1. Tee-Off At Midnight
When it comes to golf, it doesn’t get any more unique than experiencing a midnight tee-time.
Due to Iceland’s northerly location, the country experiences 24 hours of sunlight during June and July. This means that golfers can play whenever they feel like it during the day – and the night. Midnight golf can be played at both on 18-hole golf courses and nine-hole golf courses, but, of course, it’s important to book your tee-time in advance.
There is even a special event at the Akureyri Golf Club that’s held underneath the Midnight Sun. The Arctic Open Golf Championship takes place in late June and attracts golfers from across the globe. It is a 36-hole tournament played under the Stableford point system over two nights, and it is open to professional and amateur golfers alike.
2. Hike The Untouched Interior
Rocky deserts, jagged peaks, volcanoes, ice caps and hot springs: the highlands of Iceland are untamed and untouched.
For centuries, the interior of the country was virtually inaccessible. However now – as long as you can get your hands on a 4x4 vehicle – the mountain roads at Kjölur and Sprengisandur make this untamed region explorable during the summer months.
Bathe in natural hot rivers in the geothermal area of Landmannalaugar or take the trail to Laugavegur and the wild woodland nature reserve Þórsmörk, an idyllic hidden valley surrounded by glaciers that serves as an excellent base for exploring the valley’s mountains.
3. Go On A Midnight Sun “Runtur”
In the land of the Midnight Sun, there are few excuses for not partying the “night” away. A “runtur” is an Icelandic term that is means something very similar to a pub-crawl. And as if the hottest bars and hippest clubs of Reykjavik weren’t fun enough, add the Midnight Sun to the mix and you can imagine that it doesn’t take much to get the party started.
The runtur is something of an institution in Reykjavik, and as with the Midnight Sun, it can certainly be hard to know when to call it a night. A few samples of the local “Brennivin” fire water – which is also ominously known as 'Svartidauði' (Black Death) – is sure to send you happily on your way.
4. Go Fox-Spotting
Situated on the north west tip of Iceland, Hornstrandir Nature Reserve boasts lush valleys filled with wild flowers, beautiful sandy beaches, sheltered, deep fjords and towering cliffs. This remote area is fairly inaccessible as there are no roads in the nature reserve, but it is possible to explore by boat. This is the beautiful kingdom of the arctic fox and the only place in Iceland where these gorgeous animals are fully protected. This means that they are fairly calm when humans are around.
5. Embrace Your Inner-Viking
Each June, the city of Hafnarfjörður on the south west coast of Iceland becomes a hub of Viking revelry. Marking the summer solstice, this is the largest and oldest event of its kind, featuring music, crafts, dancing, feasts, sword-fighting and midnight walks – all presented in inimitable Viking style. There are even Vikings baptisms and weddings.
6. Read Ancient Sagas In The World’s Smallest Library
Flatey Island is the largest island of the western islands, a cluster of 40 islands and islets located in Breiðafjörður on the northwestern part of Iceland. Flatey is some two-kilometres long and about one-kilometer wide, and it is home to “the oldest and smallest library in Iceland”. Built in 1864, the library is located next door to the church. The library was once home to the Flatey Book, the largest of medieval Icelandic manuscripts.
7. Sip Seafood Soup
While hiking around the Snæfells peninsula, make your way down to Hellnar’s harbour, where you’ll stumble upon the most picturesque cafe you can imagine, Fjöruhúsið. Nestling right beneath the glacier, fish soup and stunning views are the speciality at this idyllic hideaway.
8. Celebrate The Humble Herring
Surrounded by towering mountains, Siglufjörður is the northernmost town in Iceland. An important centre for the herring fishing industry, each August history comes to life as the town celebrates its Herring Festival with outdoor herring salting demonstrations at the Herring Era Museum and bouts of lively singing and dancing.
9. Go Blue Berry And Crowberry Picking
A country walk has never been so delicious... The traditional activity of going out to the country to pick berries, called “Berjamór” in Icelandic, is still widely practiced today. Berry-picking season runs from August to mid-September. Remember though, those blue berries in Iceland, which are called “bláber,” are not blueberries – they’re actually bilberries, which look like blue berries but are slightly smaller and more flavourful.
10. See Fireworks At The Lagoon
Located 60 kilometres from Skaftafell National Park, icebergs are constantly breaking off from the glacier at Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. The waves return some of the icebergs back to a black sand beach where they lie scattered like gems. Each summer, the lagoon’s icebergs are bathed in a sea of colour from a magnificent firework show.
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