August is one of Iceland’s best months for warm summer weather and plenty of sunshine. This month is also the perfect time to set out on a summer road trip around the country!

You’ll discover fun activities like whale watching, road trips, and festivals in Iceland in August, all of which are even better explored by rental car. If that sounds like a good time—and trust us, it is—then read on to discover why Iceland in August is so magical and how to get the most out of your trip to Iceland in summer!

August is one of the best month to visit Iceland

Weather in Iceland in August

If you and cold weather simply don’t mix, August is the perfect time to visit Iceland!

The average temperature in Iceland in August hovers around 57°F for a high and a low of 48°F. This is the case for most of the country, with just a few degrees of variation depending on if you’re headed further north or south.

Average rainfall caps at around 2.7 inches in total. It rains an average of 11 days in August.

The weather in Iceland in August also means that there will be long daylight hours. You can expect anywhere from 16 to 17 hours of sunshine. This is why this time of year is known as the Midnight Sun because the sun never truly sets! That also means that you’ll have plenty of time to explore the country.

summer view in iceland

Can you see the northern lights in Iceland in August?

No, you can’t see the northern lights in Iceland in August. A twilight glow will be on the horizon, even in the wee hours of the morning.

There’s an average of 16-17 hours of daylight during the month of August in Iceland. Sorry, northern lights hunters! This isn’t the month to search for them unfortunately.

If you’re dying to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis, you’ll need to come back sometime between October and early April.

the summer midnight sun view at the Jokulsarlon south Iceland

What to pack for Iceland in August

If you’re planning a summer trip to Iceland, you might be wondering, “What should I pack for Iceland in August?”

Iceland is a destination that requires more technical clothing than you might expect due to the weather and frequent precipitation.

Layers are the name of the game for Iceland in August! Nights are still fairly chilly, but midday can quickly become t-shirt weather. Bring clothing items that you can layer to help keep you happy and your body temperature well-regulated.

Here’s what to pack for a trip to Iceland in August…

  • Hiking boots: Even better if they’re waterproof! This is great for both rainfall and visiting slippery areas like waterfalls.
  • Wool socks
  • Swimsuit: Bring your swimsuit so you don’t miss any opportunities to swim in all those hot springs, community pools, or the Blue Lagoon!
  • Long pants
  • Sweater
  • Jacket
  • Wind Breaker
  • Rain Jacket
  • Hat
  • Gloves
waterproof and windproof outfits in Iceland

Best rental cars for Iceland in August: How to get a cheap rental car in the peak season?

August is peak tourist season in Iceland, which means it can be difficult to find a cheap rental car.

That’s where Firefly Iceland Car Rentals comes in! They offer very inexpensive rentals at around $35 USD per day for a standard, small vehicle and $45 USD per day for a 4×4.

First, you’ll need to consider how many people you’ll be traveling with, how much luggage you’ll be driving around with, and where you want to go.

All of Iceland’s roads, including the F-roads that lead into the interior, should be open in August! You’ll need to rent a 4×4 car if you’re planning on visiting any of the famous destinations in Iceland’s Central Highlands, like Landmannalaugar.

If you’re simply planning to traverse the Ring Road and stick to the beaten trail, a standard car will do just fine!

how to get the cheapest rental car in Iceland

What to do in Iceland in August: Best things to do

Visiting Iceland in August means it’s time to strap on your hiking boots, book a rental car, and seek out the country’s incredible nature! It’s also prime time for whale watching, summer festivals, and road-tripping. Here’s what to do in Iceland in August…

Exploring Iceland’s Natural Wonders

While you plan your trip to Iceland in August, consider exploring the island’s natural wonders. One must-visit is the Golden Circle. This popular route includes Thingvellir National Park, where you can witness the rift between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, the erupting geysers at Haukadalur, and the powerful Gullfoss waterfall.

Another highlight is the Glacier Lagoon (Jökulsárlón) located in the southeast of Iceland. The lagoon is filled with icebergs from the surrounding Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, creating a stunning and serene landscape.

Go Hiking

 August might be the best month in Iceland for hiking. Not only can you access the usual trails, but you can also discover trails that are hidden under snow and ice for most of the year. Strap on your hiking boots and get to explore famous sights like Iceland’s mountains or otherworldly basalt columns.

a gear guide to the iceland highland

Go Whale Watching

August in Iceland is the best time of year for whale watching! While whales technically live off the coast year-round, migratory whales come back to Icelandic waters in the month of May. June to August are Iceland’s prime whale watching months to feed and mate. You can hop on whale watching tours around the country!

Enjoy Summer Festivals in Iceland

 Summer is festival season in Iceland! You’ll find everything from fish fry’s to music festivals. Here are some of the fun events taking place in Iceland in August…

■     Menningarnótt: Culture Night, or Menningarnótt, kicks off with the Reykjavik Marathon in the morning and continues well into the evening with a grand finale of fireworks. You’ll find food, live music, markets, and more.

■     Hinsegin Dagar: The Reykjavik Pride Festival, known in Icelandic as Hinsegin Dagar, is held for one week in August in the capital city! You’ll discover fun events and parades during this time.

■     Great Fish Day: This festival is held on one of the first Saturdays in August in Dalvíkurbyggð, a tiny village in far Northern Iceland. All-you-can-eat fish for free? Count us in! There are also art exhibitions and live music.

■     Innipúkinn: One of Iceland’s largest music festivals, Innipukinn takes place in downtown Reykjavik and features various genres of live music, DJs, and markets.

you can find a lot of music festivals in august iceland

Drive the Ring Road (Route 1)

While you can drive on Iceland’s Ring Road at any time of year, August is one of the best months to do so. This circular highway that circumnavigates the island won’t have any snow or ice to deal with in August, although you might come across traffic from other adventurous travelers! Some of the most popular destinations by car along the Ring Road include Iceland’s South Coast, which highlights natural features like Reynisfjara Beach, and Eastern Iceland, with its fjords and national parks.

 If you’re looking for another short road trip that’s close to Reykjavik, head for the Golden Circle! While not technically along the Ring Road, this is a great alternative for a shorter road trip. You’ll discover epic geysers, Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Falls, and more, all with a standard car.

travelling Iceland Ring road with a rental car

Visit Iceland’s Remote Corners with a 4×4 Vehicle

Renting a 4×4 vehicle is a great idea if you’re planning to explore Iceland’s off-the-beaten-path locations. A lot of these destinations actually require a 4×4 by law. If you think you might want to explore areas like this, opt for renting a 4WD car so you can get there safely and legally.

If you want to get off the beaten path, consider visiting North Iceland. This region is known for its dramatic landscapes and fewer tourists. Highlights include the picturesque town of Akureyri, the geothermal area of Mývatn, and the majestic waterfall Dettifoss.

For a truly unique experience, take a trip to the Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar). This archipelago off the south coast of Iceland is famous for its volcanic activity, puffin colonies, and the annual Þjóðhátíð festival, a weekend-long celebration featuring music, fireworks, and bonfires.

Road Trip the Icelandic Highlands

Smack dab in the middle of Iceland are the remote and rugged Highlands. This area is home to a region called Landmannalaugar, which is one of Iceland’s most popular hiking destinations and hides both hot springs and stunning views of rainbow mineral deposits. You’ll need a 4×4 vehicle to drive here!

the highland glacier rivers in Iceland

Experience The Magic of Iceland’s Natural Light

One of the unique features of visiting Iceland in August is experiencing the 16 hours of daylight. This extended daylight period, often referred to as the Midnight Sun, allows you to make the most of your days exploring the incredible landscapes.

Although you won’t see the northern lights in Iceland in August, the lingering twilight and extended sunsets provide a magical atmosphere for photography and outdoor activities.

You can see the sun at midnight, Iceland august

Tips for Visiting Iceland in August

Keep in mind that August is one of the busiest months in Iceland. This is travel high season through and through, and you’ll need to book everything, from car rentals to accommodation, well in advance!

Some travelers book up to a year prior for a vacation in August, but a good rule of thumb is at least 3 months ahead of time.

This also goes for restaurants in popular cities like Reykjavik where you book online a few weeks in advance of your trip.

Unlike other times of the year, safety considerations aren’t as dire in Iceland in August. Still, always follow signage, check road conditions via road.is before you head out, and keep your eye on the weather. Temperatures can turn to freezing, even in the summer months!

workers in Iceland are fairly paid

Conclusion

August in Iceland provides a short window of summer paradise in this otherwise icy country. This Goldilocks, sweet spot of beautiful weather, warm temperatures, and fun festivals means that you’ll be able to explore Iceland from top to bottom, without having to worry about frigid weather conditions.

If you’re sold on visiting Iceland in August, be sure to book your rental car through Firefly Iceland Car Rentals! With a perfect combination of reliable vehicles and super low prices, this is your best bet for exploring Iceland by car.

Be sure to share this article on social media if you find it useful or interesting. Who knows, maybe you’ll even inspire your friends to come with you on a road trip around Iceland!

Cheapest rental car option in our fleet

DUSTER

Dacia Duster or similar | Manual | 4×4 | 2020-2021 (CFMX)

Group E2 Reservations are made by car category only. We cannot guarantee a specific car model. or similar

  • 5 Passengers
  • 3 Large
  • 5 Doors
  • Manual
  • Airconditioning

Suitable for the highland F-roads. Please read Terms & Conditions.
You must be 23 years of age to drive this vehicle.

Additional Features
  • 4 Wheel Drive
  • 116 C02 g/km
  • Adjustable Steering
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • ABS
  • Power Steering
  • Power Windows
  • Remote Locking
  • Airbags
VW-GOLF

VW Golf or similar | Automatic | 2020-2021 Model (CDAX)

Group: B2 Reservations are made by car category only. We cannot guarantee a specific car model. or similar

  • 5 Passengers
  • 2 Large Bags
  • 5 Doors
  • Automatic
  • Airconditioning

This vehicle is NOT allowed in the highland F-roads.

You must be 20 years of age to drive this vehicle.

Additional Features
  • 1 Small Bag
  • 2 Large, 1 Small
  • 138 cc
  • Adjustable Steering
  • Cruise Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • ABS
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • Power Steering
  • Power Windows
  • Remote Locking
  • Airbags
  • Fog Lamps
VW-GOLF

VW Golf or similar | Manual | 2020-2021 Model (CDMX)

Group: B Reservations are made by car category only. We cannot guarantee a specific car model. or similar

  • 5 Passengers
  • 2 Large Bags
  • 4 Doors
  • Manual
  • Airconditioning

This vehicle is NOT allowed in the highland F-roads.

You must be 20 years of age to drive this vehicle.

Additional Features
  • 1 Small Bag
  • 2 Large, 1 Small
  • Front Wheel Drive
  • 125 C02 g/km
  • Adjustable Steering
  • ABS
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • Power Steering
  • Power Windows
  • Remote Locking
  • Airbags
  • Fog Lamps
VW-POLO

VW Polo or similar| Manual | 2020-2021 Model (EDMX)

Group A Reservations are made by car category only. We cannot guarantee a specific car model. or similar

  • 5 Passengers
  • 2 Large
  • 5 Doors
  • Manual
  • Airconditioning

This vehicle is NOT allowed in the highland F-roads.

You must be 20 years of age to drive this vehicle.

Additional Features
  • Front Wheel Drive
  • 99 C02 g/km
  • Adjustable Steering
  • ABS
  • USB
  • Power Steering
  • Power Windows
  • Remote Locking
  • Airbags
  • Fog Lamps
  • Satelite Navigation
TIGUAN

VW Tiguan or similar | Automatic | 4×4 | 2020-2021 Model (IFAX)

Group: OReservations are made by car category only. We cannot guarantee a specific car model. or similar

  • 5 Passengers
  • 3 Large
  • 5 Doors
  • Automatic
  • Airconditioning

Suitable for the highland F-roads. Please read Terms & Conditions.
You must be 23 years of age to drive this vehicle.

Additional Features
  • 4 Wheel Drive
  • Adjustable Steering
  • ABS
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • Power Steering
  • Power Windows
  • Remote Locking
  • Airbags
  • Fog Lamps
VW_UP

VW Up or similar | Manual | 2020-2021 Model (MBMX)

Group: Z Reservations are made by car category only. ,We cannot guarantee a specific car model. or similar

  • 4 Passengers
  • 1 Large
  • 4 Doors
  • Manual
  • Airconditioning

This vehicle is NOT allowed in the highland F-roads.

You must be 20 years of age to drive this vehicle.

Additional Features
  • Petrol or Diesel
  • Front Wheel Drive
  • 95 C02 g/km
  • Adjustable Steering
  • ABS
  • USB
  • Power Steering
  • Remote Locking
  • Fog Lamps