Iceland in August: Weather, Tips & Kayaking

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August is one of the best months to tour Iceland. It is officially the last summer month, and the weather in Iceland in August is glorious — with warm days (certainly by Iceland’s chilly standards) and lots of daylight. Iceland’s weather in August is perfect for summiting its volcanic peaks, hiking over glaciers, visiting national parks, marveling at cascading waterfalls, cruising along the country’s rugged coastline, and getting entertained by puffins squabbling and swimming in the sea. If you are lucky, you might even spot the first Northern Lights of the season, especially in the latter half of the month.

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Iceland Weather in August

The village church of Vik, the southernmost settlement in Iceland
Iceland in August sees some of the warmest conditions with longer, and often wetter, days

August is one of the warmest months of the year in Iceland. The average temperature in Iceland in August hovers between 10 and 15°C. You might also have an occasional extra-warm day when the temperature can shoot up to 20°C. Icelanders make the most of this delightful weather, and tourists join in the fun too. Days are long and lovely but not as long as June and July when the sun is often up for the whole day. Iceland in August receives 16 hours of daylight on average. The other thing to note about this month is that although it is not the wettest time of year, you might encounter some scattered downpours during your trip to the country.

For a more in-depth seasonal overview, check out our travel guide on the best time to visit Iceland.

Weather in Iceland in August - Rainfall and Temperatures

Jul Aug Sep
Avg Daily (°C) 13 13 9
Avg Nightly (°C) 9 8 5
Avg Daily (°F) 56 56 49
Avg Nightly (°F) 49 47 41
Avg Rainfall (mm) 20 30 40

Why Visit Iceland in August

Young hiker with a backpack looks at the Kirkjufell mountain in Iceland
With the warm and favourable conditions in Iceland in August, it makes the perfect time for a hike
Sunny view of a Swedish young woman riding her dark Icelandic horse in a sn
Iceland in August also becomes the ideal time to enjoy the weather on horseback

Without snow, Iceland’s roads are not slippery during August and all-mountain routes are open to travelers. If you are looking for things to do in Iceland in August, you will be spoilt for choice. Below are the top reasons why this is such a great time to visit Iceland.

  • Open country: The whole of Iceland is accessible in August, including remote mountains that are closed throughout winter. This means that you can visit practically every corner of this beautiful land. Planning a comprehensive tour of Iceland? August is just the right month to do it.
  • Hikers’ paradise: The unforgiving Icelandic winter puts most remote areas out of reach. However, come August, some of the most gorgeous parts of the country are open for trekking and hiking in Iceland.
  • Festive mood: August is a month of festivals in Iceland. Thjódhhátidh, the country’s biggest outdoor festival with origins going back to the 19th century, takes place during this time of year. This celebration sees locals and visitors flock to the Westman Islands for a weekend of fireworks, bonfires, and concerts. There is also the Merchants Weekend celebration in North Iceland which features concerts, walking tours, museum visits, and, of course, shopping.
  • Kayaking and snorkeling: With pleasant days and warm weather conditions, August is a lovely time for kayaking and snorkeling in Iceland. Iceland has quite a few snorkeling and diving spots that are truly breathtaking, like the space between two continental plates in the Silfra Fissure and Strytan, the only place in the world where recreational divers can reach underwater geothermal vents.
  • Horse-riding through the countryside: Since you need not worry about cold, snow, or rain in August, this is an ideal month to enjoy the breathtaking Icelandic countryside from the back of a horse.

Where to go and what to do

Iceland, Jokulsarlon lagoon, Beautiful cold landscape picture of icelandic
Enjoy the view of the beautiful blue glaciers at one of the many Icelandic lagoons

The weather in Iceland in August is ideal for hiking and trekking tours, with even inaccessible mountain routes opening. Visit Vatnajökull National Park where the landscape is dominated by glaciers of the same name. The park has several lovely hiking trails and waterfalls. On the country’s south coast is the mysterious Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, with its floating icebergs and seals. Nearby is the otherworldly landscape of Diamond Beach, where sheets of shining ice lie over black sand dunes. August is also a suitable time to discover the country’s central highlands and its rugged landscape, an area that is accessible only in summer. However, you might need a four-wheel drive to navigate rough stretches.

Another exceptional road trip is circling the ring road in the country’s north. Take a break along the way to check out the art galleries and cool cafés during your Akureyri tour, indulge in whale-watching in Húsavík, admire the striking landscapes of Lake Mývatn Nature Reserve and walk past the thick woods and pretty waterfalls of the Ásbyrgi Canyon.

What to bring

Woman in yellow raincoat hiking and taking pictures of the colourful mounta
While the temperatures can be warm and favourable in Iceland in August, make sure that you are properly dressed to face the wet weather

A warm temperature in August means that you can do away with down jackets and thick woolen outfits. T-shirts with a few clothes that can be worn in layers should do the job most of the time. However, since the weather can get unpredictable, we also suggest that you carry a raincoat along with you. A good pair of hiking shoes is a must, while a waterproof jacket will come in handy in case of a shower.

Given the pleasant weather and long days, it is no surprise that August is part of Iceland’s peak tourist season. Our travel experts can help you choose the right custom tour to Iceland in August. Look no further if you are planning on booking a trip to Iceland in August.

Our related travel guide articles:

Iceland in July

Iceland in September

Published by Lucas Toft, updated on April 16, 2023

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