Ready to conquer Iceland in the spring? Not so fast – you’ll want to check out my Iceland spring packing list first. 

While t-shirts, large-brimmed sun hats, and sandals may be great for a spring trip to Italy, it’s not gonna cut it for a trip to Iceland!

When packing for an overseas holiday, you need to make smart choices about what to bring and what to leave behind.

So let’s talk about packing essentials, shall we? 

I’ll take you through what weather you can expect in spring in Iceland, and what you need to pack, from layers to footwear and other items you’d never think to bring along. 

P.S. Don’t go anywhere, I’ve got a fantastic FREE resource waiting for you, so keep reading to snag it! 🙌

Table of Contents:

Iceland Spring Weather

Picture of Lupines Located at a Mountain Next to a Lake | Iceland Spring Packing | Iceland with a View

Spring is in the air! 🎶 

Knowing what to expect with the weather is key for putting together your Iceland spring packing list.

But what does Iceland’s spring weather actually look like?

Spring in the land of fire and ice is very different from other destinations. While the daylight hours are now longer, giving you more time to explore, the weather in Iceland during this season continues to be unpredictable.

In April, the snow is melting, and you may even see green poking out between the brown and white landscape. However, by May, the blooms should be out in full swing!

Visiting Iceland in April? ➡️ READ: April in Iceland | Ultimate Travel Guide

When is Spring in Iceland?

Picture of The Northern Lights | Iceland Spring Packing | Iceland with a View

The spring window in Iceland is a short one. It’s only two months long to be exact – April and May.

These are also the rainiest months, but be prepared for a mix of rain, sun, wind, and maybe even a little snow. 

The days in April and May are longer and you can typically experience between 13 – 20 daylight hours by the end of May. 

That’s why these months are a hit with tourists. More daylight means more time to get out there and explore! However, they’re not too packed either – April and May are shoulder seasons so you’ll still be avoiding the larger crowds of the summer months. 

Pro tip: Because of the longer daylight hours, you will only really be able to catch the Northern Lights up until mid-April at the very latest.

Average Spring Temperatures in Iceland

The average temperatures in April are 1 degree Celsius (34 degrees Fahrenheit) to 6 degrees Celsius (43 degrees Fahrenheit).

In May the averages are slightly warmer, between 4 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit) to 9 degrees Celsius (48 degrees Fahrenheit).

Not quite bikini weather, but I’ll take it! 😃

Each season has its charm, but if you’d like an overview of what you can expect, check out this post 👉 Best Time to Visit Iceland – Pros and Cons of Each Season, and see which season speaks to you!

How to Pack for Iceland In The Spring

Spring can still be super cold, but you’ll likely have some nice days too.

Remember, your Iceland packing list for April and May follows the same rule as for most other months: come prepared for all the seasons!  

Layers are going to be your best friend and make sure your outerwear is wind and waterproof.

Your Iceland spring packing list for Reykjavík should include something basic, comfortable, and a little stylish. I’d opt for jeans with a cardigan and a scarf. 

Struggling to figure out what to pack for Iceland in May and April? Grab my Ultimate Iceland Packing Guide now! 

This comprehensive guide is more than a checklist – you’ll find useful season-specific products I recommend, weather information, and packing tips that’ll take the guesswork out of preparing for your journey. 

Download the PDF Guide below 👇

Iceland Spring Packing List Essentials: Outerwear

Outerwear pieces are items that are going to keep you weatherproof. 

Nobody likes to be cold and wet, right?  Being prepared for what the weather throws at you is key to an enjoyable experience when you’re out exploring. 

Weatherproof Shell: You’ll want a jacket that’s not only wind and water-resistant but also warm. I love my Marmot PreCip Ladies Jacket, it’s different from a rain jacket and I mainly use it during these months. It falls below the waist and has a hood – you never know when you’ll need it!

Rain jacket + Pants: If you want to go in or around some of the major waterfalls, you can expect to get pretty wet! Having a waterproof jacket and pants will come in handy. This Frogg Toggs rain suit is durable and perfect for outdoor activities. Plus, you can quickly take them on and off depending on what you’re doing.

Hiking pants: You don’t want to leave this off your Iceland spring packing list! I have a lightweight pair of hiking pants that I love as a barrier for wind and rain. If it’s raining, I put on my completely waterproof rain pants, but I love these hiking pants because they are breathable and flexible, and protect me from the elements. They’re also stylish enough for hanging out with friends. A great option for interior hiking and camping.

Packable down jacket or vest: I have a packable down vest and jacket that adds an extra layer of warmth between my base layer and shell. I think these are especially handy because they pack up into a tiny bag and they’re super lightweight – saving you space! I also love that they come in a bunch of fun colors.

Hat or headband: Even though it’s spring, you’ll need to cover your head and ears on some days – not every day, but having a hat or headband is essential. If you’re near the ocean, traveling inland, or heading north where it tends to be cooler, it’s a good idea to bring a couple of options, just in case one gets wet.

Gloves: As for gloves, I have multiple pairs, but prefer these touchscreen gloves. They come equipped with highly conductive material on the thumbs and forefingers, making them perfect for touchscreen devices. It’s also easy to handle your camera and cell phone with them.

Buff: I have a lightweight buff neck warmer that I always pack on adventures just in case I need it. I prefer it over a scarf because those can be bulky. Again, it’s inexpensive, versatile, and lightweight. This neck gaiter is moisture-wicking, quick-drying, breathable, and can double as a headband in a pinch! 


Picture of Jeannie Wearing Full Layers as Recommended to Pack for Spring in Iceland Looking at Askja Viti | Iceland with a View

Even though it’s spring, you still need to keep warm. Layering items is a great way to stay comfortable in fluctuating temperatures – and these ones should definitely be included in your Iceland spring packing list!

Thermal base: You want the clothing that’s close to your skin to be quite warm. I personally like SmartWool top and bottom. I think they’re perfect for your base layer. Another option is to get a pair that’s fleece-lined. I suggest splurging on good quality materials (wool is the best!), especially if you’re camping or heading toward the interior of the country which is colder. 

Shirt: Unless you are extremely hot-blooded, I recommend sticking to long sleeves. I can think of only two occasions per year when I can go outside without a jacket! While there might be nice days, they are few and far between. My go-to is a chambray, long-sleeve tee, flannel, or light sweater.

Fleece: A fleece will be easy to layer, or even wear as a jacket alone if you don’t need protection from wind or rain. Patagonia 1/4 zips are my jam!

Sweaters: Bring extra sweaters for layering with that second layer. Having extra sweaters is also really helpful, whether for just relaxing at the end of the day or for going out for dinner. My all-time favorite thing is my Lopapeysa. I wear it everywhere because it’s so warm. If you want to find out more about the original Icelandic Lopapeysa, check out the blog below.👇

➡️ READ MORE: Icelandic Lopapeysa: Your Guide to Buying Authentic Icelandic Wool Sweaters

Leggings: For me, comfort when I’m traveling is a must! And what’s more comfortable than stretchy leggings?! I tend to stick to wearing practical athletic spandex. These Seamless Leggings are versatile and lightweight! 

Jeans: I don’t recommend jeans for exploring because once they’re wet, they won’t dry any time soon! However, they’re a good option for going out to dinner or hanging out with friends.


Picture of Jess Wearing Layers and Good Hiking Shoes at the Top of Kerid in Iceland | Iceland Spring Packing | Iceland with a View

When considering what to wear in Iceland in April and May, let’s talk about footwear. 

The terrain is rugged, I’m talking about volcanic landscapes, and icy, wet, and often muddy surfaces. So, please show your feet some love by adding high-quality footwear to your Iceland spring packing list!

Hiking boots: I can’t tell you how much I love my hiking boots. They are waterproof, have amazing traction, and are super comfortable. I highly suggest good-quality hiking boots to navigate the rugged terrain and waterfalls. 

Walking shoes: I love my hiking shoes for easy walking days or exploring.  I wear them a lot, especially as we start getting into spring, as I don’t have to worry too much about snow.  While they may not be as durable as hiking boots, they’re still an excellent alternative for exploring around Iceland.

Flip-flops: I like to bring a pair of flip-flops with me when we go to the hot springs, it makes it easier to get in and out of the pools and back to the changing rooms. This’ll be a handy item on your Iceland spring packing list, trust me.

If you’re interested in exploring Iceland’s hot springs, you’ll want to check out this post:

➡️ READ: Top 10 Blue Lagoon Alternatives: Hot Springs, Pools, and Spas That Are Just as Breathtaking

Hiking socks: You won’t need the most heavy-duty wool socks on your Iceland spring packing list, but it’s still a good idea to bring many pairs of moisture-wicking socks. My favorite is these SmartWool Outdoor Light socks. 

Pssst… Pack like a seasoned traveler for Iceland, by downloading my FREE comprehensive packing guide. 

It Includes detailed checklists for all seasons. Not only will you get clothing recommendations, but also advice on which electronics to bring along and photography equipment to capture those epic photographs!

This guide is loaded with must-have information for a seamless packing experience for your trip to Iceland. 

Get the download here👇

What Else to Bring to Iceland in Spring

You already know which clothing pieces to pack, now let’s take a look at what to bring to Iceland in terms of accessories and some essential items you don’t want to leave off your Iceland spring packing list.

Eye Mask: With all those daylight hours, it may be challenging to get some sleep, especially if you’re sensitive to light.  An eye mask is a must in my book for your Iceland packing list for May. Curious about what else you need to know for your May trip? Take a look 👇

➡️ READ: Iceland in May: What to Expect and How to Plan

Swimsuit: Icelanders LOVE pools, and there’s a pool in every town! You’ll also find dozens of hot springs around the country. There’s nothing better than relaxing in a natural hot spring in the middle of the wilderness and even more so if there’s free access! 

Quick-dry towel: Quick-dry towels are so convenient because they fold up small and dry quickly, especially if you’re planning on camping, staying in a hostel, or swimming in the natural pools. 

Sunglasses: Given the extended daylight hours in spring, it’s important to shield your eyes from the glare of the sun reflecting on the snow – it’s intense! 

Walking poles: If you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking, you might want to consider a pair of walking poles. These are easy to adjust and lightweight. Honestly, there’s no shame in using these, no matter what age you are!

Backpack rain cover: I bring a day pack along with me wherever I go. As I mentioned before, springtime can be rainy so if you’re wondering what to pack for Iceland in April and May, you’ll want to invest in a rain cover for your backpack. I love these Rain Covers – they’re inexpensive and fold up into a little pouch. Plus it comes in multiple sizes, depending on what kind of backpack you have. I don’t always need it, but when I do, it’s a lifesaver!

Reusable Water bottle: Buying water in Iceland is downright unnecessary. You can drink water from the stream you’re hiking past – it comes straight from the glacier! So bring a reusable water bottle. You can also drink water from the tap in Iceland. I promise it’s the most delicious water that you’ve ever tasted!

Head net: If you are visiting in May and spending any time in the Mývatn area, you will want to seriously consider packing one of these! I know they look ridiculous, but seriously, the bugs around that area are out of control! Don’t let them ruin your experience. These head nets are cheap and lightweight.

Day Bag: You want some sort of multi-purpose bag that will be comfortable on your back when walking around but also functional. This Osprey Backpack is great because it has plenty of storage for my camera gear, but I can also use it to pack day trip items like my swimsuit and towel. And it has a strap around the waist which is a really nice feature. 

Camera gear: Do I even have to tell you that this needs to be on your Iceland spring packing list?! Don’t forget any of your camera gear including a tripod if you want to take those silky waterfall photos. You’ll also want to bring a window mount for your GoPro or your phone so you can capture the beautiful road footage.  

Find out more about what camera gear you’ll need to capture perfect pictures in Iceland below:👇

➡️ READ: Camera Essentials for the Best Photos in Iceland

Electrical adapters: Make sure you can charge your phone, camera, or computer with the correct plug. Iceland uses the Standard European Plug with two round prongs. This is my favorite universal adapter because it has plugs for the U.S., U.K. and Europe. Plus, it has two handy USB ports for extra charging. I recommend that each person bring their own adapter!  

Car chargers: This is for when your camera and/or phone die when you’re on the road. Believe me, you’ll be taking a lot of photographs so don’t overlook this one. 

Extra phone battery: What’s my secret weapon for staying out all day and still being able to update Insta-Stories from my phone?! A little extra boost from this handy portable power bank! 

Medicines/prescriptions: You can’t get medications like ibuprofen or cold medication over the counter in Iceland. Bring prescriptions and whatever you think you’ll need because you don’t want to buy them here – they’re expensive and harder to find.

The Ultimate Iceland Packing Guide

There you go, my friends, now you can feel more confident about what to include in your Iceland spring packing list!

And remember, make sure you’re prepared for all seasons by downloading my Iceland Packing Guide.

You’ll access detailed packing checklists, weather insights, and shopping recommendations – from jackets to portable chargers, and even what to pack for the kids!

The handy layering cheat sheet makes sure you’re all set to conquer the Icelandic weather. 

So, instead of worrying about wet socks, you can focus on the jaw-dropping landscapes. Take it from an expert who’s been there, done that, and learned… the cold and wet way! 😃

Happy planning,

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