Wondering what to wear in Iceland in August? Well, look no further as our handy guide will tell you EXACTLY what to pack for Iceland in August in terms or clothes and other essentials for make for an enjoyable and budget friendly trip.
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Weather in Iceland in August
Although July is technically the hottest month in Iceland, visitors to Iceland in August will still be rewarded with mild weather. But what can you expect from the Iceland weather in August? However the weather in Iceland never gets too hot, so what can you expect from the weather in Iceland in August?
How warm is Iceland in August?
The average temperature in Iceland in August is around the 10°C /50°F mark. However it has be known to get as high as mid 20Cs / late 70Fs. But it can drop as low as 41 F / 5 C.
For this reason even if you are visiting Iceland in Summer, you will still want lots of layers with you and be prepared for changing weather.
Remember if your visit to Iceland covers two months be sure to check out our other monthly guides which will give you alterations for your packing list.
Is it rainy in Iceland in August?
Iceland in August is rainier than it is in July. However the rain normally comes in the form of light showers instead of huge deluges and storms.
Having said that though, you should always have waterproofs with you in Iceland as you never know when a downpour is coming.
Also some activities will inevitably get you wet even on a sunny day for instance when we we visited Skogafoss Waterfall on a very sunny day we arrived back at our car completely drenched – so you have been warned.
Is it snowy in Iceland in August?
No, Iceland in August does not tend to be snowy. The only place you will really see snow in Iceland in summer is on mountain tops so you really won’t have to worry about snow during this time.
Iceland Packing Advice for August
Before we get onto specific items to wear in Iceland in Summer, it is worth us pointing out some things that will influence your packing:
Mode of Travel
Iceland is a country that is best explored by car on your own in my opinion. And the roads are perfect for road tripping in August.
When we road tripped Iceland we had a relatively large car and decent sized hotels around the Golden Circle and the main Ring Road. However if you are planning to camp or camper van around the country you will need to pack light. If you are thinking about renting a car or camper van in Iceland you can compare prices here!
For more information on how to pack a capsule wardrobe for Iceland check out our guide to using the 54321 packing method.
As the famous Iceland saying goes – if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes. This should give you a clue on how tricky it can be to pack for Iceland.
Therefore the key to what to pack for Iceland in August is layers and lots of them.
I have never been anywhere in Iceland where I felt under dressed. Therefore don’t worry about packing formal wear. Casual and at most 1 smart casual outfit will be good enough for Iceland.
Waterproofs are needed for every month in Iceland. Even on dry days, you can get drenched on certain hikes.
And don’t be tempted to think water resistant is good enough for Iceland. It really isn’t. Waterproof and wind resistance are key.
- Layers are your best friend.
- Waterproof clothes are required 365 days a year in Iceland.
- Swimwear is always a good idea in Iceland.
- Formalwear isn’t required and most restaurants have a casual dress code.
It is also worth thinking about how much storage you will have in your accommodation in Iceland. For instance if you plan to camper van around the Golden Circle and the rest of the country you will definitely need to pack lighter than if you are staying in a hotel.
Best Shoes for Iceland in August
Normally I hedge my bet when answering the question what is the best shoe for X. However there is no need for Iceland. There is a clear winner in terms of shoes and you can if you want to get away with packing just one pair of shoes.
That is because the best shoe for Iceland is definitely
Waterproof Hiking Boots
Even in Summer hiking boots are required on lots of trails and waterproofing is essential all year round. I have even seen people wearing them in restaurants in Reykjavik.
If you pack one pair of shoes it should be these however if you have space in your case you could also consider:
While we don’t recommend these for trails or activities in Iceland they can come in useful for Reykjavik and the cities and towns of Iceland.
Useful for at hot springs, the Blue Lagoon and at hotels with sauna or hot tub amenities.
What to wear in Iceland in August
Practicality is the most important thing for your Iceland packing list. As such we recommend packing the below for August:
An essential year round in Iceland. Be sure the jacket you pack is not just water resistant, you will need full waterproofing.
Even if the forecast for a day has no rain it is worth carrying this jacket with you at all times just in case.
Also as the wind in Iceland blows down from the Arctic it is worth having a jacket that has strong water resistance.
Waterproof Walking Trousers
On top of the waterproof jacket you will also want waterproof walking trousers. These can cope with Iceland weather best and are most functional.
We recommend walking trousers that are zippable walking as they can be worn as both trousers or shorts.
It is unlikely that you will wear shorts every day in Iceland however it is nice to have the option.
As I mentioned above Iceland is quite a casual place and I have never felt underdressed in Iceland. For this reason I think t shirts are an essential of any Iceland packing list.
We recommend packing a mix of long and short sleeve t shirts so you can amend your outfit for the weather.
Sweaters or Fleeces
As I mentioned above layers are really important for any outfit for Iceland. In fact I personally aim to have 3-4 layers for Iceland in Summer. Hoodies and sweaters are useful for dry days but for cooler and wetter days I recommend a microfibre fleece. This is because they are easier to condense into carry on or a backpack and have better water and wind resistance.
If I have any advice for you it is to keep the jeans for very dry days or to have waterproof trousers for over the top.
There is nothing worse than sightseeing in wet jeans. They are uncomfortable, are slow to dry and get cold so switch them out for waterproofs on rainy days.
However having said this I will say that jeans are my favorite things to wear for dinner in Iceland.
Although sea swimming and sunbathing are not something on anyone’s Iceland summer itinerary swimwear is an essential for those wanting to visit the Blue Lagoon or other hot springs.
One pieces, bikinis, speedos or trunks are all appropriate so pick the swimwear you feel most comfortable in.
For more information on what to wear in the Blue Lagoon check out this post. And for more information on what to pack to visit hot springs keep reading as we have more details below!
Iceland accommodation does not always come with air conditioning and you won’t want windows open in all places such as the Lake Myvatn due to bugs like mosquitos.
For this reason we recommend packing only lightweight nightwear.
Goes without saying.
As hiking boots are the main shoes we recommend for Iceland in August we recommend packing hiking socks.
These will protect your feet more and prevent blistering.
But if you are packing sneakers then you may also want sneaker socks with you too.
Hat, Scarf and Gloves (activity dependent)
There aren’t many summer packing lists that include hat, scarfs and gloves but you will definitely want these even in Iceland in Summer if you plan to go on a glacier hike or on a whale watching excursion.
What to pack for Iceland in August
Now you know what to wear in Iceland in August, we will turn our attention to what to pack for Iceland in August.
Our must have items on your Iceland Summer Packing List include:
Back Pack with Rain Cover
To keep everything you will need for a day out in Iceland you will need a backpack with you. I also recommend bringing a rain cover for your back pack in Iceland to help protect your electronics, towel and clothes you have.
Icelandic hot springs are a must for any Iceland itinerary and although the Blue Lagoon provides towels in its ticket prices – you can find out more about the Blue Lagoon packages and what is included here), not all hot springs will provide towels.
For this reason we recommend packing a towel. If you can bring a quick dry one as there aren’t many places to dry your towel in Iceland accommodation.
Food and drink in Iceland is expensive, a resusable water bottle is a great way to cut costs and is better for the environment.
Iceland is an expensive country and one of the biggest lines on your Iceland budget will be food. Iceland allows you to bring certain foods into the country with you – no raw eggs, raw meat, or milk, up to 3kg in weight.
To save money, if you are bringing a checked luggage we recommend using your 3kg of food allowance to pack snacks and food to help reduce your costs.
Days in Iceland require early starts to get to most of the sights and beat the crowds. To help me get up and at them I always take a thermos which I can fill with my morning coffee before heading out for the day.
Normally I leave toiletries off my packing lists. That is because you either have to restrict volume for carry on or need to pack them carefully for hold bags.
However I always bring toiletries to Iceland from home. ICeland is an expensive place for food aswell as toiletries. Therefore you will save yourself both time and money by brining them with you.
Note: be sure to check liquid volume restrictions if you are traveling with carry on only. preferring to buy them on arrival. However Iceland is an expensive place for food and toiletries.
Normally my toiletry bag for Iceland will include:
- Moisturiser – the wind and rain in Iceland along with the salinity in the hot springs take the toll on your skin. A good moisturiser is therefore a must.
- Conditioner – again the salinity in the hot springs and blue lagoon can damage your hair therefore we recommend packing a good quality conditioner with you for visiting Iceland.
- Toothbrush and tooth paste
- Hairbrush and Hairbands – Iceland gets windy even in Summer so tying your hair up can be essential, especially for photographs.
- Make Up – I am normally quite minimalist with my makeup in Iceland due to the activities I will be doing. The key however for all makeup you bring to Iceland is that it is waterproof.
- Medicines – as required.
One of the downsides to visiting Iceland in Summer is that you won’t get a chance to see the Northern Lights. However the upside of this is the long daylight hours. And by long daylight hours I mean almost 24/7 daylight in some regions of Iceland.
This means you can sightsee in daylight for much longer and increases what you can accomplish in one day. But it comes withe disadvantage of being hard to get to sleep. Rooms are bright and even when exhausted my body finds it hard to sleep in blazing sun. For this reason be sure to pack a sleeping mask withy you.
Note: if you are traveling to Iceland with toddlers or little kids you may want to look into travel blackout blinds too.
Although the temperatures aren’t sky high in August you will still want sunscreen with you as you will be spending the vast majority of your time outside in Iceland in summer.
Lip Balm with Sun Protection
And as well as protecting your skin also protect your lips with a lip balm that has sun protection. Our favorite brand at the moment is Sun Bum.
Iceland does get midgies, black fly and mosquitos in Summer. Insect repellant is therefore a must for any summer visitor.
Hat with mosquito net
A hat is a good idea in Iceland. We like to have one with a mosquito net if you are visiting in Summer. That is because in places like Lake Myvatn, where there is largely still water you will find there are lots of insects. The net can really help reduce the irritation factor of these bugs.
If you are traveling to Iceland you will need a electrical travel plug adaptor. Iceland uses European C and E sockets.
You will be using your phone a lot in Iceland for sat navs, cameras and more and just me this drains your battery quick. Therefore if is worth having a battery pack charger with you as well as a USB cable for charging in your car.
Iceland is a stunning place bring the best quality camera you have with you.
Summer is one of the best seasons for birdwatching in Iceland. If you plan on birdwatching or whale watching in Iceland we recommend bringing a good pair of binoculars with you to enhance the viewing experience.
FAQS about What to wear in Iceland in August
Can you wear shorts in Iceland in August?
Although summer, shorts aren’t commonly worn in Iceland in August. the temperatures just don’t tend to get warm enough.
Instead of just shorts we recommend packing zippable walking trousers instead. These are more practical for the activities you will be doing and can be converted to shorts in case of a hot spell.
Should I pack a dress for Iceland in August?
Dresses are not appropriate for most Iceland activities and tourist attractions which will usually require some physical activity.
Therefore we recommend switching out dresses for hiking gear like walking trousers or saving dresses for dinners rather than day time activities.
What to wear to Reykjavik in August?
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and people will usually make at least a quick stop in the city whether to stock up on supplies, or to stay relatively close to the airport or Blue Lagoon in Keflavik. So what should you wear in Reykjavik in August?
Well the truth is Reykjavik is actually a pretty casual city and most people will feel perfectly comfortable in jeans and a sweater (my favorite is an Icelandic wool jumper) or even a t shirt on warmer days. I have never felt under dressed in Iceland and I have seen people dressed very casually in the city. So you really don’t have to pack anything different for the city compared to the Golden Circle or the Ring Road.
Can I wear leggings to Iceland in August?
Yes you can wear leggings to Iceland in August. However I don’t tend to wear them as I don’t think they are warm enough.
Personally I only normaly include leggings on my Iceland packing list to use as an extra layer under trousers in Winter.
Do I need thermals in Iceland in August?
Although summer in Iceland you may still want thermals on your packing list. These are essential for cold snaps but also activities such as glacier hikes which can get very cold.
Do you have any other questions about what to wear in Iceland in August? Please drop us a comment below and we will do our best to answer