Iceland is one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world, with amazing landscapes, opaque lakes, gushing geysers, and rolling meadows. It truly is nothing like you’ve ever seen before. Nowhere else can you bathe in 40 degrees C water, and yet see snow all around you. The landscape is not the only great thing about Iceland; its people are also known as some of the friendliest on the globe. You will want to make the most of your trip and see as much as possible.
Good preparation is always the key to success, and a few key travel packing tips will ensure that your Icelandic holiday is more enjoyable.
10 Things to Consider Before Traveling to Iceland
If you’re planning a trip to Iceland for the first time, there are just a few things you should know before you go. Here is a list of 10 things that you may find helpful before you start your trip through Iceland.
- The weather in Iceland is unpredictable. If you’re renting a car, taking a hike, or simply plan to walk around and sightsee, be prepared to possibly experience a bit of wind or rain on any given day. carrying waterproof pants, a windbreaker jacket, gloves, and of course an umbrella are all clever items to find room for in your bags.
- A helpful tip in case you plan on renting a car in Iceland: Manuals are significantly inexpensive to rent than Automatics. It’s also essential to note that F-Roads are accessible by cars with 4WD only.
- Take caution when driving! As mentioned above, Iceland can get pretty windy, so watch your speed and drive safely. It would also be clever to take a look at the different Icelandic road signs before taking to the road as these can be a little confusing.
- Along with waterproof pants and a windbreaker, make sure to carry your own towels since renting them can add up!
- Do not fret about having to exchange your money for Krónas. In fact, you can use credit cards for almost everything in Iceland. A few situations where you might find cash useful would be for paying parking meters or buying something from certain cash-only vendors at the flea market. It’s also possible you might come across a public toilet that requires you to pay a few coins. (The exchange rate for converting Icelandic Krónas to United States Dollars is 1 ISK for 0.00887 USD or 500 ISK for roughly 5 USD.)
- If you use your smartphone, an Icelandic mobile SIM card may be purchased so you can access Iceland’s 4G network which is extremely helpful since it works well even in the most remote areas, away from the cities.
- There is no need to tip when you’re eating out at the restaurant since the tip is included in the price of the meal, and be careful before purchasing any alcohol since many places offer it much cheaper. (There is also no need to tip the taxi drivers since that’s also included in your total.)
- Because the water is heated by geothermal energy, the hot water coming from the faucets smells a bit like sulfur. Regardless, the water is completely safe, so do not be alarmed! Don’t hesitate to drink the cold water either (that’s free of the sulfur smell) since that’s safe, too!
- If you plan on bringing electronics items or appliances, be sure to bring an adapter. find a converter that will accommodate the 220 volts and you must be fine to go. Finding a compatible adapter can be harder for a hairdryer, so it’s recommended you leave yours at home and instead buy a cheap one locally, or see if your hotel carries one.
- Carry an informative travel guide with you, an accurate and detailed map of Iceland, or download google maps, as well as a GPS if you plan to rent a car. These will all come in handy and it wouldn’t hurt to study up before you depart
How to pack for an Icelandic trip?
- First of all, think about the time of year that you’ll be visiting the country. The temperature ranges from around 12 degrees Celsius during the summer, to a few degrees below freezing in the winter. The climate is ideal for energetic activities as there is no danger of overheating, but it is important to wrap up warm the moment you stop. Take a thick warm coat and a few layers. Hat, gloves and a scarf will also be essential, especially during the winter season.
- Secondly, with all the activities you may be involving yourself in, you must make sure you take proper care of your body. So, in case you are going on a walking or activity vacation, this means looking after your feet and make sure that you have proper support wherever you might need it – knee supports, for example. Invest in a pair of decent walking boots to take on your Icelandic adventure trip, as well as warm socks. And if the worst comes to the worst, make sure you have a stash of blister plasters so that nothing can deter you from enjoying the great outdoors. One thing’s for sure, during the Icelandic adventure vacation you will see some fantastic sights and explore remarkable landscapes, so be sure you take a camera with you everywhere you go. From smoldering volcanoes and bubbling hot springs, to roaring waterfalls and glistening glaciers, the geological features of Iceland are unrivaled anywhere else on Earth. Ensure that your camera has plenty of memory for the hundreds of photos that you’re bound to take and remember to pack spare batteries.
- A bathing suit might seem like an unlikely item to take to a cold country, but you could require it on many occasions during an Icelandic adventure trip. Diving in the Silfra Fissure is one of the most incredible experiences you can have in Iceland. It’s the gap between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates, and its crystal-clear waters let you see the fascinating rock formations perfectly. Whether you are scuba diving or snorkeling, wetsuits are provided. If you prefer to bathe in warmer waters, you can take a dip in some of the geothermal pools that can be found around the island, the most popular of which is the Blue Lagoon. Its milky waters are mineral-rich and perfect for soothing the muscles – the great way to unwind after a day spent enjoying outdoor activities.
And above all else, make sure you pack plenty of energy because, with all the thrills and spills that Iceland offers, you’re going to need it!
Iceland clothing: What to wear in Iceland?
You have planned your vacation to Iceland and now it’s time to plan what needs to be packed for your trip. It is important to decide on what you will be wearing for your trip. You must have to pack based on the climatic conditions. we all know that the weather in Iceland is unexpected.
- Firstly, the vital thing that you need to do while traveling is to travel as light as possible. Try to pack a few and required travel clothing and not more. Mix and match the tops and bottoms/pants to save you from bringing many trousers which can make your suitcase heavy. Try to carry depending on the number of days that you will be traveling one or two bottoms/pants with four to five tops/shirt, a couple of nightwear, and a couple of clothes to wear on the plane. Avoid white color for nightwear as they match the hotel bed sheet, and you might forget to pack it so always carry night clothes of darker color, so they are easily spotted.
- Plan your travel clothing to be culturally correct clothing for the country. Make sure to dress conservatively and stay away from any troubles with unwanted attention when traveling. Avoid carrying or wearing expensive jewelry. Pack your important stuff like cards, cash, and passport in your handbag which stays with you all the time.
- While deciding on travel clothing do make sure you pack clothing that is easy to wash and dry and also, they are wrinkle-free. Casuals are more preferable. Do not buy new shoes for your travel trip, it will cause blisters on your leg in a day or two of traveling, and try to take with you the used shoes which have been broken in and conform to your feet.
- Avoid carrying unnecessary clothing while traveling and pack what is required to give you a stress-free travel trip with well-planned travel clothing. Make your trip one that is remembered and try to focus more on enjoying the holiday, rather than having to worry about heavy luggage. Don’t carry extra and unnecessary clothes you might not even wear for the whole of your trip.
20 items you need to bring on a trip to Iceland
- Iceland power adapter
- Travel backpack
- Iceland travel guide
- Packing cubes
- Reusable water bottle
- Multi-layered/Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof & comfortable shoes
- Sleep mask
- Quick-dry towel
- Passport holder
- Cash & wallet
- Travel pillow
- Phone & charger
- USB Car charger
Iceland packing list FAQs
Q: Do you need hiking boots for Iceland?
When it comes to picking out the best hiking boots for Iceland glacier adventures, we would suggest formal hiking boots. Trail running and regular hiking shoes are not comfortable once you slip on our crampons. Throughout winter in Iceland, we recommend you wear a pair of snow boots for hiking.
Q: How much cash should I bring to Iceland?
A rule of thumb is to convert $200 to ISK when you land at Keflavik. it’s useful for when you’re going out to restaurants, hot dog stands, or other places where you don’t want to spend more than a few seconds paying for things. That said, even in those places, they take cards, pretty much the entire country takes cards.
Q: Do I need waterproof pants for Iceland?
You’ll need either waterproof over-pants or ski pants. You will need warm ski pants or waterproof trousers to make sure you don’t get wet. Don’t wear jeans in the cold or winter season, they won’t keep you warm and if they get wet, they will ice up in the cold.
Q: Are you allowed to take food in your suitcase to Iceland?
You can bring up to 3kg of food into Iceland, but don’t carry raw eggs, raw meat, or milk.
Q: Can I wear jeans in Iceland?
You will be fine in jeans, Just If you wear something underneath them. Make sure to don’t rock up anywhere in Iceland with just jeans, you will be cold.
Q: Is it safe to travel to Iceland now?
The result is that Iceland remains one of the world’s safest countries to travel to in 2020. The island reopens for summer on June 15, with COVID-19 tests are available for each traveler.
Q: What is the best time of year to visit Iceland?
The best time to visit Iceland is in the summer months. July & August are Iceland’s warmest and have long been the most well-known time to visit. And June, with its 24 hours of daylight, sees just about as many travelers as the peak of summer. But even in this season, bad weather, rain, and intense winds are not uncommon.
Q: What to see in Iceland?
Gullfoss Waterfall is the most famous of Iceland’s mythic waterfalls and will be the first Icelandic attraction that any native will usher you towards. The falls cascade a 105-feet into a stunning canyon. Mist rises from the base, and on clear, pleasant days the sun casts beautiful arcs of rainbows across the breadth of the falls.
No visit to Iceland is complete without a day in the capital city of Reykjavik, the nation’s cultural hub. Here you can spend a day exploring the city’s many museums, have dinner at the famous landmark, The Pearl, and spend the evening drinking at one of Reykjavik’s stylish bars or dancing at one of its hopping night clubs.
Thingvellir National Park, located about 40 minutes west of Reykjavik, is Iceland’s oldest national park. It is a protected area of historical significance that has a stunning 52-square mile lake and great hiking trails throughout lava fields.
The Great Geyser (from which the word “geyser” originates) is the world’s largest geyser and is easily accessible by bus in Reykjavik. The Great Geyser was formed in the 1300s; though now it only erupts on special (engineered) occasions, the nearby Strokkur erupts every 30 minutes for those who wish to snap some photos.
The Blue Lagoon, located about 15 minutes from the Keflavík International Airport is a long-time favorite of visitors to Iceland, especially those who wish to test the notion that bathing in algae, silica, and mineral salts is restorative for health. The lagoon is located in the middle of a moss-covered field of lava and draws its seawater from 2,000 meters below the surface. Entire families can bathe together here in the tranquil, peaceful water.
Iceland is the most active part of the Aurora Oval in the southern hemisphere, which means that anytime there is a clear sky, Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, can be seen lighting the sky with its vibrant and brilliant colors and shapes. Iceland is generally well-placed Northern Lights viewings, but bus tours are also offered for those who wish to “chase” these lights and see them in their varying splendor.
In Medieval Europe, Mount Hekla was considered an entrance to hell and was feared by the locals. But now visitors flock eagerly to this volcanic mountain which stands 4,892 feet high and erupted most recently in February 2000. The volcano towers over the lowlands, and its unusual, flat, ridged peak is often shrouded in a bank of clouds, explaining the volcano’s name, “Hekla,” or “hooded one.”
Kverkfjöll Ice Caves, located just north of Vatnajökull, are one of the world’s largest and strangest geothermal areas. Here, you can witness a hot river flowing under glacial ice! The hot water evaporates in the enclosed space and leaves beautiful patterns on the cave walls. Visitors can also hike from the glacier to the hot springs located at the nearby Hveradalur.
Another area of Iceland in which visitors can witness the startling interplay of hot and cold is the Vatnajokull Glacier, which is known for its volcanic activity. Vatnajokull is Europe’s largest glacier and covers about 8% of the country.
Another waterfall that had to make this list is Skogafoss on the Skoga River, which is a favorite amongst locals and visitors because of its classic rectangular shape and its immense height of 60 meters. Skogafoss is easy to access and is usually flooded with visitors, who can hike up a path from the base of the falls to reach the very top.