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Iceland in May?

New York City, New...
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Iceland in May?

Hi everyone,

Fiancée and I are considering traveling to Iceland for 10 days in mid-late May (May 16 - May 26). Seems like a great time to go, but am starting to see some sights say that certain roads/attractions in Iceland don't open until June or even mid July.

What we'd love to do is spend 2-3 nights in the capital and then rent a car to drive around the country. Mainly aiming to see the most of the country's natural beauty, and are eager to hike. But this time of year now has me concerned - could anyone shed some light as to whether this is a good time to visit?

Thanks so much!

Salisbury, United...
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1. Re: Iceland in May?

The Highland roads (F nos.) will not be open but if you plan to travel the ring road you won't have any problems. The road will be open and the sites along it.

Reykjavik, Iceland
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2. Re: Iceland in May?

Yes, it's a good time to visit. The migratory birds will be here by that time, as for example, the puffins. About hiking, it's going to have to be a very simple, very easy, very near the road, and pretty short. Be aware of fog! Some tourists have got lost in the fog, with really bad consequences.

Otherwise, no worries :)

Oosterhout, The...
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3. Re: Iceland in May?

As the others have said, the highland routes will be closed, but the low lying areas will be easily accessible. For a 10 day trip there is more than enough to see that will be open. Perhaps limit Reykjavik to 2 nights and then do the ring road.

What you will find is that many areas will still have the brown colouring of the winter. For instance - I have compared foto's of the Skogarfoss in May, which were still brown to those taken which I have taken in late June, when it is very green. But both colourings have their own charms.

May will be quieter and that is also a bonus.

Toronto
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4. Re: Iceland in May?

May is a great time to visit. Not that Iceland is ever really what I would call 'crowded' - especially not when talking to a New Yorker - but during the 'shoulder' months (May and September) you may get to have some natural attractions largely or entirely to yourself.

For hiking, you will want warm, sturdy, comfortable, waterproof footwear. May tends to be relatively dry, but you should always be ready for cool weather, rain, and strong winds. Always check the weather forecast before you head out, and be prepared for the weather to surprise you anyway. Note that these points all apply to outdoor activities in Iceland at any time of year; they are not peculiar to travel in May.

When hiking at this time of year, you may encounter patches of unmelted snow in shaded areas, at higher altitudes, and as you move further inland from the coast. That said, if you hit a couple of sunny days, the weather can get quite pleasantly warm; enough so that you can be comfortable hiking in a t-shirt.

Ashburn, Virginia
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5. Re: Iceland in May?

my husband/i are doing just this! we are going to be in iceland from 15 - 31 may. Hope you have a blast :)

Ohio
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6. Re: Iceland in May?

We were in Iceland for 17 days the latter part of May this year. We traveled the ring road, but also spent time in the East Fjords, West Fjords and Snaefellsness . We hiked, rode horse back, and whale watched among many other things. So there were plenty of activities available. There were definitely advantages to going in May. The cost of our car was less as well as our lodging. Often, we were the only people staying in the guest houses that we chose, especially in the East and West Fjords. However, if the guesthouse was in a popular area along the ring road or Snaefellsness, it was often crowded. While we had some absolutely gorgeous sunny days, we also experienced 2 different winter storms ...such that we had to turn back and change our plans. However, often our changed plans turned out to be better then the original. So go with an open mind and be prepared to change plans. We did not consider our trip to Iceland a vacation, but an adventure and as such...we have caught the Iceland bug ...we have to come back!

Luxembourg City...
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7. Re: Iceland in May?

May is a lovely time - the days are getting longer and you almost reach the 24 hour daylight period. May is also lovely because it´s just before the main tourist season.

8. Re: Iceland in May?

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