ICELANDIC SUMMER DAYS Article cover photo
29 May 2019


The months between August and April are Northern Lights season, what is there to do outside that?

Iceland is a prime location to spot the utterly mystical natural phenomena known as the Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights. In the summer months, daylight practically lasts 21 to 24 hours a day, meaning there are not enough periods of absolute darkness to see the Northern Lights. On the flip side, this is when you get enough light to witness Iceland's incredible and fairy tale-like landscapes.

Take a stroll along Reykjavik

Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the heartbeat of the country. Approximately one-third of all Icelandic citizens live in Reykjavik. The city is set against a backdrop of mountains, hills, and water, providing a calm, serene environment for reflection, or just a stroll to the delightful harbour. Novelty and specialty shops fill the old town as tourists come in numbers. Get your cameras ready for the iconic colourful Nordic-styled houses, shops, and viking memorabilia.

Sail to a surrounding island

Upon your arrival to the Reykjavik Old Harbour, you'll see a host of tour operators, most commonly, whale and puffin watching tours. There are other ferries who offer trips to nearby islands such as Videy Island (pictured.) Walking the paths of Videy is like walking through a deserted meadow. You get to see buildings and artifacts left behind by people who used to live on the island. On breezy afternoons, it is the perfect spot for a picnic by the beach, or to just take out your map and explore the island's landmarks.

Witness a geyser

Witness boiling water being hurled up to 70 metres in the air at The Great Geysir, the first known geyser known to modern Europeans. Geysers are only found in a few places around the world. Pictured is the Little Geysir.

Walk where Arya Stark walked

Does this place look familiar? You probably saw it in Game of Thrones! Thingvellir National Park was used for a number of scenes in the show's fourth season. Outside pop culture, the national park lies in a rift valley marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian Tectonic Plates.

Put your feet in the black sand

Walk along Reynisfjara volcanic black sand beach with your bare feet. Surrounded by gigantic basalt stacks, hexagon columns, majestic viewpoints, this is unlike any other beach you have been to.

Go on a waterfalls trail

Iceland has several world-renowned waterfalls such as Skogafoss (bottom.) Most of them are located among a Lord of the Rings-esque location, floating in between the realms of fantasy and realism. A personal favourite of mine is Gljufrafoss (top) where you get to be intimate with the falls itself. Although small, the closeness of the gushing water coupled with the cave setting creates the scenario where you're one with nature.

Visit iconic small towns

The iconic small town of Vik is home to around just 300 people but also one of the south coast's most popular photo spots. Vik Church (top,) located on top of a hill is strangely captivating, especially when surrounded with purple lupine, it is the most notable building of the village.

Take on a glacier

Solheimajokull Glacier. Yes, you can visit glaciers in summer, as long as they accumulate more snow in the winter than they lose in summer. You can participate in glacier walk tours where you get to walk up the glacier in special equipment! However, global warming and climate change are melting them much quicker than before. We must protect our Earth, and stop our beautiful glaciers from shrinking!