Rangá Recommends: August in Iceland - Hotel Rangá


Guests stare into the night sky at green northern lights while standing in the Hotel Rangá Observatory.

Rangá Recommends: August in Iceland

Where to go, what to do and how to dress for the Icelandic weather in August.

August in Iceland is one of the loveliest months. Summer is ending but autumn’s beauty is starting to emerge. August in Iceland is also the start of northern lights season! At Hotel Rangá, we are always thrilled to see our first northern lights of the season. August is also a great time for outdoor adventures like traveling into the highlands and berry-picking.

Visitors look up into the sky while standing in the Rangá Observatory as green northern lights are visible overhead.
Guests stand in the Rangá Observatory while green northern lights dance overhead.

August in Iceland: Northern lights

Late August in Iceland marks the start of the northern lights season. Now that the days are getting shorter, the Aurora will start showing up in the night sky. In fact, you can even ask our receptionists to alert you if the lights come out while you sleep.

Keep your eyes peeled for Hotel Rangá’s resident astronomer. He visits the hotel on starry nights and takes guests out to our observatory for stargazing with state of the art equipment.

A group of women clink glasses in the famouns Landmannalaugar hot spring on the edge of the highlands.
Soaking in the hot springs at Landmannalaugar is something you will always remember. Photograph by Paige Deasley.

August Adventures in Iceland

What’s more, August in Iceland is also the perfect time to go for a hike or a geothermal soak in the hot springs at Landmannalaugar. Landmannalaugar is located in the heart of the southern highlands, and the roads to this untouched paradise close in mid-September. The dramatic shades of red, green and golden yellow are truly mesmerizing and the hot springs may just be one of nature’s most profound luxuries.

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August in Iceland: Living off the land

In August, city dwellers and locals alike take to the hills for the quintessential Icelandic experience of “berjamó”. The word refers to foraging for wild berries, particularly crow berries or bilberries, the latter of which are closely related to North American blueberries.

The pulp of the bilberry, known as “aðalbláber” in Icelandic, comes in shades of red or purple that will stain anything it touches: clothes, fingers, lips and tongues in a condition known as being “berjablár” or “berry-blue”.

Feel free to pick a mouthful or collect berries in a small bag or jar in the wilderness. In fact, bilberries are often made into jams or baked into pies and crumbles but they are also delicious when simply served with cream and sugar.

Dress for the Weather

Icelanders have a much-cherished saying about the weather:

“If you don’t like it, just wait five minutes.”

Nothing is for certain when it comes to the Icelandic climate. It’s an adventure of its own so we recommend dressing in light but multiple layers for August.
A warm sweater, good walking shoes plus a raincoat are a must. What’s more, you might even want to buy a pair of socks made of Icelandic wool. They will warm your feet on cozy nights in and keep water away on excursions in the countryside.

Two onlookers admire the pink and green northern lights shimmering above Skógafoss.
An epic shot of northern lights dancing above Skógafoss. Photograph by Stefan Liebermann.

Traveling to Iceland in August?

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