EVENTS IN ICELAND
There are many annual events and festivals taking place throughout the year in Iceland dedicated to a variety of cultural aspects, sports and more. Why not let us plan a visit for you and your group so that you can experience an event or festival that sparks a special interest!
Thorinn - End of January
Midwinter visitors to Iceland can hardly fail to notice the ancient Viking feast of Thorrablot, now a popular feature at many restaurants. In January and February, wander into any town or village and you will be invited to join the locals in sampling some of their more unusual culinary delicacies. An iron stomach and a strong constitution are useful - the feast usually involves of a lot of meat, but you won't be offered a nice slice of rump steak. Instead you'll be faced with the animal's head, complete with eyes to be plucked out and savoured, while the testicles are pleasantly pickled for your enjoyment.
Dark Music Days
The Icelandic Music Festival has been held annually in Reykjavik since its inception in 1980. It plays an important role in the Icelandic music scene. For more information, see Dark Music Days.
Food and Fun
World famous chefs from all other world come to Reykjavik to this culinary festival, to offer a specific menue in cooperation with Reykjavik´s best restaurants for one week. In this menue, only fresh and natural Icelandic ingredients are allowed and used. On the last day of the festival the chefs enter a competition, in which they have to produce three different dishes which only involve fresh Icelandic products. An event which you shouldn´t miss! Reserving a table is highly recommended. For more information visit Food and Fun Festival.
Winter Lights Festival
The winter lights festival is taking place in Reykjavik in February. The main theme of the festival is to illuminate the dramatic darkness of the winter with a collection of sparkling events, which both celebrate and emphasize the beauty of Reykjavik city.
The Annual Beer Festival - 1st of March
In the years 1915-1989, alcohol was banned in Iceland. When the ban was lifted after 74 years, Icelanders celebrated extensively. Since then, the festival has been celebrated every year on March 1 as "Beer Day." Since 2012, it has even been a four-day festival.
At the festival you have the opportunity to taste different types of beer and meet the brewers.
Iceland's largest design festival is usually held in March, but can be held earlier or later. Various designs and innovations from different participants are exhibited and presented.
Stockfish Film Festival
The Stockfish Film Festival is a celebration of the Icelandic film industry. It was founded in 2015 as a successor to the Reykjavik Film Festival. It aims to give the Icelandic and international film community the opportunity to collaborate and the audience the chance to experience new films in a very special environment.
Reykjavik Arts Festival
First held in 1970, the Reykjavik Arts Festival celebrates the arts with a lively mix of national and international performances across the island. This season, the festival offers a wide range of events. For more information, visit the festival's website.
Festival of the Sea - First Sunday in June
All Icelandic fishermen - and there are many of them - take this first Sunday in June off. Officially called Sjomannadagur (Seamen's Day), it is a time for lavish celebrations, parades and speeches. Fishermen participate in swimming and rowing competitions and other feats of strength, including the ever-popular tug-of-war. In Reykjavik, the fun is part of a weekend-long Festival of the Sea.
National Day - 17th of June
Every year on June 17, people all over Iceland flock to the streets to commemorate the birthday of national hero Jón Sigurdsson (1811-1879). The day usually starts out solemn and patriotic, but in the afternoon the mood changes and it's time to celebrate! Everyone takes the day off to be entertained by street performances, theater and fire eaters and enjoy the real festival atmosphere.
Midsummer - 21st of June
Icelanders welcome their visitors and gather in Reykjavik and across the country to celebrate the magic of the midnight sun on the longest day of the year. The solstice is the culmination of a long month of endless sunshine, during which the sun is constantly in the sky and never sets. Unlike some other Scandinavian countries, there are rarely officially organized events, but there are many family gatherings with bonfires, feasting, and parties.
A game of midnight golf seems unlikely to many enthusiasts, and few golfers have experienced this pleasure. But now you have a unique opportunity to take part in an event where golf is played around the clock in high latitudes at the height of summer. Akureyri Golf Club is hosting this tournament, known as The Arctic Open Golf Championship.
During the second week of August, the capital city of Reykjavik hosts Iceland's largest LGBTQ pride celebration, with parties, parades, and theater performances. Iceland's LGBTQ community is small and focused in its capital city. Therefore, it is very familiar and friendly, but also welcomes visitors from abroad. Hotels are usually fully booked for the festivities, so book well in advance.
Reykjavik Marathon and Culture Night
Reykjavik Culture Night has become a staple of the city's cultural scene. Usually held in August, when the midnight sun still provides nearly 24 hours of light, Reykjavik residents fill the streets to celebrate Iceland's vibrant culture.
The marathon enlivens the streets of downtown Reykjavik each August, and in addition to thousands of locals, hundreds of visitors from around the world participate. For many, the famous fresh air is a welcome change from the pollution of big city streets abroad.
The run was started in 1984 by two travel agents who wanted to encourage visitors to discover Iceland, and for the first time 214 people took part. Two decades later, and since the late 1990s in conjunction with the annual - and popular - Reykjavik Culture Night, the marathon attracts more than 3,500 runners at all events, including about 500 from abroad.
RIFF - Reykjavik International Film Festival
The film festival is held every year at the end of September and shows mainly films by new and unknown filmmakers from over 40 countries. During the festival there are also photo exhibitions, concerts and many other events. More information about the Reykjavik International Film Festival.
Reykjavik Jazz Festival
The festival for jazz lovers begins with the opening ceremony at Reykjavik City Hall. In the capital, there are numerous events around the theme of jazz.
Imagine Peace Tower
The Imagine Peace Tower is an art project created by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon. The installation is located on the island of Viðes in Reykjavik. The tower is illuminated one hour after sunset until midnight each year on the following days:
- 9th October - 8th December
- 21st - 31st December
- 18th February
- 20th - 27th March
The amazing multi-venue city festival will take place in Reykjavik in early November. Rolling Stone's David Fricke called Airwaves "the hottest long weekend on the annual music festival calendar." Airwaves celebrates music and presents high-profile acts in one of the world's most unique settings, the eclectic and intimate venues in charming downtown Reykjavik. Airwaves will continue to attract a large audience from the UK and should not be missed by any music lover. Tickets can be purchased at Tix.
New Year's Eve
If you want to celebrate New Year's Eve in style, the Icelandic way is the right way. Iceland is a must try on New Year's Eve, were colorful fireworks light up the sky, sparkling champagne is floating, delicious dinner is offered and there is a party all night. Allow us to plan this once in a lifetime experience for you and your group. Contact us so that we can plan your New Year's Eve program for you.