What to pack for a holiday to Iceland in October

Visiting Iceland has been at the top of my bucket list for a few years and we have finally booked to go and are counting down the days now.

Visiting Iceland in October gives you a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights, however, it is also their wettest month of the year so you need to be prepared for rain and cool temperatures.

Average temperatures for Iceland in October range from 2 to 7 so it won’t be quite as cold as when we packed for Lapland, however some of my tips still stand and we will be using a lot of the items we took then.


What to pack for Iceland in October

Thermal Base Layer: A base layer is your first line of defence against the cold. Base layers are designed to regulate your body temperature and should be close fitting to trap a thin layer of warm air against your skin. A base layer will also ‘wick’ away perspiration from the skin to keep you dry.

Mid-Layer: On top of your base layer, an effective mid layer will provide great insulation by working hand in hand with your base layer to trap air between layers, resulting in enhanced warmth and comfort. Microfleece is an ideal mid layer for kids, as it is lightweight and highly breathable.

Trousers: Lined trousers or fleece tracksuit bottoms to keep the chill out

Regular Socks: A pair for each day of your stay

Woollen Socks: To wear over regular socks to ensure your feet stay toastie and warm

Outer wear: Warm padded ski jackets which are both water and windproof and I have also got fleece lined waterproof trousers in case it rains.

Eliza Snow on Snowdon

Gloves: Waterproof gloves to keep those hands nice and toastie warm.

Hat: The ideal hat is made from polyester fleece that repels water and protects against the wind around the ears but allows moisture to evaporate through the crown.

Shoes: Sturdy and warm walking boots as we will be doing lots of walking. I have ordered the kids the Reima Kids Laplander Boots. The sole is made of an anti-slip material which has an outstanding grip on icy surfaces, plus the shoes are waterproof and have a seam-sealed insert and warm fleece lining, plus 200g insulation – so toes stay warm!

Hand Warmers: A safe heat source that provide warmth and comfort in all cold conditions

Swimming Costumes: Part of the Iceland experience is to bathe in one of their Geothermal pools and we cannot wait to visit the Blue Lagoon.

Secret Lagoon Iceland

Extra Essentials

Skin Care: The wind can chap your face and lips, it is a good idea to use lip balm and moisturiser before you go out.

Plenty of Snacks: Iceland is notoriously expensive, especially where food and drink is concerned, so I will be taking plenty of high energy snacks for the kids, to keep them going.


Empty Drinks Bottles: Tap water in Iceland is drinkable, so take empty drinks bottles to save on the cost of drinks and reduce your carbon footprint.

Camera and Charger: The cold can make the camera battery run out very quickly, so make sure you take the charger and re-charge every night, plus if you want to attempt a shot at the Northern Lights, take a tripod too. I have a Joby Gorillapod as it folds up quite small.

Have you been to Iceland – what other essentials would you recommend taking?

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10 thoughts on “What to pack for a holiday to Iceland in October

  1. I would love to visit Iceland. This is a great list and I love the info about water bottles and drinking water because I wouldn’t have known that. It’s great to be as eco friendly as we can when we go on holiday.

  2. Exciting, Iceland is on my #40before40 list I really wanted to go in November but I don’t think it’s going to happen this year. Are you going on the Golden Circle Tour? Have a great trip.

  3. Iceland always looks like such an incredible place to go. I have to admit I am awful at packing no matter where I am heading to! So it’s always good to have ideas for new places.

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