What is Iceland like in June? What is Icelandic weather like in June? Find out what the Icelandic summer looks like in pictures.
The most common question we get at Guide to Iceland is 'when is the best time to travel to Iceland?' There is an article about the weather in Iceland & best time to visit Iceland - but there are also a few articles about what Iceland is like in each month, with pictures that some of Iceland's travellers have sent us.
June is a great month to visit Iceland. It is the first official summer month, although it may feel like a late spring still. There may still be speckles of snow at the top of mountains, but flowers have popped up everywhere and the temperature is tolerable, although not as warm as July and August.
Indian traveller Arunima Ghosh has all photo credit in this article, since all the pictures are taken by her during a holiday in Iceland in June 2016. She took hundreds of pictures of Iceland (there are almost 400 pictures in her photo album!) and from all over the country, so it was hard to choose just a few.
She travelled all over Iceland, so you can see what Iceland is like in June in every part of the country.
Contrasts of Nature in Iceland in June
Iceland is a land of contrasts, and these contrasts can easily be spotted during Iceland's summer months, when the nature is in full bloom and not covered by a blanket of snow.
Much of Iceland is covered by purple flowers (that are actually weed) called lupines. The lupine was imported to Iceland and it quickly spread all over, stifling the growth of other plants, resulting in a dislike of the plant by many flora aficionados. Other locals find it beautiful and don't mind it spreading widely.
June is the perfect month to find fields of purple in many locations in Iceland, perfect as a backdrop or in the forefront of a picture. The lupine field above is by the village of Vík in south Iceland.
- See also: The Dynamic Plant Lupine
But the landscape in Iceland changes swiftly. You can be admiring a purple lupine field one minute, but a black and green mossy lava field the next. This lava field that's covered in moss is also from the south coast of Iceland, and the picture is taken around 3 o'clock in the morning.
As mentioned before, the midnight sun means that there is daylight for 24 hours each day in June, so it's possible to explore the landscape at nighttime just as well as during daytime.
Another contrast are the green fields, dotted with yellow buttercups and dandelions, a common sight in Iceland. In the distance Dyrhólaey is visible.
- Find south coast tours here
What I really like about Arunima's pictures is that many of them depict beautiful anonymous Icelandic landscape, that aren't typical tourist attractions. The scenery along the way driving in Iceland can often provide stunning photographic opportunities!
Some people ask about the highlights of Iceland's landscape, and want to tick off seeing particular waterfalls, mountains or other natural attractions, when in reality there is stunning beauty to be found everywhere in the country. Even on cloudy or foggy days, which can take place in June even though it's supposedly summertime.
Weather in Iceland in June
The average temperature in Reykjavík in June is around 10° Celsius (50° Fahrenheit) and the average sunlight hours are 178. The days are endless with the midnight sun, the landscape has turned green and lush, birdlife is in full bloom and most activities are available.
Multiple summer outdoor events take place and at the end of June the Highland roads normally open for traffic when the snow has melted.
The South Coast of Iceland in June
The south coast is mainly famous for its impressive waterfalls. One of its most popular one is the one you can walk behind - Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Arunima said she spent a long while here relaxing behind the waterfall and then got a fellow traveller to take this picture for her.
During winter it may be a little difficult to walk around the waterfall due to ice on the slope, but this is not a problem in June. You may however get wet from the spray of the waterfall, so bring a good waterproof layer!
- See also: Top 10 Beautiful Waterfalls in Iceland
Not many people know this, but Seljalandsfoss has a neighbouring waterfall. Just a short walk away is another, hidden waterfall called Gljúfrabúi. To get to it you'll need to walk into a crack in the mountain and into an open cave. Make sure you're wearing waterproof shoes or good hiking boots!
- See also: Secret Waterfall on the South Coast
Not far away from Seljalandsfoss is the majestic waterfall Skógafoss. Skógafoss is one of the most popular attractions on the south coast of Iceland - and it's easy to see why!
Skógafoss plummets down 60 metres and it's possible to walk right up to it, although beware that you will get soaking wet if you do so. It's always a smart idea to bring waterproof clothing with you when visiting one of Iceland's waterfalls.
- See also: Waterfalls in Iceland
The views from the top of Dyrhólaey cliff are great in every direction. To the south there is the sea, to the east there is Reynisfjara black sand beach and Reynisdrangar rocks (pictured above), to the north there is Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers and to the west is Sólheimasandur black stretch of sand. The perfect place to take a seat during a nice summer's day in June.
However, access to the top of Dyrhólaey cliff can be limited from the 1st of May until the 25th of June each year, to protect the many birds that nest there.
If you are visiting Iceland after the 25th of June you can go to the top of Dyrhólaey and have a view over the blue sea, black sands, green, yellow and purple fields towards the white glaciers. If travelling before the 25th of June, please read and respect signs that may close roads for traffic.
Near Dyrhólaey cliff you can find this typical Icelandic countryside view, of a rather modern house (likely a farm) and an old turf house in a green field full of spring flowers. There are multiple old, renewed or original turf houses to be found all around Iceland, all of which Guide to Iceland's local Regína has written a blog about.
- See also: Icelandic Turf Houses
Reynisfjara is a black sandy beach on the south coast of Iceland, a popular attraction but one of Iceland's most dangerous locations. From this spot you can just about see the hole in the arch of Dyrhólaey in the distance.
The black sand is mesmerising and there are breathtaking cliffs and rocks all around, where the North Atlantic waves continuously crash. However, the waves can suddenly come much higher and drag people with them out to sea, so make sure you always stay at least 30 metres away from the sea, and never turn your back on it.
- See also: Things That Can Kill You in Iceland
These wonderful stacks of basalt columns can be found by Reynisfjara beach. This type of rock is called 'stuðlaberg' in Icelandic, and can be found in many places around the country, mostly near the sea or glaciers as they are formed when hot lava suddenly cools down (such as when it hits the sea or the ice of the glaciers).
Only attempt to climb these rocks on low tide, and again, watch out for the waves.
- See also: Volcanoes in Iceland
If you're looking to tick off the highlights of Iceland, no trip to Iceland is complete without visiting the stunning Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, the crown jewel of Iceland. This gorgeous iceberg lagoon is found in the southeast of Iceland, and is full of icebergs all year round.
The ice in the lagoon is so dense that there are no air bubbles in it, so when light hits it it appears to be blue. And in June there is always light, since the sun only sets for an hour or so at night, so you'll be sure to see some beautiful blue ice in this large lagoon.
The icebergs come from the nearby glacier Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier, and the lagoon is expanding every year. The ice can topple over at any point, so therefore it's extremely dangerous to try to climb the ice or enter the (freezing cold!) water.
In summertime it is possible to go on a boat tour around the lagoon and inspect the ice more up close.
- Find Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon tours here
East Iceland in June
You can find beautiful and dramatic mountain views in the east coast of Iceland. The mountains in east Iceland are rather young, which can be told by their rugged and spiky nature.
Some of them have 'horns' in their name, such as Vestrahorn (West Horn) and Eystrahorn (East Horn). The mountains in the Westfjords on the other hand are much older and have flat table tops after having carried tonnes of ice for centuries.
Arunima went travelling along the south coast of Iceland all the way to the east of Iceland with a fellow photographer Dagur Jónsson. Here you can see Dagur in the foreground, with the mountain Vestrahorn in the background.
Vestrahorn mountain is found in east Iceland, just a little north of the town Höfn. It's a popular model for photographs, often reflected in the sea on calm days.
North Iceland in June
The sun stays up even longer in the north of Iceland than it does in Reykjavík and on the south coast!
Akureyri is Iceland's second biggest town, and has a lot of things to offer on its own, and in the beautiful nature surrounding it.
- Find Akureyri tours here
Here's a gorgeous picture taken from a midnight sun whale watching tour, this picture is taken at around midnight or 1 in the morning. There are whale watching tours available both from Akureyri and from nearby town Húsavík, often called the whale watching capital of Iceland.
- Find whale watching tours here
Dettifoss waterfall is Iceland's, and Europe's, most powerful waterfall and is located not far from Lake Mývatn. Even in summertime the weather conditions can change rapidly, as you can see from the blue sky during the whale watching and the foggy mist over Dettifoss waterfall just a few hours later. Always prepare for all types of weather when packing for Iceland!
- Read about how to pack for travel in Iceland here
To give you an idea of the contrast in the weather, then above is a glimpse of what the stunning Lake Mývatn looks like when the mysterious fog is lying on top of it...
And here you can see what Lake Mývatn looks like a few hours later when the sun is shining.
- Find Lake Mývatn tours here
West Iceland in June
On a day tour of west Iceland, you can visit the remarkable Hraunfossar waterfalls, that come straight out of the lava.
With the endless daylight in summertime, it's remarkable how much sightseeing you can fit into one day!
Even though you're travelling in Iceland in June, you can still encounter some snow at the top of mountains (that are not glaciers). Most mountains don't become completely snow-free until July (which is also why the highlands in Iceland don't open until late June or early July).
It's not unusual to see steam rising from the ground, or from rivers all over Iceland - all year round. Here you can see some geothermal activity near Reykholt in the west part of Iceland.
Hvalfjörður is one of Iceland's prettiest fjords, and even though it's very close to Reykjavík, it doesn't get that much traffic. That's because of a tunnel that goes underneath it shortening the distance between the south and north by an hour.
But if you do decide to drive Hvalfjörður, then we recommend hiking up to the gorgeous Glymur waterfall - Iceland's tallest waterfall.
- Find a hiking tour to Glymur waterfall here
Reykjavík in June
Reykjavík really comes alive during summertime, and June is of course no exception to that. After spending some time on the south coast of Iceland, Arunima got to spend some time in Reykjavík. She took a few pictures of some of the great street art in Reykjavík, and spent her evenings at Secret Solstice Festival, but the days exploring the Icelandic countryside.
- Find all Reykjavík tours here
Iceland has a number of festivals taking place in the country each year, and one of the biggest ones is The Secret Solstice Festival that takes place each year in June, around the 21st of June when the solstice takes place - the longest day of the year.
In 2016 Radiohead was one of the headline acts, and you can see that Arunima got a space right at the front to snap this great picture!
- Read about the top 10 festivals in Iceland here
There was an especially stunning sunset right after the Radiohead concert in June, which Arunima captured perfectly in the reflection on this glassy building, and with the moon included, in Laugardalur recreational area in Reykjavík at around 2 in the morning.
A number of famous bands and musicians are Icelandic. One of these, and possibly Iceland's most famous band, Of Monsters and Men, performed live during the Secret Solstice festival in 2016.
- Read about famous people from Iceland here
Closing off the Secret Solstice Festival was Die Antwoord, that had a spectacular performance late on the Sunday night at the end of the solstice weekend.
Reykjavík is known for its fun nightlife and you'll never have any trouble finding concerts, gigs or fun events in Reykjavík all year round, although in summertime (June, July and August) there are even more events to choose from!
- Read about Reykjavík's nightlife here
The Golden Circle in June
The most popular tour to go on in Iceland is the Golden Circle, which is an absolute Must Do while you're on holiday in Iceland. Here's a picture from the crystal clear waters at Þingvellir national park, the only place where it is acceptable to throw coins in (please don't throw coins into any other places around Iceland - you'd be spoiling the nature!)
- Read about 7 things that Icelanders hate about tourism in Iceland here!
The gorgeous waterfall Öxarárfoss can also be found in Þingvellir national park, one of the three destinations that make up the beautiful and historic Golden Circle.
- Find Golden Circle tours here
It looks like Arunima had a great holiday in Iceland and we want to thank her for sharing her wonderful pictures and stories with us, and for giving Guide to Iceland great feedback and reviews!
If you want to share your pictures from your holiday in Iceland with us, feel free to do so!