Calm and remote, the Westfjords region is a top destination for 2022 according to the Lonely Planet.

Why Iceland is a Top Destination for Summer 2022  

All Covid-19 travel restrictions have been lifted and new airlines take to sky. The summer of 2022 is shaping up to be an extraordinary time to visit Iceland.

Altogether some 25 airlines will offer direct flights to Iceland this summer, compared with 15 carriers over this past winter.

PLAY is Iceland’s newest low-cost airline based at Keflavik International Airport, serving the capital Reykjavík. Along with the flag-carrier Icelandair, the red aircrafts of PLAY will offer direct flights between Europe and North America with zero Covid restrictions in place upon arrival in Reykjavík.

In northern Iceland, another new airline will take to the sky in June. Niceair is set to cover flights to and from London, Denmark, and Spain from its base in Akureyri. Flying directly to the northern capital, allows visitors eager to explore Iceland's nature to hit the ground running. See all flight options to Iceland.

Back in action

Crowd of people celebrating culture night

The scene at the annual Culture Night in Reykjavík

Summer 2022 also brings a festive gathering that has been long awaited.

After four years of waiting, the National Icelandic Horse Competition will return to Hella in southern Iceland. Taking palace between July 3rd - 9th, the 'Landsmót' is Iceland's largest sporting event where every aspect of the unique Icelandic horse -- such as the extra gait called the tölt -- is on full display.

In July, Iceland’s largest outdoor music festival on the island of Heimaey is set to take place after a two-year hiatus. The Þjóðhátíð festival attracts thousands of (mostly young) people for a camping party along with a line-up of local pop bands.

In August, the Reykjavík Culture Night, a festival with free events around the city, ending with a large outdoor concert by the harbor. The Reykjavík Marathon takes place on the same day, 20 August, drawing massive crowds of varying fitness. (The 10-kilometer route has lots of fun encouragements along the way.)

 Go West, My Friend

Biking in solitude in the Westfjords region of Iceland

Winding roads and quiet traffic make the Westfjords an ideal for cycling

The Westfjords region has developed new infrastructure that bring new possibilities for exploring the region. During the summer months, the nearly 1000 kilometer circular road trip around the fjords is completely open from its winter closures.

The Westfjords Way, as the road trip is coined, includes the newly opened viewing platform at Bolafjall mountain, offering incredible views from 600m (200 feets) atop a secure steel platform that extends over the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve and the fjords of Ísafjarðardjúp.

The Lonely Planet travel guide has recognized The Westfjords uniqueness and listed the region No. 1 on the list for Best in Travel in 2022. "The Westfjords is where Iceland's dramatic landscapes come to a riveting climax and where mass tourism disappears – only about 10% of Iceland's visitors ever see the region," says the Lonely Planet.

The Highland Roads Open

Colorful landscape with mountains and rivers

The road to Landmannalaugar typically opens around mid-June

Summer is the time to visit Iceland’s Highland region, with roads in the area typically opening around late June. Route F35, known as Kjölur, crosses the country via Hveravellir and is accessible for longer than the challenging Sprengisandur.

Scheduled buses travel into the highland and are popular for those seeking to explore the Landamannalaugar area on foot.

Travel smart and counter the summer crowds

Tourism is bouncing back quickly after the Covid shutdown but is unlikely to reach previous heights this summer. That means visitors are still likely to enjoy tempered crowds, but much depends on the time of day. Visit Iceland recently introduced an online tracker that allows people to see the most-visited hours of a given place, and more. The popular Gullfoss waterfall, for example, is most busy around 1 p.m. and the month of August attracts the largest crowds.

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Why Iceland is a Top Destination for Summer 2022