A Little Time and a Keyboard: What to Wear in Iceland

What to Wear in Iceland

Monday, October 31, 2016

Standing at the Black Sand Beach in Iceland

One question that I am always asked is what to wear in Iceland. So, I thought I would give you some tips that have worked well for me on our three visits. First, I am going to get this out of the way --- DO NOT bring an umbrella. It rains often in Iceland, but the weather is so changeable it can rain for 10 minutes then be sunny for 10 minutes then cloudy  for 10 minutes then rainy again, etc. You will always be fussing with it. Due to wind, it will not protect you from rain at angles and most likely you won't be able to keep it open. So, why waste the space?

So, what to wear:
  • Layers: Layers are key. Temperatures change quickly at times, so it is nice to be able to adjust just as quickly. Bring a few different weights so you can adjust accordingly.
  • Warm yet lightweight and rainproof jacket: On all of my trips, I have brought along a lightweight, waterproof NorthFace jacket. Something that is breathable and can handle a variety of temperatures is key. I would steer away from heavier coats because you are going to be hiking and riding horses. However, if visiting in winter you may want something a little heavier. Also, it can get cold on a whale watching tour but they may have warm overalls to wear. So, check before you go. A hood is a plus. If you don't have a hood, pack hoodies.
  • Hoodies: Even if your jacket has a hoodie, I recommend packing a couple of other hoodies. Another layer to your hood may be good depending on how rainy the day will be.
  • Ponchos and wet pants: We keep ponchos around for a last resort. Fortunately, we haven't used them. Wet pants on the other hand are very useful. We use pairs that are lightweight and slip over our pants. They keep us amazingly dry in the rain!
  • Hats, scarves and gloves: Don't forget these! I personally love a head wrap to cover my ears. 
  • Long socks: I love, love, love to wear long socks in Iceland. They keep me warm and dry!
  • Hiking boots: Get a good pair of waterproof hiking boots. If you are just staying in the city, you may do fine with walking shoes. But, you are in Iceland-- so you are going to explore! 
  • Bathing suit: Iceland is known for its geothermal spas and pools. So, don't forget that swimsuit!
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses: Iceland does get very sunny, too! So, don't forget to wear sunscreen and sunglasses!

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