When does the Icelandic summer start?

Updated: Jun 19, 2019

There’s multiple answers to that question, the simplest one being “Sometime in May”. Back in the day however, before Iceland adopted the Gregorian Calendar, we relied on our very own norse calendar – and a bird! These traditions are still in place

The Icelandic Highlands are a beautiful place to visit in the summertime. This is the view from Landmannalaugar geothermal hot springs.

Chase the snow away

Every year, Icelanders wait for that one headline to appear in the Icelandic media: “Lóan er komin!” meaning “The golden plover is here!”

The European golden plover - or lóan (pronounced: low-an), is a thickset bird with a white band in the shape of the letter “s” stretching from its forehead to its flanks. Lóan migrates to the British isles and the west coast of Europe during winter, and it’s return around March 25th is seen as the first sign um spring.


Book your stay directly at Hotel Rangá & you will receive a bottle of Prosecco. Continue to site.


According to a poem, by Páll Ólafsson, lóan chases away the snow. The poem and accompanying song is taught to all Icelanders before the age of five and so the link between the bird and spring is a strong one.


The European golden plover chases away the snow.


The first day of summer

While we love the sunny weather we have had recently, we are hoping for frost on the night before April 25th. That’s the “first summer’s day” this year according to the old norse calendar and as superstition has it, summer and winter “freezing together” is a sign of a warm and sunny summer to come. The first day of summer is a national holiday in Iceland and it is customary for children to receive a small “summer gift” from their parents on this day - usually a toy or item of clothing meant for summer fun. The tradition actually predates Christmas presents in Iceland, so if you’re feeling Nordic give a little something to the children in your life - or maybe even the child within!


Wondering how to spend your summer in Iceland? Check out some fabulous ideas right here or contact our lobby at +354-487-5700 or via email: hotelranga@hotelranga.is