If you are traveling to and wondering what to wear in Iceland in March you have come to the right place. March is technically the first month of Spring, however the conditions still feel pretty wintery. In this guide we tell you what to pack for Iceland in March for the weather, major attractions, activities and more.
Iceland Weather in March
Although March heralds Spring in Europe you can still expect Wintery conditions in March. But how cold is the weather in March?
Note: It is worth noting that the weather in Iceland changes dramatically between months especially at this time of year. If your visit spans two months be sure to check out our other seasonal guides:
- What to pack for Iceland in February
- What to wear in Iceland in April.
How cold is Iceland in March?
The average temperatures in Iceland in March tend to average out somewhere between -2°C / 28°F and 3°C/ 38°F. Now it does also depend on where in the country you are as to the temperatures too! For instanceReykjavik tends to have the warmest temperatures while in the north and Husavik for instance, the temperatures are much cooler..
Also you need to factor in the wind chill factor too. When we were in Iceland in March, the wind was very strong and it made it feel so much colder. So overall I would say you will still need to pack your thermals for Iceland in Spring.
How rainy is Iceland in March?
Iceland is rainy any month. In march however you can expect around 82 mm (3.2 inches) of precipitation which can either fall as rain or snow. For this reason lots of waterproof wear is key to and Iceland in Spring packing list.
Is it snowy in Iceland in March?
Iceland is a true Winter wonderland in the snow and snow is definitely still present and possible for visitors in March. In fact when we were in Iceland in March we saw lots of snow and ice on the roads so you should definitely prepare for it in your packing list for Spring.
And on average Reykjavik there is likely to be 23 cm / 9 inches of snow fall in the capital.
What to wear in Iceland in March
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When looking at packing lists, I would usually separate things out into a male, female and childrens list. However fashion is not the priority for Iceland packing lists, it is practicality. For that reason we haven’t separated out this packing list as there is universality in what you need. BThe items that we recommend packing for Iceland is:
Waterproof and Wind Resistant Coat
A waterproof and wind resistance coat is absolutely essential in March as the conditions can still feel pretty Wintery. Some of our favorite brands of coats for Iceland include:
Thermal Base Layers
As the temperatures can dip below freezing even in March, and given the activities you will be doing outside, you will definitely be wanting a thermal base layer.
There are lots of thermals on the market but we recommend spending a little more and buying a merino set. The reason is that this aren’t bulky and they wick away sweat and bad smells which means you can wear them multiple times.
If you are spending 5 days to a week in Iceland we recommend having at least two sets of thermal underwear with you but for a weekend in Iceland you may be able to get away with packing just one set.
Waterproof trousers are a must even when it isn’t rainy. Some of the best hikes in Iceland, such as the waterfall walks, can get you wet even on a dry day. Therefore we recommend always keep a pair of waterproof trousers in your day pack.
We recommend looking for a wind resistant and waterproof pair to make sure you stay warm and comfortable when outdoors.
Again the snow, ice and wind will make the temperatures feel cooler than they are. It is well know extremities such as ears get cold quickly and that people lose heat from their heads, therefore a good quality beanie is a must especially if you plan to go hunting for the Northern lights, hiking on a glacier or go whale watching.
As I mentioned above, it is important to protect your extremities when traveling to Iceland. Therefore gloves are an absolute essential. I recommend packing gloves that are electronics compatible so you don’t have to remove them to take photos or use your phone.
Also another top tip is to actually pack two sets of glove especially for when out on hunt for the northern lights. When we went to iceland I used the touch screen pair as our base layer and then used thicker ski gloves to go on top.
I didn’t use my scarf everyday in Iceland but found it useful when it got very cold.
Ear Muffs or a head band
Again, I didn’t use these everyday but I found them very useful for nights in Iceland and for when I was near glaciers or in very windy places such as on one of the beautiful black sand beaches.
Layers (Jumpers, Hoodies, and Sweaters)
You can’t visit Iceland in March without layers, and plenty of them. Iceland is a pretty casual place, even when you go out for dinner. Therefore you don’t need to worry too much about formal tops. Instead we recommend packing lots of quick dry fleeces and hoodies. However for evenings merino wool sweaters can be useful.
Personally I would never wear jeans for hiking in Iceland, or on any hike that has a risk of rain as they are just not comfortable when wet. However I did take a pair with me to chance into in the evenings for dinner. If you don’t plan on heading out for dinner though then you could leave these off the list.
Thick Thermal Socks
There is nothing worse than getting cold feet when hiking so you will definitely want thick thermal socks. I normally pack of thicker hiking style socks for the daytime and thinner merino wool ones for night.
T shirts are a staple on any packing list. These won’t replace your thermal base layer but they are a good addition to go on top before your sweater, fleece or other layers.
Although it definitely isn’t beach weather in Iceland in March, swimwear is still an essential as not trip to Iceland is complete without visiting the Blue Lagoon or other geothermal pools.
Goes without saying.
The weather is so cold in Iceland that you will want to make sure the pyjamas you have are warm. I usually opt for a fleece or flannel pair.
Best Shoes for Iceland in March
Normally I hedge my bet when answering the question what is the best shoe for a destination. However there is no need for Iceland as there is a clear winner.
My number shoe for Iceland has to be:
Waterproof Hiking Boots
Iceland is a country where the outdoor activities are unrivalled and you will be spending the majority of your time outdoors. For this reason recommend packing waterproof hiking boots to be the most appropriate shoe.
Just be sure if you buy a pair for Iceland that you wear them in before travel and have thick hiking boots and blister plasters with you.
Pair of Shoes for evenings (optional)
If you plan on eating out at night and like to change of dinner you may want a change of shoes with you. At this time of year a pair of flat ankle boots would be perfect. However some places hiking boots will be appropriate too. Sneakers are also another great pick.
Slippers / Flip Flops (optional)
Although you won’t use these in lots of places in Iceland, flip flop are useful for hot springs and if you plan on visiting hot tubs or saunas at your hotel.
What to pack for Iceland in March (Non Clothing)
So now you know what to wear in Iceland in March we will look at the non clothing items that you have to pack.
Back Pack with Rain Cover / Waterproof Outer Shell
Although some backpacks are waterproof it is a good idea to have a waterproof shell with you just in case.
Waterproof phone case
This is useful for protecting your phone in the rain but most importantly for using in the Blue lagoon and other hot springs.
Quick Dry Towel
This is another one for geothermal springs in Iceland. Although some packages at the Blue Lagooncome with towels in with the price, I still advise packing a quick dry towel as now all locations will have these for rent. And we recommend using quick dry ones as it can be hard to dry things in your accommodation.
If you have plenty of space you could add a dry robe to your Iceland packing list.
Food and drink in Iceland is expensive, a reusable water bottle is a great way to cut costs and is better for the environment. Shop travel water bottles here!
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.
I like to start my day with a hot cup of coffee. When we visited Iceland in March, we had a lot of very early starts. Every day of our trip I used my coffee thermos so I was very pleased I packed it. Click here to shop travel thermos.
Universal Travel adaptor
If you are traveling to Iceland you will need a electrical travel plug adaptor. Iceland uses European C and E sockets. So if you are coming from the UK or USA you will need a universal travel adaptor. Click here to shop travel adaptors.
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. Click here to shop battery packs.
Iceland is a stunning place bring the best quality camera you have with you and any extra lenses too.
These are necessary even in Winter as the sun is very dazzling on the snow and ice.
Ice Scraper (optional depending on car hire)
If you decide on hiring a car in Iceland an ice scraper / deicer can be handy for clearing your windows off early in the morning.
Iceland has amazing wildlife from humpback whales to birds. If you plan on doing some nature excursions be sure to pack some binoculars with you.
While usually we advocate buying budget versions of things for vacation, binoculars are something I would buy the best version you can afford as you will notice a difference in quality. Click here to shop binoculars.
Normally I leave toiletries off my packing lists as in most places in Europe they are easy to pick up locally. However for Iceland it is much easier to bring them with you. Just be sure that you keep to any liquid restrictions for the luggage you have. T
For me the essential toiletries for Iceland in March are:
- 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 is windy so if you have long hair you will want to tye it up.
- 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.
- Lip Balm – 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.
- Blister Plasters – wearing new hiking boots or getting your feet wet can lead to blisters. This would certainly ruin your Iceland trip. Have a good supply with you just in case.
- Travel first aid kit – no one wants to get injured on vacation but it is worth having a small travel first aid kit with you just in case.
FAQS about What to wear in Iceland in March
Should I pack a dress for Iceland in March?
A dress really isn’t necessary for Iceland in March. However if you want a dress for a special night out I recommend looking at something like a sweater dress for warmth.
Have you been to Iceland in March? What did you wear? Leave us a comment and tell us about your favorite Iceland in March outfit.