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what to pack for iceland

What to Pack for Iceland: A Guide to the Seasons

Iceland offers a unique experience depending on the season. The following guide aims to ensure that you’re equipped with the right clothing for your trip, while also offering a glimpse into some of the activities in which you can indulge during your sta. Given Iceland’s unpredictable weather, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for sudden changes. Enjoy your Icelandic adventure.

A snowy street in Reykjavík Iceland
Downtown Reykjavík in the winter

Packing for Winter in Iceland

Weather Insights: In Reykjavik, temperatures average between -1°C (30°F) and 2°C (36°F). Colder temperatures are possible in northern and interior regions. Snow is frequent, especially in the north and east, with Reykjavik seeing 13-15 days of precipitation monthly.

Packing Essentials: Layered clothing with thermal underwear, woolen sweaters and socks, and waterproof outer layers. Don’t forget warm accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves.

Popular Activities: Northern-lights viewing, ice caving, snowmobiling, and visiting geothermal hot springs.

The Skógarfoss waterfall in South Iceland.
The Skógarfoss Waterfall

Packing for Spring in Iceland

Weather Insights: Reykjavik’s temperatures range from 0°C (32°F) in March to 7°C (45°F) in May. Rain becomes prevalent as snow melts, with Reykjavik averaging 10-12 rainy days monthly.

Packing Essentials: Lighter layered clothing, waterproof boots, and a rain jacket. Consider packing a light scarf and hat for cooler days.

Popular Activities: Snorkeling, hiking in national parks, and exploring waterfalls.

An Icelandic puffin in summer
A puffin in Icelad

Packing for Summer in Iceland

Weather Insights: Reykjavik’s summer temperatures range from 9°C (48°F) to 11°C (52°F), with occasional highs of 20°C (68°F). Rain is consistent, averaging 10-12 days monthly in Reykjavik. On average, during these summer months, Iceland gets around 18-21 hours of daylight. It’s essential to note, however, that while there’s a lot of daylight, the sun is not always shining. Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, and cloudy days are common.

Packing Essentials: Breathable materials, a warm jacket for cooler evenings, sunglasses, and a sun hat.

Popular Activities: Summer festivals, puffin-watching, whale watching, bird watching, and exploring the highlands.

People watch expectantly as Strokkur in the Geysir Geothermal Area prepares to launch - The Golden Circle Tour
Geysir geothermal area

Packing for Autumn in Iceland

Weather Insights: Reykjavik sees temperatures drop from 8°C (46°F) in September to 2°C (36°F) in November. Rain is consistent, with Reykjavik averaging 12-14 rainy days monthly. Snow becomes more common towards November.

Packing Essentials: Warm layers, durable boots (if you’re planning on hiking), and a waterproof jacket.

Popular Activities: Scenic drives, ATV adventures, hiking in national parks, and visiting geothermal pools.

Useful web resources

Here are some useful web resources if you’re visiting Iceland.

SafeTravel – An essential resource for those traveling in Iceland, it provides safety tips, travel alerts, and other crucial information to ensure a safe journey.

Veður – The Icelandic Met Office’s website, which provides up-to-date weather forecasts, aurora forecasts, and other meteorological information.

Umferðin – The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration’s website, offering real-time information on road conditions, especially vital during the winter months.

Always remember to check these sites for the most up-to-date information before and during your trip. Safe travels!

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