Iceland in August – welcome to the party


    Posted on
    Sunday, July 2, 2017

    Hello August! It’s the month that many Icelanders have been waiting patiently for and it’s finally here. But what is it exactly that makes Iceland in August so awesome?

    Well, the climate is still pretty good in Iceland in August. It’s still summer after all and the heat is pretty similar to July. The average high in Reykjavík is 13°C (55.4°F) and the average low is 7.9°C (46.2°F). But we are still reminded of the dark winter ahead when we get a few hours of pitch black night. Goodbye, summer sun!

    Pack light – sort of

    Iceland in August.But the Icelandic climate is of course unpredictable, like I’ve said numerous times already, so I can’t make any promises that we won’t have rain and wind. You can pretty much count on some days like that in Iceland in August. But you don’t have to pack to heavy for your trip. Just pack some cozy layers and you can’t go wrong with wool to fight off the cold evenings and the sea breeze. Bring sunglasses and sunscreen and pack some gloves and a hat. Then you’re good to go.

    Bye, bye Puffins

    If you’re a bird lover, you should know that we’re drawing near to the end of the Puffin season I’m afraid. The Puffins migrate to Iceland each year between April and September and some of the best spots to see them are Látrabjarg in the Westfjords, The Westman Islands, Dyrhólaey in South Iceland and Grímsey island in the North.

    Biggest party of the year

    Speaking of islands, August is the home of the biggest travel weekend for locals. I’m talking about Verslunarmannahelgin (try saying that 10 times fast), meaning Weekend of the Merchants. The weekend precedes the first Monday of August which is a national bank holiday in Iceland so it’s a long weekend. It’s a time for people to get drunk out of their minds and make out with someone they just met during various festivals around the country. So, get ready to interact with some shit faced locals!

    The biggest festival during Verslunarmannahelgin, or Versló for short, is Þjóðhátíð í Eyjum in the Westman Islands. It’s supposed to be an open-air music festival, but it’s less about the music, more about the booze. The Westman Islands are flooded with guests during bank holiday but the festival has been controversial the last years because of excessive binge-drinking and the high number of sexual violence charges.

    Loads of tourists have flocked to the festival in recent years but you should know that the weather plays a big part in the festival, making it a really dirty one quite quickly if it starts to rain.

    Iceland in August.

    Dirty weekend

    Another popular festival is Mýrarboltinn in the Westfjords. It’s a tournament in swamp soccer – making it 2-0 for dirty entertainment during bank holiday. This year the festival takes place in Bolungarvík and it truly is a sporting event like no other, originating in Finland. You don’t have to sign up to compete in muddy football to attend the festival because there are loads of other activities to entertain you, including performances by legendary pop singer Páll Óskar and rapper Emmsjé Gauti.

    Click here to rent a car for your Icelandic adventure!

    If you’re traveling North you could check out Síldardagar festival in Siglufjörður or Ein með öllu in Akureyri. In the East you will find Neistaflug at Neskaupstaður and if you want to stay clear of any alcohol intake you can go to Sæludagar at Vatnaskógur resort where drugs and alcohol is forbidden. You can also just stay in Reykjavík and enjoy Innipúkinn festival, a music festival taking place at bars Húrra and Gaukurinn.

    Let’s celebrate the fish

    We are not nearly done with festivities in Iceland in August. I wasn’t kidding when I welcomed you to the late summer party.

    One of the most popular festivals of the year is undoubtably Fiskidagurinn mikli, or the Great Fish Day. It’s held in Dalvík in the North of Iceland on the weekend succeeding the bank holiday weekend. The festival basically centers around a huge seafood buffet where all food is free of charge. Sure, it’s good for the budget, but be prepared to wait in line because thousands of locals and foreigners flock to Dalvík to take part in the fishy celebration. But make sure you try some fish soup from a local or two. It’s amazing.

    Iceland in August.
    Get your fish! @Fiskidagurinn mikli

    Breathe in the culture

    Then there is of course Menningarnótt, Culture Night, held on the 19th of August. This amazing day starts off with the Reykjavík Marathon where runners can choose from various distances to test their stamina and determination. The run starts early in the morning but later in the day, at 3 PM, there’s a smaller race for kids of all ages. Reykjavík is crowded and lively the whole day, with too many events to mention happening all over town, whether it be music, art or magic. Just check out the program and plan the day – it’s a long one but a fantastic one!

    I love Reykjavík Pride. @www.kristinmaria.com

    Here come the water works

    Last, but not least, is Reykjavík Pride, a festival dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s one of my personal favorite festivals, mainly because of the annual Reykjavík Pride Parade. There’s just something about that parade that always brings tears to my eyes when I think of how much people have had to fight for their right to be themselves. The glitz and glam doesn’t hurt either.

    But Reykjavík Pride is more than just a parade. It’s an array of events taking place from the 8th of August until the 13th. You can see the program here and plan away!

    Take a tour

    And if you want to check out some tours in August, you should go glacier kayaking at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, visit the highlands before the roads close, explore the South coast and go paragliding or just experience the Reykjavík nightlife in good company.

    Have fun in Iceland in August!

    Main photo credit: Photo by Richard Clyborne of Music Strive

    More in Insider Tips

    Top 5 Tours

    Must do tours in Iceland

    We have handpicked the best tours in Iceland so you don't have to.

    15.900 ISK PER PERSON.
    1,5–2 hours

    12.900 ISK PER PERSON.
    approx. 9 hours.


    Wherever you are, share your travel stories with #MUSTSEEICELAND

    Follow us for updates and conversations

    Must see in Iceland
    Read About Must See in Iceland or read our Terms and conditions
    Must see in Iceland is registered in Iceland as Must See Ferðafélagi ehf., corporate id: 500117-0600.
    We are fully licenced Day Tour Provider by the Icelandic Tourist Board
    We accept
    Visa MasterCard American Express Diners Club JCB Discover Union Pay

    Why choose us?

    © 2017 Must See, Starmýri 2a, 108 Reykjavík, Iceland, Tel: +(354) 696-7098,
    Design/Coded by Pipp