Also called the Crown Jewel of Iceland, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon will impress you with its beauty and unicity. The landscape is fantastic.

The glacier lagoon is not frozen during the summertime, so there are almost everyday boat trips on the lagoon. There are two options for boat tours on the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

One Hour Small Islands Trip - 2021

One Hour Small Islands Trip - 2021

Explore the small Islands around Vestmannaeyjar

Fjallsárlón - Iceberg boat tour

Fjallsárlón - Iceberg boat tour

Tour among icebergs - sailing
to the edge of the glacier

Two Hour Round Trip - 2021

Two Hour Round Trip - 2021

Sail in Vestmannaeyjar on a RIB speedboat

Photography Private Boat Tours

Photography Private Boat Tours

Photography Private Boat Tour

Vestmannaeyjar Boat Tour

Vestmannaeyjar Boat Tour

Explore Vestmannaeyjar from a
different perspective

Amphibian Boat Tour

Amphibian Boat Tour

Explore Jökulsárlón lagoon on a boat

Zodiac Tour

Zodiac Tour

Explore Jökulsárlón lagoon
on a boat tour

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Amphibian boat tour. This trip takes about 30-40. During the excursion, you sail among the huge icebergs in the picturesque scenery of Jökulsárlón. You get to taste the 1000-year-old ice on the boat, and if you are lucky, you might even see some seals. There is also a guide to the ship who will explain to you the geology of the glacier lagoon. More details and prices for this tour you will find here.

Zodiac Tour. During this trip, you sail among the huge icebergs in the picturesque scenery of Jökulsárlón. You have to check in 30 minutes before departure for this boat tour, and the whole tour duration is 1 hour.

On the Zodiac tour, we can cover large lagoon areas and get closer to the icebergs than on the amphibian. The Zodiac goes almost up to the glacier (as close as safe).

As this tour approach more of the icebergs, all passengers are provided with flotation suits and a life jacket. If this tour has aroused your curiosity already, check our zodiac tour for more details.

Not far away from Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is Fjallsárlón lagoon.  And there can also be done two types of boat tours.

Fjallsárlón is an isolated glacial lagoon in the realm of Vatnajökull. Iceland’s tallest volcano, the Öræfajökull glacier, looms above the lagoon and reaches the water where icebergs break off into the lake and drift serenely around before melting.

Photography Private Boat Tours. Even if you are a pro or an amateur photographer, you can choose a photography private boat tour on the Fjallsárlón lagoon. Take all your camera gear since you have a lot of space in the boat; you will be able to take the best shots here.

There are two options for this tour: the classic tour or the luxury tour.

The classic tour takes about one hour and thirty minutes, and you will be taken to the edge of the glacier. At the same time, your guide explains the formation of the glacier, the surrounding landscape, and the community of people around it.

The luxury tour takes about two hours, and a picnic follows it in Fjallsey. The island is right by the glacier’s edge, perfect for a picnic. So after you take your best shots, you can relax and enjoy some champagne and the food you will find in the picnic basket. Have you decided which one you choose? Take a look here for more details.

Fjallsárlón – Iceberg boat tour. This tour takes one hour and thirty minutes, and you will be sailing to the edge of the glacier. During this tour, you will find out more information about how the local farmers were struggling with the forces of nature back in the day and how they created a communion with nature. Take a look at our boat tours and join us in this adventure.

Explore Vestmannaeyjar

You probably have seen photos of the “Elephant Rock” and pictures of an island with only a building. Those are some of the most famous images from Iceland that you will see online, but where were they taken? Westman Islands!

Located in the South of Iceland, Vestmannaeyjar is an archipelago that has 15 islands and 30 rock stacks around them. It is one of the most exciting places in Iceland as it has a rich and not-so-happy history but rich geology. Also, Westman Islands have rich wildlife that includes many species of birds and the largest population of puffins, the first beluga whale sanctuary in the world, and many other species of whales on the ocean waters near the islands.

You can experience all those natural wonders from a boat tour around the Westman Islands. We recommend three boat tours on Westman Islands operated by our friends from RIB Safari.

ATV tours

The South Coast of Iceland is a geological masterpiece of past volcanic activity. South Coast has some of the most beautiful black sand beaches and an impressive volcanic and glacial relief. Exploring the South Coast is such an exciting experience, and it can become unforgettable if you choose to explore it on an ATV tour.

Our friends from Arcanum are organising some ATV tours on the South Coast of Iceland during summertime, and you have to try one.

ATV - Super View

ATV - Super View

2 Mountain Adventure ATV/Quad Tour
in the countryside of Reykjavik

ATV and Northern Lights

ATV and Northern Lights

a full hour of ATV action on Mount Hafrafell
before beginning the hunt for the Northern Lights.

ATV - Black Beach Safari and the Plane Wreck

ATV - Black Beach Safari and the Plane Wreck

Ride an ATV on black lava beaches,
visit the DC3 plane wreck and cross glacier rivers!

ATV - Express

ATV - Express

Explore the black volcano
sand beaches of the South Coast

Northern Lights Tour on ATV/Quad

Northern Lights Tour on ATV/Quad

Experience the Northern Lights ATV/Quad Tour
close to Reykjavik

ATV - Midnight Sun tour

ATV - Midnight Sun tour

Midnight Sun ATV/Quad tour in the
coutryside of Reykjavik

Discover Hallormsstaður forest - 1 hour ATV tour

Discover Hallormsstaður forest

1 hour ATV Tour in the forest of Hallormsstaður

Panorama ATV Tour & Blue Lagoon

Panorama ATV Tour & Blue Lagoon

1-Hour Guided ATV Tour

ATV and Glacier Lagoon Kayak

ATV and Glacier Lagoon Kayak

ATV and Glacier Lagoon Kayak

ATV and Glacier Walk

ATV and Glacier Walk

ATV and Glacier Walk

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Puffin watching

Every summer, we have some cute visitors here in Iceland, and they stay with us from mid-May to mid-August. I am talking about puffins. The little birds are unofficially the national bird of Iceland. 

Although you can find the largest colony of puffins in south Iceland in Westman Islands, there are also other places where you will see puffins during summer, and those places are Látrabjarg, Ingólfshöfði, Flatey Island, Borgarfjörður Eystri, Breiðafjörður. They usually stay on the cliffs along the coast to see them in other areas such as Dyrholaey, Grimsey island or Akurey, Engey or Lundey islands. Still, the larger colonies can be found in the places mentioned above. 

Try a puffin watching tour and admire these cute birds closer in their natural habitat.

Ingólfshöfði Puffin Tour

Ingólfshöfði Puffin Tour

Hay cart ride across Hofsnes Sand Flats

Ingólfshöfði Photo Tour

Ingólfshöfði Photo Tour

Special departure for serious photographers

Reykjavík Classic Puffin Watching

Reykjavík Classic Puffin Watching

The most convenient way to see
the Atlantic Puffin from Reykjavík!

GG7 Puffins Exclusive

GG7 Puffins Exclusive

One Hour Express Puffin Tour

Reykjavík Premium Puffin Tour

Reykjavík Premium Puffin Tour

The ultimate puffin adventure tour

GG4 Flatey Island

GG4 Flatey Island

Experience the beautiful surroundings
of Skjálfandi Bay

Whales and Puffins

Whales and Puffins

Sail around one of the world's
largest puffin colonies on a
whale watching tour

Reykjavík Whales & Puffins

Reykjavík Whales & Puffins

An exciting combo tour

GG2 Big Whale Safari & Puffins in Húsavík

GG2 Big Whale Safari & Puffins in Húsavík

For More Excitement

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Kayaking

For adrenaline lovers, kayaking tours are perfect. You can go kayaking on the Icelandic rivers or the glacier lagoons. To sail along the immense glaciers is something you have to try. 

Kayak Adventure

Kayak Adventure

All ages family adventure

Kayak River Ride

Kayak River Ride

River ride down the mighty
Hvítá River in an inflatable kayak.

Kayak River Ride - from Reykjavik

Kayak River Ride - from Reykjavik

River ride down the mighty
Hvítá River in an inflatable kayak.

Kayaking by the Glacier

Kayaking by the Glacier

A unique kayak adventure!

Kayaking in Akureyri

Kayaking in Akureyri

Paddle on the Akureyri puddle

South Coast and Glacier Kayak

South Coast and Glacier Kayak

South Coast of Iceland, waterfalls
and kayaking on a glacier lagoon

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Whale watching

The summer season is great for whale watching, as the wildlife in the bay is at its highest peak. This is when the minke whales are at their most abundant, along with the white-beaked dolphins, harbour porpoises and humpback whales.

The best part of travelling to Iceland during summer is that you can do some excellent activities there. And mainly speaking of whale watching, the summer season is the best because whales can be seen in many parts of Iceland. 

Before going on a tour, you must understand that bad weather conditions can reschedule or cancel the tour. Also, as you watch marine life, you have to realise that everything happens in the whales’ natural environment, and it is not guaranteed that you will see many whales. Sometimes happens not to see any whales, but those cases are rare.

Whale-watching from Reykjavik

Whale-watching from Reykjavik

The best whale watching tour from Reykjavik

Whale-watching from Akureyri

Whale-watching from Akureyri

Relax in the Northfjords on a whale watching

Whale-watching from Hauganes

Whale-watching from Hauganes

The best whale watching tours from Hauganes

Whale-watching from Dalvik

Whale-watching from Dalvik

Memorable experiences on a boat

Whale-watching from Hjalteyri

Whale-watching from Hjalteyri

Memorable experiences in the North on a boat

Whale-watching from Húsavík

Whale-watching from Húsavík

Adventures in the whale watching capital

Whale Watching Grundarfjörður

Whale Watching Grundarfjörður

Adventures in the Snaefellsnes peninsula

Whale Watching Hólmavík

Whale Watching Hólmavík

The best tours in Hólmavík

Whale Watching Ólafsvík

Whale Watching Ólafsvík

The best tours in Snæfellsnes peninsula

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Kayaking

For adrenaline lovers, kayaking tours are perfect. You can go kayaking on the Icelandic rivers or the glacier lagoons. To sail along the immense glaciers is something you have to try. 

Kayak Adventure

Kayak Adventure

All ages family adventure

Kayak River Ride

Kayak River Ride

River ride down the mighty
Hvítá River in an inflatable kayak.

Kayak River Ride - from Reykjavik

Kayak River Ride - from Reykjavik

River ride down the mighty
Hvítá River in an inflatable kayak.

Kayaking by the Glacier

Kayaking by the Glacier

A unique kayak adventure!

Kayaking in Akureyri

Kayaking in Akureyri

Paddle on the Akureyri puddle

South Coast and Glacier Kayak

South Coast and Glacier Kayak

South Coast of Iceland, waterfalls
and kayaking on a glacier lagoon

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Tandem paragliding 

See Iceland from above on a tandem paragliding tour. Iceland is beautiful on the ground, but from above is astonishing. You need no prior knowledge to do this tour; you just have to bring courage, and then you will fill up with adrenaline.

Paragliding tandem flight

Paragliding tandem flight

Paragliding Tandem Flight over Black sand beach

Reykjavík Whales & Paragliding

Reykjavík Whales & Paragliding

Fly like a bird of the sky and explore
the whales of the ocean.

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Zip-line tour

A zipline ride is a great adventure for all those who love the thrill of doing something challenging but at the same time very safe. See the stunning Black Sand Beach from above on a zip-line adventure.

Geothermal baths and hot springs

There is no right time for a geothermal bath. And it is a must-do in Iceland. Check our blog to see the best places to relax like a true Viking and where you can find natural hot springs in Westfjords. 

Also, if you plan to come to Iceland in August, book your ticket now.

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a popular
spa destination

Sky Lagoon

Sky Lagoon

Relax like a Viking

Secret Lagoon

Secret Lagoon

A secret place to relax

Spa / Geothermal Baths

Spa / Geothermal Baths

Laugravatn Fontana, MyVatn,
Vök Baths, Geosea, Bjórböðin

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Ice cave exploration*

Depending on the temperatures outside, there might be changes in the operation of the Katla Ice Cave tour.

The temperatures are rising, and the ice caves at Vatnajökull glacier have become dangerous to explore. However, some ice caves are available for exploration all year. 

One ice cave is the Katla ice cave in South Iceland. It is located in the Kötlujökull glacier, part of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier. 

And the other one is the ice cave at Langjökull glacier. The ice cave at Langjökull is artificial, so there has been an entire process to carve into the glacier and form the tunnel. Local authorities opened the ice cave to the public in 2015, and the tunnel inside the glacier is 550m long and goes 30 meters into the glacier. 

If you want to explore some ice caves, these are some excellent options. 

Ice Cave by Katla Volcano

Ice Cave by Katla Volcano

Visit this truly unique Ice Cave
underneath Katla volcano.

Into The Glacier - From Klaki Base Camp

Into The Glacier - From Klaki Base Camp

Your Into The Glacier Adventure
is truly a unique experience.

Katla Ice Cave | Super Jeep from Vik

Katla Ice Cave | Super Jeep from Vik

Unique Ice Cave underneath Katla volcano

Into the Glacier - From Reykjavík

Into the Glacier - From Reykjavík

Explore the inside of Langjökull
glacier on this day trip from Reykjavík

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As closer we get to the end of August, many of these activities will not be available anymore. But the winter season is coming with other exciting activities that can be done in Iceland. Enjoy your stay in Iceland and make some unforgettable memories here.

Iconic waterfalls in Iceland

Iconic waterfalls in Iceland

The most popular waterfalls in Iceland

Lóndrangar- the rocky castle

Lóndrangar- the rocky castle

A famous rock formation in West Iceland

Photographer’s paradise

Photographer’s paradise

Icelandic nature at its finest

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

The most beautiful beach in Iceland

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