Reykjavík’s Sunniest Start of the Year in 77 Years

Beautiful scenery in the harbour area of Reykjavík

You would have to go back to 1947 to find a sunnier start of the year in Reykjavík than 2024 has been so far. At the same time, other parts of Iceland have not been as lucky.

Over 500 hours of sunlight

According to a report issued by the Icelandic Met Office, Iceland’s capital has been blessed with some 512.1 sunlight hours. As Vísir points out, only 1947 had a sunnier start of the year.

That said, sunlight is not necessarily equivalent to warmth, of course. The temperature in Reykjavík in April was, on average, 3.1°C. This is about half a degree under the average for 1991 to 2020, and 1.3 degrees lower than the average for the past ten years. The first four months were, however, also not as rainy as the average for 1991 to 2020, with precipitation only reaching 70% of the average for that time period.

Snowy in the north and east

In other parts of the country, the situation was decidedly different. Heavy snowfall has been the hallmark of the northeast this spring.

Akureyri, located in north-central Iceland, experienced 17 snowy days in April alone. This is three times more than usual, and also meant that there was not a single day in town that month when the ground did not have at least some snow on it.

Not to worry, though; meteorologists predict a very sunny summer for Iceland.

Sunny Summer in the Cards, Meteorologist Predicts

This year’s summer in Iceland will be sunny, warm and dry, according to meteorologist Sigurður Þ. Ragnarsson.

Sigurður, who’s colloquially known as Siggi the Storm, told Stöð 2 that the recent cold spell is over, if the latest forecasts are to be believed. “The good times are coming,” he said. “This weekend marked a big shift and we’re entering a period of lovely, mild weather.”

Nice week ahead

The south of Iceland will see 10 to 15 degrees Celsius, with the warmest temperatures along the coastal areas. Clear skies are mostly to be expected, even if some clouds will sneak in along the western coasts. “The headline is this,” Sigurður said. “Summer is coming and we’re seeing it in the forecasts. I’m very optimistic about the look of this week.”

He went on to say that long-term forecasts showed a run-of-the-mill May, bright and cool, but that warmth and cloudless skies can be expected from the beginning of June. “The forecasts are showing a warm summer through June, July and August,” Sigurður added. “And that there will be little precipitation this summer, meaning that we’ll have a sunny summer across the country. I like what I’m seeing ahead. It begins today and tomorrow.”

The Best Summer Tours in Iceland

Travellers in Iceland's south

The Icelandic landscape is vastly diverse, showcasing natural contrasts in every area of the country. These diverse landscapes can be seen with variations, including Iceland’s glacial wonders, volcanic plains and lava fields, forests, rivers, cliffsides, and geothermal treasures. Therefore finding the best summer tours in Iceland can be done with ease.

Visiting Iceland in the summer months can be a vastly different experience from when visiting during the winter. Nonetheless, many tours can be experienced both during the summer and the winter, such as visiting the Golden Circle or bathing in the Blue Lagoon.

To fully appreciate the variations and contrasts that Icelandic nature has to offer, we recommend that visitors embark on one or more of the many available tours of Iceland. In this guide, we will go over the best summer tours in Iceland, which allow travellers to witness Iceland’s extraordinary beauty in the 24-hour daylight of the summer months.

 

Explore Iceland in the Summer by Hiking

Iceland offers an abundance of hiking trails and treks throughout the country, where hikers are often captivated by dramatic landscapes and untouched wilderness. There are a lot of different hiking variations available in Iceland, so whether you are looking for a short day-hike or a longer multiple-day hike, you have found the ideal spot for your hiking experience. 

 

Day-Hikes in Iceland 

In Iceland, a great variety of day hikes are available, both in the vicinity of Reykjavík and all around the country. Many popular day-hikes are the Esjan and Úlfarsfell mountains, both located in or just outside Reykjavík. Hiking either Esja or Úlfarsfell mountain takes about 2-3 hours, depending on how many stops are taken along the way.

Another popular day hike is in Reykjadalur valley, located close to Hveragerði town, about 50 km [31 mil] from Reykjavík city. The path takes hikers to a hot spring, making it a perfect two-in-one activity. 

 

Multi-Day Hikes in Iceland

 

Laugavegur Trail

In addition to the many day hikes in Iceland, many multi-day hikes are available for hikers to explore. One of Iceland’s most famous multi-day hikes is the Laugavegur trail in the southern highlands. Hikers usually trek in 3-4 days, which is about 52 km [32 mil] and is generally considered challenging. The trek takes you through lava fields, black sand deserts, geothermal springs, glaciers, lakes, rivers, and forests, making it a perfectly diverse and contrasting hike. The best times to visit the trek are from June through September.

Woman hiking Laugavegur trail
Photo: Berglind – Laugavegur Hike

 

Fimmvörðuháls Trail

Another popular hike is the Fimmvörðuháls trail, which is also located in the southern highlands of Iceland. The trail is 23.8 km [14.8 mil] and is a challenging one. It takes an average of 8 hours to complete, which can be done in a day but is quite common to split over a couple of days. The area is famous for birding and camping, making it ideal to explore wildlife and encounter other people while hiking.

 

Hornstrandir Trail

Located in the Westfjords in Iceland is the Hornstrandir trek, which is about 86 km [53 mils] long but can be split into shorter trails. The trek lets hikers experience breathtaking views where the landscapes of the Westfjords are one of Iceland’s most unique and dramatic ones. The area is quite remote, where you can expect to see untouched wilderness and experience various weather conditions. Due to the area’s remoteness, no infrastructure is in place for backpackers, so bringing enough food, water, clothing and gear to the hike is essential.

 

Glacier Hikes in Iceland

Iceland offers many glacier hikes where hikers can experience a once-in-a-lifetime journey and enjoy the astonishing views of Icelandic glaciers. Though it might sound like it, these tours are meant not only for winter but can be enjoyed all year round. Glacier tours can be embarked on at any of the many glaciers of Iceland, for instance, the Sólheimajökull glacier or the famous Eyjafjallajökull glacier. 

Find more information about the available glacier tours here

 

Water activities in Iceland

 

Snorkel or dive between two continents at Silfra Fissure

Snorkelling or diving in Silfra offers a unique and captivating experience by taking participants on a journey between two continents, making it one of the best summer tours in Iceland. Silfra is located at Iceland’s national park Þingvellir, a fissure between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. By diving into the crystal-clear glacial water, you can expect to see stunning underwater landscapes with visibility exceeding about 100 metres [328ft].

Explore the available tours to Silfra here

People diving in Silfra fissure in Þingvellir National Park Icelande
Photo: Ants Stern and Jóna Kolbrún Sigurjónsdóttir Diving in Silfra Fissure

 

Kayak and paddle tours in Iceland

Whether you are looking for a calm evening paddle tour, a breathtaking kayaking tour through the Icelandic glacier water or a thrilling river ride, there are many options to choose from. One of Iceland’s most popular kayaking tours is the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon tour, which takes participants to a breathtaking view of the ice caps and the dome of ice that rises above it. During the summer, it can also be a great option to enjoy a night of paddling under the midnight sun and watch how it never sets. 

See more information about the kayak and paddle tours available here

 

Get the Perfect Catch in an Icelandic Fishing Tour

Embarking on a fishing tour in the summer in Iceland promises an unforgettable adventure filled with excitement, natural beauty, and the thrill of reeling in a catch amidst stunning landscapes.

As the long days of summer bathe the island in golden sunlight, fishermen and enthusiasts flock to Iceland’s rivers, lakes, and coastal waters in pursuit of the perfect catch. For those that want to get the taste of fishing in Iceland, many tours are offered that are both informative, fun and hands-on.

The Sea Angling Tour sets off from Reykjavík Harbour out to the fishing areas of Faxaflói bay, where the experienced crew are able to spot fish in a blink of an eye. 

The Private Fishing Tour offers participants exclusive fishing trips in both a river and a lake, equipped with all fishing gear. The tours can be set up with short notice and can be specialised to fit all needs participants might have. 

The Whales and Sea Angling Tour combines exploring the majestic whales of Iceland with the fishing experience. So whether participants are experienced fishermen or simply want to relax, enjoy the landscape with a fishing rod on their hand, the tour is a perfect option. 

Embarking on a fishing tour in Iceland is a perfect opportunity to connect with nature, get insight and knowledge of fishing in Iceland and have some fun meanwhile. 

See available fishing tours here

 

Wakeboarding and Waterskiing tours 

Wakeboarding and waterskiing tours can be a great option to enjoy some fun while exploring the surrounding landscape. However, you must be quick as the boat goes fast. Western Iceland offers the perfect conditions for combining the two as it has one of the most breathtaking views of Iceland and plenty of water to go about. Whether you are a premier league professional, or a courageous beginner, the wakeboards and water skis will welcome you. 

See some of the wakeboarding and waterskiing tours of western Iceland here

 

Visit Iceland’s famous Golden Circle

The well-known Golden Circle is one of Iceland’s must-visit and most-visited tourist destinations. The journey takes travellers through some of Iceland’s most iconic natural wonders by stopping in three destinations: Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir geothermal area. 

 

Þingvellir National Park

The journey’s first stop is Þingvellir National Park, a natural marvel and historical site in southwestern Iceland. Its historical status comes from the general assembly, or Alþingi, being established there around the year 930, which continued to convene until 1798. The national park is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites and offers visitors a unique experience of standing on the continental divide between North America and Eurasia. 

Geysir Geothermal Area

After visiting Þingvellir, the second stop of the journey is the Geysir geothermal area. The area is home to the famous Geysir and its more active counterpart, Strokkur, which typically erupts every 6-10 minutes. Strokkur’s usual height goes up to about 15-20 metres. However, it occasionally erupts up to 40 metres high. The surrounding area is vibrant and full of unique colours and landscapes, making this part of the journey remarkable. Close by the erupting geysers and bubbling mud pots are Hotel Geysir, where you can enjoy the beautiful view from the privacy of your room. 

Gullfoss Waterfall

The final destination of the journey, completing the Golden Circle, is Gullfoss waterfall. The majestic and powerful waterfall derives from the Hvítá River and plunges into a deep canyon. The name Gullfoss means golden waterfall, and the golden-toned mist that can be seen above the water a lot of the time gave the waterfall its name. 

Many choose to finish the tour at one of Iceland’s geothermal baths, Fontana. Fontana is located by Laugarvatn Lake, where visitors can relax in the warm water and even go for a dip in the lake. 

See many of the available Golden Circle tours here

gullfoss waterfall golden circle
Photo: Golli – Gullfoss Waterfall

 

Experience the Icelandic Midnight Sun 

The Icelandic midnight sun is a phenomenon that fascinates locals and visitors worldwide. In the summer months, from approximately May to August, the days are incredibly bright, but in the month of June, the sun can be visible nearly 24 hours a day. That is a result of Iceland’s high latitude, where the earth’s axis tilts towards the sun for six months during the summer, and therefore, the country gets to bask in the glow of the midnight sun periodically. 

The longest day of the year in Iceland, the summer solstice, takes place between June 20 and 22 and is often celebrated, for example, with the music festival Secret Solstice Iceland. 

In summary, visitors can enjoy the unique and breathtaking sight of the midnight sun in Iceland during the summer and cross that off their bucket list. 

For booking a midnight sun tour, see more information here

 

See the Majestic Whales of Iceland on a Whale Watching Tour

The large and captivating creatures we call whales can be found all around the island of Iceland. In Iceland’s surrounding ocean, multiple species of whales can be found, such as the Humpback Whale, Killer Whale, Blue Whale and many more. Each species has different characteristics and behaviours, which can be fascinating to explore. 

By embarking on a whale-watching voyage, you can experience the beauty of the wildlife and view the majestic ocean creatures just off the coast of Reykjavík. 

See available whale-watching tours here

A fin of a whale during a whale watching tour in Iceland
Photo: Golli – Whale Watching

 

Ride into the Sunset on an Icelandic Horse 

Even though you might not be able to ride into the sunset with the never-setting Icelandic summer sun, you can still enjoy horseback riding on a majestic Icelandic horse. 

To some, the Icelandic horse might seem relatively small. However, the Icelandic horse is a very elegant and beautiful creature with a lively temperament. 

Riding an Icelandic horse in the summertime can be a very entertaining experience where you can learn more about the horses whilst enjoying the beautiful landscapes of the surrounding area. 

See available horseback riding tours here

Enjoying a horse riding tour in Iceland
Photo: Horseback riding tour

 

Ride in the Icelandic nature on an ATV

There are more ways to ride in Icelandic nature than on a horse, as you can get the adrenaline flowing in an ATV or a quad tour. 

There are multiple types of ATV or quad tours, and you can choose from riding in a lava field, on a black sand beach, taking a midnight sun tour, or other. You can even combine the tour with other tours, such as visiting the Golden Circle, visiting the Blue Lagoon or going caving, and therefore getting a full Icelandic experience. 

See the available ATV or quad tours here.

 

Summer tours in Iceland summary

The best summer tours in Iceland are diverse and offer varied experiences such as hikes, wildlife exploring, thrilling rafting or calming midnight sun watching. Moreover, the experiences all have a common thread of enjoying the captivating Icelandic landscapes showcasing the country’s geological diversity in a compact space. To make the most of your summer in Iceland, we recommend taking any of the tours mentioned above and experiencing the treasures Iceland has to offer! 

Before You Go: How to Pack for the Icelandic Summer

Two people walking along Akureyri coastal path.

Summer in Iceland can be the best thing ever, with beautiful, not-too-cold sunny days and endless bright nights. But it can also be quite rainy, somewhat foggy, a bit windy, or even all of those in the span of 24 hours. So, how do you know what to wear for your summer trip to Iceland? Well, it depends on where you‘re going and what you‘re doing. If glacier trips and hikes in the Highland are on the itinerary, the things in your suitcase will be slightly different from what you might pack for a city trip in Reykjavík. Let‘s take a look at some of our best packing advice.

The basics of dressing for the Icelandic summer

One might assume that it‘s always cold in Iceland, and while that is somewhat true, it‘s not freezing cold all year around. In the summer season, typically considered to last from late May/early June through August, temperatures will likely be in the 8-15°C [46-59°F] range. Depending on other weather factors, such as wind and sun, these might feel both warmer and cooler. This is why the key to dressing successfully here in Iceland is layers.

For the upper half, have something sleeveless or thin as your baselayer, add a thicker jumper or cardigan, and finally, a jacket or coat, ideally water and wind-resistant. This way, you can easily adjust to circumstances. For the lower half, bring pants or tights. If the forecast looks good, you might want to bring shorts, and if the forecast looks particularly rainy, water resistant overtrousers. For footwear, bring both lighter shoes, such as sandals or sneakers, and some that are slightly more waterproof. For those who tend to feel easily cold, pack a pair of thin mittens and something to cover your ears.

Adventure add-ins

If your plan is to venture far out into nature or up to the Highland, there are some additional things that you should or might want to pack. Thermal underwear is the first on that list, followed by a warm sweater, preferably made of wool, as that will keep you warm even if caught in a downpour. Stay away from cotton clothes, which will get very cold when wet. A water and wind-resistant jacket and overtrousers are essential, as well as waterproof hiking shoes. Throw in a pair of mittens, a hat or headband and some extra socks as well. 

Additional items that might come in handy

As you might have heard, the water in Iceland is exceptional and drinkable no matter where you are. Bring your refillable water bottle to avoid buying bottled water at the store. In terms of enjoying the water, pack your bathing suit to enjoy Iceland’s geothermal baths and natural hot springs! You should also pack sunscreen, particularly if you‘re going to spend time on a glacier or by the sea, as the sun reflects in the snow and water, increasing your exposure to UV radiation. Lastly, you might consider bringing insect repellent spray, as the Icelandic summer comes with midges, a tiny species of flies that bite. They tend to be in areas where trees or other things offer a shield from the wind. The midges are not dangerous, but you might experience slight swelling and itching if you’re sensitive.

Yellow Weather Alerts in Most of Iceland Tonight and Tomorrow

Yellow weather alerts will be in place in North Iceland, East Iceland, Southeast Iceland, and the Central Highlands tonight and tomorrow, Vísir reports. Residents in the Eastfjords and Southeast Iceland are encouraged to secure outdoor furniture.

Storms to hit hardest in East Iceland and Central Highlands

Following some rather untoward weather in Iceland over the past few days, yellow weather alerts will come into effect in North Iceland, East Iceland, Southeast Iceland, and the Central Highlands tonight and tomorrow, Vísir reports. Most of the alerts will take effect tomorrow morning and will be valid until 3 PM Saturday (some alerts will take effect tonight).

The Westfjords, Northeast, and Northwest Iceland will likely see snowfall on mountain roads, with poor visibility and driving conditions; and there will be rain and sleet in the lowlands. East Iceland will experience sharp gusts, with stormy weather on mountain roads, poor visibility, and deteriorating driving conditions until midday tomorrow (“hazardous conditions” for travel). The weather will be at its worst, however, in the Eastfjords and Southeast Iceland – where residents are encouraged to secure outdoor furniture – and in the Central Highlands.

Waiting on summer

The weather is, however, expected to improve around the beginning of June. As noted by Vísir yesterday, meteorology enthusiast Mohammed Emin Kizilkaya recently predicted that residents could expect good weather around the end of the month, for “summer would be on its way to the country.”

In an interview with the hosts of the radio programme Reykjavík síðdegis yesterday, Meteorologist Sigurður Þ. Ragnarsson agreed with Mohammed’s assessment: “It must be said that what he is saying is visible on our maps,” Sigurður observed.

Mohammed predicted that temperatures of up to 25°C could be expected in East Iceland on May 28. “He is also quite right in saying that temperatures in the east will exceed twenty degrees. Not necessarily on May 28, however, but it is likely,” Sigurður commented.

“It’s also right to note,” Sigurður continued, “that this is what we, both myself, Einar Sveinbjörnsson, and others, have been talking about: we’re expecting a good summer and what’s happening is that this high-pressure zone in the south is bringing humid, tropical air. This means that we’ll get westerly winds while this high-pressure zone remains to the south of the country, which further means that weather in East Iceland will be prime.”

No premature celebrations

In the aforementioned interview, Sigurður warned against any premature celebrations of summer: “Because we have to endure Saturday, which will be a day of bad weather, cold and insufferable – but then things will begin to improve. This high-pressure zone is heading over the country, and then we will have sunshine in most if not all parts of the country.”

Sigurður added that the eastern and southern parts of Iceland were looking the most favourable, as far as the forecasts were concerned, for the last days of May. “But it’s an extremely favourable outlook, and it’s in the spirit of what we’ve been talking about. It doesn’t surprise me that now is the time that summer begins – and that it will do so with full force.”

“I would really like to have a summer house in East Iceland as it looks now,” Sigurður concluded by saying.

300,000 Tourists to Visit Ísafjörður Next Summer Via Cruise Ships

Approximately 300,000 tourists are expected to arrive in Ísafjörður via cruise ships next summer, RÚV reports. Receiving so many tourists is a “challenge,” the mayor of Ísajförður has stated, with many residents keeping entirely out of the downtown area during the busiest periods.

Mass arrivals to test infrastructure

Ísafjörður, located in Iceland’s Westfjords, is a town of roughly 3,000 residents.

Next summer, tourists – numbering ten times the town’s population – are expected to arrive in Ísafjörður via cruise ships. A total of 218 ships, carrying 245,000 passengers (excluding crew members) have announced their arrival.

During a 35-day period next summer, RÚV notes, 3,000 visitors are expected to arrive in Ísafjörður every day. “8,200 tourists are expected to arrive in town during one particular day.”

In an interview with RÚV published this morning, Arna Lára Jónsdóttir, Mayor of Ísafjörður, added the caveat that experience had shown that there were always a few cancellations. “Nonetheless, this is a record number of arrivals, which will greatly test our infrastructure. That much is clear.”

Avoid the downtown area completely

As noted in RÚV’s article, the port dues paid by cruise ships have become the main source of income for Ísafjörður harbour, which also comprises the harbours of Þingeyri, Flateyri, and Suðureyri.

(The Ísafjarðarbær municipality was founded in 1996 with the merger of six municipalities in the northern Westfjords: the districts of Þingeyri, Mýri, Mosvellir, Flateyri, Suðureyri, and Ísafjörður).

By directing traffic through these four harbours, the municipality would be able to ease the burden. “Those passengers that arrive here, go all the way to Arnarfjörður, to Dynjandi, or here into Djúpið. So we’re able to distribute the burden, so to speak,” Arna Lára observed, noting that the numerous arrivals presented an opportunity for the travel industry – although it was important not to overdo it.

“There are many residents who monitor arrivals at the harbour; they may decide to avoid the downtown area completely in the event that there are four or five cruise ships arriving.”

Arna Lára added that Ísafjörður was a fishing town and that the fishing industry needed its space: “We’ve got to strike a balance. But there are many days in Ísafjörður where we’re completely booked.”

Summer’s “Finally Here,” Meteorologist Declares

A person riding an electric scooter by the Reykjavík city centre pond.

Speaking to Fréttablaðið yesterday, meteorologist Sigurður Þ. Ragnarsson announced the late arrival of the Icelandic summer. According to Sigurður, good weather is expected in Iceland over the coming days, and may even last a few weeks.

Warm weather may persist for weeks

“Summer’s finally here,” Sigurður Þ. Ragnarsson, known more familiarly as Storm Siggi, declared in an interview with Fréttablaðið yesterday; notwithstanding warm weather in North Iceland last week, this year’s summer has generally received tepid reviews. According to Sigurður, however, the weather is expected to greatly improve over the coming weeks – with warmth and stillness being the operative words.

“We see very warm air gathering in the upper atmosphere, especially to the north of the country, near eastern Greenland,” Sigurður told Fréttablaðið. “This is warm air that you usually don’t see this time of year. There’s also this pressure ridge building over the country, straddling the Atlantic, which would, if everything works out, push any low-pressure systems to the south. These two factors create warm, calm, and dry weather for the entire country, which could remain well into the middle of September – or even longer,” Sigurður remarked.

Sigurður added that many “noteworthy” and “exciting” developments were on the horizon over the next few weeks. “Yes, you heard right: weeks. One almost wants to say – Friday notwithstanding – that the summer’s finally here.”

Warm weather but no record-breaking heat

Although warm weather is expected over the coming weeks, Sigurður tempered expectations with the caveat that Icelanders would not see any record-breaking temperatures; whenever warm air accumulates in the upper atmosphere, wind is required to pull the warmth down to the surface.

“This wind isn’t in our forecasts, so we’re not expecting any records to fall, but, nevertheless, unseasonably warm weather. It’s worth mentioning that whenever you have this persistent low-pressure zone hovering over the country, cloud cover becomes difficult to predict – especially if the sea breeze comes into effect,” Sigurður observed, adding that the weather should begin to improve over the weekend.

“I’m on cloud nine, for my own part, with the prospect of an Indian summer – in the capital area, as well. It’s actually all of Iceland that will be experiencing this pleasant weather for roughly two weeks. If everything works out, this will also help to extend berry and mushroom-picking season, and may even extend the harvest time among potato patches.”

Students Keep Busy, Give Back at Summer Work School

The School of Work was established with the mission of providing young people with something to do over the summer and, more broadly, to prepare them for the labour market. The first School of Work was opened in Reykjavík in 1951, but since then, many towns around the country have followed suit with their own schools. This week, RÚV spoke to spoke to students at Árbæjarskóli who are taking part in the popular program.

Outdoor work, positive messages

The School of Work is open to students in 8th – 10th grade. Per the City of Reykjavík website, its main function “is to provide students…with constructive summer jobs, as well as education in a safe working environment.” All work is paid and takes place outdoors, and most jobs focus on small public service projects—gardening and maintenance. Hours depend on the student’s age; 8th grades work 3.5 hours a day, either in the morning or afternoon, while 9th and 10th graders work full, seven-hour shifts. Generally, participants are grouped with students from their school, although not necessarily their close friends, as organizers “believe it is healthy for everyone to meet new people and work with someone other than their closest friends.”

In addition to their work duties, students participate in discussions and team-building games lead by peer educators from Hitt Húsið’s Peer Education Center. These activities “seek, among other things, to enhance the teenagers’ self-image.”

Helps students get used to the responsibility of having a job

Students Ólöf and Jón weeded, designed, and replanted a flower bed at the Árbær Open Air Museum. This is the bed before. (Photo via Vinnuskóli Reykjavíkur, FB)

“I applied mainly to earn money to go abroad and have something to spend, and also just to have something to do over the summer,” said Hera Arnadóttir. Hera said the Work School is pretty fun, although she doesn’t like the spiders and bugs.

Students Ólöf and Jón weeded, designed, and replanted a flower bed at the Árbær Open Air Museum. This is the bed after. (Photo via Vinnuskóli Reykjavíkur, FB)

Oddur Sverrisson was busy pulling up chickweed when approached for an interview. He said the Work School is important for young people because it provides them with a routine, teaches them how to manage the money they earn, and get used to the responsibility of having a job.

Road to Landmannalaugar Opens For the Summer

Hálendi Landmannalaugar Highland Iceland

The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration opened the road to Landmannalaugar via Sigalda yesterday, making the popular Laugavegur hiking route accessible for the summer, Vísir reports. The other point of access to Landmannalaugar will soon open as well. IRCA representative Magnús Ingi Jónsson stated that it will most likely be open to 4×4 vehicles by the weekend.

A map published by the IRCA shows which areas of the Icelandic highland interior is already open to traffic and which roads are still closed.

It should be noted that even if the roads have been opened for the summer, prospective drivers should still take precautions when driving Iceland’s F-roads and consult IRCA’s road condition maps before driving.

The Kjölur route was the first of the highland roads to open this summer, on June 10, with Kaldadalsvegur soon after. The Sprengisandur route still has copious amounts of snow and likely won’t open until July according to Magnús Ingi.

The road to Landmannalaugar is the starting point for Iceland’s most popular hiking route Laugavegurinn. The four-day hike begins at Landmannalaugar and ends at Þórsmörk and is only accessible at the height of summer.

Note that all of Iceland’s interior F-roads are gravel roads only accessible to 4×4 vehicles and often require fording rivers.

Icelandic Tourism Approaching Pre-Pandemic Levels

túristi tourist ferðamaður tourism

International flights in and out of Iceland’s Keflavík International Airport are nearly as many now as they were in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Yesterday, the airport saw 119 arrivals and departures, as compared to around 150 per day during the summer of 2019. Tourism operators report that bookings are also approaching 2019 levels and business owners are optimistic this summer will be a good one.

“As the situation is now, the prospects are very good,” Bjarnheiður Hallsdóttir, chairperson of The Icelandic Travel Industry Association (SAF) told RÚV. “We’ve seen a steady increase in demand from foreign tourists over the past weeks and months. There’s a lot of optimism, and I know examples of some companies that have actually reached 80-90% of the sales they had at this time of year in 2019. So it all bodes well.”

Tourism companies prepared

Some operators predict that more international tourists will opt for driving the Ring Road on their own this summer, rather than purchasing group tours, due to pandemic-related concerns. Large cruise ships are expected in the country this summer, as well as at least two ships that will be travelling around the coast.

Bjarnheiður says Iceland’s tourism industry is prepared to receive the wave of international visitors. “We were lucky that most tourism companies survived and for that we can largely thank the government’s response measures and just people’s perseverance in the industry. So I think that most companies in tourism are pretty well prepared for this and have had a good amount of time to prepare themselves, so I think we’re ready for the wave [of visitors].”

Renovations at Keflavík Airport this summer

Those travelling through Keflavík airport this summer can expect to see some renovations taking place, as the airport will be adding 20,000 square metres of facilities over the next two years. Guðjón Helgason, Isavia’s public relations officer, says the company will aim to minimise the impact of the renovations on travellers.