Updated: Oct 6, 2022
Technically, October is mid-fall in Iceland, but the Iceland weather in October might not always agree with these official seasons. The locals say that you can have four seasons in a day in Iceland, and the unpredictable October weather certainly lives up to that reputation. Yet, October remains one of the best months to visit Iceland. And here’s why…
Firstly, the mass amount of summer tourists has gone, so overcrowding is no longer such an issue at the island’s landmarks and attractions. Secondly, along with the summer crowds, peak summer prices have also disappeared. In a country that can be expensive to travel in, this is crucial.
And lastly, whilst the Icelandic weather has definitely started turning in the winter direction, it’s still not quite as cold as the winter months. Now, the Iceland weather in October, though erratic, is still forgiving.
The Iceland Weather in October
To be honest, it’s not so much the temperature in Iceland in October that gives you the shivers, but the legendary Iceland wind and the rain. This is also why it is sometimes falsely believed that the Reykjavík weather in October is somehow better than the rest of the island.
That is only because the city buildings offer some shelter against the elements. But, these building-lines streets can also be excellent for funneling those bone-chilling winds through. So, don’t bank on the capital giving that much reprieve on bad weather days.
Whilst the thermometer can show temperatures from below 0 to 10 degrees Celsius, you’re mostly looking at an average temperature in Iceland in October between 3-5 degrees Celsius. So, despite the wind and the rain, the October temperature in Iceland is definitely doable if you’re someone that generally shies away from the cold. And with the right prep, October in Iceland can be a month with plenty of perks.
What to Pack for Iceland in the Fall
Bear in mind that fall in Iceland is not only a transition period. The Iceland weather in October can also change pretty quickly, packing can be tricky for those who have never been to Iceland. That’s why we’ve created this nifty packing list that you can use as a guide:
Backpack (suitable for day outings as well as hikes)
Long, waterproof winter jacket
Waterproof light jacket
Waterproof hiking boots (whether you are actually planning on hiking is irrelevant)
Wool sweater (we highly recommend that you pack a couple and then stock up on the island since you’ll struggle to find better quality wool and cuter sweaters than those made in Iceland)
Informal long pants (for those days spent in the city)
T-shirts & long-sleeved shirts (you’ll need to wear layers to combat the erratic Iceland weather in October)
Comfortable sneakers (also for those days spent in the city)
Warm hat (we prefer beanies)
A bathing suit (it might be cold outside, but it’s nice and hot in the natural hot springs you’ll find all over the island)
A quick drying towel (you definitely don’t want to be lugging around wet towels)
A water bottle (you don’t buy water in Iceland – the water in Iceland is probably higher quality than what you usually purchase at home, so here you simply top up)
Toiletries & medications
Electronics: adaptor, cables, chargers, power bank, etc.
Not as Bad as You Thought, Right?
The Iceland weather in October has really gotten a bad rap. Sure it may be colder and a bit more confusing weather-wise like falls all over the world tend to be. However, it truly is a great time to visit if you want to save some money whilst still being able to enjoy some of the summer activities, routes, and attractions that are still open before the proper winter season hits.
Except for all the things that you can do in Iceland in October, the Iceland weather in October also makes it the perfect time to see the Northern Lights with fewer daylight hours and more darkness to stare up at the sky in awe as the neon lights play across the sky.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your campervan in Reykjavík because it’s time to go and explore Iceland in October!