Hiking boots might be the most important things to pack if you’re coming to Iceland. With clear air and an abundance of stunning sights, from the highest mountains to the deepest valleys, Icelandic hiking is the envy of the world.
As you might expect in a country like Iceland, with its epic seasonal changes, outdoor activities vary by season. Hiking in Iceland in June is hugely different from hiking in winter.
Here are some tips on hiking in June, including highlights and seasonal quirks:
Prepare for the Weather
Average temperatures in June are about 9°C (or 48°F). It gets warmer in Iceland in late summer, with temperatures in August average highs hitting 13°C (or 55 °F0. But June is one of the driest months of the year in Iceland.
It’s also important to remember the wind-chill factor: A 9°C day is colder in the countryside or up a mountain than it is in the city. That cold wind can drop the temperature by a few degrees.
Figure Out Where is Best to Go
Just about any hiking trail in Iceland is worth checking out, but there are some that are especially enticing in June, when spring has sprung, and flowers are in bloom.
Glymur in West Iceland is lovely in June, as the greenery, blossoming flowers and well-worn track brings you to the spectacular Glymur Waterfall. You’ll also see the effects of spring on the woodlands of Húsafell hiking trails, which have walks for all levels and abilities.
Landmannalaugar is arguably the best-known hiking spot in Iceland, and is worth checking out at any time of year. But the views are especially humbling on a clear summer’s day. That’s just the tip of the glacier, though. There are countless hiking opportunities in Iceland.
Check Out the Glaciers
Iceland’s glaciers are beautiful, fascinating monuments to Iceland’s unique landscape and weather system. Contrary to what you might think, you can visit them all year round. Indeed, June is a good month for glacier-hiking, as the warmer, gentler weather makes many of these frozen giants more accessible.
That said, it’s important to know what you’re doing and where you’re going. We have a range of guided glacier tours, whether you want to go over them or inside them.
Prepare for Long Days
Iceland is like nowhere you’ve been before, and even the sunlight has its own way of doing things! In June, the sun doesn’t set until midnight, which means you have more hours in the day to strap those boots on and hit the trails!
However, just because you have more sunlight doesn’t mean there aren’t dangers to look out for. Always check the weather forecast before setting out; let people know where you are going; and (if you don’t have a guide) plan and map your route so you don’t get lost.
Choose Your Transport and Access
Because Iceland is a relatively small country, it’s quite easy to get around. This might mean public transport, a rented vehicle of your own, or travelling as part of a tour. Any of these options should bring you where you need to go.
June, being just before peak tourist season, might not have as many internal travel options as July or August. Some transport facilities only kick in on the second half of June, so this is worth taking into account when planning your journeys.
Also, some public sites (including hiking trails) are summer only so may not be accessible in early June.
Avoid the Crowds
June is a terrific month to hike in Iceland because – for many visitors – it’s at a sweet spot: The weather is getting warmer, but it hasn’t reached peak season yet. The busiest months for tourism on this beautiful island are July and August.
That said, as you’d expect, the highest profile hiking spots will always draw a crowd, including in June. That’s great if you enjoy the social aspect of hiking. If you’re travelling alone or with a small group and want to join others, there will be plenty of people to meet (in tour groups or at your hostel, for example).
However, if you’d like some isolation, June is a good month for it. Perhaps consider going a little off the beaten track, going at off-peak times or taking a multiday tour.
Expect the Unexpected…
Let people know when you’re going on a hike and your route. There’s also a downloadable app that shares your location with emergency services.
Pack for diverse weather; breathable, high-quality clothes are a good idea; shorts if the weather allows it; and always have some sort of rain gear. And of course, be sure to break in your boots before your hike.
See you on the Trails!
Iceland is a marvel for hikers, whenever you go. But June, with its skies clearing and plants budding, is especially magical.
We’ve been bringing eager travelers on lifechanging hikes for decades. Maybe you’ll be one of them