Trying to predict the weather in Iceland can be very tricky, so it is important to come prepared for any condition.
Trying to predict the weather in Iceland can be very tricky, so it is important to come prepared for any condition. Although forecasts can tell you approximately what to expect, most of the time it is unpredictable. Read our guide on how to prepare for all weather in Iceland, so that you can make the most of your adventure.
Often referred to as ‘The Beast’, Iceland's weather can at times be brutal. The time of year will greatly affect the weather, so it is important to check the forecast for the month you are planning to visit during. However, there are a few items of clothing which we consider essential for your trip. When planning your clothes for Iceland there is one word to keep in mind, and that is warm.
Even if you plan on visiting in the summer months, you still need to prepare for the cold weather as the winds can still be chilling. Always pack a pair of thermals just in case, as hiking up in mountainous regions can prove cold and windy. We further suggest packing waterproof gear in the case of wet weather. Be sure to bring warm socks and solid hiking boots to keep your feet protected from the rough Icelandic terrain. Also, bring a swimsuit just in case you decide to visit one of Iceland’s infamous hot springs!
The weather can have an obvious impact on your ability to see the Northern Lights on your trip to Iceland. When planning to chase the northern lights, it is vital to check road conditions before heading out. Cloudy skies will obscure the beautiful lights so we recommend going on a clear night. If you are dedicated to seeing them during your trip, perhaps consider visiting in January. January in Iceland has the longest nights throughout the year, meaning you have more time to chase the lights. To check the Northern Lights forecast, we recommend a visit to the Icelandic Met Office website, which has regular updates to ensure you can get the best visibility of the lights.
If you are planning a self-drive tour in Iceland, we recommend checking the road conditions first. Throughout the winter period, most main roads are kept clear, meaning that many of the coastal routes are easily accessible. However, many highland roads are not maintained and therefore are closed to traffic throughout winter. Therefore, if planning to visit the Icelandic highlands, we highly recommend visiting Iceland in the summer months. Strong winds and floods are two factors that should also be considered when travelling in Iceland, so again be sure to check the forecast!
Useful weather resources
For up to date weather information, be sure to visit the Icelandic Meteorological Office website or call +354902-0600, then press 1 to hear the forecast in English.