Are you focusing on August for your summer trip to Iceland? Excellent choice!
August is when the number of visitors to our country peaks, so it’s the most popular month of all.
With ideal travel weather, beautiful sights, and numerous festivals, it’s the perfect storm for good times — but with very little chance of an actual storm!
And Your Friend in Reykjavik is waiting to help you make the most of your visit to our stunning island with our Reykjavik walking tours.
If you have any questions for us before your trip, please get in touch.
But for now, let’s take a deeper dive into what you can expect when you visit Iceland in August.
Image by GRID-Arendal
The Weather in Iceland in August
The August weather can still be relatively cool for many travelers who visit Iceland. The temperature wanders between 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 60°F).
The days are still long, with 16 hours of daylight on average, so you get plenty of time to see the island. In fact, there is an average of 155 hours of sunshine throughout August.
Iceland is, however, a bit of a rainy country. In August, we see around 11.7 days of precipitation.
That doesn’t mean it’ll rain a lot, though, and the rainfall only measures about 2.65″ (67.3mm) over the whole month.
The autumn and winter months see more precipitation, so this is a good thing.
Learn More About When to Visit Iceland:
Witness Amazing Natural Light Shows in August!
The days start to get shorter in August, but you can still experience Iceland’s midnight sun.
The sun sets at around 10 pm at the beginning of the month and around 9 pm towards the end.
But since dawn is only six or seven hours away, the skies take on a wondrous golden-pink gleam, barely touching darkness.
You may ask, can you see the famous Northern Lights in August if the sun is shining?
Well, there is a chance, especially later in the month. By this point, the night skies have started their descent to the longer evenings of autumn and winter.
If you want the full Midnight Sun experience, consider visiting Iceland in June.
Do you want to increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights? You may want to think about visiting Iceland in November, December or January.
If you join us on our Reykjavik folklore walking tour, don’t forget to ask your guide who shouldn’t look directly at the Northern Lights!
We also recommend you check out the Aurora Reykjavik – Northern Lights Center in Grandi and The Wonders of Iceland in Perlan, where you can see a Northern Lights show in a state-of-the-art Planetarium.
Spot Some of Iceland’s Most Famous Wildlife!
You don’t have to travel far to get a glimpse of wildlife when you visit Iceland in August.
In Reykjavik, you can go birdwatching by the Pond. If swans, geese, and ducks aren’t your thing, walk over to the harbor, and you might see a puffin or two.
And if you’re lucky, you may even spot a dolphin or a whale!
Our Reykjavik City Walk and Puffin Tour is a great way to see Iceland’s most famous birds in person while also exploring our capital.
And for a better chance of spotting the gentle giants of the sea, we recommend joining a whale-watching tour from Reykjavik.
Summertime is excellent for whale-watching from any port in Iceland. Blue whales, minke whales, and humpbacks are easier to spot in the calmer waters.
And they also share this habitat with seals, orcas, and dolphins — so have your camera ready!
Venturing further inland, you may make friends with an Icelandic horse or get lucky and see an Arctic fox.
Polar bear sightings are extremely rare since they need to catch a ride on some ice from Greenland to get here. But we do have reindeer, which live mainly in the East Fjords.
August Festivals Fill the Island with Fun!
Summertime is great for festivals — and you can find plenty of fun-filled events in Iceland throughout August.
The first weekend of the month is a national holiday, so try to make it for Verslunarmannahelgi, Merchant’s Weekend.
And if you want epic music, camping, and family fun, head southwest to Vestmannaeyjar for Þjóðhátíð.
Do you have an interest in history? How about herring-related history?
You may want to check out the Síldarævintýri festival in the northern town of Siglufjörður.
And then there’s the Iceland Summer Games, complete with BMX races and beach volleyball tournaments, in Akureyri, North Iceland.
In the second week of August, the Reykjavik Pride Festival takes place between Wednesday and Saturday.
During that week, there are many happenings, such as drag shows, concerts, street theaters, and more.
Everything builds to the grand finale which is the fabulous Reykjavik Pride Parade. Around 100,000 people attend this event, which is just under a third of Iceland’s population.
Read our guide Visiting Iceland as an LGBTQIA+ Person to learn more about coming to our welcoming, progressive country.
And the festivals keep on coming! Next up is Culture Night in Reykjavik on the first Saturday after 18 August.
Culture Night is, in fact, a celebration of Reykjavik’s anniversary as it received its municipal rights on 18 August 1786.
It is one of the biggest festivals in Iceland, with almost endless events. We recommend you check out the program to see what’s going on.
There are outdoor performances and markets. Everyone pitches in with museums, theatres, and businesses hosting events.
And last but not least, the final festival of the month is the Reykjavik Jazz Festival, held every year since 1990.
This makes it Iceland’s second-oldest music festival, behind only Dark Music Days, held in January.
The main emphasis of the festival is to support and showcase jazz music.
The festival hosts performances in various styles, from contemporary jazz and avant-garde to Latin jazz, gospel, and big bands.
You will find acclaimed international jazz players and Iceland’s leading jazz musicians.
Best Things to Do When You Visit Iceland in August
Clear skies and warmer weather in August allow you to make the most of summer in Iceland!
Take a driving tour or rent a car and discover the open countryside. Road conditions are ideal so you can truly soak in the scenery.
Skim the water on a kayak — you may make some aquatic animal friends along the way — or take advantage of the long days and go hiking.
You can get up close to Iceland’s volcanoes or lava caves, but we suggest going on a tour for that. Better to be safe!
Find out what’s possible by reading about our Volcano Guided Hike Tour on Fagradalsfjall.
And there are countless amazing things to do in Reykjavik!
Check out the local wares and people-watch at the Reykjavik flea market. Wander around the Pond or the harbor, visiting the gardens and museums along the way.
Make sure to snap a pic of the Sun Voyager, and maybe dip your toes in our geothermal beach. Don’t worry, the water’s fine! There is a cool hot tub there and changing rooms.
It’s a perfect combo to swim in the cold ocean a bit before soaking in the hot tub, so they say at least. I am not crazy about such torture!
But you will also find a portion of the ocean warmed up for a lovely dip, so it’s not all just cold!
Helgi Halldórsson, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Nauthólsvík
Not sure what to do first? Join us for some great fun on our Reykjavik walking tour!
It’s a walk with a Viking on which you get an excellent introduction to our country. It will help you get your bearings and make the most of your stay in Iceland.
What to Pack When Visiting Iceland in August
You can expect pleasant weather in August, but there are a few things you might want to make sure you pack.
Even if you don’t plan on any big hikes, comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots are always a good idea. Prepare to dress in layers, and make sure to have a sweater and some rain gear.
If you forget, no problem. We’ve got plenty of tips for shopping in Iceland!
Because the nights are still short in August, you may want to pack an eyeshade or some sleeping tablets. Sixteen hours of daylight may not be for everyone!
If you’re planning a road trip while you’re here, don’t forget your driver’s license. You won’t get very far without it!
Visit Us in Reykjavik, in August or Anytime!
Whenever you make it to Iceland, we hope you stop by Reykjavik and see us! Our guides would love to share their insights, welcoming you to the best in Icelandic hospitality!