Good to know before your trip to Iceland
Clothing and Equipment:
Icelanders like to say that "there is no bad weather, just bad clothes". Being prepared for Iceland's changing weather conditions is strongly recommended in order to fully enjoy your stay here.
In our experience, we've learned that the 3-layer structure is the best way forward and works well all year round:
1. Starting with the base layer, the closest to your skin. The best ones are thermal or just any kind of insulating layer.
2. Then we have the medium layer, that can be made of fleece or wool (recommended) or a primaloft layer. This is what keeps the heat in the base layer.
3. The third is the protection against wind and water. An outer parka is useful depending on the season.
Rather than some warm and bulky clothing, we recommend a selection of lighter and more practical clothes that can be used in various combinations to better manage the wide range of conditions you'll find in Iceland.
Be aware that you should adjust these instructions according to the season of when you are visiting Iceland.
In summer, the type of hiking pants with zip off legs that can easily become shorts are a great option because sometimes it's hot enough to wear lightweight clothes, but in general, you need to be prepared for any kind of weather.
In winter, a warm and thick jacket it's a must. If you don't have one, be sure to pack many thermal and warm sweaters and pants for the layers. We recommend fleece or wool and there is no better than the Icelandic lopapeysa.
Your feet needs some careful consideration, so make sure you bring comfortable and warm hiking shoes, we recommend waterproof walking boots with ankle support or similar. It is advised that you wear thick socks designed for hiking. For glacier walks, you need to use crampons.
Packing list - What to bring:
We have assembled a generalised checklist to help you prepare for your trip, but keep in mind that you should consider the weather and time of the year you are travelling.
See the list below:
Thermal pants, t-shirt or long sleeve tops;
Medium layer - preferably wool or fleece;
Warm outdoor - Hot outer layer;
Water & windproof - Pants and jacket windbreaker/waterproof;
Extra sweaters or jackets;
Fleece or regular hats;
Toothbrush and other toiletries;
Necessary medication (analgesics, antihistamines, etc);
Protection for blisters;
Sunglasses and sunscreen (especially for days of open sun on glaciers);
Backpack for daily tours;
Reusable water bottle;
Bathing suit and towel;
Clothing is seasonal, however Icelandic guest houses and hotels are well heated, so you might want some lighter items also. In Iceland, you will find many pools that are heated all year round, that is why we also recommend a bathing suit and a towel.
Medical conditions and medication:
Please let your guide know about any medical condition that he should be aware of, it is imperative that the guide knows this information so that he/she can keep everyone safe and happy.
Remember to bring any medication you take or are likely to need with you. For example, asthma inhalers or painkillers, even if you rarely use them.
Cell phone and internet connection:
The mobile phone connection in Iceland is strong in most places. Some overseas mobile services do not work here and their fees varies. An Icelandic SIM card will overcome these problems. We recommend obtaining an Icelandic SIM card if you wish to receive signals during the trip. Iceland has the highest percentage of internet users in the world and the 4G/5G connection is excellent, although there are some places along the road where the connection can be irregular.
You will also have WIFI signal in all accommodations.
Currency and ATM:
The Icelandic krona or ISK is the currency of Iceland. It is quite important that you have enough ISK coins with you, because in some places you need to pay 100/200 ISK to use the bathroom. Other coins are rarely needed. For almost everything else, credit, debit and caxton cards are accepted, even for small purchases.
ATMs can be found in Reykjavík and in the small towns you will visit. Outside the cities/towns there are very few ATMs.