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29 September 2023

How to dress when visiting Iceland in winter

Dressing appropriately is essential for a comfortable and memorable trip to Iceland in winter.

The winter weather in Iceland can be rather unpredictable, but it is expected to be cold, windy, and wet. Therefore, it is crucial to be prepared when visiting Iceland during winter.

Here are some tips for what to wear in the cold and unpredictable weather conditions. 

Layers: Iceland's winter weather can vary greatly, so it's important to dress in layers. Start with a lightweight base layer to wick away moisture, then add a mid-layer for insulation and finish with a waterproof and windproof outer layer.

Warm clothing: Invest in warm clothing, such as a fleece, wool sweater or insulated jacket. Make sure to also pack gloves, a hat and a scarf to keep your extremities warm.

Waterproof gear: Iceland is known for its rain and snow, so don't forget to pack waterproof boots, pants and a jacket.

Thermal underwear: Thermal underwear is a must-have item in Iceland during winter. It will keep you warm and dry even in the harshest weather conditions.

Bright colors: Wearing bright colors is highly recommended in Iceland during winter, as it makes it easier for rescue teams to find you in case of an emergency. 

Comfort: Comfort should be your top priority when dressing for Iceland in winter. Make sure to wear clothes that allow for ease of movement and do not restrict your ability to enjoy the beautiful landscapes.

By following these tips, you'll be well-prepared for the unpredictable weather conditions in Iceland and able to fully enjoy your winter adventure.

The wool sweater is not only warm, it is also the most iconic clothing in Iceland.

Winter Weather in Iceland

The Icelandic winter is mostly cold and dark. The weather can be bright and beautiful but in between it can turn to the worst fast and once it does it can hit hard. Temperature during the winter months is around 0°C but it can drop to as low as – 10°C or more in certain areas.

It is highly important to pay attention to both weather and road conditions when traveling  in Iceland during winter. Do not take any risks, it is simply not worth it. Being stuck in a snowstorm is dangerous and not at all a fun experience.

Driving in Iceland During Winter

Winter driving in Iceland might be challenging at times but it is also a unique experience that will last a lifetime.

The rental car is the most important tool of the trip in Iceland as it provides freedom and endless possibilities for great adventures.

However, driving in Iceland isn't always easy. This is especially true during winter when weather conditions are not always in the traveler’s favorer. There is often snow and ice on the roads and drivers must be careful when driving in these winter conditions.


There are many benefits of having a rental car in Iceland in winter. The rental car offers the possibility to alter travel plans and avoid bad weather if needed. That's why we recommend waiting for the road to be cleared and for the weather to improve. Luckily there is no shortage of amazing sites in Iceland, so travelers should easily find an interesting new place to visit, if needed.

For winter driving in Iceland we recommend a 4x4 such as Dacia Duster or Jeep Renegade. For a full winter driver experience we even recommend a large SUV like the powerful Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

Skógarfoss waterfall, frozen and in winter uniform.

Amazing Winter Activities In Iceland

Winter is a wonderful time for visiting Iceland. A time where it is possible to see amazing natural wonders in their winter uniform.

Iceland is known for its spectacular scenery and among the most beautiful sites found in Iceland are its many waterfalls. In winter it is possible to see frozen waterfalls such as Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Skógarfoss waterfall, Gullfoss waterfall and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall.

As Iceland is known as the land of Ice and Fire travelers will also come across snow covered mountains and lava fields. Seeing the latest eruption at Fargadalsfjall volcano where ice and fire meet on the hot lava field.  

Winter is also the time to witness the amazing Northern Lights in Iceland. Now, that’s one for the bucket list!


There are hundreds of hot springs and geothermal pool in Iceland.
Hot springs of Iceland

Although it is very important to dress appropriately when visiting Iceland in winter, there are other ways to warm up in the Land of Ice and Fire.

There are hundreds of hot springs in Iceland. Providing hot water to public pools and popular attractions such as the Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon and Sky Lagoon, to name a few.

These natural geothermal pools are perfect to visit for warming up in the cold Icelandic winter. 

See Our Stories for more Travel Tips and Practical Info in Iceland.