10 Reasons To Visit Iceland In May

Are you planning to visit Iceland?

I visited the land of ice and fire in May and loved my trip. Traveling to Iceland in May is not only budget-friendly but also fantastic if you’d like to avoid the crowd.

What’s more? Continue reading this article and find out the benefits of visiting Iceland in May, as well as tips and tricks for your trip to Iceland in spring.

best things to do in Iceland

1. The day is longer

Ideally, you’ll want longer days to see as much as possible. May is the best time for it.

As the day is longer than the winter, and the night is still “night” – which is not too bright, you can use your day effectively without changing your body clock due to the extension of daylight (in June, it is 20+ hours).

During my trip to Iceland, my day started at 8 am and ended at midnight because it was bright until that time. 10 pm looked like 5 pm, so there was no need to stop :)

Read my guide on 10 Icelandic food you should try!

2. May is the shoulder-season

May is a shoulder season in Iceland. You get the best deals when traveling between a peak and off-peak season.

Iceland is notoriously famous for being expensive, so if you’re a budget traveler, you will love choosing to travel to Iceland this month.

So, why is May the best time for traveling to Iceland on a budget?

best things to do in Iceland

3. Everything costs less!

Flights and accommodation are discounted or cost less during this time because fewer people are visiting Iceland.

a) Flights are affordable

Flights to Iceland are cheap in May. I always use Skyscanner to compare the prices and get the best deals.

Read more: Best websites to find cheap flights.

b) Accommodation is cheaper

In May, Hotels in Iceland are less expensive than usual. In peak season, such as June, the price of hotels, or even budget hostels, can double.

For example, when I search on Booking.com for the price in Reykjavik Hostel Village for two nights on May 28-31st, it costs $58, while on June 26-28th (also from Tuesday to Thursday), the price is $105 for two nights.

Read more: How to find the best accommodation for your trip.

c) Car rentals are cheaper

The best way to discover Iceland is by renting a car. I rented a car with some friends I knew through Couchsurfing and went on an Iceland road trip. It was amazing and memorable.

As it’s shoulder season, you will be able to get better deals when traveling to Iceland in May.

Read more: You can read our car rental guide and Iceland driving tips to prepare for your trip.

4. Attractions are less crowded

Kids are still studying, and many people take their day-offs during holidays or summer, so not many people travel to Iceland in May.

In addition to saving money, you are likely to avoid crowds and long lines in tourist attractions compared to peak seasons.

It was pretty crowded in some attractions when I visited (because of tourist buses), but I supposed the crowd would be more crowded if you travel in peak season.

More people will block your way in peak season and interrupt the view.

things to do in Iceland

5. The weather is awesome

The weather in May is not too cold, but not hot either. So you don’t need to pack tons of thick jackets to avoid being frozen to death and can enjoy the trip on a sunny day.

The temperature in the morning can be around 8° to 10°, while at night, it is 1° – 3°

Note: Iceland is still windy all year, so it’s unavoidable.

The pleasant weather makes it easy to go on your road trip. Some roads may be closed in the winter due to the weather, so it’s not safe to go. We had no difficulty exploring the Ring Road or driving to Vik in the South.

Read more: The best time to visit Iceland.

things to do in Iceland
A road trip is the best way to discover Iceland!

6. Nature is blooming

Iceland is a beautiful country and has various stunning attractions.

From May, nature starts to wake up. Although most flowers bloom from June to August, you can already spot some of them in May.

Also, you can see green grass on the hills or trees full of leaves.

7. You can go hitchhiking

Since the weather is good, it’s excellent to try hitchhiking on your trip to Iceland. I hitchhiked from the airport to my friend’s house and back and saved some money.

8. Whale watching is starting

Traveling to Iceland in May is a big bonus if you’re interested in whale-watching activities.

As whale watching in Iceland begins from April to October, May is a perfect month to book a whale watching tour in Reykjavik.

9. It’s puffin time

things to do in iceland
A group of puffins resting on the cliffs before the night at Dyrhólaey Lighthouse, Iceland

You can see puffin is from the middle of April to mid-August, so May is a good month to find these cuties.

10. You can pack light

You don’t need to pack a big suitcase when traveling to Iceland in May. Since the weather is friendly, you can bring light.

What to pack for a trip to Iceland in May?

  • Lightweight outdoor pants
  • Lightweight, weatherproof jacket with hood. You should choose the ones with rain and windproof.
  • Good hiking/ walking shoes: A good pair of shoes will be necessary as you need to walk a lot. My friend broke his shoes while traveling and had to buy a new pair, which was expensive.
  • Swimsuit for lagoon
  • Other necessaries: towels, toothbrushes, etc.

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19 Comments

  1. Lois Alter Mark says:

    These are such good reasons! I love Iceland but didn’t visit in May. And I’m going again this year but in July!

  2. Kavita Favelle says:

    Wonderful post! We visited in August / September which gave us really long long sunny days, but we didn’t manage to see the puffins, we were a little too late. Also, we were in an expensive time of year so as you say, things like hotels, cars etc were all more expensive!

    1. Then you should visit Iceland again in May ;) Things are cheaper at that time.

  3. YUKTI Agrawal says:

    Wow, as May is shoulder season in Iceland then, it is really worth visiting in May. I am planning a trip to Iceland, but was confused in which season I should book for. I would try out next year as in May, climate looks favorable and also also nature is blooming. As day is longer and everything is cheaper then I would really opt for May.

  4. Archana Singh says:

    Iceland is really top on the list of my places to visit. And, you have just given me more reasons to visit. May seem like a perfect time to visit. Iceland is so expensive otherwise so May makes perfect sense to visit.

  5. Reading your post was so refreshing. May is the perfect time to visit Iceland since the crowd is less and prices are not that skyrocket. We are planning to go in Aug/ September. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  6. Shoulder season is the BEST time to travel for all the reasons you listed and more! I’ve never thought of May to visit Iceland – it’s always been peak summer or peak winter that springs to mind, but you’ve brought up some excellent points which are definitely worth considering!

  7. blair villanueva says:

    Wow I didn’t know May is the best time for Iceland! Thanks for your insider tips. I will save this and plan for Iceland trip for next year.

  8. I have always wondered when the best time to visit Iceland was. I think I’ve come to the conclusion it has to be done both in the winter and the spring/summer. May sounds like the perfect time albeit the temperatures still being rather cold. But if it means packing lighter and I can go whale watching… well, May it is then!

  9. francesca says:

    I’ll finally visit Iceland next April, so I believe many of these amazing tips apply to April too (well probably less blooming and no puffins, alas) but nonetheless I’m so excited! ♥ And beginning of April there’s still a chance to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights so I’m crossing my fingers about that :)

  10. I’m definitely going to Iceland!!

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