During the gorgeous month of June, Reykjavík city hosts a number of events with countless concerts, festivals and cultural celebrations, attracting people from around the world. And with almost 24 hours of daylight, there’s also more time to enjoy the sights, not to mention those epic displays of the midnight sun. So with the prospect of good times ahead, here’s our round-up of fab things to look forward to in Reykjavík this June.
From to June to August Reykjavík becomes the perfect spot for witnessing one of nature’s most sensational shows on the planet: the setting of the midnight sun, where, on a clear evening, the sky blazes in fiery shades of orange, purple and gold, intensifying spectacularly in those few magic moments before dusk. From then until dawn, the sun remains hidden just below the horizon, illuminating everything in a spellbinding type of oblique sunlight.
This event is hosted in Reykjavík and is part of Iceland’s national Mariners’ Day which is celebrated annually around the country in June. Positively packed with a sprawl of engaging maritime activities, it promotes that wonderful stuff community spirit is made of and shows just how important the fishing industry still is to Icelandic culture. With its fascinating exhibition of weird fish and other strange-looking sea creatures it’s actually more interesting than you might imagine — observing kids’ comical expressions of utter bewilderment when confronted with crustaceans is particularly amusing. hatidhafsins.is
WHEN: Sunday, 10th & 11th June
WHERE: At the Reykjavík Old Harbour and Grandi
The Reykjavík Air Show is hosted annually at Reykjavík Airport by the National Aviation Society (Flugmálafélagið Íslands). As usual, there will be a number of fantastic aircraft models exhibited, from large passenger jets to smaller designs. There will be a variety of entertaining aerial acts showing the diversity of Icelandic aviation, including performances by the Icelandic Coast Guard (Landhelgisgæslan) and Icelandair, with a number gliders and microlights too.
WHEN: Saturday 3rd June
WHERE: Reykjavík Airport
This Viking festival is the oldest in Iceland and has been celebrated in Hafnarfjörður since 1995. The festival also provides an authentic environment for visiting Vikings who have been known to travel from as far as Europe and America to celebrate Viking culture in Iceland. Highlights include markets, dances, music and wrestling. fjorukrain.is
WHEN: June 15-18
WHERE: The Viking Villiage in Hafnarfjörður
Secret Solstice is an Icelandic music festival that showcases both Icelandic artists as well as exciting international performers over the course of three days. secretsolstice.is
WHEN: 16-18 June
WHERE: Laugardalur Spring Valley, Reykjavík
Iceland’s Independence Day, or National Day – Þjóðhátíðardagurinn – celebrates Iceland’s independence from Denmark in 1944, when the Republic of Iceland was formed. June 17 was chosen as it is the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson, a major figure of the 19th-century Icelandic independence movement. On this day there are festivities in most towns around the country with parades in Akureyri and Reykjavík, plus street theatres, dancing and other performances.
WHEN: 17 June
WHERE: Celebrated in Reykjavík city centre and every town and village in Iceland