There is a common saying associated with Iceland, that in one day all seasons can be experienced. This is because the weather in Iceland can change quickly and without warning. One minute it can be sunny and clear, and the next it can be raining with gale-force winds, even in the summer.
This knowledge can make it confusing for visitors coming to Iceland because they don’t know how to pack for their trip. With the first day of Icelandic summer just around the corner (25th April), we’re here to let you know what to wear in Iceland in the summer.
The biggest rule of thumb when packing for a summer trip to Iceland is to bring plenty of layers. Due to the fact that the weather can change so quickly and can vary drastically from day to day, having a number of light layers means you can bundle up if the weather turns cold or wet, or you can shed outer layers if it starts to get warm and sunny.
What layers to pack for a summer trip to Iceland:
-T-shirt or a long-sleeved t-shirt (depending on how sensitive you are to the cold)
-Fleece hoody or shell
-Waterproof jacket with a hood
Iceland’s landscape is very rugged and uneven in many different areas. If you plan on venturing outside of Reykjavik on your holiday to Iceland, you’ll want to make sure that you have a quality pair of sturdy walking shoes that will protect your feet and will be suitable for Iceland’s terrain.
You’ll need to make sure the shoes are also waterproof, because the weather can turn wet quite quickly, even in the summer. If you are planning on doing some proper exploring, you’re likely to come in contact with lakes, rivers and waterfalls so footing below can be slippery and wet, making waterproof shoes all the more necessary.
Iceland in summer isn’t quite like summer in other countries, with average temperatures in the southern part of Iceland hovering around 12C, and the highlands typically cooler than this. Some days you’ll want to make sure you have something more than a warm jacket. A few extras you’ll want to make sure you have on hand for your summer trip to Iceland include:
In Iceland, swimwear is very important to pack all year round, but perhaps even more so in summer! Iceland is full of swimming pools, geothermal springs and even hot rivers that visitors can enjoy. You’ll want to make sure you bring a swimsuit, a towel, and a pair of sandals on your adventures because you never know when you’ll find the opportunity to soak in the relaxing, warm waters of Iceland.
If you’re planning a few summer evenings out in some of Iceland’s larger cities like Reykjavik or Akureyri, you might be wondering what’s appropriate to pack. Icelanders tend to dress very casually unless it is for a special occasion, so don’t feel like you need to dress formally for a night out on the town. You will want to make sure that the casual clothing you chose is adequately warm, however, so that you are comfortable between destinations and en route throughout the evening.