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What to Pack for Your Trip to Iceland

By: Jenna
Last Updated: 15/02/2018
Posted in: Blogs, Iceland, In Brief

There‘s a saying about the conditions in Iceland that rings true. If you don‘t like the weather in Iceland, wait 10 minutes. Indeed, Iceland’s weather is as varied as its incredible landscape, and that makes packing for a trip quite challenging. Pack smart and stay warm and dry with the quick tips below.

Temperatures do not often drop below freezing, but an insulated jacket is recommended due to the cool northerly winds. And as sidewalks can get icy and slippery, you may want to bring ice cleats/ice grips/anti-slip soles (see below) to give your shoes better traction. 

Ice Cleats

Meanwhile, some summer visitors find it difficult to sleep with the light of the midnight sun, so eye shades may be helpful. It is also recommended to bring sunglasses and sunscreen. 

Couple under the midnight sun in iceland

There are few insects in Iceland, but small midges do thrive in the summertime, especially by lakes and streams. Those spending time in the Lake Mývatn area during summertime may also wish to bring insect repellent or fly masks/nets.

Lake Myvatn, North Iceland

Here’s a sample packing list of items you should bring with you regardless of the time of year you’re travelling:

  • Fleece jacket/lightweight wool sweater
  • Rainproof/windproof jacket
  • Rain pants
  • Sturdy walking shoes with a good tread/grip
  • Gloves, scarves, hat
  • Swimsuit and quick-dry towe
  • Thermal underwear (specifically for highland travel/activities)
  • Waterproof hiking boots (specifically for highland travel/activities)
  • Warm socks (specifically for winter and highland travel/activities)
Dettifoss Waterfall

Curious where the locals shop? Icelandic apparel store 66° North sells a wide selection of outerwear for any weather condition Iceland may throw at you. If you’re feeling cold or wet after arriving in the North Atlantic, we’d recommend paying a visit to their shops on Bankastræti in Reykjavík or at the Kringlan or Smáralind shopping malls. Be prepared for all types of weather and enjoy your stay! 

Namafjall, close to Lake Myvatn in North Iceland
Post by: Jenna

Originally from New York City, Jenna Gottlieb made her first trip to Iceland in 2007, promptly fell in love with the island and relocated in 2012. She lives with her Icelandic husband in rural West Iceland.

Find Jenna on LinkedIn.


More posts by Jenna

Getting there

We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.