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Top 10 Things Icelanders Love to do During the Summer

June 2, 2016
Birta Bjornsdottir

Iceland is vastly different in the summer and winter time. So different, that it seems like two completely different countries. During the summer the country seems to come alive. The nature gets greener, and the people are more visible all around. With the Icelandic summer being so short and the winter months so long, Icelandic people try to use of every hour of sunlight and enjoy every moment. Here are some of the top 10 things Icelandic locals like to do during the summer months.

Seasons in Iceland

1. Go Swimming

Icelandic people love their swimming pools! Iceland is filled with swimming pools, ranging everywhere from natural geothermal hot springs, to nice local geothermally heated public pools. Many Icelanders go swimming every day all year round, but during the summer the locals try to get as much sun as possible since it likes to hide during the winter.

Relaxing at the swimming pool

2. Go Camping

Most Icelanders go camping at least once every summer. Especially families with children. Camping is a fun and cheap way to explore the Icelandic nature without breaking the bank. Kids love to play outside during the summer, and camping is the perfect way to spend quality time together as a family.

Camping in the Highlands

3. Go Downtown

On sunny days, downtown Reykjavik is filled with life. Sometimes local shops and businesses will close early in order to give their employees the afternoon off to go downtown and to enjoy the weather. The locals will gather in cafes or at Austurvollur Square to enjoy the good weather and to meet other locals.

Downtown Reykjavik street performer

4. Play Sports

Sports are a big part of Icelandic culture. During the summer you will see many children and adults playing all sorts of sports in leagues or for fun. A sport that is growing in Iceland is beach volleyball, but with the Icelandic weather, it can only be played in the summer months.

Volley Ball

5. Attend Concerts and Events

There are many events and concerts in Iceland, especially during the summer. Locals like to get together with friends and participate in events or go to concerts. Here are some festivals and events, just to name a few: Reykjavik Gay Pride Parade, Reykjavik Slut Walk, Summer Solstice Festival, Thjodhatid (Camping Festival).

6. Stay in a Summer Cottage

Many Icelanders either own summer cottages, or like to rent them out for a few weekends during the summer. Summer cottages are perfect for weekend getaways, for families or for groups of friends. Usually the summer cottages are surrounded by beautiful Icelandic nature, that is fun for everybody to explore.

Renting a cabin

7. Eat Ice Cream

Icelandic people eat a lot of ice cream all year round. For Icelanders it does not matter whether it is cold or hot out, locals are always in the mood for some ice cream. During the summer months this increases even more. Iceland has many different types of Ice creams and special recipes that are definitely worth a try.

Icelandic Ice Cream

8. Activities

During the summer, people don’t want to waste the good weather and the sun, so people do a lot of fun activities. Icelanders will often go horseback riding, river rafting, biking, fishing, or even caving during the summer months. See some of the activities that we offer here.

Icelandic Horses and Mountains

9. Explore the Nature at Night

With the 24-hour sunlight in the summer, Iceland is the perfect place to go exploring at night. The popular sights in Iceland are way less crowded at night, and just as beautiful in a different type of sunlight.

Hiking Iceland

10. Hike Mt. Esja

Mt. Esja is a mountain close to Reykjavik that most locals climb once every summer. Mt. Esja has a few different routes that people can take, depending on how difficult they want the hike to be. Hiking Mt. Esja is something that everybody can do. Most people do not go all of the way to the top, but to a big rock called Steinn. If you do make it all of the way to the top, sign the guestbook!