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How to Spend Your Day in the (Icelandic) Sun

It’s summer! July and August are the sunniest months in Iceland, so get ready to soak up those sunbeams. Here are some ideas on how to spend a sunny day in Iceland.

Get tanned

Soaking in a hot tub overlooking the ocean is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. At the geothermal beach at Nauthólsvík, you’ll find golden sand, perfect for sunbathing. Next to soaking in the hot tub, you can also swim in a small man-made lagoon, in which hot water is pumped to create an average water temperature of 15-19°C. Trust us, when the sun is shining, you’ll forget that you’re on an island in the middle of the North Atlantic.

Nauthólsvík on a sunny day

Eat ice cream

Ice cream in Iceland is – seriously – the best. Soft serve ice cream is the name of the game and mixing your favourite toppings requires serious thought. Ice cream in a cone with a chocolate shell is a classic, but menus often also include milkshakes that are thick with creamy goodness and blizzards mixed with everything from fresh fruit and berries to liquorice bits and chopped up chocolate bars.

Go swimming

Icelanders have access to plenty of environmentally friendly hot water and they put it to use in the best way possible; heating up their swimming pools. These public swimming pools are a luxurious experience and the Icelanders use them frequently. On any given day, you’ll find kids splashing about in the waterslides, teenagers discussing pressing matters of life and love in a quiet spot, and adults getting some exercise in the pool. The most important part of the swimming pool is the hot tub, where people from all walks of life get together and discuss the issues of society, the latest political scandals, and the weather.

Pool Iceland
Geothermal pool in Reykjavík

Spend a day lazing about at Austurvöllur square

On sunny days, everyone who is anyone heads to Austurvöllur square. The square in front of the Parliament building quickly fills up with avid picnickers enjoying a beer or ice cream, or simply relaxing in the sun. The cafés that surround the square fill up even faster and the hunt for a table can get brutal during mealtimes! 

Go hiking

Take a bus or a car out of the city and go hiking! Be sure to wear some good boots whenever you hike in Iceland and warm, layered clothing. The weather in Iceland is fickle and not to be trusted! If you don’t feel like going out of the city or if you don’t have the time, there’s actually plenty of great hiking trails right in the city. Try the paths around Öskjuhlíð, Grótta, Elliðaá, or Rauðavatn. All these places are accessible by bus.

Elliðaárdalur