How is Iceland in October and how much does it cost?

Miss in a thermal pond in Iceland

At the end of September we went to Iceland for two weeks, we were a bit worried because on the first of October winter officially starts in Iceland. No, I’m not making this up, it’s common to find signs on restaurant shops saying “closed for winter, opening in April.” So what was Iceland like in October? What clothes to pack and how much did it cost for the four of us when we weren’t even camping?

Did you know that we prepare travel itineraries for you from roadtrips we have taken ourselves? And that includes the cost! We started with Canada and the USA, Uganda, you can come with us to the Tatras or Australia.

What temperatures to prepare for?

Right at the airport in Reykjavik, I picked up a newspaper with a huge headline that read “thank God summer is over.” I laughed a little, got a little scared and put my hat on my head. But when I read the article in detail, I realized it was just sarcasm. The Icelandic man wrote that he was glad it was already winter because there was no summer.

Typical weather in Iceland
The glaciers may be melting, but they’re still there, so it’s still cold in Iceland!

What may surprise you is that Iceland doesn’t experience extreme temperatures in winter thanks to the warm Gulf Stream. Average temperatures range from -10° to 0°, depending on whether you are in the Lowlands or the Highlands.

In October the thermometer showed the lowest temperature at -1 degree, but it was still terribly cold. Why? It doesn’t really matter what time the thermometer reads, the wind in Iceland is so freezing cold all year round that the temperature feels as low as -30°.

What clothes to wear

Don’t even think about leaving your winter jacket at home. S waterproof clothing you can’t go wrong in Iceland. Themoney you invest in aproper raincoat, waterproof trousers and boots will literally warm your heart in Iceland. Forget the umbrella, there’s a reason you won’t see them anywhere in the shops in Iceland. Yes, you guessed right, the reason is the wind. Hats and gloves will be your best friends.

What clothes to wear in Iceland
Swimwear and hats are a must in Iceland

Everyone will advise you to layer. Instead of thick warm clothes , reach for several layers of thermal clothing. Again, you won’t regret it. And don’t forget your swimsuit, because Iceland is the land of hot springs. And it would be an eternal shame not to enter at least one.

To tent or not to tent

Yes, there are people who go camping in Iceland in October and November. But if they don’t have the right equipment, they talk about sleepless nights in the unreal cold and sleeping on heated toilets. If you’re travelling in a car with two people, sleeping in the car is an option, you’ll be cold, but you’ll survive the week that way. I wouldn’t go for more days. I would only really reach for a tent with good equipment and experience with camping in winter and extreme conditions. And don’t take a sleeping bag with a comfortable temperature below -10°. It won’t be enough anyway. If you decide to go camping, be sure to read Radka and Ivar’s article about it, what the rules are for sleeping in a car and camping in Iceland.

Iceland's weather is changeable
Under a tent, you might wake up in the morning under the snow like this digger.

How “expensive” is the accommodation?

Accommodation for four people can be found for 700-1000 CZK per person. For four people for 14 days it cost us 47 795 CZK, i.e. about 12 thousand per person. You will sleep in cabins, cheap hotels or hostels. Don’t worry about hostels in Iceland, most of them were luxurious.

Accommodation in Iceland
You can get a shack like this in the middle of nowhere for 2500 CZK a night

Why make snacks even if I don’t want to save

In Iceland, food in restaurants is three times more expensive (at least) than here. If you don’t mind, still keep a sufficient supply of food in the car.Restaurants are definitely not at every turn (well, not every other turn either) and in the winter, the less touristy places, which is most of Iceland, are closed (yes, winter starts on October 1).

How much does food cost in supermarkets

If you cook and prepare your own snacks, you can save quite a bit on food. There is no point in bringing too much stuff from Bohemia. Supermarkets have very similar prices to ours, only fresh food is much more expensive, but you can’t bring that in your suitcase anyway.

We were in the restaurant only once, it cost us for four people 1 195 CZK, the rest of the time we cooked and made snacks and the total cost of the meal was only 6 636 CZK. That’s 1 659 CZK per person (for 14 days), that’s 120 CZK per person per day!

What did we cook?

We cooked Mexican tacos with avocado, lentil soup, chickpea soup, but also classic pasta with pesto or tomato sauce. For breakfast we used to have bread with hummus, jam, yoghurt with muesli or we used to make eggs and pancakes.

What is the most expensive in Iceland

Petrol and car rental. Make sure you get a quad bike in Iceland, especially if you’re not heading here in the summer and want to go somewhere other than the main circuit. Yes, you’ll hear of people driving a small car, but trust us, some of the roads are of similar quality to those in Uganda and it’s not worth the risk. Renting a Suzuki Grand Vitaraa XL cost us 15 493 CZK.

Car rental in Iceland Suzuki Grand Vitara
Car rental in Iceland Suzuki Grand Vitara

Petrol in Iceland costs 43-45 CZK per litre, if you want to drive around Iceland, count on 3500 km. Petrol cost us a total of 20 200 CZK.

So how much did it cost in total?

Iceland for two weeks cost us 111 529 CZK for four people, that is 27 882 CZK per person. If you are going to Iceland and are thinking about how to save money, we recommend going with as many people as possible. We looked at the budget Gabiinwanderland who went as a couple for 9 days (largely camping) and came up with 31k for Iceland! So you can sleep comfortably in hotels, hostels and airbnb with four people and have Iceland cheaper. Gasoline and car is the most expensive.

Expenses for the roadtrip around Iceland broken down


Tips and tricks for travelling around Iceland

What to pack

Take a look at our travel packing guide to help you prepare. Choose the right travel backpack, check out the travel gadgets and don’t forget anything important at home.

Where to get tickets

Search for cheap airline tickets at Kiwi , they’re our favourite portal. Be sure to read our instructions how to get cheap airline tickets.

Car rental

We commonly use a grader RentalCars.com to help us choose a car provider.

Reservation of accommodation

Booking.com is our most popular hotel search engine. We always compare hotels with local apartments and rooms on Airbnb ( 725 CZK discount ). Read, how we find cheap accommodation .

Don’t forget about insurance

Travel insurance is an absolute must. For shorter journeys, choose AXA ( 50% discount ) and for longer journeys the British insurer True Traveller . Take a look at comparison of all insurance companies and choose the one that suits you best.

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