The Sky Stays Blue for 24 Hours During Iceland's Midsummer Magic

Summer vacation
Summer vacation | © Helgi Halldórsson / Flickr
Camille Buckley

Iceland during midsummer is a very magical time. Because of Iceland’s northern location, the sun never really sets during the time of the Summer Solstice (June 21st). Likewise, during the time of the Winter Solstice (December 21st), the sun shows itself for three hazy hours per day.

The sunsets at midsummer are very different than at any other time of the year, with the sun seemingly bleeding into the horizon, only to drift right back up again. The very picturesque nature of the spectacle is a great opportunity for taking photos, having a picnic, meditation, and yoga. The summer is also a popular time for festivals and concerts to make use of the ample light.

Reykjavik in Summer

In Reykjavik, the Seltjarnarnes peninsula is a great place to view the sunset, and throughout the summertime is great for bird lovers. Iceland has about 85 bird species that have or have attempted to nest here, with 330 bird species recorded overall. While the number of nesting species in Iceland is considered low compared to other mainland European countries, Iceland has a huge amount of certain species, which compensates for the low variety. It is possible to see the Arctic Tern, Great Scaup, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Common Eider, and Common Ringed Plover, for example.

Sunset in Reykjavik (11.40pm)

If you’re traveling around Snæfelsness Peninsula north of Reykjavik, there are many great places to watch the sunset spread over the many tiny islands in Breiðafjörður bay. All activities taking place after the typical daytime hours take on a magical twilight feeling with the soft glow of the sun. Although there are a few hazards with such uncompromising sun – like making it hard to sleep and especially hard to get your children to sleep – there are also upsides like not noticing how the time passes by as you’re hanging out with friends outside. The film by Icelandic director Rúnar Rúnarsson, which is called Sparrows (2015), makes use of this enchanting glow of summertime throughout the whole film.

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