Landmannalaugar - Midnight Sun in Iceland

Midnight Sun

Iceland is a great place to visit around summer solstice (June 21) due to its proximity to the Arctic Circle. The sun will be visible for the full 24 hours on the island of Grímsey, for almost 23,5 hours in the town of Akuyeri and also in Southern Iceland it barely disappears below the horizon. When we visited the famous rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar at Fjallabak Nature Reserve in June 2013 we enjoyed a sunset at midnight from the top of Brennisteinsalda mountain, followed by 3 hours of wonderful twilight and a great sunrise at 3 AM.

You might use our "Sunrise and Sunset Calculator" in order to check the number of daylight hours for any given location worldwide. By entering "Landmannalaugar" and selecting e.g. "May 1 until July 31" as a time frame you will get a table displaying the precise sunrise, sunset and twilight times as well at the moon data. It shows that there will be visible light all night long starting May 21 through July 24. During a period of 9 weeks the sun will never be more than 6° below the horizon; the so-called "civil twilight" will prevail for hours.

Those long days of exploration under the midnight sun are pretty unique! While on a longer hike (and you will probably be doing that at Landmannalaugar!), one never has to worry about not returning back to the car or reaching the next hut in time, simply because it doesn't get really dark. This everlasting twilight and the soft "glow light" between sunrise and sunset is truly exceptional! But insomnia is a serious side effect when travelling to Iceland in June or July. As a photographer you might need some relaxing holidays right after visiting this island during that time of the year...! ;-)

Image data: 2s at f/14, ISO 200; Canon 24-105 mm, 1:4 L IS USM at 85 mm, Canon EOS 5D Mark II

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Our favorite images from Iceland; more samples of images shot under the midnight sun: