Short trip to Iceland in May

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of May 8-14, 1997
Hiking in Steamboat Springs
Fat Tire Festival in Colorado
Rafting trips for Boy Scouts
Hidden wonder near Phoenix
Short trip to Iceland in May

Short trip to Iceland in May
Question: I'm planning a short trip to Iceland in May and would appreciate recommendations on what to wear (how cold is it in May?) and what not to miss in the parks. Thanks.

Baltimore, Maryland
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: If you go to Iceland and decide you want to move there, I'd suggest you look at the June 1997 issue of Outside. We list Reykjavík, with its Crayola-colored roofs and Nordic beauties, as one of the top 10 places to live in the world. From black lava flats to dusty glaciers to wind-eroded plains, you'll feel like you've landed on the moon, if the moon happened to have cascading waterfalls interspersed with lush grasses. In May, you'll find days lasting until 10 p.m. and temperatures hovering in the fifties. Though the weather can be beautiful, plan on drizzle and cool weather. Pack a wind-resistant shell, along with plenty of fleece, and I'd even throw in a pair of long underwear for good measure, though you probably won't be taking it out of your backpack.

With five national parks, thousands of miles of hiking trails, and plenty of space to lose yourself, you can't take an unscenic turn in Iceland. Plan a trip to Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a three-hour drive north of Reykjavík. Here you can hike on the Snaefellsjokull Glacier where you'll take in vistas of the West Fjord Mountains and neon-green sheep pastures.

A scenic, 146-mile route to bike or drive starts in the town of Hveragerdi and traverses over a mountain pass to Selfoss. Thirty miles past Selfoss, take a left on Route 30 and you'll run into Gullfoss, one of the largest waterfalls in Europe. Six miles beyond is Geysir, the original geyser, but no longer active. Thirty miles farther north, you can swim in 60-degree lake water. For a real treat, stop at the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal pool the color of a sky blue popsicle, and soak in 100-degree waters. For more information on all of these attractions, call the Icelandic Tourist Board at 212-949-2333.

Search the archives | Ask the Adventure Adviser

©2000, Mariah Media Inc.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Got Wanderlust?

Escape your daily grind with Outside’s best getaways.

Thank you!