This week on The Escape, we follow Sarah to Iceland…in the wintertime. Because, why not?
The Escape is The Work Edit’s travel column written by my good friend Sarah, who has the coveted unlimited vacation policy. Thanks for reading, and follow along on Sarah’s blog, or @gurrity if you’re just as obsessed with travel photography as she is.
Iceland might be overrun with tourists being super touristy these days, but it doesn’t mean the experiences are underrated. In fact, Iceland is by far the most stunningly beautiful place I’ve ever been — the views will actually leave you speechless. And to be completely honest, I prefer visiting Iceland in the winter.
The days are short, but when you’re that far north, the sunrises and sunsets last about 3 hours each — and winter is the only time you’ll have a good chance of viewing the northern lights. So prepare for the cold, and pack some road trip snacks. Want to read beyond what’s in my suitcase? Check out my Iceland recommendations & itinerary here.
A serious parka — the Mackage option above will keep you warm and make all of Instagram drool… I’m a big fan of that dropped fur trim. Looking for something more moderately priced? This burgundy option from Nordstrom will stand out in a sea of black hooded parkas, and this classic piece would do the trick.
Real wool sweaters — the periwinkle merino wool turtleneck above is the perfect base layer for exploring some of Iceland’s many waterfalls. Want something a bit softer? The basic cashmere option from J.Crew will keep you warm, even in an icy winter mist.
Windproof leggings — this pair from Athleta is fleece-lined and wind-proof (recommended by winter cyclists everywhere), so they’re a great investment whether you’re booking flights to Iceland or not. Looking for another option? I swear by Under Armour Cold Gear tights, which keep me nice and warm on a long winter run.
Boots — in a place like Iceland, you want boots that are warm and provide traction. You’d be surprised how much you’ll be ambling over snowy hills or glacial moraines to get to that beloved hot spring… so the Kodiaks above would be a perfect pair. If you plan on spending more time hiking, I’d go for this pair from The North Face. And if you’re less of the outdoorsy adventure type, this fur-trimmed option would complete any winter wonderland ensemble.
Bikini + Turkish Towel — If you’re chasing the northern lights and not the many hot springs of Iceland, you’re going to miss out. The northern lights are as fickle as the weather, but Iceland’s incredible hot springs would never disappoint (more on that here). Be sure to pack a bikini or two! This icy blue option would look great in the Blue Lagoon — and I never fly anywhere without a Turkish towel. They’re light enough to dry overnight, and can double as a scarf when you need it!
Not into the pale swimsuit shades? I’m mildly obsessed with the merlot & navy options coming from Acacia Swimwear. And if you need some extra support like I do, the Tulum top at Monday Swimwear will have your back — literally.
Snacks — Scandinavia isn’t exactly known for its food, though you can definitely find some good meals there. But if you find yourself in Iceland in the winter, chances are you’re not spending the majority of your time in Reykjavik. Instead, you’ll be on the open road, with few food options in sight. Scandis love their hot dogs (and cover them with fried onions), but plan ahead and bring snacks from the states — this stuff is pricey out there. We lived off of Think bars and Luna bars both times I visited.