October is one of the best times of the year to go to Iceland. You’ll find lower prices on everything from accommodation to restaurants. The throngs of tourists traipsing around the island in the summer are long gone. And the dark, clear nights of the fall mean that the Northern Lights are on full display. But what is the weather like and Iceland during October? This is an important factor to consider when planning your trip. While Iceland’s weather is pretty unpredictable all year long, having some basic parameters can go a long way in helping you know what to expect. Let’s look at average temperatures, rainfall, daylight hours, and what to pack for your trip during this blustery fall month.
October in Iceland – Average Temperatures
The average temperature during Iceland in October can be quite cold. Daytime readings on the thermometer register in the low 40s Fahrenheit (mid-single digits Celsius). At night it’s much cooler, and temperatures hover around the freezing point. The good news is that the cold here is not as extreme as in some places. Chicago, for example, gets much colder than Iceland. Be sure to bundle up with plenty of layers in order to ensure comfort and warmth during your trip.
- Average High in Reykjavik in October: 43 °F (6 °C)
- Average Low in Reykjavik in October: 36 °F (2 °C)
Rainfall in Iceland in the Fall
October can be quite wet in Iceland. With an average of 22 days of rainfall, you’ll definitely want to pack a waterproof (not water resistant) rain jacket when you come. Waterproof hiking boots will also serve you well. Always be sure to check the weather forecast as it’s possible that traveling in the morning or later in the day can help you avoid heavy showers. You also want to stay up to date with the Icelandic Meteorological Office’s website to see if there are any storms or severe weather in the area where you plan on traveling.
Daylight Hours and Sunshine in Iceland in October
You’ll have a pretty decent amount of daylight if you visit Iceland in October. The beginning of the month sees days with approximately eleven and a half hours of sunshine. By the end of the month, that number is reduced to about eight hours per day. Either way, you’ll still have plenty of time to go exploring, try hiking, visit waterfalls, trek volcanoes, and bathe in geothermal waters.
Let’s look at the exact hours of light you have in the day:
- Sunrise at 7:36 a.m. and sunset at 6:56 p.m. at the beginning of the month.
- Sunrise at 8:17 a.m. and sunset at 6:08 p.m. in the middle of the month.
- Sunrise at 9:07 a.m. and sunset at 5:14 p.m. at the end of the month.
Iceland Packing List for October
As I mentioned earlier, it’s highly advisable to bring a waterproof rain jacket, waterproof hiking boots, and warm layers when you come. So what else should be on your Iceland packing list? We always like to recommend the 3-layer system for outdoor clothing. Start with a base layer that includes thermal pants, a thermal top, and wool socks. The thermal layers trap body heat close to your skin, keeping you nice and toasty. Wool is an effective insulator and can absorb lots of moisture before it starts to feel wet. It’s a natural, breathable material that needs to be a part of your Iceland wardrobe/ cold-combatting arsenal
The next layer is going to be a mid layer made up of a shirt (preferably long-sleeved) and an item of clothing made from a warm material. A fleece jacket is an excellent choice for this. For the outer layer, you’ll need something to protect you from the wind, rain, and snow. Iceland is a place of harsh elements, so you want something that’s windproof and waterproof. Invest in a good rain jacket and also think about picking up a windbreaker to ensure you don’t get chilled to the bone.
- Thermal top and bottom
- Wool socks
- Long-sleeved shirt
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Waterproof hiking boots
October Weather in Iceland – What to Expect
Knowing what to expect weather-wise can have a significant impact on your trip to Iceland in October. Coming prepared with the best information regarding average temperatures, daylight, rainfall, and what to pack and wear will help you immensely. We want you to have a fantastic time and focus on soaking up everything this amazing island nation has to offer. Your memories of Iceland should be of trekking a glacier, oohing and ahhhing at the Northern Lights, or hiking behind a waterfall, not freezing because you didn’t pack the right clothes or rain soaking you because you didn’t check the weather forecast. Enjoy your trip and let us know how it goes.