Sunday, October 12, 2014

What to wear?

Many who are planning to travel to Iceland ask what to wear. Well, that depends on the time of year you are travelling. Iceland during winter and Iceland during summer are two totally different things. And that is a good thing because that gives you an excuse to visit at least twice!

Here are some general information on what clothes to bring with you during your stay (we presume that you are a typical traveler; doing a mix of visiting the main tourist attractions, taking a few light hikes and exploring the city).

The most important thing to realize is that the weather in Iceland can change, for better or worse, very rapidly. The rule of thumb is: It is better to use warmer clothes than expected, because you can always take them off.

It is also important to note that you should dress in layers. If it is too warm, then shed a layer. If it is too cold, then add a layer.

Lastly please note that due to strong winds and the famous horizontal rain, umbrellas are usually worthless in Iceland.

We have spring in May and into June. The temperature very slowly gets higher each week. During the first weeks there can be a huge difference between day temperature and the temperature at night. Expect day temperatures to reach 10°C – 12°C in early spring, perhaps reaching 15°C in late June. High summer is during July and into August. Expect temperatures to reach up to 20°C. In good days the temperature can reach 25°C or more. The official starting point of a heatwave in Iceland is when the temperature reaches 25°C.

What to wear: Wear trousers that can be converted into shorts. Wear a light cotton T-shirt and a thin Fleece jumper over the T-shirt. Always bring with you a small rucksack with thin water proof breathing trousers and jacket. And don’t forget to bring your swimming wear because you’ll definitely be visiting one of the many geothermal swimming pools (there is at least one in every village). Light, comfortable shoes are fine. If you plan to hike you should of course bring hiking boots that fit the amount of hiking you plan to do.

Late August and in September the weather gradually gets colder. In September and October expect strong winds and lots of rain. In October and November expect the first days with snow and frost. Late December and early January the weather usually calms down a bit with fever days of strong wind. But in February the wind seems to pick up momentum again and we usually have the worst snowstorms in late January, February and early March.

Expect temperatures between 5°C and -10°C.

What to wear: Wear trousers made of thick material (hiking trousers), long sleeved shirt and a thin fleece jumper. Over that wear a thicker fleece jumper with a zip front. As an outer layer wear a wind and rainproof trousers and jacket. Always bring with you a small rucksack with thin and thick mittens, warm socks and a warm hat. Also consider bringing with you a down parka with a wind and water tight outer shell. And don’t forget to bring your swimming wear because you’ll definitely be visiting one of the many geothermal swimming pools, basking in one of the Jacuzzis while looking at the Northern Lights! For shoes bring warm shoes with a sole that is good in snow and frost.
The suggestions above should take you through most sightseeing situations during your stay. If you want to explore the night life in Reykjavik during your stay, simply forget all that is said above. Just wear as skimpy clothes as you want, regardless of the weather. At least that is what the locals do. You’ll be amazed to see the girls wearing high heels, short skirts and thin blouses cueing in front of a club during a snowstorm!

Some examples of the appropriate clothing mentioned above:


Post a Comment