What to bring and wear
In Iceland, normal day-temperatures during the summer usually are between 12 and 18 °C, although it can be warmer. In the highlands however, it can be colder than that, even in summer. Often, the temperatures there go down to only a few degrees above 0°C. It’s very important to remember this when you’re packing!
For staying in hotels or hostels:
- Some clothes for warm weather (T-shirt, blouse), but also clothes for cold weather: warm trousers, a pullover, a wind-jacket and waterproofs.
- Sturdy boots, which are comfortable to walk in, are also very useful. If you don’t bring waterproof shoes, rubber boots are perhaps a good idea.
- Your swim-suit is essential, since there’s a lot of natural hot water in Iceland, which is used to fill swimming pools – so you find swimming pools all over, even a few very natural ones!
- Binoculars, especially if you’re a bird watcher!
- Sun glasses can come in handy, since the air is very clear in Iceland so if the sun shines, it shines brightly. Therefore, sun-protection lotion can be very useful too.
- For those who take pictures: bring enough film or memory cards (many people say they shoot twice as many pictures in Iceland, as what they are used to on other holidays!).
- A small alarm clock can be very practical, since not all hotels offer wake-up calls.
- If you like a drink every now and then, it can be very practical to bring your own (tax-free from the airport!) because alcoholic beverages are expensive in Iceland. The same applies to tobacco. Travellers are allowed to bring 1 litre of strong liquor as well as 1 litre of wine or similar drinks into the country, and 1 carton of cigarettes.
Extra for walking and camping:
- For cold weather: a woollen pullover, a warm wind-jacket, woollen socks and even thermo underwear.
- Very good walking boots are indispensable for walking tours.
- Rainwear is necessary and rubber boots can be very, very useful when it’s raining!
- Bring a small back-pack for the daily walks, to carry your camera, binoculars, sun glasses, lunch package, rainwear and personal items.
- A warm sleeping bag is a very important asset, which can be brought or rented on the spot.
For a stay in hotels or hostels:
- Sturdy, sensible boots in which you can walk are the best thing to wear every day. If you like, you can wear comfortable shoes in the bus, and keep your walking boots with you in the bus so you can change when you go out exploring.
- One needs some clothes for warm weather (T-shirt, blouse), but also clothes for cold weather: a pullover, a wind-jacket and waterproofs. It's best to wear a few layers, which can be pilled off one at the time!
- Always keep a warm and rain-proof jacket at hand.
Extra for camping:
- Normal shoes are useful for the evenings and the days that are spent travelling, but on the walking days good walking boots are necessary, as are good woollen socks. Rubber boots often come in handy and it is a good tip to keep them close at hand in the bus, instead of in your luggage!
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