What to pack for Iceland
What to pack for Iceland
So, you're going to Iceland finally....with nearly THREE million visitors a year, this Nordic Island country with only about 335,000 inhabitants (and a damn good Soccer team) is chock full of wonders and boasts an unlimited amount of things to see, places to go, and interesting foods to eat.
But, what should you pack?
Well, if you have done some research, awesome! But, if not, let's skip to the expedited version. And as you can probably guess, Iceland isn't usually known for its sunny warm temperatures....regardless, here's what you should know about Iceland in the summer before deciding on what to pack.
- Avg. temps in July are between 9 and 14 degrees Celsius (that's between 48 and 57 degrees Fahrenheit for us Americans)
- The weather in Iceland changes very fast from sunny to windy, to rainy to cold to sleet in a matter of minutes
- It can be VERY WINDY in Iceland. Like, some of the strongest winds you've ever felt
- The sun only sets for about 3-hours in mid-summer (May through August)
- Food in Iceland is very expensive. Sit down meals can be upwards of $30 USD
- Alcohol is also surprisingly expensive in Iceland at nearly $10 USD a drink or more
- Peak season in Iceland runs from June through August, even though there is so much to see and do year-round
- The showers at the hotels will smell like sulfur....you will have to get used to it. It is completely safe, albeit tough to swallow on the first go around
- Rainfall is common in Iceland year-round, but it's the lowest time of the year is in July, where the average for the month is only 2 inches
- Be prepared for some long lines at tourist destinations like the Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon & more
- The midnight sun is awesome
WHAT TO PACK
Everyone has their own preferred items to bring with them on a trip, and if you've traveled once, you know what to bring and what not to. Common sense is an incredible thing....
That being said, Iceland is a first world country, and in a worst-case scenario, you will still be able to purchase anything you may have forgotten. And from my own personal experience, it is ALWAYS far better to under pack than to overpack.
Anyways, if you are going to Iceland in the summer, here are the essentials you need to bring with you. Remember, people....it's all about layers, layers, layers!
- Waterproof walking shoes (or hiking boots)
- Waterproof jacket (rain jacket, not a winter jacket)
- Multiple layers of short- and long-sleeved shirts, fleece jackets, and sweaters
- Hiking pants (if you've got 'em)
- Gloves, or mittens, winter hat (just in case you want it)
- Sleep mask (IcelandAir will give you one on the plane)
- Swimsuit, towel, and flip-flops
- Reusable water bottle and a thermos
- Baseball cap
- Copious amounts of underwear
- Under Armour (if you've got any)
- Casual walking shoes (or boots) for walking around town/going out
- Multiple pairs of jeans
- 2-4 WOD shorts (can double as a swimsuit)
- Workout Shirts / Tanks for ladies
- WOD shoes/grips
- 6-7 clean socks (can never have too many socks in my opinion)
- Camera gear
- European wall adapter for electrical outlets (like this one on Amazon)
Overall, pack enough so you'll have it, but anything over 1 suitcase (under 50 lbs.) and one daypack (or backpack) should be PLENTY for a 5-6 day trip. You do not want to be lugging a heavy suitcase around for more than you need to.
As it is, sorry, if I missed anything! Comment down at the bottom of this post if you want to add an item to this list! But, next...let's get to an overview and recap.
Iceland is awesome. There is no doubt about it, and do not be scared of the cooler temperatures in July. You will still have such an incredible time that the weather will be the last thing you will worry about. Even on the tours, expeditions, and day long adventures into the countryside. Just pack appropriately and go with the flow.
More importantly, be prepared for the day and don't let it take you by storm. If you are going (or want to go) on a future Iceland trip with VoyEdge RX, then check our Trip Calendar to see when we go next, and read below for the day-to-day itinerary for suggestions on what to expect and what to wear.
Let's get to it!
DAY 1- arrive,walking tour of reykjavik & group dinner
If you are flying the red-eye out of your home airport, dress like you are traveling to Iceland! Wear some nice walking shoes, hiking boots, jeans, a sweatshirt and a raincoat so when you step off the plane you are appropriately dressed for success. It will be colder when you arrive (and early in the morning) so walk out of the arrivals gate, meet our guides, and hop on the bus to City Park Hotel, our accommodations.
From there, you can rest up, then after everyone arrives, head into Reykjavik for a several hour walking tour & end with a group dinner at this Brewery in downtown Reykjavik. Enjoy the late night sun, and walk past the Sun Voyager statue and head back to the hotel.
We will work in an optional drop-in to CrossFit Reykjavik for Day 1, too, if you are keen on getting your WOD on as soon as you get into Iceland. Make sure to also potentially book an activity for Day 3 (your free day) by visiting the front desk at City Park Hotel.
Recommended dress for Day 1: Jeans, good walking shoes, sweatshirt, raincoat, optional hat, mittens or light gloves
DAY 2- Southern Coast & ice climbing tour
Day two kicks off with an optional morning WOD at CrossFit Reykjavik (recommended) then an all-day tour to Iceland's Southern Coast and a visit to the famous waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. You will have a guided tour of both of these majestic falls, and enough time to walk up (or behind them) before heading down to Vik, and the black sand beaches of Reynishverfi Rocks.
Traverse these beaches, watch out for the waves, and then head head to Langjökull Glacier for a lesson in Ice Climbing. All the gear and guides you need are provided, just have fun, be safe, and take lots of photos!
This 10-hour tour will bring you back to Reykjavik in the late evening, so grab some food, crash and get ready for a free day tomorrow.
Recommended wear for Day 2: Hiking boots, wool socks, jeans (or hiking pants) long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, rain coat, gloves, winter hat, sunglasses
DAY 3 - free day
We purposely left Day Three as a free day as when this is when jet lag tends to set in at its worst. Feel free to rest and recoup after a BIG day two, or book an activity (see the optional tours here) the day before at the City Park Hotel front desk.
You can choose from helicopter rides, brewery tours, renting a car and going to Snaefellsness, ATV'ing, whale-watching tours, hiking in the fjords, visiting the Westman Islands, Puffin sightseeing, going to the glacial lagoon, the secret lagoon, exploring lava caves and so much more.
Either way, we will plan a drop-in to CrossFit Reykjavik in the early morning at late at night to accommodate you and your schedule for activities. Workout times: 6 AM or 6 PM at CrossFit Reykjavik.
Recommended wear for Day 3: Depends on your activities, but by now you should be able to be safe with hiking or casual shoes, jeans, sweatshirt, rain jacket and gloves.
DAY 4 - golden circle & snowmobiling
Day Four is another epic day in Iceland. The most famous tour is of course, the Golden Circle, and a bus will pick you up at City Park Hotel at 9 AM and whisk you to Pingvellir National Park, Gulfoss Waterfall, the Strokkur Geysir and then take you to a nearby glacier where you can snowmobile across it on a 2-hour tour and learn about the glacier itself.
There will be an optional drop-in to CrossFit Reykjavik at 6 AM and also 7 PM (times dependent on the guides), as well.
Recommended wear for Day 4: Wool socks, hiking boots, long sleeve t-shirt, rain jacket, sweatshirt, hat and gloves. A suit will be provided by the snowmobiling company (double occupancy on the vehicles)
DAY 5 - atv tour & lava cave exploration
Day 5 is also a blast. Chock full of another adventure, today you will leave City Park Hotel at 9 AM (optional drop-in to CF Reykjavik at 6 AM) and then will go and explore a nearby mountain that overlooks Reykjavik through backroads on ATV's. These double occupancy vehicles will fly, and you will go through mud, rocks, rain and more.
After seeing Reykjavik from 4,000 feet up, you will switch drivers, ride back down and wrap-up the tour. The activity provider will drop you back off in downtown Reykjavik for lunch (1-hour) and you will get picked up in the same location to go and explore lava caves about an hour away from downtown Reykjavik in the opposite direction.
Traverse the lava fields, put on head lamps, and crawl through narrow underground caves in glorious fashion as you learn about Icelandic lore, how lava still affects this area, and why geothermal energy is such a big deal in Iceland.
Afterwards, head back to City Park Hotel, gear up for an optional workout & group dinner in Reykjavik & last night out!
Recommended wear for Day 5: Hiking pants, boots, wool socks, gloves (or mittens), sunglasses, long sleeve t-shirt, sweatshirt, rain coat. Change for dinner, obviously, and wear whatever you want!
DAY 6 - blue lagoon & head home
We will try to squeeze in one last drop-in at CrossFit Reykjavik this morning (either 5:30 AM or 6 AM) before heading out to the Blue Lagoon at 8 AM from City Park Hotel. You will grab all your gear from your room and bring it with you to the lagoon. Wear regular clothes and change before you get to the Blue Lagoon.
*If you are staying another night at City Park Hotel, do not worry about this! You will be returning*
Once you get into the Lagoon, you will have an RFID wrist band for your locker, and will need to shower before entering the Lagoon. Do so, and jump in to have some fun before heading home in 3-hours to the airport!
Make sure to take lots of pics, and of course, tag us in your photos on Instagram @voyedgerx
Recommended wear for Day 6: WOD gear for early, then change into casual wear for the bus trip, and of course, your swimsuit for the Blue Lagoon.
P.S. Don't forget to give us a big huge before you leave for the airport!
Watch our highlight video from our 2017 Iceland tour: