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Iceland in the summer: 6 must-visit locations and things to do

With whale-watching, brewery tours, and surging waterfalls, the land of fire and ice is sure to delight you this summer.

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Ah, Iceland. The land of fire and ice. Given this famous description, you would be forgiven for thinking it’s not a particularly conventional destination to spend the summer. But if you’re seeking something beyond the usual sun-drenched shores of the Canaries, or a local English seaside escape, you will find it between the months of June to August in Iceland.

With opportunities for whale-watching, brewery tours, and gushing waterfalls, a summer adventure in the land of fire and ice is sure to be an unforgettable holiday. Which is why we have just rolled out our brand new tour: An Icelandic SummerTo help you feel inspired to explore this mystical part of Scandinavia, here are six must-visit locations and things to do if you’re contemplating an Icelandic summer trip:

Spot the whales of Hauganes

Summer is the ideal time to witness the movement of whales off the coast of Hauganes, a small coastal village on Eyjafjördur Bay. From here, there are many opportunities to take a comfortable trip on a small boat to the middle of the bay, where the beautiful marine mammals often meet. It’s the best place to go whale-watching in Iceland, plus it’s the ultimate summer activity.

Grab a beer at an Icelandic brewery

You can’t head to Iceland without getting a refreshing taste of the country’s beer: Kaldi. This lager is the most widely-sold bottled beer in Iceland, and are best enjoyed on a sunny summer’s day in the town of Akureyri. Take the time to tour the brewery and learn about the brewing process. Be sure not to skip out on the tasting session!

Witness the famous turfed churches

There’s nothing quite like catching a glimpse of Iceland’s traditional - and very unique - turfed churches. The film of lush grass spilling over the roof is endlessly eye-catching but was added to serve the very practical purpose of shielding people from the harsh Icelandic weather. One fantastic example of these churches can be found in the northwest of the country. Víðimýri Church dates back to 1834 and is one of the country’s best-preserved turfed churches and also, one of its last. 

Visit the Great Geysir

Head deep into the Hauka valley in the southwest of the country, where a hot spring known as the Great Geysir can sometimes spout streams of hot water up to 200 feet high! Its geothermal neighbour, Strokkur, spouts every 10 minutes - and is well worth a visit too. 

Marvel at the views of the Holtavörðuheiði Plateau 

If you fancy seeing Iceland at its most verdant and green, head to the Holtavörðuheiði Plateau. These sweeping, open views are a fabulous example of the interior of the country. 

See Icelandic horses at a local stable

The intrepid, pony-sized horses of Iceland are beguiling creatures. To get a closer look at them, head to a local stable. There is plenty to visit just outside of Reykjavík, the nation’s capital city. What’s unique about these horses is their thicker hair, which has helped to protect them over the years from the extreme climate. 

To experience a true Icelandic summer, why not do it on an expertly-curated escorted tour? Book a spot on our brand new tour of Iceland, with our first group departing this May. 

Serena is a writer based in London. Born in Malaysia and raised in Australia, she calls the UK home despite only recently acclimatising to the dearth of sunshine. Her writing has appeared in The Independent, Business Insider, South China Morning Post, i-D, Refinery29, Glamour, Vox, Metro, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan. She has also published a book of aerial photography: How Women See The World. Throughout her decade-long career, Serena has told the stories of Arctic explorers, human rights activists, award-winning chefs, refugees, and the UK’s last lighthouse keepers.

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