The ultimate packing list for your Iceland adventure

A while ago I was contacted by someone who asked me to make a packing list for Iceland as they were getting ready to pack for their own little adventure on my island. When I got the e-mail I thought to myself: How on earth am I supposed to tell anyone what to bring on their Iceland vacation when I always, ALWAYS, take way too much or not enough with me myself? And never the right things. But then I remembered that that mostly applies when I’m traveling abroad, especially to warmer climates where I’m absolutely useless. Auður in shorts is just wrong on so many levels.


So what would I bring if I was you on my way to Iceland? Here are a few of my top things:


I’m starting to feel like a broken record here, especially since I’ve already written a few posts on this topic, but one more time for the cheap seats in the back: Bring layers.

I’m fast becoming the master of the layers and I’m telling you that nothing beats them. If you have a cute coat that you want to wear and you hurl at the thought of outdoor gear: wear a woolen base layer to give you extra warmth. If you want to wear a skirt and boots: wear long johns underneath your leggings. You don’t need to sacrifice your cuteness to stay warm.

Also, don’t forget your head, finger and toes.

Light layers that pack easily is by far the best way to go. That way they can easily be put on and taken off depending on the temperature and they fit right into your backpack.


See layers.

Good shoes

The new goritex shoes

The new goritex shoes

If you are not going to do some crazy hiking you don’t need to run out and buy super expensive hiking boots but it’s good to have at least light trekking shoes with you if you plan to go out of the city. There’s a lot of people that go everywhere in their Converse and shrug at the notion that other shoes exist in the world but I feel a real difference wearing good shoes. Especially if you have any sort of problems with your feet or ankles.

It’s also worth looking into choosing waterproof trekking shoes because, well, it rains a lot.


You would be amazed how often I’m asked whether the sun ever shines in Iceland. Yes, people, it really does. We have beautiful sunny days both in winter or summer so sunglasses are always a good idea. It was in fact one of the first things I bought when I started doing my tours.

In the winters in particular the sun can be really low in the sky so if you are going to be driving at all you kind of have to have your sunglasses. Unless you’re cool with driving over people and into ditches.



Iceland is the land of hot water in abundance and you would be doing yourself a disservice to not plunge into one of our thermal pools, the Blue Lagoon or warm springs and rivers around the country. Granted, if you want to dive into the hot river in Reykjadalur for example clothing is completely optional but contrary to what some people have heard they are not optional in the swimming pools. You shower naked but swim in a swimsuit. Doing it the other way around will not go well for you.

Shorts and t-shirts

Arguably, unless you are some sort of super human, this mostly just applies to the summers in Iceland. Even though you may be used to 35°C and you think 16°C is freezing, in the sun it can feel much warmer than it actually is. Especially in places where there’s not a lot of wind (they do exist in Iceland, I swear) and if you are out hiking and stuff and you get all worked up and sweaty.

If you don’t want to commit to shorts you could always get those super fancy hiking pants where you can simply zip the legs of your pants.


Like the shorts and t-shirts you probably didn’t think you would need this in Iceland but the sun does sometime get quite strong. You can probably skip this if you’re traveling to Iceland in winter but if you plan on spending a lot of time on glaciers in the sun that’s a different matter. But if you’re the sort of person that usually hangs around on glaciers much you probably know that already.

Your camera and tripod

Vestmannaeyjar (10)

Iceland is breathtaking so bringing your camera is a no brainer. The tripod you need if you are planning on taking photos of the northern lights in winter and/or if you want to get those dreamy creamy photos of waterfalls and the midnight sun. If you have a big bulky tripod that is difficult to travel with you might want to consider one of those gorillapods or a lighter travel tripod.

It goes without saying that if you indeed plan to photograph the northern lights you need a camera where you can control the exposure such as a DSLR. Northern lights and iPhones = no bueno.

Also, bring an extra battery for your DSLR as it can run out quicker in the cold.

And then finally…

I don’t know about you but usually when I travel I take way too much with me and I end up wearing the same things more or less the whole time. So my last piece of advice would just to choose wisely and that sometimes less is more. Plus, that way you’ll have space in your bag for all the woolen sweaters you’re going to buy while you’re here.

Have you been to Iceland? Tell us in the comments below what’s on your packing list for Iceland.

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97 thoughts on “The ultimate packing list for your Iceland adventure”

  1. Randy Becker says:

    I always bring clothing (and back in the early rustic days of Blue Lagoon, towels) that are reaching the end of their usefulness. That way when they have been worn, I just toss them out . . . making room for the items I will be bringing back from Iceland.

    I now pack one additional electric charger and USB cable — don’t want to spend time and money looking for a replacement.

    I also make a travel size packet of duct tape by wrapping duct tape off the roll onto an out-of-date credit card until it is about 1/4 inch thick . . . and I have always found a use for the tape, from taping curtains shut for the midnight sun to securing that annoying rattle on the rental car.

    And don’t forget some simple things —
    — a couple gallon size zipper plastic bags (who knows what you will put in them, but again I always find something);

    — at least one of those very small-when-folded nylon bags for transporting home the groceries you will be buying so you don’t need to use throw-away bags;

    — an empty water bottle (after you pass Security at your home airport you can fill it from a water fountain, and then in Iceland you can fill it with the delicious and free drinking water and not have to buy those stupid single-use bottles).

  2. EuroTripTips says:

    These are all excellent tips! One thing I found out while I was there is that I should’ve packed an extra SD card for the camera – I ended up filling mine up every day!

  3. Jenn says:

    I used my quick-dry towel a lot more than I expected – it was super handy. Also recommend hiking shoes/sneakers that you don’t mind getting mucked up!

  4. Lisa Mathews says:

    If you have issues with gluten, food in Iceland can be a bit of an issue. I didn’t see much in the way of alternatives to wheat, in restaurants or grocery stores. I pack GF oatmeal and various GF bars for breakfast and snacks.

    1. mm Auður says:

      Krónan and Víðir stock a lot of Gluten Free options – so does Heilsuhúsið in Laugarvegur. Gló in Laugavegur (a restaurant) also specializes in gluten free options. The fish soup at Fish and More in Skólavörðustígur is also gluten free. Just so you have some options next time you’re here 🙂

      1. Aynslee says:

        I have celiacs disease and am planning a trip to Iceland with my mom in the near future. What restaurants in Reykjavik have gluten free options?

        1. mm Auður says:

          Many of them have gluten free options (meat, fish and vegetables) but places like Gló specialize in offering Gluten free things. Last time I checked the fish soup at Fish and more was also Gluten Free.

  5. Phoebe says:

    I like your shoes, I’m after some comfy, not too bulky, waterproof shoes like that. What brand/model are they?

    1. mm Auður says:

      They are Ecco, they are actually off-road running shoes. The only thing that is not good about them is that they are terrible when the roads are icy.

  6. Heather says:

    I was just planning on wearing waterproof winter boots thinking it may be too wet/ cool for shoes (dec 4-8th) Should I throw in a pair of shoes ?

    1. mm Auður says:

      I am outside a lot in Reykjavík and I wear my Nike running shoes a lot and don’t get cold or wet. However the weather has been unusually warm the last few weeks.

  7. Victoria says:

    Umbrella ! Haha it came in handy when I was there in October – but the Layer is soo true 😀

  8. Bruna says:

    I went to Iceland last october and three things in my suit case really stood out: timberland waterproof boots with fleece lining, merino wool underwear and a columbia rain coat (the “splash a little rain”), which I wore on top of other warmer layers. But i did miss some warmer pants… mine made me feel cold.

  9. Jessica says:

    I will be traveling to Reykjavik at the end of January, beginning of February. At this time, there are not plans to go out of the city, other than Blue Lagoon. I live in Seattle, and I am comfortable with how I layer here when the temperatures will dip to -3.8C. Everyone keeps telling me that I need to prepare to be totally bundled up, like I was preparing for a trek in the snow-covered mountains. I think I’ll be fine preparing like I would for walking around our own city. Do you have advice on this?

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much for this post! It’s going to come in super handy next year! 🙂

  11. Steve says:

    I don’t see an explicit waterproof jacket, and waterproof trousers on the list. I’d strongly recommend these, even if you’re just doing the golden circle. The rain is more of a problem than the cold.
    I’d also recommend a pair of decent waterproof boots with a heavy sole if you’re planning to go outside the city – much better on snow / ice than lightweight options.

    Finally, remember electrics are EU plugs at ~230v

    Jessica – I’d dress more or less the same as I would for seattle, and expect to need maybe one extra fleece layer – other than walking boots.

  12. Beda says:

    Thanks for the tips!

    Which time o you think is the best to travel?

    I would be able to go in June, July or August. I would like to get the best weather island has to offer without having swarms of tourists everywhere.

    Also do you think 7 days for a trip on the ring street all around Iceland are enough? (I plan to occasionally exit the ring road when i see something interesting) but don’t mind driving 5 hours a day.

    1. mm Auður says:

      I wrote a post about that here: June, July and August are the busiest months here so if you want to come during those months you just have to get used to the other tourists around 🙂

      We did the ring road in 10 days and felt rushed the whole time. Although 7 days is OK you will discoverer that it’s not a lot of time as there’s lot to see.

  13. April says:

    We are traveling in early April with our twin six year olds. Are there any specific recommendations for people traveling with children? We’re from Seattle so we are used to layering and rain and good shoes but any tips are super useful. Thanks 🙂

  14. Cecilia says:

    what is the shoe etiquette in Iceland when you’re indoors? the reason I ask is that in Italy you always wear either shoes or slippers and never ever ever go barefoot, but in Sweden you never ever ever wear shoes inside the house.

    1. mm Auður says:

      When you are invited into an Icelandic home you are expected to take off your shoes. There’s no stigma against being barefoot but it probably depends on the occasion 🙂

  15. Ryan says:


    Due to all the rules on planes these days, bringing toiletries on holiday is a nightmare. How expensive are things like shower gel, hair gel and deodorant in Reykjavik? and where do you suggest I get them from?


    1. mm Auður says:

      Not terribly, you can get cheap stuff from Bónus for example. If you are picky then Hagkaup probably has a better selection.

      1. Ryan says:

        Perfect, thank you! 🙂

  16. Gabe says:

    You can’t buy OTC cold and flu medicine here, and the only laundromat in Reykjavik is in the basement of a cafe. Not really a big deal, but might be good to know and plan ahead for.

  17. Karla says:

    Hi. I plan on visiting Iceland in June and I think I have all the clothes I need except pants! I have no idea what type of pants to wear. From what I’ve read something waterproof would be best. Is that correct? Are jeans ok?

    1. mm Auður says:

      It all depends on what you are doing – if you are going hiking for long periods of time for example I would not recommend jeans. If you are doing a lot of outdoor activities waterproof pants can be helpful.

  18. Rebecca says:

    I am going to Iceland on Saturday (in 3 days) for a week. I think I have everything I need – good hiking shoes, a couple flannel shirts, one thermal base layer (IceBreaker), leggings, 2 Under Armour workout shirts, and a pair of track pants. We are doing A LOT of hiking and mountain biking while we are there, is there anything else you would recommend I bring? I also plan on bringing a lighter winter jacket and a light raincoat.

    1. mm Auður says:

      Hat and mittens. And maybe waterproof pants.

  19. sujie says:

    Thanks all for advice!

    My friend and I will go to Iceland on mid-June(it only remains 6day to fly there!)
    but I haven’t pack yet… actually, I’ve packed once, but I’m not sure whether I packed properly or not.
    I will go several easy hiking(it takes just 1 or 2 hrs each i guess. longest will be 3 hrs though) and camp there. but..!! I have no idea what’s the weather like in June.
    I will bring short and long sleeves both, waterproof light jacket and pants, and jeans.
    Is is enough? or… what else should I pack? should I bring thick sweater with me?
    and… Is it better to wear trekking shoes than sneakers?

    too much questions.. 🙁
    but I dont want to bring things I dont really need… and I don’t want to miss things I should bring neither.
    Plz help me!!

    1. mm Auður says:

      If you are going to hike then yes it’s better to wear trekking shoes than sneakers. Bring warm layers because the temperature hasn’t been very high so far this summer. The weather is not bad, just a bit cooler than usual.

  20. Océane says:

    Awesome brief list! …but would Chacos be an okay kind of shoe for Iceland in early August?

  21. Britta Nordstrom says:

    Hello! I will be visiting iceland next week (July 14th) for ten days. I will be going on a lot of hiking tours which I know I need to bring good rain gear, shoes, etc., however, on the days where I am in the city just relaxing and walking around, I don’t really know what I should wear, what do most people where for shoes just going to a restaurant or walking about? and what do people where for bottoms mostly in the summer? shorts? pants?
    any answers would be appreciated! 🙂 Love the list you have so far given.

    1. mm Auður says:

      Reykjavík is full of tourists in July and most people just wear their light hiking shoes or trainers to dinner. The locals tend to dress more smartly but you can never go wrong with a pair of converse for example.

      Summers are not as warm as you are probably used to so most foreigners wear pants in summer. If you are doing hiking though you might enjoy having shorts as it can get warm on long hikes, especially if the sun is shining. Maybe hiking pants where you can zip off the legs?

  22. Martha says:

    We are going to be there the first week of September. Mix of city and self driving day tours from Reykjavik. Can we expect mostly grey rainy weather? Also, we are staying this time in a rented apartment (previous trips were in hotel). Any tips or comments on extras we might need this time?

  23. Edwin says:

    I’m going in the beginning of Oct. The worst part is anticipating what the weather is like since it’s considered winter. Do you have any tips or suggestions for travel during that time? We’ll be taking a camper and doing the ring road. We have about 9 days.

  24. Claire says:

    Hi! We will be visiting Iceland and driving the ring road in the beginning of October for 2 weeks. Do you suggest we pack winter coats? We plan to hike some days. Any other tips would be much appreciated!

    Thank you!

    1. mm Auður says:

      I usually just wear a waterproof jacket and layers until November or so. I would not want to hike in a winter coat – a three layer shell or something that breaths well would be better.

  25. Elleanor Johnson says:

    Hello! I am taking a trip to Iceland in a little under two weeks. We are planning on seeing some waterfalls and stuff but not crazy hiking. It also may rain alot of course. So I bought some blundstone boots and I was wondering if those would be suitable to keep my feet nice and dry? If not what shoe would you recommend? Thank you 🙂

    1. mm Auður says:

      I have no idea what blundstone boots are – I would recommend good waterproof trekking shoes.

    2. Roma says:

      You must be an Aussie. I’ve found Blunnies aren’t waterproof unless you wax or treat them first. Best to check, otherwise invest in some snowboots. (Like hiking boots but generally more waterproof)

  26. Elizabeth says:

    Hello, We will be travelling to Iceland in early December. I only want to bring one pair of shoes with me. Any recommendations?

    1. mm Auður says:

      Good waterproof trekking shoes.

      1. Mariam Farar says:

        I purchased Snow boots. Do you think I need trekking shoes in addition to those?

        1. mm Auður says:

          Depends on what your plans are. You will need good hiking boots with ankle support for most glacier tours, for example.

  27. Trish says:

    Hi Auður
    Me and hubby are visiting Reykjavik in mid December, our first time. We ski a great deal so I was wondering if ski jackets, base layers and snow boots would be suitable clothing to bring? This will also save us the expense of buying specific clothing ?
    King regards

    1. mm Auður says:

      I think you might find it a little bit too warm if you’re not going up on a glacier or something. At least the trousers. But the jackets should be fine.

      Personally I tend to be cold around the top part of my body but I’m almost never cold on the legs. I do wear longjohns sometimes underneath my trousers and if I wear protective trousers it’s usually only if it rains a lot and then I wear rainproof pants.

      It’s just so difficult to say because we never know what kind of weather to expect.

  28. Hi, I’m just back from Iceland and we had very cold weather in November. I would certainly advise to take a warm waterproof jacket (ski jacket is fine) and also waterproof winter pants as well as thermal underwear (tops and bottoms). We used our ski pants at night when hunting for Northern Lights, and also for a glacier walk, and it was not too warm. Good winter boots are essential as well, not the ‘moonboots’.
    If interested, here is a link to my Icelandic packing suggestions:
    Enjoy it! Iceland is one of a kind!

  29. MIke H says:

    I visited for a short trip in early November 2015. While in Reykjavik i was comfortable with a pair of slip on Merrell’s, jeans, a hoodie and a waterproof windbreaker stashed in a small backpack when not being used, and it was used the first day when an ice storm started while I was down at the harbor. A hat, gloves, scarf, light hiking boots and thermal undergarments were good while out for the northern lights and an afternoon spent at Thingvellir. And, of course, swim trunks. The pools are not to be missed.

    Other, non clothing items I was glad to have packed included a backup battery charger for my mobile (if you use your mobile to take pictures or video, this is essential), adapters for wall outlets (US electrical plugs are incompatible with the European type receptacles) and a nifty little app called CityMaps2Go that allows you to download maps to your phone and access them without being connected to wifi.

  30. Fye Faizal says:

    Hi there!!! My friends (husband and wife) and I will be heading to Iceland just to catch the Aurora Borealis before it kinda become scarce. We know that it’ll be winter in February which is the time that we will be there. We are from Singapore and this is literally my first ever visit away from home other than Gold Coast, Hokkaido and Tokyo. I am preparing the items like since the morning of 2016 New Year’s Eve. So I’m wondering if we should get the spikey thingy for our shoes/boots? Do we need mufflers for the ears? So far the idea is to see the Northern Lights and the Blue Lagoon. We will be there for a week. Frankly I’m not really sure what else we can do despite my friends renting a car and driving around. Layering; I am looking at Under Armour Coldgear. Boots and Shoes; i’m still deciding between the two. Pants; need to check if i need to get new pairs as layering means I will need to get one or two sizes up. I’m excited and sad cos there are things I can do and can’t do. Hope it’ll go smoothly and I won’t get hypothermia… Hahahaha… I’m such a paranoid guy.

    1. Trish says:

      Myself and hubby were in Reykjavik in December. The temps were -7 but we kept warm enough with base layer thermals and fleece lined trousers. Micro fleece tops and thermal socks. A good hat and scarf completed the requirements. I found the very low temps made me a little breathless but solved it my covering mouth and nose with scarf. I don’t think the temps will get quite so low as they were. Spikey foot things not necessary. Ear muffs only if you want to look silly/stylish depending on the type of ear muffs! We sadly didn’t get to see the Northern lights but there is so many other beautiful things to see and do. The Icelanders are lovely people…have a great time!

  31. @Fye Faizal: You are much too worried. 🙂 Prepare well and you will have fun. Regarding shoes, take waterproof (hiking) shoes or winter boots with good grip. No spikes ‘things’ needed unless you do a glacier hike and in that case they will provide you with the equipment. Make sure your jacket is water- and windproof, and it helps if you have water resistant pants. In November we used thermal underwear pants (they are so thin that you will not notice you are wearing them) and warm winter pants and I can tell you people wearing jeans were very jealous of us. Take a cap and gloves as well.
    As for the Northern lights, we saw them every single night in November. It helped that the sky was mostly clear, but most of all it helped that we actually went outside looking for them. Many people don’t bother to come out of their bed and miss it. You can be lucky and see them right after dinner before you go to bed, but don’t count on it. If you really want to see the auroras make sure you stay up late or get up at night and actually go outside looking for them. Use aurora forecast websites to get better idea of at what time activity is the highest and make sure you are outside. Activity 3 can give beautiful auroras, we had 5 one night and it was just dazzling. But only a handful of people in our hotel were there to see them, the rest stayed in bed, and it was not even midnight…
    And finally, what can you do in Iceland in 7days. Quite a lot actually. In winter you are probably better off visiting the South coast. Don’t stay in Reykjavik, you can pretty much see it all in a day. Drive to the waterfalls of the Southern Coast (Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss…), visit the Golden Circle, the coast around Vik, the glaciers, do a hike in Skaftafell NP, Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon and the coast next to it (you don’t want to miss this one!!),… Get out of the city and you will love Iceland, on top of that you have much better chances to see auroras if you are staying in the rural areas.
    If you are looking for evermore info, check out my blog:
    Have a good trip!

  32. linda says:

    Hi – I have seen a lot of great tips here. We are travelling in June for solstice. How about sunglasses? Any other suggestions for a mid-sommer visit?

    1. mm Auður says:

      Yes, sunglasses. For sure.

  33. Melanie says:

    Hi – My 2 friends and I will be in Iceland – traveling across the whole Ring Road and hiking lots from March 25th – April 4th. Wondering if we should rent a camper van or rent a car and stay in hostels. We’re concerned that if we get stuck in bad weather that a camper van might be too cramped and haven’t heard much about rest stations/ camp sites being open around that time. Any help would be great! Thanks 🙂

    1. mm Auður says:

      I would chose the hostel option myself because of all the issues you mention.

  34. Love this post. Just booked my flight for May 13th to the 24th of this year and am planning on renting a car and doing the ring road. It seems I will need to get some waterproof pants and some waterproof hiking boots.. Are there alot of hostels to stay at along the way? Travelling solo and just wondering if I should book ahead or not

    1. mm Auður says:

      Yes, you should book ahead.

  35. May says:


    Love all the advice! I’m traveling to Iceland between May 9th thought the 23rd. Should I bring a down winter coat? Or is a fleeced lined jacket enough? I wear typically wear my fleece lined jacket (it’s water resistant) during the spring and fall (tempatures ranging from 0 to 20 degrees Celsius).

    1. mm Auður says:

      I will probably not be wearing my winter coat in May. In fact I’ve switched to lighter jackets already and am just wearing more layers underneath them if needed.

  36. Rebecca says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for writing this post! I was just wondering if you have specific shoes you recommend? I’m visiting in mid to late October and I’m not sure what shoes I need, I’m actually looking at Ecco hiking boots but I noticed you said they’re not good on ice. Would that be an issue in October? Thank you 🙂

    1. Jennifer Porter says:

      Salomon shoes are great, they’re waterproof, light, and comfortable, and you can find them at REI!

  37. Deborah Doucett says:

    We are planning a week in Iceland in mid-August. We will be renting a car and camping gear and seeing as much as we can cram in during the week! These are great suggestions and, I’m sure, will help up with our packing. Will a fleece jacket be helpful or unnecessary bulk? Will we need the UV water purifier that we used in India? Do you have other suggestions that are specific for this time period?

    1. mm Auður says:

      No you will not need a water purifier. The water here is clean and doesn’t need any filters.

      A fleece jacket could be good, especially since you are camping. But I’m always cold when camping so this is one of the few areas in my life where more is more 🙂

  38. Tarang says:

    Hi ,
    I must say you are doing a fabulous job at sharing your experiences and research and the same has saved us a lot of man hours for our upcoming trip to Iceland!! ?
    So while we have excitedly planned almost everything we are going to do in our ring road drive (including snorkeling) in a very short trip of 6 days, we are confused about the kind of footwear to carry- contemplating investing in some good quality waterproof walking/hiking boots
    We aren’t really serious hikers, and do own non ankle support trail shoes – do you recommend hiking/walking boots will be needed while visiting all the standard places and terrains on the ring road
    We are visiting Iceland end of May!
    Thanks in advance!! ?

    1. mm Auður says:

      The only time you really need serious hiking boots is if you do a glacier tour. However you can rent them too if that’s the only time you’re going to me needing them. When I travel around the Golden Circle and such I usually wear my light hiking shoes or my running shoes.

  39. Heidi says:

    Hello! We are visiting next week. Where do you recommend we go if our child has gluten and food allergies to eat ? Are there grocery stores open on a Sunday? Thank you!

    1. mm Auður says:

      Gló has a lot Gluten free options for example. The supermarkets are open on Sundays but not as long as on other days.

  40. Anna says:

    Audur, thank you so much for all your valuable advice here. My husband and I will be in Iceland in early July, and the trip is packed with hiking tours and kayaking . As I plan packing after reading the blog, I want to clarify: this time of the year, do we still need warm hats and gloves and such? and warm underwear? My husband is reluctant to take much warm clothing so I wanted to make sure I am not indeed over-packing 🙂

    Another question, what are the typical hours of grocery stores in Reykjavik – we do need gluten free options to take along to the tours, so I want to plan accordingly.

    Thank you very much!

    1. mm Auður says:

      It all depends on where you are from and what you consider cold and where you are going 🙂 So yes, I would still bring some sort of hat and mittens/gloves. If I was camping, I would bring my long johns and wool top too 🙂

      As for the shopping, you can check out this post:

  41. Tami says:

    I love reading these posts and have taken notes on my upcoming trip in September. I have chosen to stay at a hotel that has laundry services about halfway into our trip so that will help with packing. I tend to want to wear the same things anyway. Thank you for your helpful comments!

  42. Jessi says:

    I am traveling around Iceland by car and hiking a TON in September. So far, I have a wool sweater, wool socks, waterproof boots, wool long johns, and an insulated base layer. I also have a god rain jacket. I will have waterproof gloves and a warm hat and scarf. My main concern is this: Do I get a packable down as an extra top layer OR a thick fleece water resistant hoodie? We won’t be camping at night, but I am not sure what to expect. I don’t want to get too sweaty with the down, but not sure a thick fleece will be warm enough? I can always wear the rain jacket over the fleece too, so I was wondering what your thoughts were.

    Thanks so much!


    1. mm Auður says:

      Of course I can only base this on myself but I don’ think you’ll need your down jacket in September. Plus having an extra waterproof layer has never hurt anyone 🙂

  43. Alison says:

    Thank you so much for your tips and suggestions! I am going to Iceland for 10 days at the end of this month into early August. We have rented a car and camping gear. I have heard that you can set up a tent and camp pretty much anywhere in Iceland as long as there are no signs posted saying “no camping.” Is this correct?

  44. Lora J Fults says:

    Hello, I am really enjoying reading all of the questions and answers here. My family will be traveling to Iceland in mid-August (yes, very soon) We have mapped out a trip to include days exploring the Golden Circle, 3 days in the Westfjords, then planning to go to North Iceland to spend a night, whale watch, then back around to Golden Circle area. Our concern is that maybe we are taking on too much and will spend too much time on the road…we have a total of 10 days. In your opinion, is 10 days doable while still taking side trips to see the sights or would we be better off skipping North Iceland and concentrating on Westfjords and Golden Circle area?

    PS: Thanks for the great blog!

    1. Lura says:

      I’m looking forward to hearing about your trip! I am doing a 10 day trip in early September!

  45. Katherine says:

    I’m travelling to Reykjavik in October, I dont plan on going on any extreme mountain walks has anyone taken wellies with them if they staying in the city?

  46. Gail K. says:

    We will be traveling to Iceland next September around the 10th. We’ll probably stay about a week and then go on to Ireland. Are the clothes we will need be similar to what we wear in Ireland?

    1. mm Auður says:

      You know what, I’ve never been to Ireland. But I would imagine it’s a bit colder/rainier in Iceland.

  47. Kirsti says:

    This was super helpful – especially the fact that I don’t have to invest in hiking boots! I’m heading on a Eurotrip and stopping in Iceland on my way home. Really looking forward to exploring!

  48. Liana says:

    Were going iceland this late nov and will be spending some time outdoors aurora hunting, ice caving and stuff. We were wondering if insulation is *very* important in finding the right boots/footwear. Please advise.

    1. mm Auður says:

      I personally just wear my hiking shoes and warm woolen socks and that has been fine for me. But the woolen socks are essential.

  49. Jennifer says:

    I’ll be heading to Iceland for Airwaves soon. Would a down jacket with a rain coat be appropriate or a slightly heavier jacket that is wind and water resistant?

    1. mm Auður says:

      I would probably opt for the layers for airwaves, easier to put them into your bag during concerts than a big heavy coat.

  50. denise taylor says:

    travelling to iceland next week with my housband and nine year old son there any short glacier walks close to the capital suitable for children so my son can experience a glacier ??

    1. mm Auður says:

      No, the closest glacier for a hike is 2 hours away from Reykjavík but they have a age limit of 10. If your son turns 10 this year however, they might make an exception. There is another glacier hiking tour about 4-4.5 hours away from Reykjavík where the age limit is 8 but that’s not suitable for a day tour, in my opinion. If you want to stay somewhere overnight that’s a different matter.

  51. Margaret says:

    My teenage Daughter and I are traveling to Iceland May 21st for 10 days. Staying in Reykjavik and doing day tours. Living in South Alabama, we don’t even own winter/heavy coats – what type of coat do you recommend for that time of year? Also, do you have any recommendations for travel purses/backpacks? Thank you !

  52. Jessica Lam says:

    This was super helpful, thank you for sharing this! 🙂

  53. Paola says:

    Hello everybody
    I like your comments and suggestions a lot so I feel I can trust all of you who have already travelled to Iceland. I’m planning to go on the first week of September, but not sure of what to pack regarding trousers and shoes . Will travel the country on an organised tour. I don’t usually suffer the cold, but bear in mind I live in middle Italy where winters are usually mildish and summers hot.? Thank you for any kind of help.

    1. mm Auður says:

      I would recommend you pack rain pants for September and good hiking/trail shoes.

      1. Zahra Zade says:

        Hi! I’m also going to go in September, just going to golden circle self drive and aurora hunting in the night. Is it ennough to wear the hiking/trail shoes for the aurora hunting, or do i need to buy winter boots? I’m from tropical country so i reaaally need your advice on this. Thank you so much!!

        1. mm Auður says:

          You don’t need winter boots – I live here and I bought my first pair of winter boots last winter (and used them maybe three times because it was never cold enough). Just wear hiking shoes and woolen socks – that’s what I do 🙂

  54. Carol says:

    Thank you for all your helpful tips. I’m planning my trip to drive the Ring Road this May and wondered if I need to pack water shoes for the natural geothermal pools? Or do people just enter barefoot in the hopes of not stepping on sharp rocks or scalding mud?

    1. mm Auður says:

      I don’t think you would need them but it might depend on how squeamish you are 🙂

  55. Jo says:

    so I keep hearing about rain pants. Will be there in Mid June with a tour group. Does it really rain that much there or will a rain jacket and umbrella do just as well? Thanks

    1. mm Auður says:

      It can rain quite a bit and rainpants are good all year round. Umbrellas often are not a great idea because of the wind.

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