Known as the land of midnight sun, you can expect lengthy days of luminous daylight in Iceland in summer. Between May and late August, the frosty and darkened days of winter are long forgotten by the locals who are too busy rejoicing in a region that is lit up for nearly twenty-four hours a day.
The suns beaming rays rarely settle in Iceland in the summer months when Iceland becomes the land of midnight sun, leaving you a sphere of stunning shades and sensational sights in the startling sky.
The Magic of the Midnight Sun
The midnight sun occurs in Iceland mainly in July, however between April and September you still have lots of hours of daylight because the northern hemisphere of the earth’s axis, which Iceland sits on top of, bends towards the blinding sphere, the same tilt which is responsible for seasonal change.
This natural phenomenon is visible in several countries north of the Arctic Circle such as Greenland, Norway, and Sweden, Canada, and Russia too, and south of the Antarctic Circle.
Why Iceland is the Adventure Land of Midnight SunIceland, the land of midnight sun is renowned for its thrill-filled and fun-seeking tours Click To Tweet
One of the best experience you can have is in Iceland, the land of midnight sun, because you can lay back under the vibrant shades of the sky anywhere in the country on any adventure.
Catching zzzZZZs in the Land of the Midnight Sun
Endless hours of light mean a snooze is a little harder to snatch in the land of midnight sun, but that won’t matter because you’ll have a lot more time to play, party, and partake in all the epic things that Iceland has to offer for a lot longer!
Nevertheless, as it feels like sleeping with the lights on, you could always opt for a quick nap during the day. Blackout curtains are commonly used in hotels and homes which remove any hint of a ray and, if all else fails, a day of adventure normally helps you nod off too!
On the plus side, the long days will top up your vitamin D levels too, giving you lots of energy for endless excursions of enjoyment and entertainment, making every day another exciting adventure.
Summer Solstice, Summer Peak
The peak of the midnight sun is around the Summer Solstice, which normally falls on the 21st of July, and is also the longest day of the year when the sizzling ball is the farthest away from the earths equator.
As a country of such dramatic oppositions, Iceland also has a Winter Solstice on the 21st of December, the shortest and possibly iciest day of the year. During this time, the Northern pole of the earth is exposed to a mere four to five hours of light each day, making polar nights, hot chocolate, and woolly blankets a priority for the next four months of the year.
The Midnight Sun Music Festival is just one of the many events which celebrates and revels in the height of the season in the land of midnight sun, before Iceland’s hours of daylight starts to dither away.
What to do in the Land of Midnight Sun?
Partying under the Midnight Sun – The Secret Solstice Festival
As we’ve already mentioned, the Secret Solstice multi-genre Music Festival is an amazing event, just outside of raving Reykjavik in the land of midnight sun.
The fantastic music festival was founded by a few Icelanders who felt that Iceland needed something to celebrate the summer solstice in style. As Iceland already has some major names in the music industry, such as Björk, Sigurrós and more recently, Of Monsters and Men and Kaleo, a big event like this was just the ticket!
Set in the summer when the sun never subsides, this festival goes on for hours in the land of midnight sun, making it a manically memorable experience to all festival-goers.
Presenting line-ups of some of the biggest acts in the world, the performances, held in Laugardalur Centre in Reykjavik, are just as epic as Iceland’s natural phenomenons and is certainly not something to be missed.
On the 21st of July, the sun sets in the capital just after midnight, and rises before 3 o’clock in the morning, so you can imagine the awesomeness of a night that doesn’t really end!
Raring to go Reykjavik Nightlife
If you’re still awake after hours in the land of midnight sun, you could always check out the night life in Reykjavik, one of the party capitals of Europe.
Have a few drinks and throw a few moves to the freshest beats about in one of the coolest towns in Iceland where the atmosphere is always electric. Most nights-out end way after 3 o’clock so if you can’t sleep in the land of the midnight sun, you may as well make the most of your insomnia in style!
Alternatively, if you feel like something a bit quieter, you could always take a wander just outside of Reykjavik to the Grandi on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula, where you can paddle in the hot tub or just listen to the sweet, subtle breeze, in harmony with the ocean waves crashing against the shore in the land of midnight sun.
Check Out the Icelandic Tradition of Jónsmessa on the 24th of June
The midsummer night on the 24th of July is an Icelandic celebration of Jónsmessa, named after John the Baptist. This has always been thought of as one of the most powerful and mythical nights in the land of midnight sun since the Viking period.
Icelandic folklore says that Jónsmessa was the one night a year that animals would be animated! Cows would be able to talk, and seals would take the shape of humans!
Legend also says that if you find yourself at crossroads in the land of midnight sun, where four roads lead to four different churches, then you should stay stationery for a while and wait for elves to tempt you with food and gifts.
Another part of the tradition is to bare all your bits and roll around naked in the grass, but we’re not sure if that still stands today!
Camp or Hike in the land of the Midnight Sun Hype
Roam through hiking trails to Mt. Esja, a superbly sensational summit, or see the sun set for a few hours against the backdrop of Mt. Ulfarfells in the land of midnight sun.
The impressive and well-marked Laugavegur Trail is only available during the summer season and is certainly a terrific trek you’ll want to try.
If you’re on your walks, why not bring a tent and sleeping bag with you and camp out under a sky of endless light in the land of midnight sun? There’s so much outdoorsy stuff to do, that you’ll be glad of the extra hours to your day!
Road Trip Round the Ring Road
In the land of midnight sun, the never-ending hours of light means you’ll have lots more time for terrific tours throughout the region.
Rent a car, and road trip round Iceland’s Ring Road for lots of sightseeing opportunities at 5pm or 5am! There won’t be as many people around, and you can witness some of the most wondrous views in peace and seclusion.
In the summer months, it is possible to drive everywhere in the land of midnight sun as all the roads are accessible.
Even the Iceland highlands, which cannot be reached in the winter months because of the adverse weather conditions, are attainable from late June to September and are certainly somewhere to visit if you’re after peace, serenity, and some scenic sightseeing!
A road trip round the Ring Road is a fantastic adventure to be experienced when Iceland becomes the land of midnight sun.
Don’t Forget Iceland’s Epic Adventures
The land of midnight sun is renowned for its thrill-filled and fun-seeking tours, even more so in Iceland in summer.
Whale-watching, glacier-hiking, snorkelling, or partaking on the Golden Circle tour under the glare of the midnight sun gives you the opportunity to explore some of Iceland’s natural phenomena in the most phantasmal way, giving your adventure the cutting-edge quality that’ll make your stay a summer to remember!
With lengthy days, lounging sunsets, and early sunrises, you’ll have lots of time for fun, thrills, and awesome adventures in the land of midnight sun.
The vivacity of the vivid skies in the heavens above will fill you with sentiments of a special kind, making you want to see and do all things Icelandic, and squeeze as much into your day as you can!
Whether it’s raving it out in Reykjavik, shimmying at the Summer Solstice, going on an awesome adventure or seeing some of the most spectacular sights, everything looks brighter under the beam of the midnight sun, and there’ll be more fun to be had for everyone in the land of midnight sun!