Iceland Tour & Vacation Packages

People walking near the crater with rising sea at the geothermal area of Iceland, Namaskaro

Greenland’s the icy one; Iceland’s the green one. But remember this: they don’t call part of it the Golden Circle for nothing.

Calling all nature lovers, adventure seekers and fearless travelers. Iceland may be cold, but that’s the point—you’ll get to see all the glaciers, geysers and geothermal wonders you can handle. Discover a land of natural color: hues of azure at the  Blue Lagoon  and the icy Jokulsarlon, shades of green on the rolling hills framing Skogafoss and the striking black sand beaches that hug the coast. Not to mention the magical aurora borealis  that dance across the sky! From uncovering Viking tales and bathing in steamy springs to cruising past icebergs and exploring quirky farm towns,  Iceland  is island life like no other.

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Iceland tour reviews

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Northern Lights Escape

Articles of Iceland

How the Icelandic hot dog became an international icon 

Iceland’s Folklore: 4 mythical creatures that make the scenery come alive

Top 12 things to do in Iceland

6 of the best hikes in Iceland

10 ways to get closer to nature with Intrepid  

In sickness and in health: How I ended up getting married on an Intrepid Iceland trip 

Iceland or Greenland? Which country should be next on your travel list? 

22 photos of Iceland that will inspire you to book a trip asap

We also travel to

Iceland at a glance, capital city.

Reykjavik (population approximately 123,000)

Approximately 372,520

(GMT) Monrovia, Reykjavik

CALLING CODE

Electricity.

Type C (European 2-pin) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth)

Learn more about Iceland

Culture and customs.

Similar to many other parts of Europe , Iceland has rules in place to help preserve its culture and geographic isolation is also a factor in developing and preserving the country’s cultural qualities. Independence, self-sufficiency and a strong work ethic – traits that allowed this northern island to flourish in challenging conditions – continue to be highly valued today.

Icelandic culture and customs are full of myths and legends, many with a connection to Christian and pagan values. Folk tales of elves, gnomes, fairies and trolls still circulate, and whether or not the locals continue telling these to unlock the secrets of the past, or simply in jest, they’re definitely worth listening to. But when news outlets report on road plans being changed to avoid disrupting an elfin church, it’s easy to believe that this unusual country and its magical landscapes are a product of what lies ‘hidden’ in its mysterious depths.

Today, Iceland is a highly modern and progressive society. It is consistently rated as having the smallest gender pay gap and strong LGBTQIA+ rights representation in the parliament and media. It’s also one of the greenest countries in the world, with almost all energy coming from renewable resources such as hydropower and geothermal.

Read more about Iceland's History and Folklore

History and government

Pre-modern history.

This island nation was settled by Vikings in the ninth century, with much of the early literature recognizing Norse sailor Ingolfur Arnason as the first settler of Iceland, founding Reykjavik in AD874 along with his wife and brother. Icelanders remain proud to this day of their Viking heritage. The Icelandic language, for example, is so similar to the Old Norse spoken during Viking times that Icelanders can still read and understand the original Icelandic sagas.

A book of settlements titled Landnamabok, compiled in the 12th century, documents the names and other details of nearly 400 original settlers of Iceland who arrived in the ninth and tenth centuries. The document tells of a Norse Viking called Floki who sailed to Iceland for fishing and farming, however, due to his livestock not surviving in the conditions, had to return to his home in Norway. After heading up a mountain and looking over a fjord full of sea ice, he named this land Iceland.

In AD930, an Icelandic General Assembly was established and was deemed a Christian settlement less than a century later. Settlers and slaves brought to Iceland by Scandinavians were of Irish and Norse descent, and although some still debate which communities influenced the identity we now know to be Icelandic, the first distinctive text documenting ‘Icelandic-ness’ is said to be a rule book of sorts – the First Grammatical Treatise.

20th century and today

After long periods under Norwegian and Danish rule, Iceland was recognized as a sovereign state in 1918. On 17 June 1944, Iceland became an independent republic. It has a multi-party parliamentary system and a written constitution. The parliament is still called Althingi after its medieval General Assembly.

Many of Iceland’s major industries stem from its location and surrounding natural resources. Tourism aside, fishing and seafood products make up much of the country’s exports and employ a majority of the workforce along with agriculture and farming. Recent investment in greenhouses and geothermal energy has seen Iceland become increasingly self-sufficient, growing products that usually do not fare well in icy climates, such as potatoes, tomatoes and potted plants. Other food is imported along with many consumer goods.

Eating and drinking

Flanked by the ocean and inhabited by almost twice the amount of sheep as humans, Iceland understandably boasts a cuisine dominated by seafood and local lamb.

The country’s diet relies on plenty of potatoes and lamb, but seafood trumps all – sourced fresh year-round from the waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic and prepared in a variety of ways. Be sure to try Hardfiskur – a salty fish jerky, best enjoyed buttered.

Sheep and cows are free-range and fed chemical-free diets, making lamb and dairy products exceptionally good here. One of the best ways to enjoy the produce on offer is to warm yourself up from the inside out with a hearty meat soup: a mixture of lamb, root vegetables, herbs, and rice.

Skyr, a popular yogurt that is technically a cheese, is also a must-try in all its variety of flavors. Eat it like the locals do at any time of the day – for breakfast, as a snack, as a dipping sauce, in drink form (called drykkur), or as a dessert topping.

Surprisingly, hot dogs are Iceland’s most iconic fast food. Widely available, a hot dog is probably the cheapest meal you’ll have in Iceland. Order one with all the toppings – sweet mustard, ketchup, raw onions, deep-fried onions, and aioli.

Rye bread (also known as rugbraud) and butter is a common side to most meals in Iceland, but the preferred way of cooking the loaves are quite unique. Traditionally, the bread is buried near a natural hot spring, sprinkled with sugar, and left to gently steam for up to 24 hours. The end result is dense, cake-like bread that has a slightly sweet taste. Enjoy it with a traditional Icelandic soup, smoked lamb, or, of course, fish.

Name a food and chances are Icelanders have tried to add licorice to it. Black licorice is beloved by locals and found in a wide range of desserts and candy bars. During your time here, head to Valdis in Reykjavik to test out a cone filled with salted black licorice ice cream. Even if the weather’s cold, the ice cream joints will be open!

The weird and wacky

Icelanders have a reputation for serving up some of the most unusual food in the world – boiled sheep’s head, fermented shark known as harkarl, ram testicles and smoked puffin to name a few. Although the country’s isolation and harsh winters once meant these foods were eaten out of necessity, today most of these ‘delicacies’ are only prepared to shock tourists. Try if you dare, but we suggest sticking to the common foods that locals eat.

Alcohol can be expensive in Iceland and is best bought at the duty-free shop. Although forms of prohibition existed until 1989, alcohol is now widely available all over the country in state-run liquor stores. If you’re feeling brave, try the local brew, Brennivin – a potent, traditional caraway-flavored schnapps nicknamed ‘black death’.

Read more about what to eat in Iceland

Read more about what to drink in Iceland

Iceland travel highlights

1. explore reykjavik.

Iceland's capital city is totally beguiling, surrounded by volcanic peaks and boasting a vibrant art and nightlife scene. Browse the city’s galleries, explore the colorful street art, dine on fresh lox (traditionally cured salmon),   or cycle to the striking cathedral of Hallgrimskirkja – trying to say that after a tipple or two of Brennivin (Iceland's signature spirit) might be tricky! Get stuck into Icelandic culture on our 6 day Northern Lights Escape .

2. Discover the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is the holy trinity of southern Iceland. This 186-mile (300 km) route is brimming with natural wonders that showcase why so many travelers fall under Iceland's spell. Marvel at the layered cascades of Gullfoss Waterfall, explore the dramatic rift valley in Thingvellir National Park and witness the unpredictable eruptions in Geysir Geothermal Area. Marvel at breathtaking natural landscapes on our 5 day Iceland Express tour.

3. Cruise along Jokulsarlon

It's impossible not to be amazed by the sheer size and beauty of Jokulsarlon, Iceland’s famous glacial lagoon. Enjoy a boat tour along the icy waters where you'll cruise past towering glaciers and witness icebergs of all shapes, sizes and shades of blue drifting into the Atlantic Ocean. Cool down on our 8 day Iceland Discovery tour.

4. Experience life in Akureyri

Soak up the charm of this northern port city – the second-largest city in Iceland. Better described as a big town with lots of character, you'll be won over by its quaint turf homes, rich history and folklore, and the imposing Mount Súlur that looms over the town. Akureyri is also an ideal Northern Lights viewing location between September and April. Explore the streets of Akureyri on our 9 day Premium Iceland tour.

5. Be wowed by Westfjords

Venture off course to the unspoiled, untamed reaches of the Westfjords – without the big crowds. This is a land where mountains meet the sea most dramatically, where waterfalls tumble down into the inky fjords and puffins live along the towering cliffs. If you’re lucky and conditions allow, we might cruise along Látrabjarg (Europe’s largest bird cliff) to see puffins, razorbills, guillemots and more. Adventure through the Westfjords on our 14 day East Greenland and Iceland Northern Lights tour.

6. Bathe in the Blue Lagoon

There's no need to worry about being cold all the time in Iceland when you can slip into the famous Blue Lagoon just out of Reykjavik. Surrounded by black volcanic rock, a soak in the mineral-rich, milk-blue waters of this geothermal spa is the perfect way to relax and unwind after a big day of walking. 

Geography and environment

Iceland possesses some of the world’s most incredible natural wonders and unique landscapes. From active volcanoes to vast ice fields, bubbling hot springs and enormous glaciers, these dramatic contrasts have earned Iceland the nickname of the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’.

Many of these geological features are products of geographical location – on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates intersect and their movements away from each other create volcanic activity. The country is covered by moss-carpeted lava fields, soaring fjords, incredible waterfalls and dramatic geysers, all of which add to Iceland’s otherworldly look.

The country is also the perfect spot to see the Northern Lights. From September to March, you’ll have the best chance to view this spectacular natural light show when the skies are clear and auroral activity is high. But don’t let that stop you from visiting in other seasons – Iceland’s natural wonders are truly year-round attractions.

Top 4 natural phenomena of Iceland

1. Northern Lights

The Northern Hemisphere's Aurora Borealis has captivated and intrigued travelers for years. Any winter tour of Iceland absolutely must include a chance to see the Northern Lights. This natural light display that runs along magnetic fields often brings hypnotic green, yellow and red shades to the night sky in Iceland from September to March. As one of nature's most magnificent triumphs, this is one unforgettable spectacle.

2. Gullfoss

Otherwise known as Golden Falls, this spectacular three-tiered waterfall drops suddenly into a deep cavern. The falls are surrounded by lush, green countryside, and the rainbows created by the mist and spray provide brilliant photo opportunities.

3. Lake Myvatn

This part of northern Iceland was born from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago and continues to be shaped by volcanic activity to this day. The combination of strange lava formations, thermal caves and a sprawling lake dotted with craters and rising rocks makes for an eerie yet beautiful landscape.

4. Jokulsarlon

Literally translating to ‘glacial river lagoon’, this monumental glacier lake is the largest in Iceland. Featuring a parade of large and small blue icebergs floating on and under the pure, icy water, this lagoon is so beautiful that it has been used as a backdrop for Hollywood films, a set for reality television shows and in a starring role on a postage stamp!

Iceland is notorious for being an expensive destination. Travelling on a budget here is difficult but can be done. Head to Bonus – Iceland’s discount grocery store – so you can cook rather than eat out for each meal. The duty-free store at Keflavik International Airport is the best place to pick up a bottle of Icelandic alcohol such as Brennivin liquor, Reyka vodka or Viking Gold beer for a fraction of the price you’d find elsewhere. It’s also a good idea to travel as a group, as operators can get better rates than a single traveler at hotels and restaurants, plus they know all the local hotspots.

If you’d like to take home Icelandic local specialties, Reykjavik is the best place to shop. Some of the country’s coolest retailers can be found on Laugavegur, one of the oldest shopping streets. Here you can browse clothing from quirky local designers alongside traditional lambswool sweaters, as well as tourist shops selling plastic Viking hats and puffin magnets. For smaller boutiques selling local art, head to Skolavordustigur.

Festival and events

Despite the long and dark winters, Icelanders are among the happiest people in the world. Why? One reason is that they understand the importance of getting together and having a good time, even if it’s pitch black outside. There are many celebrations to join in on throughout the year, but here are a few to look out for:

Winter Lights Festival

Every year, buildings around Reykjavik light up at night to celebrate both the winter world and the growing light after a long period of darkness. The Winter Lights Festival uses many public buildings and all major museums and thermal pools to illuminate the city with lighting designs and art installations as a way to get people thawed out after a long winter.

This annual mid-winter feast in January or February is one of Iceland’s oldest festivals, dating back to Viking days. Fearless eaters can find restaurants in Reykjavik offering special Thorrablot dinners of boiled sheep’s head, rotten shark’s meat, and cured ram testicles. If you can, try to snag an invitation to a local’s house, where celebrations tend to be more festive and involve lots of singing, dancing, and drinking.

Viking Festival

Modern-day Vikings in traditional garb flock to Hafnarfjorour each June for a festival Leif Erikson would approve of. Swordfights, archery, axe throwing, a traditional market, concerts, and a proper Viking feast are all part of the festivities.

National Day

1944 marks the year that Iceland became a republic after an overwhelming majority of the citizens voted for independence. The deciding referendum took place between May 20 and 23 that year; however, Iceland’s National day is celebrated on June 17th – the birthday of the man who originally led the movement in the late 19th century, Jon Sigurdsson. There are parades all around the country, usually with brass bands and marching horses. Music food, fireworks, and street parties – you get it, they’re a patriotic bunch.

Dalvik Fiskidagurinn Mikli (The Great Fish Day)

Each August, the northern fishing village of Dalvik invites you to a free, all-you-can-eat fish and seafood buffet – held for no reason other than to get people together over a delicious meal. You might come for the free food, but you’ll stay for the company.

Read more about festivals in Iceland

Further reading

For inspiring stories to prepare you for your Iceland adventure, check out these books:

  • Independent People   – Halldor Laxness
  • Jar City   – Arnaldur Indridason
  • The Little Book of Tourists in Iceland   – Alda Sigmundsdottir
  • Waking Up in Iceland   – Paul Sullivan
  • The Tricking of Freya   – Christina Sunley
  • Viking Age Iceland   – Jesse L Bycock
  • The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman   – Nancy Marie Brown
  • Burial Rites   – Hannah Kent
  • The Book of Settlements: Landnamabok   – Herman Palsson (trans.)

Discover more about visiting Iceland from our travel experts in our Complete Guide to Iceland.

Similar destinations

We have a variety of similar destinations, trips and routes that you could consider! Tie another trip into your holiday, or, see how we can help you get from A to B. We have tours departing from a variety of locations around Iceland. The options below may be of interest:

Tours to Reykjavik 

Northern Lights Tours

Iceland or Greenland

Iceland travel FAQs

Do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

When is the best time to visit Iceland?

Deciding what you want to see in Iceland will give you a better idea of when is the best time to travel. Wanting to get active around the countryside and see waterfalls and wildlife? The warmer spring and summer months are probably ideal. Prefer to soak in the geothermal lagoons and get a chance to see the Northern Lights? Well, likely the cooler months – with their longer nights – are best for you.

Spring and summer are considered optimal times to visit Iceland if green landscapes and balmy days are your thing. The early spring months bring warmer days, while summer offers long daylight hours with only short nights. In the summer season, July and August are the warmest months and the busiest time for tourists.

In September, tourism tends to slow down as the weather becomes unpredictable and the countryside is usually less accessible. However, there are plenty of attractions for the off-peak traveler, including the beauty of fall colors and, of course, the awe-inspiring Northern Lights.

As you might expect, winters in Iceland can be challenging. During late December there are about four-and-a-half hours of daylight and it's often cloudy. In January, there are on average three sunny days in Reykjavík, with temperatures hovering around freezing point, often with chilling winds.

Do I need a visa to travel to Iceland?

Iceland is a member of the Schengen Convention, which means that if you travel to an EU member country or countries, like Iceland, for a total of less than 90 days, a visa is not required. Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, the UK, and other member countries of the EU and Schengen area are included under this arrangement. Other countries do require a visa to visit Iceland, including citizens of South Africa.

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your country of origin. Check the Essential Trip Information section of your tour itinerary for more information.

Is tipping customary in Iceland?

Tipping isn't expected in Iceland. Hotels, restaurants, and cafes already include a service fee and consumption taxes (VAT) in the bill, so tipping extra isn't necessary. However, feel free to leave a small amount if your experience has been particularly good, especially for assistance provided by drivers, tour leaders, or service workers.

What is the internet access like in Iceland?

Travelers will be able to access the internet in cybercafes and at wi-fi hotspots in Iceland's cities and large towns. Rural and remote areas may have less internet access, so be prepared when traveling away from the city.

Most accommodation and eateries in Iceland offer wi-fi access, which is usually free to use with a code. If you wish to stay connected for the majority of your trip, it may be wise to purchase a prepaid SIM card with a data package.

Many Icelandic libraries and tourist information offices have shared computers for public internet access if you are without a device to connect to wi-fi. Sometimes a small fee is charged for this service.

Can I use my cell phone while in Iceland?

Travelers are able to use their cell phones in Iceland's main cities and towns, though remote and isolated areas may have inferior cell reception. Click here to read more about using your phone.

If you wish to stay connected for the majority of your trip, it may be wise to purchase a prepaid SIM card for the duration of your journey. This will likely be the cheapest way to use your phone in Iceland.

For EU citizens, depending on who you have your cell phone plan with, you may be able to use your current SIM in Iceland – your service provider will be able to provide more details.

Global roaming can also be activated when traveling through Iceland; however, be sure to check with your service provider to find out about any fees you may incur when using this option, as sometimes this can be expensive.

What are the toilets like in Iceland?

Modern, flushable toilets are the standard in Iceland.

In terms of public toilets, Reykjavik and other major towns and cities have some, but along highways and at many tourist destinations – especially campgrounds and natural attractions – there is a lack of facilities. Expect to pay a small fee when visiting public toilets and, in busy months, expect queues in main tourist areas.

There have been recent occurrences of tourists resorting to other means in remote places and near tourist sites. We recommend being prepared and talking to your group leader if you have any concerns.

What will it cost for a…?

Iceland's unit of currency is the krona. Here's what you can expect to pay for a:

  • Hotdog = ISK 400-600
  • Glass of beer = ISK 1,100-1,500
  • Simple lunch at a cafe = ISK 2,100-3.700
  • Dinner in a restaurant = ISK 2.600-4.200

Can I drink the water in Iceland?

Tap water is considered safe to drink in Iceland unless marked otherwise. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

Are credit cards widely accepted in Iceland?

Credit cards are widely accepted in Iceland and are used frequently by locals to pay for just about anything. Paying with a credit card at shops, guesthouses, supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, and on taxi rides shouldn't present a problem. Iceland is almost a cashless society, so cards are the best option; however, a lot of payments will require your four-digit PIN, so be sure to know this before you leave home.

What is ATM access like in Iceland?

ATMs are usually easy to find in Iceland's cities and villages and generally accept most foreign cards.

What public holidays are celebrated in Iceland?

  • 1 Jan: New Year's Day
  • Mar/Apr: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Monday*
  • 1 May: Labur Day
  • May/Jun: Ascension Day*
  • May/Jun: Whit Sunday and Whit Monday*
  • 17 Jun: National Day
  • First Monday in August Commerce Day*
  • 24 Dec: Christmas Eve
  • 25 Dec: Christmas Day
  • 26 Dec: Boxing Day
  • 31 Dec: New Year's Eve

*Please note, Iceland public holidays may vary.

What is the weather like in Iceland?

Iceland’s temperatures are cool and do vary throughout the year. In winter months, minimum temperatures plummet to below freezing. In Reykjavik, summer temperatures average at around 52°F  ( 11°C ), while winter maximums are approximately  32°F ( 0°C ). Rainfall is quite consistent throughout the year; between 1"-2" inches (25–50 mm) per month, with most days experiencing some rainfall.

Is it safe to travel to Iceland?

Iceland is a very safe country to travel to and is one of the safest countries in the world.

Is Iceland safe for LGBTQIA+ travelers?

The people of Iceland have an open and accepting attitude to LGBTQIA+ communities, and Iceland is considered one of the world’s most LGBTQIA+-friendly countries. Since 2006, same-sex couples have had equal access to adoption and IVF, and in 2010 the Icelandic Parliament made a unanimous decision to define marriage as between two individuals. As might be expected in a small country, however, the gay scene is quite low-key, even in Reykjavik.

In 2012, more legislation was passed to formalize the name and identity-changing process for the needs of trans and genderqueer individuals. There is still a way to go to achieve full equality, but Iceland is, in many regards, leading the way globally.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or ILGA before you travel and reading more about the LGBTQIA+ culture in Iceland .

If you are traveling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at the time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travelers who do not wish to share a room.

Is Iceland accessible for travelers with disabilities?

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Because of its remote location and size, Iceland can prove difficult when it comes to accessibility for individuals with mobility issues. Some of the main sights, such as the Blue Lagoon, are wheelchair accessible, but many of the natural attractions have unpaved paths and unsteady terrain. Iceland has a dedicated information center,  Thekkingarmidstod Sjalfsbjorg , that provides up-to-date information on accessibility and accessible facilities in Iceland, as well as other related information.

If you do live with a visual, hearing, or other impairment, let your booking agent or group leader know early on so they’re aware and suitable arrangements can be made. As a general rule, knowing some common words in the local language, carrying a written itinerary with you, and taking to the streets in a group, rather than solo, can help make your travel experience the best it can be.

What to wear in Iceland

In summer, Iceland experiences cool but mild weather throughout the country, with maximum temperatures averaging around 55°F  ( 13°C ). It’s still important, however, to pack some warm clothing at this time, as temperatures at night can drop quite dramatically. In winter, some days barely reach over 32°F ( 0°C ), so preparing for this is crucial. It can be wet and windy, and roads may be iced over, so thermal gear, a waterproof jacket and pants, and sturdy walking boots are all highly recommended.

How do I stay safe and healthy while traveling?

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before traveling?

Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

How will I be traveling around Iceland?

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport – which usually have less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are much more fun.

Depending on what trip you're on in Iceland, you may find yourself traveling by:

All-terrain Unimog

To see all of Iceland, you’ll need some heavy-duty transport. This super-sized van will take you on glacier visits to admire these almighty ice caps up close.

Amphibian boat

Part truck, part boat, all adventure ­– cruise the Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon in a small group aboard one of these vessels, on land and lake.

What is it like traveling on a small group tour?

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or you’re about to embark on your first trip, traveling can be as intimidating as it is exciting. That's the beauty of a small group tour. From handling the logistics and organizing amazing cultural activities to local leaders who know each destination like the back of their hand (like which street has the best markets and where to get the most authentic food), traveling on a small group tour with Intrepid will give you unforgettable travel experiences without the hassle that comes with exploring a new place. Plus, you'll have ready-made friends to share the journey with. All you have to do is turn up with a healthy sense of adventure and we’ll take care of the rest.

Does my Intrepid trip include airfare?

While our Intrepid trips include many modes of transport, from tuk-tuks to overland vehicles, bullet trains and feluccas, airfare to and from your home country is not included in your tour package.

Does my trip support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. Trips to this country directly support our global Intrepid Foundation partners, Eden Reforestation Projects and World Bicycle Relief. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Eden Reforestation Projects

Eden Reforestation Projects are helping to mitigate climate change by restoring forests worldwide; they also hire locally and create job opportunities within vulnerable communities. Donations from our trips support restoration across planting sites in 10 countries around the globe. Find out more or make a donation World Bicycle Relief

World Bicycle Relief provides people in low-income communities with bicycles to mobilize school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas – giving them access to vital education, healthcare, and income. Donations help provide Buffalo Bicycles – specifically designed to withstand the rugged terrain and harsh environment of rural regions – to those who need them most. Find out more or make a donation

North America

United States

$2,699 pp* $2,999 pp

iceland tours may 2023

Canadian Rockies & Glacier National Park

Explorations

iceland tours may 2023

EXPLORATIONS

Alaska's Northern Lights

iceland tours may 2023

California Dreamin': Monterey, Yosemite & Napa

Bosnia And Herzegovina

Czech Republic

Netherlands

Northern Ireland

Switzerland

United Kingdom

New Zealand

$4,299 pp* $4,699 pp

iceland tours may 2023

South Pacific Wonders

$6,399 pp* $6,699 pp.

iceland tours may 2023

Australia and New Zealand Uncovered

iceland tours may 2023

Exploring New Zealand's Wonders featuring the North & South Islands

South Africa

iceland tours may 2023

Colors of Morocco

iceland tours may 2023

African Safari: Kenya and Tanzania

$7,199 pp* $7,499 pp.

iceland tours may 2023

Wilderness of Southern Africa: Safari by Land & Water

South america.

iceland tours may 2023

ICELAND IN MAY 2023

In this post I'll show you why I love May in Iceland.

Below, I'll answer all of your questions on:

- What to expect when visiting Iceland in May - Average weather and temperature in May - Special events - Best tours, activities & things to do

... and give you my very best, local insight and tips, to make your trip an unforgettable one here in Iceland in May!

Let's dive in!

Egill Fannar

IS MAY A GOOD TIME TO VISIT ICELAND?

Skógafoss waterfall in May

Absolutely! You might have made the best decision by choosing to come here in May.

May is still off-season for Iceland, meaning you will miss the largest crowds of tourists (don’t expect to see few fellow travellers, though; even during off-season, Iceland is a popular destination). During the off-season, May is considered by many to be the best month to visit Iceland.

In May, the Icelandic nature comes back to life. The sun lingers in the sky for an impressive average of 19 hours in Reykjavik. Even though the sun technically sets, the sky doesn't get completely dark at all!

The temperatures rise, just enough to make your trip comfortable!

Therefore, coming to Iceland in May means that you can see and do many things that you couldn’t do or see in winter.

Below, I will guide you through all the best activities in May in Reykjavik, as well as around Iceland, and give you all the information you might need to make your trip even more amazing!

WEATHER IN ICELAND IN MAY​

average temperatures in Iceland

As far as Icelandic weather goes, May has the balmiest temperatures before summer. If you look at the graph, don't be put off by the temperatures that you see! Yes, the expected temperatures for May in Iceland range from an average of 5°C (41 F) to 10°C (50 F). However, as long as there is no wind, the cold in Iceland isn't...well, that cold. Icelandic people would consider these temperatures quite nice!

In May, there is hardly any rainfall. ​Even if it rains, it would be for a short period of time, and it certainly wouldn't be like a winter storm! You might see a little bit of snow, but only during the night. I promise you it will be gone by the time you wake up!

WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR TRIP TO ICELAND IN MAY​

​The age-old question. Living in Iceland for a while now has taught me that the best way to dress is layers, layers, layers.

Having three layers of clothing is the golden rule in Iceland. The temperatures can vary vastly throughout the day, so when it's cold they'll keep you warm, and when it's warm, you can take them off.​

​Here is a packing list to help you prepare for your trip to Iceland in May:

  • Thermals! Bring some good base layers to keep you warm when you explore Iceland, and make sure your tops are moisture-wicking to stay dry throughout the day.
  • Sweaters and hoodies.
  • Jeans, sweatpants or other comfortable clothes that you can wear while exploring the Icelandic nature!
  • Good hiking boots for your adventures!
  • Wind and rain-proof jacket. You'll want to stay dry when you visit the famous Icelandic waterfalls! If you can get a pair of pants, bring that too! You never know what the Icelandic weather will throw at you.
  • A swimsuit and sunscreen. The May sun can be quite strong, and you definitely want to bring a swimsuit to visit the Icelandic hot springs!
  • Some party clothes that you can wear in downtown Reykjavik's club scene -or restaurants if that's more of your thing.
  • Your camera! You'll want to take a lot of pictures!

BEST TOURS & ACTIVITIES IN REYKJAVIK

Now that you know all the basics, let's check out all the fun activities you can do when you visit Iceland in May!

May is one of the best months to see Reykjavik on foot. The warmer temperatures will keep you comfortable, and the brilliant, lingering sunlight will let you see Reykjavik in all its glory.

​REYKJAVIK FOOD WALK

blog image

Reykjavik Food Walk tour is a must-do first or second activity for any traveller visiting Iceland.

It's the best way to get your bearing in Reykjavik while enjoying delicious Icelandic food! Our Reykjavik Food Walk is the #1 rated tour in Reykjavik on TripAdvisor, and for good reason! You will spend three hours on a foodie adventure with a fun local guide where you'll enjoy:

  • All the highlights of the city of Reykjavik
  • Five to five local restaurants that offer the best authentic Icelandic cuisine
  • Over 8 mouth-watering Icelandic dishes
  • Learning about Icelandic history and tradition, and forging friendships with some real vikings!

Learn more about the Reykjavik food walk here

EXPERIENCE THE ICELANDIC NATURE

It’s as if May in Iceland was created for us to enjoy the gorgeous nature that this country has to offer. May is the month when everything comes back to life, the earth awakens, and the scent of blooming flowers saturates the countryside air. Therefore, it is the best time to explore the Icelandic nature!

EXPLORE THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

blog image

The Golden Circle might be Iceland’s most famous trio of sights. The perfect way to see Icelandic nature if you only have a few hours to spare, the Golden Circle is close to Reykjavik and features the highlights of Iceland’s natural wonders.

Check out our Golden Circle Tours:

- Golden Circle x Natural Hot Spring tour (most popular)

- Small Group Golden Circle Tour

- Private Golden Circle Tour

- Super Jeep Golden Circle x Glacier Snowmobile tour

GOLDEN CIRCLE DESCRIPTION:

Our Golden Circle tour will take you first to Thingvellir National Park, where you can see one of my favorite waterfalls called Öxaráfoss. You will also walk between the two tectonic plates on which Iceland rests.

Then, you will see the magnificent waterfall Gullfoss. Gullfoss is truly a sight to behold, with its enormous power and beautiful surroundings. Particularly in May, the entire area around Gullfoss is painted green with colorful speckles provided by the blooming wildflowers.

Last but not least, we have the geothermal area of Geysir (photo above.)

Geysir erupts around every eight minutes, much to everyone’s delight.

During your drive the Golden Circle, you will also see a good bit of Icelandic nature, its glacial rivers and gorgeous landscapes.

Unlike other tours, our tour will also take you to Faxi waterfall, which glistens beautifully under the spring sun. If conditions allow for the driver to stop, you might get to see some Icelandic horses up close, too!

Photo taken from Secret Lagoon (from Golden Circle x Natural Hot Spring tour.)

secret lagoon in iceland

TOUR OF THE SOUTH SHORE OF ICELAND

black sand beach and seljalandsfoss waterfall in the south coast of Iceland

​Mighty waterfalls, a black sand beach, a small coastal town and a glacier are the highlights of this must-do tour. Since you're visiting in May, you might even get to see some puffins!

The South Shore of Iceland is a paradise on Earth. It is one of my favorite places to visit in Iceland (even though it's very hard to pick!), as it changes with the seasons and there is always something new to discover!

​Our South Shore tour will show you all the highlights of the Icelandic nature, as well as some places that other tours won't show you! Join our tour and see:

  • Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Seljalandsfoss is one of the most magical waterfalls in all of Iceland -or dare I say, in the world. Not only can you admire its beauty from the front, you can also walk behind it! Trust me, you will feel like a mythical creature from an Icelandic saga!
  • Skógafoss waterfall. Just as majestic as Seljaladsfoss, Skógafoss is one of Iceland's biggest waterfalls. It measures at an impressive 60m (200 ft). Therefore, it's very powerful and sprays a lot of water. As a result, you can often see a single or even a double rainbow!
  • puffins! May is truly one of the best times to see puffins in Iceland. The stop at Dyrhólaey is an excellent chance to spot them on the cliffs!
  • Reynisfjara or Black Sand beach. This almost alien beach stretches as far as the eye can see. On one side, the ocean crashes against the shore, and on the other the beach is adorned with beautiful basalt column formations. In the distance, you can see some strange rocks in the ocean. Legend says they were once trolls!
  • the coastal town of Vík. A charming little town with an unmistakably Icelandic atmosphere.
  • Solheimajokull glacier. Most tours won't show you this magnificent glacier. We will walk you right up to it so you can touch it, and maybe discover an ice cave if you are lucky!

​ Learn more about the South Shore tour here!

DISCOVER THE ICELANDIC WILDLIFE

If there is one thing that Iceland is known for, that is its nature. Both locals and visitors are enamored by it and for good reason. The untouched Icelandic nature will be the highlight of your trip.

One of the best parts of the Icelandic nature, in my opinion, is the wildlife. Iceland is home to many adorable little critters, and you can get to meet them with our tours!​

PUFFIN TOUR​

puffins arriving in iceland

As I mentioned before, May is one of the best months to visit Iceland if you are looking for puffins. These beautiful birds build their nests on Iceland's cliffs, and while they are a little cautious of humans, they are not at all shy!

You can try your luck at seeing puffins in our South Shore tour .

However, if you want something closer to Reykjavik, we have a puffin tour designed specifically to take you as close to the puffins as possible!​​

This is the perfect tour for people who want to increase their chances to see puffins. You will also get to see more of Iceland's wildlife, as well as panoramic views of the gorgeous city of Reykjavik!​

You can learn more about the puffin tour here!​

WHALE WATCHING TOUR

whale watching in iceland

​Whales are truly magnificent creatures. Their impressive size and playful manners make our whale watching tour a true spectacle!

You can see these beautiful animals very close to Reykjavik, mainly Minke and Humpback whales. You will also get to see more of Iceland's amazing wildlife, several bird species, but also harbor porpoises and dolphins!​

Learn more about our whale watching tour here!​

HORSEBACK RIDING TOUR

horse riding in iceland

Did you know the Icelandic horse has five gaits (two more than most breeds)? That's right, these stars love to steal the show with their natural talent! ​

While you can see Icelandic horses anywhere in Iceland -even in Reykjavik -you don't get the chance to ride one every day. So why not go horseback riding on these incredibly gentle creatures? May is a great month to go horseback riding in Iceland, as the weather is usually very nice!

Our horseback riding tour is minutes from Reykjavik and you can explore the unspoiled Icelandic nature with your new furry friends!​ If you've never ridden a horse before, don't worry! We'll show you the ropes!

Learn more about this amazing tour here!​

EXPERIENCE THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME

Glacier hike & waterfall tour​.

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Have you always dreamed of going glacier hiking in Iceland? Who hasn't! Iceland's glaciers are awe-inspiring and seeing one up close is an unforgettable experience.

May is one of the first months of the year I would recommend to someone to go glacier hiking. As the temperatures rise, the conditions on the glaciers are much more favorable. Your hike won't be as challenging and the weather will be in your favor. ​

Our glacier hiking & waterfalls tour will take you through the south coast where you'll see some of my favorite waterfalls in Iceland to Sólheimajökull glacier. Get ready to conquer this icy beast and have the most excitement you can handle!

Learn more about this sightseeing adventure tour here!​

SNOWMOBILE GLACIER TOUR​

snowmobiling on langjökull glacier

Not much of a hiking type? Your fellow asthmatic over here gets it. Sometimes you want to enjoy the good weather conditions in May, on a beautiful Icelandic glacier, without having to pant your way through the tour.

No worries! That's why we have this awesome snowmobile tour !​ Our tour will take you to Langjökull, Europe's second-biggest glacier for the adventure of a lifetime.

An experienced guide will show you all the best routes on the glacier (and keep an eye on you, you rascal), so you can blaze your way through the ice!​

Thrill-seekers, you can find more information about this tour here!​

SNORKELING IN SILFRA

snorkler exploring the tectonic plates in Iceland

If you've been to the Golden Circle, then you know Silfra as the fissure with the crystal-clear glacial water that runs through Thingvellir ( if you haven't been to the Golden Circle, join our tour !)

Silfra is the fissure between the European and the North American tectonic plates. Snorkeling there is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! The water is so clear that you can see even the smallest details around you, and you will feel as if you've been transported to a different world. ​In fact, you can easily see 100m down!

It's no wonder that Silfra is one of the best diving places in the world. Also, May is one of the best times to snorkel in Silfra due to the weather being nice!

Find out more about this tour here!​ ​

LOOKING FOR MORE TOURS?

These tours are my personal suggestions to you, from one explorer and traveler to another. Don't forget to check out our other tours, too, though! Pro tip: book ahead to ensure that you get a spot!

See All Tours

CAN YOU SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN ICELAND IN MAY?

aurora borealis in iceland

In a word, no. While May usually has clear skies (a must for seeing the northern lights), it's also just too bright. The sun likes to hang around a bit too much for us to see the northern lights. Check out this graph that shows how much daylight there is in May in Reykjavik.

While you can't see the northern lights in Iceland in May, you can still enjoy the sun! The long days will be unlike anything you have experienced before! The several hours of daylight in May will allow you to see and explore much more of the Icelandic nature than you could in winter. Besides, it's always surreal and very fun to spend your nights under a midnight sun!

EVENTS & FESTIVALS IN ICELAND IN MAY

​So you've done the tours. You've seen the nature. You've explored Reykjavik and Iceland. Is there anything special you can see in Iceland in May?

Absolutely! ​Keep reading to find out about all the events you can attend in Iceland in May!

1. LABOR DAY

LABOR DAY parade in downtown Reykjavik

Suffice to say that Labor Day is a very important day in Iceland. ​Equality and fairness have always been important to Icelanders, and the first protest march in Iceland was in May 1st 1932.

Nowadays, protesters are accompanied by brass bands​ as they walk around the cities and towns of Iceland. While Labor Day is celebrated in many places, the largest march is definitely in Reykjavik. 

Icelandic protests are always peaceful, so don't worry about any trouble.​ Most people march to protest anything they find unfair in the workplace, but others just join the long walk just because they like to walk around the city.

2. Saga Fest

Saga Music Fest

Saga Fest is a two-day festival taking place every year near Selfoss (very close to Reykjavik!). It's held in a farm, which only adds to the charm of the festival.

​Saga Fest is all about connecting to nature and each other through storytelling. Artists not only perform, but can also collaborate with the audience, and everything is based on sustainability, as well as the Icelandic sagas.

It truly is an amazing festival, with an almost electric atmosphere. There is a big sense of community even among strangers, and you are bound to make some friends if you attend!

You can learn more about Saga Fest on their official website !​

​RECOMMENDATIONS FROM A LOCAL

Would this blog be a real blog without some personal recommendations from a local? I don't think so!

May in Iceland is one of my favorite months. I love how the nature changes so rapidly in preparation for the summer! Everything blooms, the land comes to life, and the sun likes to hang out with us all day long!

I have a couple of tips for you for when you visit Iceland in May. Keep reading to find out what I love to do when May comes!

1. GO TO REYKJADALUR

REYKJADALUR hot spring area

It's hard to pick a favorite spot in Iceland. There are so many beautiful waterfalls, gorgeous mountains and enchanting glaciers, you don't know where to start! One of my absolute favorite spots, though, has to be Reykjadalur.​

Reykjadalur is a natural hot spring river. Icelanders have been using it for centuries as a bathing spot, and I'm not surprised it's that popular. The water is perfectly warm, and you can find your ideal temperature as the river gets warmer the further up you go.​

In May, the sun shines beautifully on the valley where this river rests. The place is idyllic, with green grass growing on the rolling hills and steam coming from the river and the nearby (very!) hot springs. You might even see some sheep!

There is a bit of a hike to get to the valley of Reykjadalur, but it's worth it. Even the hike itself is beautiful, with great views and a waterfall you can see from afar.​

Once you get to the top, you will be rewarded with one of the most relaxing soaks of your life, right in the middle of the Icelandic nature!

Wanna find out about more hot springs in Iceland? Check out this guide! Or maybe hiking is more of your thing? We've got​ you covered!

2. WALK AROUND REYKJAVIK

Reykjavik, Iceland

Allow yourself to get lost in the little streets all around Reykjavik. The famous sights are definitely something you should see, but I think the real beauty of Reykjavik reveals itself when you just wander around. 

Venture where other tourists don't. Don't bring a map. Don't look up places on your phone. Just walk and admire the incredible architecture, the colorful buildings and the amazing graffiti that adorns a lot of the walls in downtown Reykjavik. 

Besides, the weather in May is so good that you can't pass up an opportunity to see as much of the city as possible! The golden hour is also perfect to take pictures, especially since in May it lasts much longer than an hour!

If you want to walk around Reykjavik with a local, learn everything you want to know about the city, and also eat some delicious traditional Icelandic food, why not join our top-rated Reykjavik food tour ?

SOME LAST WORDS

​May is truly one of the best times to visit Iceland. You will have the time of your life and experience all the best that Iceland has to offer.

I hope my guide was helpful! Don't hesitate to reach out through the comments if you have any questions, and definitely let me know if you liked the article! Feel free to share with anyone who wants to learn a little bit more about Iceland or is planning a trip here!​

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ICELAND TOURS IN MAY

Get ahead of the peak travel season by visiting Iceland in May. You’ll benefit from longer daylight hours for maximum sightseeing, abundant outdoor activities, mild weather and lighter Ring Road traffic. Take your pick of tours in Iceland in May, all planned by the local experts at Nordic Visitor.

VISITING ICELAND IN MAY

Looking for tours in Iceland in May? You’re in the right place!

May is a good time of year to travel to Iceland. As the summer season is only starting, you’ll experience a quieter side of the country, with fewer visitors at popular attractions. This, paired with long daylight hours and mild weather, makes it ideal for sightseeing.

In May, visit Iceland by taking a road trip , joining a small group tour , touring with a private guide , or exploring with a multi-day tour. Whichever way you choose, you’ll be amazed by all the natural wonders you can see on a holiday to Iceland in May.

When you book a trip to Iceland with Nordic Visitor, you get hand-picked accommodation, transportation reservations, daily breakfast and access to our 24/7 helpline.

Get in touch and we'll happily plan your May adventure. Reach us via our toll-free numbers, contact form or LiveChat.

— WHY US?

Why book with nordic visitor.

  • Hassle-free & seamless travel experience
  • Flexible & customisable tour options
  • Value for your money
  • Professional service from local experts
  • 24/7 emergency helpline during tour

Explore at your own pace with a car

Enjoy the freedom of a road trip, but with a helping hand. Here are some self-drive tours in Iceland you might like.

10 days / 9 nights

Iceland full circle classic, 8 days / 7 nights, south & west iceland classic, 14 days / 13 nights, iceland complete classic, 7 days / 6 nights, south iceland at leisure, iceland ring road express, iceland full circle at leisure, 17 days / 16 nights, iceland grand tour, 21 days / 20 nights, iceland ultimate adventure, 12 days / 11 nights, iceland road trip, south & west iceland at leisure, 5 days / 4 nights, south iceland classic, 6 days / 5 nights, south iceland & into the glacier, iceland full circle classic - winter, south iceland at leisure - winter, south & west iceland classic - winter, 11 days / 10 nights, christmas & new year's in iceland, northern lights & new years eve fun, glacier lagoon & northern lights, iceland full circle at leisure - winter, south & west iceland at leisure - winter, south iceland & into the glacier - winter, 4 days / 3 nights, golden circle & south coast - winter, romance around iceland, highlights of westfjords, north & west iceland, iceland complete express, south iceland express, golden circle & south coast, highlights of westfjords & west iceland, south iceland classic - winter, the islands of fire & ice - iceland & greenland, 9 days / 8 nights, highlights of north & west iceland, 4x4 highland adventure in the south, christmas in the countryside, south iceland & northern lights, join a guided small group.

Explore Iceland with like-minded travellers and an experienced local guide with one of these small group tours.

Natural Wonders of Iceland

Level 2 (Classic)

Highlights of the Ring Road

Level 3 (Express)

Scenic South Iceland

Geysers, volcanoes & glacier lagoon, enjoy a city break with day tours.

Stay in Reykjavik and see the countryside on planned excursions. Here are some of our favourite multi-day tours.

Best of South Iceland

Golden circle, south coast & blue lagoon, best of south & north iceland, golden circle, south coast & mývatn, classic south coast, golden circle classic, golden circle & blue lagoon, active iceland, snowmobiling, ice tunnel & golden circle, 3 days / 2 nights, golden circle express, travel with your own local guide.

Experience Iceland’s famous sights and hidden gems on your terms with one of these privately guided tours.

The Natural Wonders of Iceland - Private

1599766 ISK

Highlights of the Ring Road - Private

1043480 ISK

South & West Iceland Classic - Private

1208962 ISK

Scenic South Iceland - Private

Explore neighbouring scotland.

Charming accommodations, a weaker Pound and gorgeous Highland scenery make road trips in this Nordic neighbour a great value.

Classic Scotland

Express scotland, grand tour of scotland, scottish highlands & north coast 500, highlights of scotland.

Level 2 (Moderate)

Outlander Experience

Complete scotland, the outlander trail, scottish highlands & isle of skye, classic scotland & outer hebrides, classic scotland & the orkney islands, express scotland - private, scottish highlands & isle of skye - private, express scotland & ireland, classic scotland & ireland, complete scotland & ireland, grand tour of scotland & ireland, scottish highlands, isle of skye & wild atlantic way, 25 days / 24 nights, ultimate tour of scotland & ireland, scottish highlands, north coast 500 & wild atlantic way, wonders of scotland, wonders of ireland & scotland, edinburgh complete - loch ness, highlands & glasgow, classic scotland - private, complete scotland - private, classic scotland & ireland - private, express britain, england, scotland & wales, wonders of britain.

Level 1 (At Leisure)

Complete Scotland & Ireland – Private

Express scotland & ireland – private, classic scotland at leisure, complete scotland at leisure, scottish highlands, north coast 500 & outer hebrides, 16 days / 15 nights, best of ireland & scotland, local travel agency.

As a travel agency with offices in Reykjavík, Edinburgh, Stockholm and Lucerne, Nordic Visitor knows how to make the most of your time in Europe. Choose from a variety of carefully curated tours that include must-see attractions as well as lesser-known highlights.

You can also make customisations to your itinerary by adding extra nights, optional activities, or upgrades to your tour. Or ask your personal travel consultant for advice and they will tailor your itinerary. This way you get a travel experience that is perfectly suited to you. 

Your dedicated travel consultant will arrange all the local details for you. You get accommodation, activities, transport, and other services included in your package. If you need to rework your itinerary, we’ll handle it for you so you can relax and look forward to your getaway.

Different ways you can experience Iceland

We have tours for all varieties of travel styles and interests. See our options for exploring Iceland below.

Guided Small Groups

Multi-day tours, privately guided, midnight sun, luxury getaways, best seller, what do our customers say.

The reviews speak for themselves. See what Nordic Visitor travellers said about their experience with us.

Jennifer, United States

Highlights of the ring road - private, july 2021, 10 out of 10 trip.

Our family came with no expectations. We left with smiles and excitement. Everyone agreed the trip was 10/10.

Michael, United States

Iceland full circle classic, june 2021, we had a great time.

We had a great time. Good mixture of relaxation time, adventure, enjoying meeting new people and seeing new sites.

Desiree, United States

Iceland ring road express, july 2021, nice to have a local contact.

We were very happy to have been referred to Nordic Visitor by a friend based on their good experience. It was nice to have a contact that was familiar with the local area providing input on our itineraries. It was great to have a contact when we were there also as a couple of items needed to be rescheduled due to the weather and also when we had questions we had a person to call. This made our experience very comfortable in another country.

Lynn, United States

Scenic south iceland, july 2021, impressed by and thankful for quality service.

My travel consultant, Thor, answered all my questions in a timely way and in as much detail as I needed. When he was on vacation, someone else checked his email and answered another question. Your travel material answered questions I didn't know to ask! Our guide, Snorri, was an Icelander and very knowledgeable about Iceland's history and culture. He was both personable and organized. I am more impressed, pleased, and thankful for the quality of service we received than I can adequately express. Perhaps most impressive was that Nordic Visitor arranged PCR tests for people on our tour who were unaware that this was needed to return home. Someone from the lab came to our hotel on the last day to test all those who needed it. That is true service.

Janis, United States

South & west iceland classic, july 2021, i will treasure the itinerary booklet provided.

I felt we were able to see all the best of Iceland with the South and West Iceland Classic. It was wonderful having everything arranged for us and the itinerary book was so full of information that I will treasure it as I do my photos. Anita was wonderful to work with. She always answered all my questions promptly and relieved any anxiety I was feeling. I only wish I had gotten to meet her. But, due to covid, the office was not accessible.

Highlights of Westfjords & West Iceland, July 2021

Everything ran smoothly.

The trip to Iceland was a late substitute for a Norway trip cancelled due to COVID restrictions, so the timescale was tight but all was done well. Once we were on the way, everything ran smoothly and the accommodation was varied and interesting. The Western Fjords are a truly special experience even if you have been to Iceland before.

Estelle, United States

Highlights of the ring road, july 2021, our guide was the best.

Our guide, Havar, was the best I've ever had. He was exceptional! It was hard for some of the passengers to reach you with some issues but he used his contacts and there was no problem.

Leslie, United States

Appreciated the detailed itinerary.

We had a wonderful time and very much appreciated the detail itinerary provided. It provided helpful information for each day. The additional tours were also great additions. Our tour advisor was very responsive and helpful. We'd book through this company again.

James, Germany

Classic south coast, august 2021, amazing and seamless experience.

This was an excellent trip and we highly recommend Nordic Visitor for booking. We didn't have to do anything, they had everything arranged and it was a seamless, amazing experience! Thank you so much!

Donald, United States

Natural wonders of iceland, july 2021, wonderful tour.

Wonderful tour. Our guide, Snorri, was superb. He was able to convey his intimate knowledge and enthusiasm for his country in an outstanding manner.

Janet, United States

Iceland grand tour, july 2021, we loved every minute of our trip.

Nordic Visitor were a pleasure to work with! You were so responsive, listened to our requests, planned everything perfectly and ensured that we had a fantastic vacation. We loved every minute of our 17 day Grand Tour of Iceland - you did all of the work for us so all we had to do was enjoy it. Our tour gave us enough time to explore so many areas of your beautiful country. We want to return someday - and when we do, we will be calling Nordic Visitor again!

Iceland Complete Classic, August 2021

Nordic visitor made it easy.

Iceland is a magical place which combines relentless epic grandeur alongside endless miniature wonders and Nordic Visitor really makes it easy for a first timer to discover it. The true stars of the show for us though were the genuine, friendly, super kind and quirky (the all-women punk poetry band 'Gertrude and the Flowers' was amazing!) Icelanders at every stop. Every single experience (bar one, the Arctic Fox Centre where the new owners really didn't seem to care about us or know anything about the centre) was absolutely wonderful, especially the Hestasport experience but also the Whale Watching and Vok Baths. Huge appreciation for the writing on the map (especially as some of the instructions, particularly on the North West fjords was a little hard to follow) and the many little touches and caring approach.

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One of the country's most stunning waterfalls

Stand in the massive hoof print of Sleipnir

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ICELAND IN MAY

Whatever you’re wondering about visiting Iceland in May, we’re here to answer your most commonly asked questions. Is May a good time to visit Iceland? Definitely! What can you visit during this time of year? Read below to find out all the details from our local travel experts.

How is Iceland in May?

May is the start of the summer travel season in Iceland. This means it is a quieter month that falls before the popular period of June to August.

Known as the shoulder season, it’s the ideal time of year for those who want to still enjoy decent weather but avoid larger crowds. The temperatures are generally mild, and there are long daylight hours as we approach the summer solstice.

What are the best things to do in Iceland in May?

There are plenty of things you can do during your trip to Iceland. May is one of the best times to visit the Land of Fire and Ice, as there is a wide variety of experiences to enjoy.

Here are 10 of the best things to do in Iceland in May:

  • Marvel at waterfalls
  • Hike in national parks
  • Dip in hot springs and pools
  • Go whale and puffin watching
  • See geothermal wonders and volcanoes
  • Roam the countryside on an Icelandic horse
  • Walk along black sand beaches
  • Venture off the beaten track
  • Admire glacier lagoons
  • Taste Icelandic cuisine

In May, you could also attend the Reykjavík Arts Festival. It is one of the country’s biggest cultural events and attracts artists from all over the world.

  • Read about the best things to do in Iceland according to local experts
  • Learn everything you need to know about Iceland travel with this guide

What are the best places to visit in Iceland in May?

May is a great month to travel to Iceland and see its top natural attractions. More so, you’ll enjoy long daylight hours and fair weather, ideal conditions for exploring.

Here are some of the best places to visit in Iceland in May:

  • Explore the lively capital, Reykjavík
  • Drive or join a day tour of the Golden Circle route, including the Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir hot springs area and Þingvellir National Park
  • Admire the grandeur of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano and glacier
  • Visit the village of Vík to see the interesting rock formations of Dyrhólaey
  • Join a boat tour on the Jökulsárlón   glacier lagoon
  • Discover the lunar landscapes of the Lake Mývatn , area
  • See the “Capital of North Iceland”, Akureyri
  • Go off the beaten path at the Westfjords
  • Roam around the Snæfellsjökull National Park

For rainy days, you may want to explore some of these fun indoor attractions too:

  • Learn about volcanoes at the Lava Centre
  • Try a flight simulation experience with FlyOver Iceland
  • Experience earthquakes and visit the planetarium at Perlan
  • Venture “into the glacier” at Langjökull
  • Discover the 10 best places to visit in Iceland  and off-the-beaten-path spots in Iceland
  • Browse these top-selling tours of Iceland to see the best places in one incredible trip

What is the weather like in Iceland in May?

As May is a transitional month between spring and summer, you can expect mild and changing weather in Iceland at this time. On average, there are highs of 10°C (50°F) and lows of 4°C (40°F).

Iceland’s climate is unpredictable, so prepare for sun, wind and rain if you’re planning a trip for May.

What is the temperature in May?

In the capital, the average temperature is 6°C (43°F) in May. In Akureyri, in the north, it is 4°C (40°F).

Does it snow in Iceland in May?

It is unlikely to snow in Iceland in May. On rare occasions, it may snow in the north at the beginning of the month. At this time, you’ll also still be able to admire the snow-topped mountains.

  • Find out more about Iceland’s climate with this weather guide and climate guide
  • Not sure when to go to Iceland? This ultimate guide to the best times to visit  will give you all the details

What are the driving conditions in Iceland in May?

A road trip in Iceland in May has its advantages. As it’s not yet the peak season, there's lighter traffic for driving around the Ring Road. This is one of the great things about exploring Iceland in the shoulder season – fewer visitors!

Since the weather is changeable in Iceland, it is important to come prepared. Make yourself aware of road safety precautions before you travel.

During your trip check weather and road conditions regularly. For your peace of mind, our team is on hand 24/7 should you need to get in touch at any point.

When you book a self-drive tour with Nordic Visitor , car rentals come with collision damage waiver, unlimited in-car Wi-Fi, and a hand-marked map of your route. You also get two named drivers on the insurance policy so you can share the driving with a travel companion.

What to pack for a trip to Iceland in May?

Iceland is famous for its ever-changing weather, so we advise that you be as prepared as possible. As May follows the cold Icelandic spring, we recommend bringing warmer layers to be ready for the cooler temperatures. That way, come rain or shine, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the country.

Here is a list of packing essentials for your Iceland trip in May:

  • Fleece and lightweight wool jumpers
  • Fleece jumpers
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket or shell layers
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Thermal underwear and socks

As well as these essentials, be sure to bring good sturdy walking or hiking boots depending on what activities you may want to enjoy. And, if you’re keen to experience the famous Blue Lagoon, remember to pack your swimwear.

What to wear in Iceland in May?

Icelanders have a saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”.

As the weather is expected to be mild but unpredictable in May, we recommend layers. That way you can remove or add clothes depending on the day’s weather.

Make sure to bring some warm under layers as well as water and windproof outer layers. If you plan on visiting beaches, going for coastal walks and exploring national parks, you should wear some good hiking shoes or boots.

What are the daylight hours in Iceland in May?

In May, the daylight hours are still growing longer as we slowly approach the summer solstice. This means you’ll enjoy plenty of daytime brightness to explore Iceland to your heart’s content. You can expect daylight hours between 5 AM and 10 PM on average.

By June, Iceland experiences around 19-21 hours of daylight thanks to the midnight sun.

Can I see the northern lights in Iceland in May?

In May, it is unlikely you’ll see the northern lights. This is because during the summer months there are few hours of proper darkness.

Visit between October and March to go on one of the northern lights tours available in Iceland. These allow you to go to quieter and more remote areas to (hopefully) enjoy the spectacle.

  • Discover northern lights packages to Iceland and other Nordic destinations
  • For your best chance to see the auroras and capture them, read this northern lights guide to Iceland

How to tour Iceland in May?

There are various ways to travel on your Iceland tour in May. Depending on your personal tastes and requirements, you could either go for a guided or self-guided vacation.

Visit the capital with a city break If you’re looking for a fun but short getaway, come explore Reykjavík . There is much to discover within the capital and nearby.

Here are some of the best things to do in May in Iceland’s capital:

  • Go to the top of Hallgrímskirkja Church
  • Take a dip at a local swimming pool
  • See Grótta Lighthouse
  • Walk along the coast
  • Visit the Einar Jónsson Art Museum
  • Attend the Reykjavík Arts Festival

You could also join day tours to discover beyond Reykjavík, including the Reykjanes Peninsula and the famous Golden Circle.

Take the wheel for an epic road trip May is an excellent month for those who want to tour Iceland at their own pace. Pick up your rental car and journey around the island along the Ring Road (Route 1).

At this time of year, the road conditions are good for touring, and you can enjoy long daylight hours to drive and explore. Stop whenever you want to admire the black sands of the South Coast, high mountains, and the jagged landscape of lava fields.

Driving in Iceland is an adventure that you won’t regret! Especially if you book with Nordic Visitor, as we offer collision damage waiver, unlimited in-car Wi-Fi, and a 24/7 helpline for emergencies.

  • Learn more about driving in Iceland and discovering the Golden Circle at your own pace
  • Love the sound of a self-drive adventure? Find out more about self-drive tours and read how long it takes to drive around Iceland

Join a small guided group tour In May, you could opt to join a small group tour of the natural wonders of Iceland. Explore the scenic South Coast or tour around the country to see the best island.

A small group tour offers an enriching experience, allowing you to get the most out of your trip thanks to the expertise of a local guide. What’s more, you’ll be travelling alongside 15 people at most, so the trip is still personal for you.

Book a private tour With these packages, you’ll enjoy the undivided attention of your own expert guide who will also act as your personal driver. Sit back, relax and take in the view as your local guide gives you a deeper insight into the Icelandic history and beauty.

As well as a personal itinerary, your private guide will be able to tailor the tour even more to your preferences. You get to stop where you want to see what interests you specifically. Ask all the questions you want, get unique insight and relax in the comfortable vehicle.

Good to know: Our Iceland itineraries aren’t set in stone. Our Reykjavík-based Iceland experts know the country inside out. They’ll help you see Iceland your way, tailoring your itinerary and adding all the best excursions to suit you.

  • Find out more about visiting Iceland earlier, in February , March or April
  • Or visit Iceland later, in June , July or August

— OTHER DESTINATIONS

See more of northern europe.

  • Want more road trip ideas? Venture to Scotland and Ireland
  • Like stunning scenery and Viking history? Discover Scandinavia
  • Prefer winter scenery? Make for snowy Lapland
  • Keen to go off the beaten track? Explore wild Greenland  and Svalbard

Our services

Whether you choose a guided tour or a self-drive vacation, all customers receive personalised service with a designated travel consultant , tailor-made quality travel documents, and our self-drive clients receive a hand-marked map that outlines their route, overnight stays and highlights along the way. Furthermore, Nordic Visitor has long-standing professional relationships with local tour operators , which are carefully selected by our staff and are recognized for consistent, quality service.

Book with confidence

  • Protect your money & plans with our  flexible booking terms    .
  • Get peace of mind with a 24/7 helpline during your stay.
  • Enjoy personal service from Iceland-based travel experts.
  • We’re here for you in case of unforeseen circumstances.
  • 97% of customers say they’d recommend us to friends.
  • As a local agency, we work closely with trusted suppliers.
  • We’re a fully licensed and insured company in Iceland.

Whether you have queries about our tours or want to add activities to existing bookings, we’re here to help. Get in touch with our friendly team for any of your travel questions.

Our main phone number is +354 578 20 80

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  • Apr 3, 2023
  • 10 min read

Your Guide to Iceland in May in 2023

If you’re visiting Iceland in May, you’ll be coming to the island in mid-spring (even though it may not be the type of spring you’re used to back home). May in Iceland actually holds a lot of benefits for visitors.

So, if you’ve been wondering whether you should be traveling to Iceland in May or you’re already busy planning your trip itinerary, this article is for you. We give you the full lowdown – from the weather to what to pack and everything there is to do.

Iceland in may

Is May a Good Time to Visit Iceland?

Even though we consider May to be one of the best months to visit the island , May may not (we couldn’t resist) be the right fit for you based on certain criteria. That’s why we’ve created this handy overview of pros and cons, so you can scan through some of the month’s highlights and downfalls:

The weather is much milder than during the past couple of months (it is spring in Iceland after all), and the temperatures are steadily climbing.

Daylight hours have drastically increased from the mere 4 hours experienced only a couple of months ago. All these daylight hours make a jam-packed trip itinerary possible.

The road conditions have drastically improved . You no longer need to worry about getting stuck in the snow or skidding across icy patches. Not only does it make daily driving easier, but it also makes it much easier to plan and take on those island road trips.

As a shoulder month, May has a lot of the perks of peak season, but without the peak season crowds you’d see during August in Iceland .

No peak season, no peak season prices . That means that your Iceland in May vacay budget will be able to stretch much further than during our peak season summer months.

If you consider yourself a nature lover, you’ll be glad to know that you won’t be the only visitor arriving in May. This is also the month that we welcome the Puffins to the island.

 visiting Iceland in may

As we already mentioned, it’s not peak season yet. That means that operating hours might still be according to the “down” season . This can include anything from public transport to attractions, so you’ll need to double-check times to ensure that you don’t arrive at a closed door.

May is that one month in the year when you’re unlikely to experience any of the natural phenomena Iceland is known for . The daylight hours are still too few to experience a Midnight Sun . You’ll need to wait for June in Iceland to experience that phenomena.

The daylight is already too much to spot the Northern Lights .

The tricky road conditions of the colder months might be a thing of the past. However, many of the roads and routes that are closed during the colder months each year have still not reopened . This can make a road trip much harder to plan – especially if you have your heart set on exploring the Westfjords and the Highlands.

The Weather in Iceland in May

One of the biggest perks is the Iceland temperature in May. The temperatures will no longer be plunging below that 0-degree mark! You can look forward to temperatures ranging between 4 and 10 degrees Celsius , and hovering around 6 degrees the majority of the time.

The overall Iceland climate in May is also much milder than the past winter months. However, the weather it is not yet as stable as summer in Iceland . Still, the extreme Iceland winds have seemed to calm down a bit and the large amounts of snow and rainfall have also retreated for a while.

If you think Reykjavík in May is warmer than the city's outskirts, we’re going to have to burst your bubble. This is a myth that is based on an illusion. City buildings provide shelter from the weather elements. That is what makes it feel slightly warmer inside Reykjavík compared to outside its borders.

 weather in Iceland in may

This is also not a phenomenon that’s exclusive to the capital city, and is experienced in any of the larger cities and towns on the island. In May, Iceland has long daylight hours with up to 18 to 20 hours of daylight each day , making it less likely to see the Northern Lights .

So, in short, the answer to the question “can you see the Northern Lights in Iceland in May?” is that you need actual darkness to see lights, and the warmer weather also doesn’t help the situation.

What to Pack and Wear when Visiting Iceland in May

Spring season in Iceland doesn’t equate to floral dresses and tank tops, so, understandably, it might be confusing to pack for a trip to Iceland in May.

As we mentioned before, temperatures are much milder, yet, the weather conditions are still unpredictable. There is always a chance of rain, so it’s best to pack layers and waterproof clothing . In addition to warm clothes, you should pack comfortable, waterproof walking shoes, gloves, hats, and a scarf to stay warm and dry.

Likewise, May offers the opportunity to enjoy Iceland’s geothermal pools and hot springs. So, don’t forget to pack a bathing suit and a towel . If you plan to visit any public pools, be sure to pack flip-flops, as they are often required.

Don’t forget to bring your camera! These changing weather patters can create stunning photo opportunities. Do check the weather forecast regularly and adjust your outfit accordingly to ensure an enjoyable trip.

 Iceland packing list may

We’ve created a comprehensive packing list for Iceland to help you prepare for your adventure. Check it out and make sure you have everything you need to have a comfortable stay this spring!

The Best Things to do in Iceland in May

Are you still wondering what to do in Iceland in May? Well, take a look at our recommendations below, and you might find a few things to add to your trip itinerary:

Go on a Road Trip

Top priority in May should be visiting the Westfjords ; other attractions can be included on a road trip around Iceland. We strongly believe that there is no better way to explore the island, and May brings the change in the weather that’s needed to make this possible.

The snow is gone, and the ice has thawed , so you no longer need to take a Valium in order to take on the roads in Iceland. Still, there are a couple of things to bear in mind when driving in Iceland . Some of the roads and routes might still be closed, so you’ll just need to take this into account when planning out your road trip route. Other roads, such as F-Roads , require a 4x4 vehicle by law. Some of the most popular routes include:

The Diamond Circle

The Golden Circle

The Ring Road

The South Coast Way

The Westfjords Way

Driving in Iceland in May

Take a Hike

With the breathtaking scenery that can be found in Iceland, it’s no surprise that the country boasts a considerable number of hiking trails . Hiking in Iceland offers breathtaking views of glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, and hot springs.

You don’t need to be a fitness pro or regular hiker to enjoy a hike here on the island. Our trails range in difficulty level as well as length , meaning that you can take on an easy day hike or a more challenging multi-day trek. If this sounds like something you might be interested in doing, these are a few hiking trails you can consider:

Glymur Waterfall Trail

Mt. Esja Trail

The Hornstrandir Trek

Laugavegur Trek

The Landmannalaugar Trails

The Landmannalaugar Trails

Whether you’re going hiking or would just like to immerse yourself in the Icelandic landscape, camping is a great way to do that. It’s also a great way to cut down on accommodation costs.

If you would like to add to your savings, you can buy a Camping Card . It will give a family of 2 adults and 4 children access to various campsites across the country for 28 nights. To put these savings into perspective; campgrounds generally charge between $10-$20 per person per night.

If camping in Iceland sounds like something you’ll consider, the following campsites come highly recommended:

Egilstadir Campsite

Skaftafell Campsite

Reykjavík Campsite

 things to do in Iceland in may

Visit Our Waterfalls

To visit all the waterfalls on the island will be quite a feat since we have over 10,000 of them! Some have unique characteristics that should definitely make it on your Iceland to-do list. These include:

Seljalandsfoss – where you can walk behind the falls and take a photo of the Iceland landscape through a veil of water.

Svartifoss – a waterfall with a dramatic black basalt column backdrop that served as inspiration for Hallgrimskirkja.

Dettifoss – the waterfall that has earned itself the official title of the most powerful waterfall in Europe.

Godafoss – where it is believed a symbolic gesture was made to signify the official conversion of the island to Christianity.

Iceland's waterfalls visit

Eat, Drink, and Explore the Capital City

This is pretty much what the Reykjavík Food Walk is all about. If you book a spot on this tour, you’ll be guided through Reykjavík. Your guide will tell you everything you need to know about the city. Now, with the added bonus of stopping at various venues for some local Icelandic food , Reykjavík street food, and craft beers.

These tours are not big groups. So, except for the fact that your stomach will thank you, these tours are great for solo travelers to make friends while enjoying good food.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Take a Dip in a Hot Spring

Iceland isn’t called the Land of Fire and Ice for nothing, and our hot springs are a reminder of that. Due to all the volcanic activity here on the island, our underground water supply gets heated up. In some places, the heated water reaches the earth’s surface and can be used as is. In other words, it’s safe to soak in what looks like a rock pool without the fear of becoming Kentucky Fried Human.

In other places, the water is hard to access or simply too hot to use in its natural form. In these instances, the water is utilized in commercial geothermal pools that are open to the public. Whichever form you prefer your hot spring in, you can’t visit Iceland in May without at least one relaxing soak. These are a few of the hot spring hot spots here on the island:

The Blue Lagoon

Kvika Footbath

Reykjadalur Valley

What to do in Iceland in may

Visit Our National Parks

Except for the breathtaking scenery, the national parks in Iceland each have different attractions to enjoy. Currently, we have 3 official national parks; Vatnajökull, Snæfellsjökull and Thingvellir .

Thingvellir National Park is usually the first stop for those who are on a Golden Circle road trip. And, in the case of Vatnajökull, it keeps growing larger and larger as other reserves are added to it.

Iceland's national parks

Ride a Snowmobile Across a Glacier

Okay, so this is not the only way of exploring the Iceland glaciers, but it sure is an exciting one. You'll ride across the stunning glacial landscapes of Iceland and explore otherworldly ice caves and glacial lagoons . Likewise, you’ll learn about the history and geology of the region from experienced guides.

Just remember that this is not a situation of borrowing a snowmobile and start cruising around on glaciers. There are serious safety concerns when taking on these icy landscapes. That’s why these activities are offered in a guided tour setting.

Snowmobiling activities in May

Dive or Snorkel the Silfra Fissure

Diving or snorkeling the Silfra Fissure is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Silfra Fissure is a tear (fissure) in the earth where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates push away from each other . This tear is now filled with the clearest glacial water.

This not only allows you to see 120 meters in whichever direction, but you can also literally lie suspended between two continents. The snorkeling option is available to anyone, irrespective of skill or experience. But if you want to dive the Silfra you will need to bring along a valid diving license and have the relevant experience under your (diving) belt.

Silfra diving, Iceland

Ride an Icelandic Horse

If you are eager to explore the country's stunning landscapes, then horse riding in Iceland is the perfect activity for you. And no, this is not just any horse in Iceland, it is an actual breed of horse authentic to the island called the Icelandic Horse . Galloping across the Iceland landscape on one of these creatures is an experience you won’t soon forget.

They have the most wonderful and friendly nature and look more like ponies than full-grown horses. During the winter season, they also appear to be quite fluffy due to their thick winter coats and they are well-known for their fifth gait called the tölt.

Icelandic horses activities

Become a Viking

No, we’re not telling you to start raiding the stores in Laugavegur Street. There are plenty of opportunities to truly immerse yourself in the Viking lifestyle here on the island. You can choose to go sailing on an authentic Viking ship in the Westfjords.

Or you can turn yourself into a Viking at Mink Studios with the traditional garb, accessories, and even weapons. Then, you can have your portrait taken by one of the most renowned photographers on the island. Alternatively, you can visit an authentic Viking village , join in on an authentic Viking feast, and even sleep in a Viking-themed hotel!

Viking activities in Iceland in May

Visit Our Exciting Museums

If there’s one thing Iceland doesn’t do, it’s boring museums. Our museums have rides, are interactive, tell stories of heroes and all sorts of mythical creatures, and ask you to participate in the fun . Whatever your interest, we’re sure you’ll find a museum that’s to your liking.

Many interesting museums are located on the island. And while people often save museum visits for rainy days, there are so many that you might want to dedicate a few days to exploring them properly. Here are a few to consider adding to your trip itinerary when you’re in Iceland in May:

The Saga Museum

The Icelandic Phallological Museum

The Reykjavik Maritime Museum

The Museum of Icelandic Witchcraft and Sorcery

 is may a good time to visit Iceland

Icelandic Festivals and Events in May

As things start warming up in the country, you’ll also find the social calendars heating up with all sorts of music festivals and events. Here are a few that you can attend during your trip to Iceland in May:

The Reykjavík Arts Festival

The Reykjavík Arts Festival is a celebration of every art discipline under the sun. During the festival, you can see art exhibitions, live performances, and much, much more in various venues all across the capital city. This is one of Iceland’s oldest running festivals, having been started in 1970 . And if you appreciate art, it’s definitely not to be missed whilst in Iceland in May.

The Reykjavík Peace Festival

The Reykjavík Peace Festival is completely free of charge and is a sort of ode to John Lennon and his ideals. The festival is marked by the lighting of the peace tower and live music in the form of choirs.

The Midnight Sun Salsa

Salsa is probably the last thing you’ll associate Iceland with, yet this is exactly what you’ll get during the Midnight Sun Salsa . The Midnight Sun Salsa Festival is a celebration of Latin dance held across Reykjavík, similar to the Reykjavík Art Festival. So, when you’re visiting Iceland in May you can come and dance the night away!

Festivals in Iceland in May

Iceland in May; a Time the Island Comes to Life

Iceland In 8 Days

Visiting Iceland in May: Pros, Cons, and Tips for 2023

iceland in may featured

May is the time when Iceland begins to transition into its peak tourist season, making it a popular time to visit. With milder temperatures and longer days, visitors can experience Iceland’s stunning natural beauty without the extreme weather conditions of the winter months by visiting Iceland in May.

However, May can also bring unpredictable weather patterns and crowded tourist sites. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of visiting Iceland in May and provide tips to help you make the most of your trip.

About Iceland in the Spring

Iceland in may: pros, iceland in may: cons, events in iceland in may, visiting in april instead, visiting in june instead, our final thoughts.

iceland in may

As winter transitions into spring, Iceland begins to come back to life after a long, dark season. In March, the days begin to get longer and temperatures start to rise, although snow and ice can still be found in many parts of the country.

By April, Iceland is in full bloom with wildflowers and greenery blanketing the landscape. May is when the weather truly starts to warm up, with average temperatures ranging from 5-12°C (41-54°F), making it a great time to explore the country’s outdoor attractions.

Spring is an excellent time to visit Iceland for those who want to avoid the crowds of the peak summer season. It’s also a great time for outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and soaking in hot springs. The weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to come prepared with layers and waterproof gear.

Keep in mind that some roads and hiking trails may still be closed due to snow or icy conditions, especially earlier in the season, so it’s a good idea to check ahead before planning your itinerary.

For a deeper dive into the best time to visit Iceland, please see our comprehensive guide to the best time to visit Iceland .

Pros and Cons of Iceland in May

As with any month of the year, there are going to be advantages and potential disadvantages to exploring Iceland in May. Keep in mind, every month is wildly different for Icelandic adventures. May is no exception. Below are some of the pros and potential cons of Iceland in May.

iceland in may

May is a wonderful time to visit Iceland because the weather is mild and pleasant, making it a great time to explore the country’s stunning landscapes. The days are longer than in winter, and the midnight sun begins to make an appearance, allowing for more time to enjoy the natural beauty of Iceland.

Additionally, the wildflowers and greenery start to bloom, adding pops of color to the landscape. This is especially true in the countryside, where visitors can see fields of lupines and other colorful flowers. May is also a great time to spot puffins and other seabirds, as they start to return to Iceland’s coastal cliffs for the breeding season.

Visiting Iceland in May also means that there are fewer tourists compared to the peak summer season, making it a great time to avoid crowds and enjoy a more peaceful vacation. Many popular tourist sites, such as the Blue Lagoon, are also less crowded during this time, allowing visitors to relax and take in the beauty of the area without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

Additionally, May is a great time to take part in outdoor activities such as hiking and horseback riding, as the weather is mild and comfortable. Overall, May offers a great balance of mild weather, beautiful scenery, and fewer crowds, making it an ideal time to visit Iceland.

Visiting Iceland in May can be a great time to experience the country before the peak tourist season hits, but there are also some downsides to keep in mind. One major con of visiting Iceland in May is that the weather can be unpredictable, with a mix of sunshine, rain, and sometimes even snow.

This can make it difficult to plan outdoor activities or sightseeing trips, and visitors may need to be flexible and willing to adjust their plans depending on the weather. Additionally, while May is before the peak season, it is still a popular time to visit, which means that accommodations and tours may be more expensive or booked up in advance.

Another potential downside of visiting Iceland in May is that some popular tourist destinations may not be fully accessible or open for the season yet. For example, some hiking trails may still be closed due to snow or wet conditions, and some natural attractions may not be fully accessible due to road closures or maintenance.

This could limit the options for outdoor activities or sightseeing, and visitors may need to do more research to ensure that they can still visit the places they want to see. Finally, while May is a relatively mild time of year in Iceland, visitors should still be prepared for chilly temperatures and possibly even high winds or storms.

iceland in may

There are plenty of events taking place throughout Iceland in the month of May. Here are just a few of the events in Iceland in May:

  • First Day of Summer – This public holiday marks the beginning of summer in Iceland and is celebrated on the first Thursday after April 18th.
  • Reykjavik Arts Festival – This festival celebrates a variety of art forms, including music, theatre, dance, and visual arts. It usually takes place in late May or early June and attracts both local and international artists.
  • Icelandic Horse Expo – This event showcases the unique Icelandic horse breed and features competitions, exhibitions, and demonstrations. It usually takes place in early May in Reykjavik.
  • Saga Fest – This literary festival celebrates Icelandic sagas and storytelling traditions. It features readings, discussions, and workshops by local and international writers and scholars. It usually takes place in late May in Reykjavik.
  • Arctic Open Golf Tournament – This golf tournament takes place at the Akureyri Golf Club in northern Iceland and is known for its unique setting and midnight sun. It usually takes place in late May or early June.

Tips for Visiting Iceland in May

Visiting Iceland in May is a great idea for those who want to experience the country’s natural beauty at its finest. The weather is mild, with temperatures ranging from 5°C to 12°C (41°F to 54°F), and the days are getting longer, with up to 20 hours of daylight towards the end of the month. This is a great time to go hiking or explore Iceland’s scenic landscapes.

One thing to keep in mind when visiting Iceland in May is that it is a popular time for tourists, so it’s important to book accommodations and tours well in advance. While it’s not the peak tourist season, many people come to Iceland during this time to take advantage of the mild weather and longer days. Another consideration is that May can still be a bit chilly, especially at night, so be sure to pack warm layers.

Overall, May is a great time to visit Iceland for those who want to explore the outdoors without being too cold or dealing with the crowds of peak season. With proper planning and a sense of adventure, visitors can make the most of their trip and enjoy all that Iceland has to offer.

As always, if you’re looking to get up-to-date information on the unpredictable weather in Iceland, there is one primary source. That source is Vedur.is .

iceland in may

While May is a great time to visit Iceland, April has its own unique charm. In April, you can still catch some of the winter activities and attractions like ice caves, snowmobiling, and northern lights, but with slightly milder weather.

The crowds are also smaller in April, which means you’ll have more space to explore and enjoy the scenery. Plus, the longer days mean you’ll have more time for activities and sightseeing.

For a deeper dive, please see our full article on Iceland in April .

June is the start of the busy summer tourist season in Iceland, and for good reason. The weather is milder, the days are long, and the landscape is alive with greenery and colorful flowers. In June, you can experience the midnight sun, where the sun doesn’t set at all, making it a perfect time for exploring the outdoors and going on long hikes.

The whale watching season also starts in June, and you can spot some of Iceland’s most magnificent marine creatures.

For a deeper dive, please see our full article on Iceland in June .

No matter what time of the year you choose to visit Iceland, there’s always something special and unique to experience. May is a great time to visit if you want to avoid the peak summer crowds but still enjoy the warmer weather and longer days.

However, keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable, and you should always be prepared with warm clothing and rain gear. With the right planning and preparation, a trip to Iceland in May can be an unforgettable experience.

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Iceland In May: 6 Things To Know Before You Go

December 18, 2023 //  by  Iceland Trippers //   Leave a Comment

Are you traveling to Iceland in May? We’ve got you covered with 6 things to know before beginning your journey! This list will include some of the best Iceland tips for May including the blooming Icelandic landscapes, whale watching tours, beautiful hot springs, and how to see puffins! Get ready for a truly incredible experience!

Planning your trip to Iceland last minute?

Make sure to book your hotels and tours in Iceland in advance to ensure availability! The longer you wait, the more difficult it gets. Here are my top picks for your trip :

Top Experiences And Tours In Iceland:

  • Golden Circle Full Day Tour From Reykjavik (Likely to sell out!)
  • Silfra Snorkeling Tour (Includes photos + only small group)
  • South Of Iceland Full Day Trip (Our pick!)
  • Whale Watching In Reykjavik (On a luxury yacht)
  • Northern Lights Bus Tour (Great to go with a local)
  • Ice Cave Tour And Glacier Hike (Likely to sell out)

Tickets You MUST book in advance:

  • Keflavik > Reykjavik Bus Airport Transfer (Skip the line!)
  • Sky Lagoon Entrance Ticket (Includes 7-step spa ritual)
  • Blue Lagoon Entry Ticket With Drink (Likely to sell out!)

Top picks for places to stay in Iceland:

  • Hotel South Coast (Great central location)
  • Grandi Reykjavik (Includes free breakfast)
  • Hotel Kria (Close to black sand beach)
  • Hotel Skaftafell (Mid-range price)

This is the best month for Iceland before peak tourism and summer pricing hits. Though it’s certainly still a popular time of year to visit, any reprieve from the summer tourist crowds, however small, is always welcome. 

With snow leaving the roads and driving conditions improving, May in Iceland is the perfect time to take longer trips outside of the capital, even staying overnight in some of the more remote corners of the country. If you’re looking for things to do in Iceland in May we’ve got you covered with everything from joining in on local traditions to soaking in hot springs.

A woman walking through the grass with the Skogafoss waterfall in the distance at sunset

6 Things To Know Before Visiting Iceland In May

The country sheds its winter coat and comes to life.

  • Temperatures in Iceland in May are remarkably pleasant, hovering between 40°F and 50°F. It’s a welcome change from the harsh winters.
  • What’s more, daylight hours keep getting longer, giving you ample time for outdoor adventures. It’s the perfect season for exploring Iceland’s stunning landscapes.

May in Iceland brings new life, little to no snow, and the promise of summer. And with plenty of National Holidays throughout the month to break up the work schedule, locals fully embrace the month. 

Iceland weather in May is more than reasonable hovering between 40 and 50 degrees F. The daylight hours continue to get progressively longer as well which means you’ll have endless hours for outdoor adventures.

May driving in Iceland is a sight to behold! As you drive the ring road out of the city, you’ll be graced with the sight of blooming flowers and a beautiful mossy green. New animal life also makes its debut in the form of adorable lambs frolicking through the vast landscape and foals following close to their mothers grazing the new shoots of grass. 

A woman standing on a rock wearing a yellow hat and yellow skirt blowing in the wind, beside the walking path around the Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Swimsuits Are A Must To Take Advantage Of The Local Pools And Hot Pots

  • If you want a more serene experience, you can visit natural hot pots scattered throughout the country.
  • For a touch of luxury, visit the Blue Lagoon or Mývatn Nature Baths.

Visiting Iceland during May is the perfect time to take advantage of the heated pools and relaxing hot tubs. Every Icelandic town has a public swimming pool with some of the larger complexes featuring an outdoor pool, indoor pool, and multiple hot tubs of differing temperatures. 

Another option that allows you to take advantage of the newly green Icelandic landscape is to hit up any number of the natural hot pots peppered throughout the country. It’s a magical experience to be gazing out at the Atlantic Ocean or dramatic mountain ranges while thawing out in the warm water. 

Iceland is also home to a handful of more tourist-oriented hot water lagoons such as the famous Blue Lagoon or the Mývatn Nature Baths (the Blue Lagoon of the North). These beautiful lagoons are luxurious and require entrance fees, but are worth enjoying at least once. 

A woman relaxing in the water at the GeoSea Geothermal Sea Baths while gazing out at the ocean

May Starts The Whale Watching Season In Iceland

  • While June to August is prime time, May still offers whale sightings.
  • You can find whale watching tours all around the country, but for some of the best experiences, consider heading north to Húsavík, known as the whale-watching capital of Iceland, or opt for a tour from Reykjavik through Faxaflói Bay.

If you’re looking for what to do in May in Iceland, consider adding a whale-watching tour to your itinerary. Although June, July, and August are considered the peak whale-watching months, you’re still likely to be able to get a look at these gentle giants in May. 

As the weather takes a turn for the better, the idea of boarding a traditional oak ship or a speedboat to search the ocean for whales becomes increasingly appealing. 

There are plenty of whale watching tours offered around the country. For some of the best whale watching you might consider venturing up north to Húsavík, the whale-watching capital of Iceland. You can also choose to stay close to the capital and take a tour from Reykjavik through Faxaflói Bay. 

Whichever tour option you choose, be sure to dress appropriately in warm-weather clothes. Most tours offer waterproof overalls to help keep you warm, but the more you can bundle up on your own, the more comfortable you’ll be. Though the weather is more favorable in May in Iceland, it’s still Iceland which means it’s cold and the weather can shift at any moment.

iceland tours may 2023

Puffins in May in Iceland

  • Puffins often nest on cliffs, so it’s essential to exercise caution when observing them. Safety, both for you and the puffins, is a priority.
  • Some of the best places to see puffins include Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) and the Westfjords.

With their distinctive orange beak and goofy, adorable demeanor, puffins are a big draw for tourists traveling to Iceland in May. In the summer the puffins come back to the land to breed making them easier to spot if you know where to look. 

Because puffins often nest on cliffs, it’s important to be cautious when visiting puffin viewing locations both for your sake and theirs. The cliff edges are dangerous and unstable so you’ll want to keep a respectable distance. It helps to lie down on your stomach to view the puffins both to keep yourself safe from the edge and not alarm the puffins.

There are a number of places you can see puffins throughout the country, but some of the best places to look include Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) and the Westfjords. 

Vestmannaejyar is home to the largest Atlantic Puffin colony in Europe, so naturally, Heimaey, its main island, is an ideal puffin viewing spot. You’ll want to head to Stórhöfði where you’ll find puffins in mass quantities. 

If you’re venturing to the Westfjords we suggest stopping at the Látrabjarg cliffs. These cliffs are both the westernmost point in Iceland and home to a huge population of birds including puffins.

If you’d rather not venture out in search of puffins on your own there are a lot of puffin tours available many of which are paired with whale-watching tours . 

A puffin perches on the edge of a cliff in Iceland, with lush greenery and delicate pink flowers in the foreground, overlooking the deep blue ocean

Traveling To The Westfjords Becomes Easier In May

  • The Westfjords, in particular, are a hidden gem. Here, you’ll encounter cascading waterfalls, breathtaking ocean views, puffins, and the beauty of limited tourist crowds.
  • While the journey to the Westfjords may take some time, I recommend spending at least a few days in this region.

In Iceland in May, the winter thaws and spring emerges meaning the roads are easier and safer to navigate. This is particularly good news for those wishing to venture to more remote regions of the country where the roads are not always as well maintained. 

The Westfjords in Iceland are spectacular with waterfall after waterfall cascading down the mountains, beautiful ocean views, puffins, a red sand beach, and perhaps best of all, limited tourist crowds. Despite its jaw-dropping natural beauty, few people make the journey to the Westfjords so it has maintained its quiet, remote charm. 

If you’re making the trip to the Westfjords, be prepared to spend significant amounts of time in the car. The good news is that you’re driving through spectacular landscapes and the views never get old. 

We recommend spending at least a few days in the Westfjords. Because it takes a while to reach, you can better appreciate all that it has to offer if you can afford to stay the night and make a home base in towns such as Ísafjörður or Patreksfjörður. 

A woman in a yellow hat and skirt sitting in front of the Dynjandi waterfall in the Westfjords in Iceland in May

Locals March Through Reykjavik On May Day To Protest Work Conditions

  • Reykjavik comes alive with a procession of locals led by a brass band. While some join for the spectacle, the main purpose is for workers to voice their concerns about workplace issues.
  • It’s a unique and vibrant celebration that provides a glimpse into Icelandic culture and social values.

May in Iceland is kickstarted by a National Holiday referred to by several names including May Day and International Workers Day. If you’re wandering Reykjavik on May 1, you’ll likely catch the procession of locals winding their way through the capital led by a brass band. 

The main point of the holiday is for workers to have the opportunity to peacefully protest against anything unfair in their place of work. From wage disputes to unemployment benefits, May Day gives the workers a voice. 

The first May Day march was held back in 1932 as a protest against work hours. Today the marches cover a large range of demands both big and small. Feel free to join in the procession or watch from the side. If you’re out and about in other parts of the country you might find other towns holding their own protests, but Reykjavik’s gathering is always the largest.

The Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik, Iceland, is bathed in the warm light of the setting sun, with a clear blue sky above and small wooden stumps dotting the foreground

Weather in May in Iceland Tips

It’s important to note that seeing the Northern lights in Iceland during May is very unlikely, due to the increased daylight hours. The midnight sun is approaching, and the skies are not dark enough for the lights to be visible! Traveling to Iceland in May is still an amazing experience, nonetheless! Offering wonderful blooming landscapes and Spring activities. However, the weather in Iceland is unpredictable no matter the time of year, requiring visitors to be well-prepared. Here are my tips!

May weather in Iceland :

  • Transitioning to Spring : May is a transitional month with milder temperatures and longer daylight hours. Chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland in May are not likely.
  • Average Temperatures : Iceland temperature in May ranges from about 5°C to 10°C (41°F to 50°F).
  • Rainfall : While May is one of the drier months, be prepared for occasional rain showers.
  • Hiking Conditions : If you’re planning to hike, especially in mountainous areas, be aware that some trails may still have snow or be muddy. Waterproof hiking boots are recommended.
  • Icelandic Pools : Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit. May is a great time to enjoy Iceland’s geothermal pools, and swimming pools which are less crowded than in peak summer months.

Reykjavík Weather in May :

  • Milder Conditions : Reykjavik tends to be slightly warmer than the rest of the country with similar average temperatures, but it can still be breezy.
  • Outdoor Activities : With more daylight and milder weather, it’s a great time to explore outdoor attractions in and around the city.
  • City Exploration Comfort : The milder May weather in Reykjavik is ideal for city walks and outdoor dining. Enjoy the city’s cafes, parks, and waterfront areas.
  • Local Events : There are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik in May with various cultural events and festivals. Check local listings to participate in events during your visit.

Additional Weather Tips

  • Enjoy Daylight : May offers extended daylight hours, giving you more time to explore and enjoy outdoor activities.
  • Dress in Layers : Make your Iceland packing list for May. The weather can still be quite variable, so dressing in layers remains the best approach.
  • Waterproof Gear : A waterproof jacket and shoes are essential to stay dry during rain showers.
  • Sun Protection : Longer daylight hours mean more sun exposure, so bring sunglasses and sunscreen.

A solitary figure in a red jacket stands on a rocky outcrop, gazing at the majestic Godafoss Waterfall under the soft glow of a sunset in Iceland

We’re thrilled you’ve chosen to plan a trip to Iceland in May. There’s so much natural beauty to soak in and appreciate and an abundance of adventures to embark on. There’s a special magic that accompanies watching a country come back to life after a long winter. 

If you have any questions as you begin preparing for your trip, please feel free to ask us in the comments section below.

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Is it safe to travel to Iceland after volcanic eruption? Your rights if you have a holiday booked

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The earth is at its most restless in Iceland right now. Since November 2023 the Icelandic authorities have been monitoring seismic activity on the Reykjanes Peninsula, southwest of Reykjavik .

The latest eruption began on 8 February, north of the fishing town of Grindavik. The Icelandic Met Office reported: “At 5.30 this morning intense seismic activity started northeast of Mount Sýlingarfell. Around 30 minutes later, a volcanic eruption started at the site. The eruptive fissure lengthened both towards north and south during the first minutes.

“Lava flows mostly towards west at the moment. The lava fountains reach about 50-80m height and the volcanic plume rises about 3km above the eruptive fissure.”

The Foreign Office warns : “Recently there have been a series of volcanic eruptions on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland.

“The capital city, Reykjavik, and the rest of Iceland has not been impacted by these eruptions. It is likely there will be further eruptions in this location. You should monitor local media for updates and follow the authorities’ advice on travel to the area.”

The location is around 10 miles southwest of Keflavik airport, a major North Atlantic aviation hub. Flights are continuing to arrive and depart as normal.

These are the key questions and answers on consumer rights.

I am in Iceland. Will I be able to leave?

Yes, assuming the international airport remains open. Isavia, which runs the airport, said: “An eruption has started on the Reykjaness Peninsula.

“Keflavik airport and regional airports in Iceland are not impacted and fully operational.”

You may be keen to leave earlier than booked, in order to guarantee your getaway, but at present you will not be able to switch flights without paying a penalty.

The FCDO advises travellers to check the following resources for updates:

  • Icelandic Met Office
  • Safe Travel Iceland
  • Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management

Earlier earthquakes struck just 10 miles south of Iceland’s main airport, Keflavík International, but the UK Foreign Office said travel can go ahead

But didn’t an Icelandic volcano shut down European aviation for a week?

Yes. Travellers may remember where they were in April 2010, when the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull erupted . The skies of northern Europe completely closed to passenger aviation for almost a week.

A quarter of a billion cubic metres of volcanic ash was ejected and was carried southeast towards the UK and continental Europe by the breeze. The fear was that volcanic ash could damage jet engines and potentially bring down aircraft. In the biggest shutdown of aviation since the Second World War, 50,000 flights were cancelled and 8 million passengers had their travel plans wrecked.

More than 50,000 flights, with eight million passengers booked to travel, were cancelled.

So far in 2023, though, ash has not been an issue in the current geological outburst.

Thankfully, the circumstances are very different. Eyjafjallajokull erupted with a glacier on top. The addition of melting water meant that the lava cooled very quickly into tiny fragments. These were promptly propelled into the atmosphere to a height of 30,000 feet by the steam produced in the eruption.

The current eruption is not having anything like the same effect. The lava will cool and remain on the ground.

In addition, new guidelines established in the wake of the 2010 eruption allow aircraft to fly if volcanic ash is present in reasonably small quantities. Another Icelandic volcano erupted in 2011, and in that case only 1 per cent of flights in northern Europe were cancelled – rather than 100 per cent on some days in that extraordinary time.

Iceland’s Blue Lagoon has been closed as a precuation

What if I am booked on a package holiday?

Foreign Office advice stops well short of advising against travel to Iceland, meaning holiday companies can continue to operate as normal – with no automatic right to cancel.

Iceland is a country peppered with volcanic sites

Until and unless the Foreign Office warns against travel, the assumption is that everything will go ahead as normal.

The one exception is for holidaymakers who had planned to stay at the Blue Lagoon , an increasingly popular “wellness” destination, with an upmarket hotel on the site.

The Blue Lagoon has closed, with a statement on its website explaining: “Due to a volcanic eruption that commenced on the morning of 8 February, we have closed all our operational units today, Thursday.

“The current eruption site is a safe distance from Blue Lagoon.”

Only those booked for a stay have the chance to cancel; if you were hoping to pop in as a day visitor for a steamy stop in the volcanic rock pools, you will need to return at some time in the future.

Can I claim on insurance?

No, unless it is one of the vanishingly rare “cancel for any reason” policies. On standard travel insurance, “disinclination to travel” is not an acceptable reason for a claim.

Would you go to Iceland at the moment?

Yes, I would relish the opportunity. Winter is an excellent time to visit Iceland for good value. Conditions right now are also excellent for the prospect of a good show from the Northern Lights, which are near the peak of the regular 11-year cosmic cycle.

The Icelandic authorities are expert at handling seismic events, with extremely good monitoring and emergency systems in place.

I would book a package holiday, though, knowing that if the earth gets too restless for comfort in the vicinity, I would be able to cancel for a full refund.

It could also be that the new eruption becomes an attraction in its own right, as some have done. But not right now. Clive Stacey, founder of the leading Iceland specialist travel firm Discover The World, said: ”As things stand this is not a ‘tourist eruption’ in its present phase and sightseers have been warned to stay away from the area.”

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What $500 gets you in 10 destinations around the world, from a resort stay in Thailand to a tiny-home cottage in Iceland

Posted: May 21, 2023 | Last updated: July 22, 2023

<ul class="summary-list"> <li>Although flights have become more expensive, there are ways to vacation within a reasonable budget. </li> <li>With careful planning, $500 can cover the cost of accommodation, dinners, and memorable experiences.</li> <li>These are Insider's tips for maximizing your budget and experience in 10 vacation hot spots.</li> </ul><p>As travel demand <a href="https://www.insiderintelligence.com/content/travel-demand-shows-no-signs-of-softening-2023" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">continues to grow</a>, plane ticket and hotel prices <a href="https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/travel/travel-price-tracker" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">show no signs of dropping</a>, according to NerdWallet's 2023 Travel Price Index.</p><p>Excluding transportation costs, travelers spend the most on accommodation, followed by dining and entertainment, according to <a href="https://www.bankrate.com/banking/cost-of-vacation/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Bankrate</a>.</p><p>But even if airfare is unavoidable, a smaller budget for hotels, food, and activities can still go far on your vacation — if you're smart about how you spend it.</p><p>Whether you're looking for nature hikes in Mexico or a spa town in Japan, here are Insider's tips for how to make the most of a trip in various hot-spot destinations for under $500.</p><p><em>Editor's note: This budget accounts for one or two people, and doesn't include airfare. Any costs referenced in this article are accurate as of May 2023. Readers are encouraged to check these prices as they may have changed since.</em></p><div class="read-original">Read the original article on <a href="https://www.insider.com/cheap-stays-global-vacation-destinations-2023-5">Insider</a></div>

  • Although flights have become more expensive, there are ways to vacation within a reasonable budget. 
  • With careful planning, $500 can cover the cost of accommodation, dinners, and memorable experiences.
  • These are Insider's tips for maximizing your budget and experience in 10 vacation hot spots.

As travel demand continues to grow , plane ticket and hotel prices show no signs of dropping , according to NerdWallet's 2023 Travel Price Index.

Excluding transportation costs, travelers spend the most on accommodation, followed by dining and entertainment, according to Bankrate .

But even if airfare is unavoidable, a smaller budget for hotels, food, and activities can still go far on your vacation — if you're smart about how you spend it.

Whether you're looking for nature hikes in Mexico or a spa town in Japan, here are Insider's tips for how to make the most of a trip in various hot-spot destinations for under $500.

Editor's note: This budget accounts for one or two people, and doesn't include airfare. Any costs referenced in this article are accurate as of May 2023. Readers are encouraged to check these prices as they may have changed since.

<p>Located in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, Valladolid has Mayan ruins, delicious food, and cenotes, which are natural spring swimming holes. </p><p>For around $300 as of May 2023, you can book three nights at <a href="https://www.mesondelmarques.com/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Hotel Mesón del Marqués</a>, with breakfast included, according to <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=80e0f6ea73a82a05066c1c48e9d8b9ac79d9fda0d76719ed11da8cdfdb3ed488&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.booking.com%2Fhotel%2Fmx%2Fmesa3n-del-marqua-c-s.html%3Faid%3D356980%26label%3Dgog235jc-1DCAsooAFCFW1lc2Ezbi1kZWwtbWFycXVhLWMtc0gzWANoiQKIAQGYATG4AQfIAQzYAQPoAQH4AQOIAgGoAgO4As2Ak6EGwAIB0gIkMGRmOTc3MGMtMDMwNi00MTM5LWFiYWItYTIxNjMxOGE3NjU52AIE4AIB%26sid%3D7dd975a9648d3b5e67de867e595c4502%26all_sr_blocks%3D32972002_101870294_2_1_0%3Bcheckin%3D2023-04-12%3Bcheckout%3D2023-04-13%3Bdest_id%3D-1707433%3Bdest_type%3Dcity%3Bdist%3D0%3Bgroup_adults%3D2%3Bgroup_children%3D0%3Bhapos%3D1%3Bhighlighted_blocks%3D32972002_101870294_2_1_0%3Bhpos%3D1%3Bmatching_block_id%3D32972002_101870294_2_1_0%3Bno_rooms%3D1%3Breq_adults%3D2%3Breq_children%3D0%3Broom1%3DA%252CA%3Bsb_price_type%3Dtotal%3Bsr_order%3Dpopularity%3Bsr_pri_blocks%3D32972002_101870294_2_1_0__234298%3Bsrepoch%3D1680130148%3Bsrpvid%3Decbaa071d88e00d0%3Btype%3Dtotal%3Bucfs%3D1%26%23hotelTmpl&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Booking.com</a>, and access to the pool, jacuzzi, and sunbathing terrace. The hotel is in the heart of the city, within walking distance of sites like <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=872e2e815b2d349659bb34e32a776252e4fbdc7210ce75446caa959f891b9e71&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttraction_Review-g499453-d1129046-Reviews-Convent_de_San_Bernardino_de_Siena-Valladolid_Yucatan_Peninsula.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">Convent de San Bernardino de Siena</a>, a Franciscan colonial building, and <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=01f531fb6d9cbffd7c39fe89c3c76d4fc7c905d959617ea1ddb021aaa05ba0c3&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttraction_Review-g499453-d10253919-Reviews-Xkopek_Parque_Apicola-Valladolid_Yucatan_Peninsula.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">Xkopek Parque Apicola</a>, a beekeeping farm and park with daily tours.</p><p>Dining doesn't have to be expensive either. Valladolid has many restaurants where meals cost as little as $10 per person, like <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ahalrestaurante/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Ahal</a>, which serves Mexican food in a cozy space with a courtyard. For a splurge, <a href="https://www.ixcatik.mx/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Ixcatic</a> serves authentic farm-to-table dinners based on Mayan cuisine. Expect to spend about $80 for two diners for dishes like <a href="https://www.seriouseats.com/sopa-de-lima-yucatan-mexican-lime-soup-recipe" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored nofollow sponsored">sopa de lima</a>, a lime and chicken soup, and <a href="https://www.seriouseats.com/cochinita-pibil-yucatan-barbecue-mexican-smoked-pork-recipe" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">cochinita píibil</a>, pork seasoned with achiote, wrapped in a banana leaf, and smoked.</p><p>Among the many cenotes in Valladolid, a must-visit is <a href="https://zaziltunich.com/reservaciones/inframundo-maya/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Cenote Zazil Tunich,</a> a stunning underwater sinkhole with crystal-clear water formed centuries ago, which you can swim in and tour for 350 Mexican pesos, or about $20.</p><p>After that, spend <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=e52e4083d02959fe8cde615c379a47496e6f4acc0904deecfc398a174d861fab&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttractionProductReview-g150807-d12649472-Chichen_Itza_Tour_Buffet_Lunch_Cenote_Tequila_tasting_Valladolid-Cancun_Yucatan_Pe.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">a full-day tour with a local guide</a> that includes visiting <a href="https://www.chichenitza.com/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored nofollow sponsored">Chichén Itzá,</a> an archaeological site that was once a Mayan city, swimming in Cenote Chichikan, and a tequila tasting. The tour is about $48 per person, and entry to <a href="https://www.chichenitza.com/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored nofollow sponsored">Chichén Itzá</a> costs another $34.</p>

In Valladolid, Mexico, $500 could cover the cost of a hotel stay, an authentic dinner, and a guided tour of a must-visit cenote.

Located in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, Valladolid has Mayan ruins, delicious food, and cenotes, which are natural spring swimming holes. 

For around $300 as of May 2023, you can book three nights at Hotel Mesón del Marqués , with breakfast included, according to Booking.com , and access to the pool, jacuzzi, and sunbathing terrace. The hotel is in the heart of the city, within walking distance of sites like Convent de San Bernardino de Siena , a Franciscan colonial building, and Xkopek Parque Apicola , a beekeeping farm and park with daily tours.

Dining doesn't have to be expensive either. Valladolid has many restaurants where meals cost as little as $10 per person, like  Ahal , which serves Mexican food in a cozy space with a courtyard. For a splurge,  Ixcatic serves authentic farm-to-table dinners based on Mayan cuisine. Expect to spend about $80 for two diners for dishes like sopa de lima , a lime and chicken soup, and cochinita píibil , pork seasoned with achiote, wrapped in a banana leaf, and smoked.

Among the many cenotes in Valladolid, a must-visit is Cenote Zazil Tunich, a stunning underwater sinkhole with crystal-clear water formed centuries ago, which you can swim in and tour for 350 Mexican pesos, or about $20.

After that, spend a full-day tour with a local guide that includes visiting Chichén Itzá, an archaeological site that was once a Mayan city, swimming in Cenote Chichikan, and a tequila tasting. The tour is about $48 per person, and entry to Chichén Itzá costs another $34.

<p>Suzhou has been called the <a href="https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/suzhou-venice-of-china" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Venice of China</a> for its many ancient waterways, bridges, and canals, and the city's classical gardens are a <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/813/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">UNESCO World Heritage Site.</a></p><p>For around $150 total, you can stay three nights at <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=55cb7f28e76fee9d19d64258cd257c22d7bb2520d2d30a332efbc187463b4106&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.booking.com%2Fhotel%2Fcn%2Ftong-li-1917zui-jiang-nan-jing-pin-ke-zhan.en-gb.html%3Faid%3D1185217%26label%3DAW-Suzhou-EN%26sid%3D272519ced60a04f14b0d6575f0794eda%26dist%3D0%26group_adults%3D1%26keep_landing%3D1%26no_rooms%3D1%26sb_price_type%3Dtotal%26type%3Dtotal%26checkin%3D2023-04-12%26checkout%3D2023-04-13%26group_children%3D0%26req_children%3D0%26req_adults%3D1%26hp_refreshed_with_new_dates%3D1&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Tongli 1917 Best South Inn,</a> a traditional guesthouse that also serves a $4 breakfast, according to Booking.com. </p><p>Keep costs down with a free stroll along the waterway beside <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=e61eed6be4671e0a883fa43140e0b8125d9dd0880c61c551f9a68a51b5269a49&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttraction_Review-g297442-d1999601-Reviews-Pingjiang_Road-Suzhou_Jiangsu.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Pingjiang Road,</a> a historic road dating back to <a href="https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/jiangsu/suzhou/pingjiang-road.htm" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">the 12th century</a> with traditional architecture, quaint shops, and tea houses. A few minutes' walk away, the <a href="https://www.szmuseum.com/En/Home/Index" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Suzhou Museum</a> has free entry to view Chinese paintings, calligraphy, and ancient artifacts.</p><p>As for dining, you can sample Suzhou's food scene on an alleyway <a href="https://lostplate.com/suzhou-alleyway-food-tour/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">food tour</a> with a local guide. The three-and-a-half-hour experience costs $55 per person, and participants try dishes like Suzhou noodles in broth, wontons, and fried sesame balls.</p><p>If there's still room in your budget, for $200, take a <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=03ca40e8058b4cfe0b9c690874fa4626c68f7281b497c528a4c0316d32bb0deb&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttractionProductReview-g297442-d16796478-4_Hour_Flexible_Suzhou_City_Highlights_Private_Tour-Suzhou_Jiangsu.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">private tour</a> of Suzhou's most significant sites, which includes the <a href="http://www.suzhou.gov.cn/szsenglish/sjwhyclm/201611/0e774293426145f6b4b00d3a5717c6df.shtml" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Humble Administrator's Garden</a>, a lush property with pavilions and lotus ponds. The tour also goes to <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=042ba0a24895d1d6642119c5445492c764ef51d76c11fcdda2339bb8176b71bf&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttraction_Review-g297442-d1813910-Reviews-Panmen_Gate-Suzhou_Jiangsu.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Panmen Gate,</a> a famous ancient landmark, as well as <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=e70fe7c9946f42da2bee5724c7d2e41638b3a6a563c70444349a1983ba2a69b4&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttraction_Review-g297442-d487767-Reviews-Tiger_Hill-Suzhou_Jiangsu.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Tiger Hill</a>, a large park that's home to the <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=8f0f19611c46f6aa99479a567859d0189ce3b9261f7be99957dcb14396c42983&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttraction_Review-g297442-d556025-Reviews-Cloud_Rock_Leaning_Pagoda_Yunyan_Ta-Suzhou_Jiangsu.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Yunyan Pagoda,</a> a temple that is said to have <a href="http://www.suzhou.gov.cn/szsenglish/szgt/201611/5e2a12729cfe4151ad21506c251487ee.shtml" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">first been built in 959 AD</a> and has been repaired and reconstructed many times since.</p>

Visit ancient pagodas, stroll by the canals, and take a food tour for less than $500 in Suzhou, China.

Suzhou has been called the Venice of China for its many ancient waterways, bridges, and canals, and the city's classical gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For around $150 total, you can stay three nights at Tongli 1917 Best South Inn, a traditional guesthouse that also serves a $4 breakfast, according to Booking.com. 

Keep costs down with a free stroll along the waterway beside Pingjiang Road, a historic road dating back to the 12th century with traditional architecture, quaint shops, and tea houses. A few minutes' walk away, the Suzhou Museum has free entry to view Chinese paintings, calligraphy, and ancient artifacts.

As for dining, you can sample Suzhou's food scene on an alleyway food tour with a local guide. The three-and-a-half-hour experience costs $55 per person, and participants try dishes like Suzhou noodles in broth, wontons, and fried sesame balls.

If there's still room in your budget, for $200, take a private tour of Suzhou's most significant sites, which includes the Humble Administrator's Garden , a lush property with pavilions and lotus ponds. The tour also goes to Panmen Gate, a famous ancient landmark, as well as Tiger Hill , a large park that's home to the Yunyan Pagoda, a temple that is said to have first been built in 959 AD  and has been repaired and reconstructed many times since.

<p>This coastal city in Spain is known for its fresh seafood, queer-friendly beaches, and <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/activities/museus-de-sitges" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">art history</a>. It's smaller than Barcelona, which is approximately a 40-minute drive away, so it might make for a more relaxed trip than if you visited a big city.</p><p>For about $369, according to <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=c104ffa46b5956238e5071eb3f51f3f91d30c737cef8f4b2ef658f0be55e84e9&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.booking.com%2Fhotel%2Fes%2Fmelia-sitges.html%3Faid%3D356980%26label%3Dgog235jc-1DCAsoRkIMbWVsaWEtc2l0Z2VzSDNYA2inAogBAZgBMbgBB8gBDNgBA-gBAfgBAogCAagCA7gChvPhoQbAAgHSAiQ3NDc3ZjJiOS0zMjY4LTQ1NzgtOGNkOC1iZmJjY2Q5NzM1ZTXYAgTgAgE%26sid%3Dd4a030a9a8b25c7b2a1a6daaf40b1db6%26sb%3D1%26src%3Dhotel%26src_elem%3Dsb%26error_url%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.booking.com%252Fhotel%252Fes%252Fmelia-sitges.html%253Faid%253D356980%2526label%253Dgog235jc-1DCAsoRkIMbWVsaWEtc2l0Z2VzSDNYA2inAogBAZgBMbgBB8gBDNgBA-gBAfgBAogCAagCA7gChvPhoQbAAgHSAiQ3NDc3ZjJiOS0zMjY4LTQ1NzgtOGNkOC1iZmJjY2Q5NzM1ZTXYAgTgAgE%2526sid%253Dd4a030a9a8b25c7b2a1a6daaf40b1db6%2526checkin_month%253D5%253Bcheckin_monthday%253D11%253Bcheckin_year%253D2023%253Bcheckout_month%253D5%253Bcheckout_monthday%253D14%253Bcheckout_year%253D2023%253Bdist%253D0%253Bdo_availability_check%253D1%253Bgroup_adults%253D1%253Bgroup_children%253D0%253Bhp_avform%253D1%253Bhp_group_set%253D0%253Bno_rooms%253D1%253Broom1%253DA%253Bsb_price_type%253Dtotal%253Bsrc%253Dhotel%253Bstay_on_hp%253D1%253Btype%253Dtotal%2526%2526%26highlighted_hotels%3D91472%26origin%3Dhp%26hp_avform%3D1%26do_availability_check%3Don%26stay_on_hp%3D1%26checkin_year%3D2023%26checkin_month%3D5%26checkin_monthday%3D11%26checkout_year%3D2023%26checkout_month%3D5%26checkout_monthday%3D13%26group_adults%3D1%26group_children%3D0%26no_rooms%3D1%26b_h4u_keep_filters%3D%26from_sf%3D1%23availability_target&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Booking.com</a>, you can get two nights at <a href="https://www.melia.com/en/hotels/spain/sitges/melia-sitges" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">Meliá Sitges</a>, a boutique, resort-style hotel with an outdoor pool and complimentary breakfast buffet. The property is within walking distance of <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=ff7c0a90814b96f385afe4ed253fb9a73b07524e3513b640b3dbb1ec6d0fdc79&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttraction_Review-g187502-d13657042-Reviews-Platja_d_Aiguadolc-Sitges_Catalonia.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Port de Sitges Aiguadolç</a>, the city's waterfront restaurant and bar area.</p><p>The hotel is about a 10-minute walk from several of the city's <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/activities/sitges/sitges" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">17 beaches</a>, which are all free to access, and include a handful of nude beaches, and a number of LGBTQ-friendly beaches, like <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=bf8fb449aeaea7d2bf6094d2ff67d1a17bdd4400f8d7e7f792229cef39780ad9&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttraction_Review-g187502-d13712687-Reviews-Platja_de_la_Rodona-Sitges_Catalonia.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Platja de la Rodona</a>. Before sunbathing, kayak <a href="https://nootka-kayak.com/alquiler/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">with a rental</a> for about $20 per hour or paddleboard for around $28.</p><p>A must-visit for art fans is the <a href="https://museusdesitges.cat/en/fees" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Museus de Sitges,</a> a group of five art and sculpture museums in connected buildings by the beach. For about $18, you can gain entry to all. After, walk to nearby restaurant <a href="https://www.restaurantpicnic.com/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">Pic Nic</a> for the seafood <a href="https://www.eater.com/barcelona/22621281/what-is-fideua-paella-difference-noodles-where-to-eat-barcelona" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">fideuà</a>, a local specialty similar to paella that is made with pasta instead of rice.</p>

The beaches are free in Sitges, Spain, so your budget can be spent on a resort-style hotel, kayaking, and seafood.

This coastal city in Spain is known for its fresh seafood, queer-friendly beaches, and art history . It's smaller than Barcelona, which is approximately a 40-minute drive away, so it might make for a more relaxed trip than if you visited a big city.

For about $369, according to Booking.com , you can get two nights at Meliá Sitges , a boutique, resort-style hotel with an outdoor pool and complimentary breakfast buffet. The property is within walking distance of Port de Sitges Aiguadolç , the city's waterfront restaurant and bar area.

The hotel is about a 10-minute walk from several of the city's 17 beaches , which are all free to access, and include a handful of nude beaches, and a number of LGBTQ-friendly beaches, like Platja de la Rodona . Before sunbathing, kayak with a rental for about $20 per hour or paddleboard for around $28.

A must-visit for art fans is the Museus de Sitges, a group of five art and sculpture museums in connected buildings by the beach. For about $18, you can gain entry to all. After, walk to nearby restaurant Pic Nic  for the seafood fideuà , a local specialty similar to paella that is made with pasta instead of rice.

<p>Named a <a href="https://en.unesco.org/creative-cities/parma" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">Creative City of Gastronomy by UNESCO</a>, Parma is a haven for foodies. It's in northern Italy in the Emilia-Romagna region, the country's food valley, and the home of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, <a href="https://agriculture.ec.europa.eu/farming/geographical-indications-and-quality-schemes/geographical-indications-food-and-drink/prosciutto-di-parma-pdo_en#:~:text=Origins,third%20century%20BCE)%20to%20today." rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">prosciutto</a>, and <a href="https://www.seriouseats.com/everything-you-need-to-know-guide-to-balsamic-vinegar" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">balsamic vinegar</a>. </p><p>You can stay at <a href="https://www.hotel-torino.it/en/where-to-stay-parma" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">Hotel Torino,</a> a cozy boutique property with less than 50 rooms, for about $110 per night, according to <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=06b5b65c046cb7973a2d44d5e8f602b7d77e703f45508fc3be44c794fc9538bb&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.booking.com%2Fhotel%2Fit%2Ftorino-parma.html%23availability&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Booking.com</a>. The hotel is centrally located in Parma's historic center.</p><p>Don't skip a visit to <a href="https://www.teatroregioparma.it/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Teatro Regio di Parma</a>, an opera house <a href="https://www.teatroregioparma.it/en/teatro-regio-2" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">built in the 1820s</a>, to catch an opera, ballet, or music performance. There's also a bookshop, and for <a href="https://www.teatroregioparma.it/en/visit-the-teatro-regio/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">about $7</a> you can take a guided tour of the theater.</p><p>If you want to sample Parma's famous exports, sign up for a food tour with <a href="https://www.parmalook.it/en/tour-en.html" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">ParmaLook</a>. The <a href="https://www.parmalook.it/en/tour-en/visit-parmesan-ham-balsamic-vinegar.html" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">full-day tour</a> costs about $150 and includes a local guide and van transportation. On the tour, attendees visit several towns within about an hour's drive of Parma. Stops include a dairy farm to see how Parmigiano Reggiano is made, a Parma ham factory in nearby Langhirano to sample aged prosciutto, and a balsamic vinegar factory in the town of Modena.</p>

With a $500 budget, you can eat cheese, visit a prosciutto factory, tour an opera house, and more, in Parma, Italy.

Named a Creative City of Gastronomy by UNESCO , Parma is a haven for foodies. It's in northern Italy in the Emilia-Romagna region, the country's food valley, and the home of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, prosciutto , and balsamic vinegar . 

You can stay at Hotel Torino, a cozy boutique property with less than 50 rooms, for about $110 per night, according to Booking.com . The hotel is centrally located in Parma's historic center.

Don't skip a visit to Teatro Regio di Parma , an opera house built in the 1820s , to catch an opera, ballet, or music performance. There's also a bookshop, and for about $7 you can take a guided tour of the theater.

If you want to sample Parma's famous exports, sign up for a food tour with ParmaLook . The full-day tour costs about $150 and includes a local guide and van transportation. On the tour, attendees visit several towns within about an hour's drive of Parma. Stops include a dairy farm to see how Parmigiano Reggiano is made, a Parma ham factory in nearby Langhirano to sample aged prosciutto, and a balsamic vinegar factory in the town of Modena.

<p>If you want to relax, visit Kinosaki, also known as Kinosaki Onsen, a small town in western Japan that is popular for <a href="https://visitkinosaki.com/about-kinosaki/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">its hot springs</a>, or onsens. The quaint town is about a <a href="https://visitkinosaki.com/access/#access_train" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">two-and-a-half-hour train ride</a> from Kyoto.</p><p>The town has <a href="https://visitkinosaki.com/about-kinosaki/the-7-mystic-onsen/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">seven onsens</a>, which are all located along the same road within walking distance of each other. Each onsen is unique in its design, but they all have either outdoor or indoor baths, or both, and some have saunas and garden areas.</p><p><a href="https://visitkinosaki.com/things-to-do/kono-yu/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Kono-yu</a> is the oldest onsen in town and has an outdoor bath in a peaceful garden setting. <a href="https://visitkinosaki.com/things-to-do/satono-yu/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Satono-yu</a> is a more modern onsen that has both Japanese- and Turkish-style baths, including a bath on a third-floor observation deck with views of the town. You can purchase individual day passes to the onsens for <a href="https://visitkinosaki.com/about-kinosaki/the-7-mystic-onsen/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">about $5 to $6 each</a>.</p><p>Pair a dip in an onsen with a visit to <a href="https://visitkinosaki.com/things-to-do/onsen-ji-temple/" rel="noopener noreferrer nofollow sponsored">Onsenji Temple</a>, an ancient Buddhist temple on a mountainside in the nearby city of Toyooka, about <a href="https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3529.html" rel="noopener noreferrer nofollow sponsored">a 20-minute walk from Kinosaki</a>. Onsenji is considered the guardian temple of the onsens, and visiting was a traditional way to prepare to enter the hot springs and ask for a blessing to <a href="https://visitkinosaki.com/things-to-do/onsen-ji-temple/" rel="noopener noreferrer nofollow sponsored">receive the water's purported healing properties</a>, according to <a href="https://visitkinosaki.com/things-to-do/onsen-ji-temple/" rel="noopener">Visit Kinosaki</a>.</p><p>You can <a href="https://visitkinosaki.com/things-to-do/ropeway-hiking-course/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">hike</a> up a forested path to get to the temple, or take a round-trip ride on <a href="https://kinosaki-ropeway.jp/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">the Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway</a>, a tram that goes to the temple, for about <a href="https://kinosaki-ropeway.jp/ropeway/#ropeway04" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">$6 per person</a>.</p><p>In terms of where to stay, you can spend a night at <a href="https://www.kinosaki.com/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Kinosaki Yamamotoya</a>, a more than 350-year-old ryokan. The cost of a stay at the traditional Japanese inn comes with a one-day pass to all the local hot springs, where you'll probably spend most of your time.</p><p>At around $180 per night, according to <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=48f39360118ecfe282b78ea17dfce205bc703d9f2bea0ee52ffdc7f2abf10e98&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.booking.com%2Fhotel%2Fjp%2Fyamamotoya.html%3Faid%3D318615%26label%3DNew_English_EN_NY%253A_New_York_State_23537688865-3HhLaepAvUOrD5Rz7Hri%252AwS217243092435%253Apl%253Ata%253Ap1%253Ap2%253Aac%253Aap%253Aneg%253Afi55350977220%253Atidsa-302962658775%253Alp9067609%253Ali%253Adec%253Adm%26sid%3Dd4a030a9a8b25c7b2a1a6daaf40b1db6%26checkin%3D2023-05-30%26checkout%3D2023-05-31%26srpvid%3D43e088707c050360%26room1%3DA%26from_bs2_modify%3D1%23tab-main&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Booking.com</a>, there's an <a href="https://www.kinosaki.com/dining/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">included breakfast and kaiseki dinner</a><strong>,</strong> a multi-course meal with intricate small dishes that is <a href="https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2348.html" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">a specialty of many traditional ryokans</a>. The dinner also includes the famous Wagyu beef of the region, <a href="https://guide.michelin.com/en/article/features/what-is-tajima-wagyu" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">Tajima,</a> a sought-after kind of the meat that's specific to the Hyōgo Prefecture. </p><p>And if you're visiting between November and March, find a restaurant serving <a href="https://visitkinosaki.com/trip-ideas/snow-crab-season-in-kinosaki-2/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Matsuba-gani</a>, or snow crab, a regional delicacy. </p>

Unwind in hot springs and stay at a traditional ryokan for less than $500 in Kinosaki Onsen, Japan.

If you want to relax, visit Kinosaki, also known as Kinosaki Onsen, a small town in western Japan that is popular for its hot springs , or onsens. The quaint town is about a two-and-a-half-hour train ride from Kyoto.

The town has seven onsens , which are all located along the same road within walking distance of each other. Each onsen is unique in its design, but they all have either outdoor or indoor baths, or both, and some have saunas and garden areas.

Kono-yu is the oldest onsen in town and has an outdoor bath in a peaceful garden setting. Satono-yu is a more modern onsen that has both Japanese- and Turkish-style baths, including a bath on a third-floor observation deck with views of the town. You can purchase individual day passes to the onsens for about $5 to $6 each .

Pair a dip in an onsen with a visit to  Onsenji Temple , an ancient Buddhist temple on a mountainside in the nearby city of Toyooka, about a 20-minute walk from Kinosaki . Onsenji is considered the guardian temple of the onsens, and visiting was a traditional way to prepare to enter the hot springs and ask for a blessing to receive the water's purported healing properties , according to Visit Kinosaki .

You can hike  up a forested path to get to the temple, or take a round-trip ride on the Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway , a tram that goes to the temple, for about $6 per person .

In terms of where to stay, you can spend a night at Kinosaki Yamamotoya , a more than 350-year-old ryokan. The cost of a stay at the traditional Japanese inn comes with a one-day pass to all the local hot springs, where you'll probably spend most of your time.

At around $180 per night, according to Booking.com , there's an included breakfast and kaiseki dinner , a multi-course meal with intricate small dishes that is a specialty of many traditional ryokans . The dinner also includes the famous Wagyu beef of the region, Tajima,  a sought-after kind of the meat that's specific to the Hyōgo Prefecture. 

And if you're visiting between November and March, find a restaurant serving Matsuba-gani , or snow crab, a regional delicacy. 

iceland tours may 2023

In Chiang Mai, Thailand, $500 could pay for a sustainable hotel, tie-dye workshop, and a visit to an elephant sanctuary.

With some planning, you can stretch your budget far in Chiang Mai, nothern Thailand's mountainous city with lush greenery and ancient temples. 

For about $200, you can spend two nights at the Veranda Resort , a boutique hotel near local villages and scenic rice terraces .

The hotel follows sustainable practices like using energy-efficient lighting and water-saving appliances, according to Booking.com , and has a rooftop infinity pool with scenic views.

For a Thai full-body massage or a facial, head to Lila Thai Massage. According to its website, the business employs former inmates to give them a new start, and treatments range from about $10 to $40, depending on the length and type of massage.

And if you want to have an elephant encounter in Thailand, it's important to do so responsibly and ethically. Tourism-driven practices like riding the animals is considered a form of animal cruelty that can lead to physical disfigurement, according to CNN. Bathing the elephants is also unethical, according to the Phuket Nature Elephant Reserve , as the close interaction can cause the animals stress, and it's also unnecessary, since elephants naturally bathe themselves.

Avoid businesses that offer riding or bathing elephants, and instead visit an elephant rescue sanctuary like Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary, which is a few hours' drive from the city of Chiang Mai. As of May 2023, the property is home to six elephants, and the animals are free to roam 4,000 acres of community land , according to the sanctuary .

For about $300, you can book a two-day, one-night stay at the sanctuary , which includes accommodations, food, and transportation to and from Chiang Mai. During the visit, you'll take guided hikes through the forest to find and observe the elephants in their natural habitat.

<p>Iceland can be an expensive destination to visit, across all of its regions. It can be cheaper if you avoid visiting during the summer, which is the most popular season for tourists and when prices for hotels and activities can spike.</p><p>As a small fishing town of about <a href="https://visitvatnajokull.is/taste-of-vatnajokull/hofn-and-the-lobster-festival/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">1,800 people,</a> Höfn is an outdoorsy option for visiting Iceland on a $500 budget. It's located on the southeastern coast, and has beaches and nature trails to explore.</p><p>In terms of where to stay, you can get a rugged Icelandic experience by staying at <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=9944020c03fac1dc849abc4ec07e0531302588789dfbe05d82f0cdced0c3fc80&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.booking.com%2Fhotel%2Fis%2Fhofn-cottages.en-us.html%3Faid%3D382845%26label%3Daffnetawin-index_pub-257137_site-_pname-Business%2520Insider_plc-_ts-in_646548c28c8a4f2c267c6086_browser_undefined_clkid-6776_1684362083_84b1c3a50b39504d323648f8f50c5f3e%26sid%3D1668ad5c7018be34150fd00594fce3d0%26checkin%3D2023-05-30%3Bcheckout%3D2023-05-31%3Bdest_id%3D-2646664%3Bdest_type%3Dcity%3Bdist%3D0%3Bgroup_adults%3D2%3Bgroup_children%3D0%3Bhapos%3D1%3Bhpos%3D1%3Bno_rooms%3D1%3Breq_adults%3D2%3Breq_children%3D0%3Broom1%3DA%252CA%3Bsb_price_type%3Dtotal%3Bsoh%3D1%3Bsr_order%3Dpopularity%3Bsrepoch%3D1684362087%3Bsrpvid%3Df4f09d322ef60013%3Btype%3Dtotal%3Bucfs%3D1%26%23no_availability_msg&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener">Höfn Cottages</a>, a group of tiny-home cottages. A two-night stay costs about $200, according to <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=dca3f3de1a9359b18ea1eccf2d3b5a9b9c981466a30b33be9e0cf4cfbeea5d17&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.booking.com%2Fhotel%2Fis%2Fhofn-cottages.html%3Faid%3D318615%26label%3DNew_English_EN_NY%253A_New_York_State_23537688865-3HhLaepAvUOrD5Rz7Hri%2AwS640938665678%253Apl%253Ata%253Ap1%253Ap2%253Aac%253Aap%253Aneg%253Afi%253Atidsa-64415224945%253Alp9067609%253Ali%253Adec%253Adm%253Aag23537688865%253Acmp363167905%26sid%3Dd4a030a9a8b25c7b2a1a6daaf40b1db6%26sb%3D1%26src%3Dhotel%26src_elem%3Dsb%26error_url%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.booking.com%252Fhotel%252Fis%252Fhofn-cottages.html%253Faid%253D318615%2526label%253DNew_English_EN_NY%25253A_New_York_State_23537688865-3HhLaepAvUOrD5Rz7Hri%25252AwS640938665678%25253Apl%25253Ata%25253Ap1%25253Ap2%25253Aac%25253Aap%25253Aneg%25253Afi%25253Atidsa-64415224945%25253Alp9067609%25253Ali%25253Adec%25253Adm%25253Aag23537688865%25253Acmp363167905%2526sid%253Dd4a030a9a8b25c7b2a1a6daaf40b1db6%2526checkin%253D2023-05-30%253Bcheckout%253D2023-05-31%253Bdest_id%253D-2646664%253Bdest_type%253Dcity%253Bdist%253D0%253Bgroup_adults%253D1%253Bgroup_children%253D0%253Bhapos%253D1%253Bhpos%253D1%253Bno_rooms%253D1%253Breq_adults%253D1%253Breq_children%253D0%253Broom1%253DA%253Bsb_price_type%253Dtotal%253Bsoh%253D1%253Bsr_order%253Dpopularity%253Bsrepoch%253D1681423108%253Bsrpvid%253D62679a81321000a1%253Btype%253Dtotal%253Bucfs%253D1%2526%2526%26highlighted_hotels%3D427646%26origin%3Dhp%26hp_avform%3D1%26do_availability_check%3Don%26checkin_year%3D2023%26checkin_month%3D5%26checkin_monthday%3D11%26checkout_year%3D2023%26checkout_month%3D5%26checkout_monthday%3D13%26group_adults%3D1%26group_children%3D0%26no_rooms%3D1%26b_h4u_keep_filters%3D%26from_sf%3D1%23availability_target&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Booking.com</a>. Guests share communal bathrooms, and the cottages are within walking distance of a heated public pool.</p><p>And if there's room in your schedule, and budget, rent a car to explore the outskirts of Höfn. Drive about one hour to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon for a <a href="https://guidetoiceland.is/book-holiday-trips/jokulsarlon-glacier-lagoon-amphibian-boat-tour" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">boat tour</a>, which costs around $47 per ticket. The 35-minute tour includes boating between massive glaciers and the chance to see seals. There's also free parking and entry at nearby <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=eff5cd89401adf7ed10de03f7fae7a9debf53a685c3b6ff3b8633df6141c5863&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttraction_Review-g12344476-d23692562-Reviews-Diamond_Beach_Jokulsarlon-Jokulsarlon_East_Region.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Diamond Beach</a>, which is worth a stop to see its unique black sand dotted with chunks of ice in person.</p><p>As for dining in Höfn, you can fill up at <a href="http://pakkhus.is/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Pakkhús Restaurant</a> on comforting Icelandic specialties like smoked arctic char, lamb, and lobster. A meal for one can range from about $16 to $41, according to <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=345009078da0e56b95430d63209094faf75c37a087aa2f99bdd85d99f908df17&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FRestaurant_Review-g189960-d2720683-Reviews-Pakkhus_Restaurant-Hofn_East_Region.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Tripadvisor</a>.</p>

Stay in a tiny-home cottage, take a glacier boat tour, and see a black-sand beach for less than $500 in Höfn, Iceland.

Iceland can be an expensive destination to visit, across all of its regions. It can be cheaper if you avoid visiting during the summer, which is the most popular season for tourists and when prices for hotels and activities can spike.

As a small fishing town of about 1,800 people, Höfn is an outdoorsy option for visiting Iceland on a $500 budget. It's located on the southeastern coast, and has beaches and nature trails to explore.

In terms of where to stay, you can get a rugged Icelandic experience by staying at Höfn Cottages , a group of tiny-home cottages. A two-night stay costs about $200, according to Booking.com . Guests share communal bathrooms, and the cottages are within walking distance of a heated public pool.

And if there's room in your schedule, and budget, rent a car to explore the outskirts of Höfn. Drive about one hour to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon for a boat tour , which costs around $47 per ticket. The 35-minute tour includes boating between massive glaciers and the chance to see seals. There's also free parking and entry at nearby Diamond Beach , which is worth a stop to see its unique black sand dotted with chunks of ice in person.

As for dining in Höfn, you can fill up at Pakkhús Restaurant on comforting Icelandic specialties like smoked arctic char, lamb, and lobster. A meal for one can range from about $16 to $41, according to Tripadvisor .

<p>Flanked by the Australian Outback and Indian Ocean, the cosmopolitan city of Perth has plenty to offer.</p><p>You can stay at the <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=891b6e79b2c53858de078327ae6bd943137e6c2a49470dde494e636ad7d3958c&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.booking.com%2Fhotel%2Fau%2Feast-perth-suites-hotel.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">East Perth Suites Hotel</a> for about $130 a night, according to Booking.com. The hotel is located in the eastern part of Perth along the <a href="https://www.westernaustralia.com/us/attraction/swan-river/56b267542880253d74c4f9eb" rel="noopener">Swan River</a>, which runs through the city and into the Indian Ocean. Rooms have kitchenettes with a mini fridge, and guests can use the property's heated outdoor pool and gym.</p><p>For about $40 a person, you can take a <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=d9ef53e0ae32c981410cf5eb5257271667890462a3047bfe4232d7762cc658b1&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.viator.com%2Ftours%2FPerth%2FSwan-River-Scenic-Cruise%2Fd389-3337SRSC%3Fpid%3DP00082420%26mcid%3D42383%26target_lander%3DNONE%26medium%3Dlink%26campaign%3DD5898B7C9F9D49C9ACE54727A0C009C5&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">scenic cruise</a> around the Swan River. The ride includes a guide who shares information on landmarks you'll see along the route like <a href="https://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/kings-park" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Kings Park</a>, which is home to the massive Western Australian Botanic Garden, and <a href="https://www.thebelltower.com.au/history-of-the-bell-tower/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">The Bell Tower</a>, a tower containing bells that date back to the 14th century, according to the landmark's website. The bells are <a href="https://belltowerringers.asn.au/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">rung manually,</a> <a href="https://www.destinationperth.com.au/business/directory/attraction/bell-tower" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">twice a week</a>. </p><p>To explore Perth without feeling rushed, you can book a <a href="https://www.getyourguide.com/perth-l385/perth-hop-on-hop-off-open-top-double-decker-bus-tour-t69451/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">hop-on, hop-off</a> sightseeing bus tour for about $30. The bus visits 12 sightseeing spots, including the Western Australian Cricket Association Stadium and Crown Perth, a resort and casino. The ticket gives you access to the bus for 48 hours, so you can visit the attractions at your own pace.</p><p>You can also take a <a href="https://www.perthmint.com/visit/book-a-tour/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">guided tour</a> of the Perth Mint, a manufacturer of precious metals and coins that's <a href="https://www.perthmint.com/about/the-perth-mint-story/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">been operating since 1899.</a> The 60-minute tour costs about $15, and you'll see displays of the mint's large coin and natural nugget collections, and watch demonstrations of how molten gold is made into gold bars.</p><p>For a day trip outside of the city, you can book <a href="https://www.klook.com/en-AU/activity/2673-wave-rock-wildflowers-aboriginal-culture-perth/?clickId=c4b9da4747&spm=SearchResult.SearchResult_LIST" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">a guided tour</a> for about $150 to see <a href="https://waverock.com.au/" rel="noopener">Wave Rock</a>, an impressive natural granite formation in the town of Hyden. It's a full-day excursion, and the cost includes transportation to and from Perth.</p>

See a natural rock formation, take a river cruise, and tour a gold mint while staying within budget in Perth, Australia.

Flanked by the Australian Outback and Indian Ocean, the cosmopolitan city of Perth has plenty to offer.

You can stay at the East Perth Suites Hotel for about $130 a night, according to Booking.com. The hotel is located in the eastern part of Perth along the Swan River , which runs through the city and into the Indian Ocean. Rooms have kitchenettes with a mini fridge, and guests can use the property's heated outdoor pool and gym.

For about $40 a person, you can take a scenic cruise around the Swan River. The ride includes a guide who shares information on landmarks you'll see along the route like Kings Park , which is home to the massive Western Australian Botanic Garden, and The Bell Tower , a tower containing bells that date back to the 14th century, according to the landmark's website. The bells are rung manually, twice a week . 

To explore Perth without feeling rushed, you can book a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus tour for about $30. The bus visits 12 sightseeing spots, including the Western Australian Cricket Association Stadium and Crown Perth, a resort and casino. The ticket gives you access to the bus for 48 hours, so you can visit the attractions at your own pace.

You can also take a guided tour of the Perth Mint, a manufacturer of precious metals and coins that's been operating since 1899. The 60-minute tour costs about $15, and you'll see displays of the mint's large coin and natural nugget collections, and watch demonstrations of how molten gold is made into gold bars.

For a day trip outside of the city, you can book a guided tour for about $150 to see Wave Rock , an impressive natural granite formation in the town of Hyden. It's a full-day excursion, and the cost includes transportation to and from Perth.

<p>Located on the Turkish Riviera, Bodrum has white-sand beaches and a Mediterranean flair. Weather is mostly <a href="https://www.dailysabah.com/life/why-bodrum-is-the-best-place-to-be-in-winter/news" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">mild year-round</a>, with <a href="https://weatherspark.com/y/94296/Average-Weather-in-Bodrum-Turkey-Year-Round" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">spring</a> being the most temperate.</p><p>For about $49 a night, according to <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=dafb1d975c9ce05226e61b3ab683fb5cead2b7faf66c0fc083c615fc3d011490&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.booking.com%2Fhotel%2Ftr%2Foscar-mugla.html%3Faid%3D356980%26label%3Dgog235jc-1DCAso5AFCC29zY2FyLW11Z2xhSDNYA2inAogBAZgBMbgBB8gBDNgBA-gBAfgBAogCAagCA7gC3-7AoQbAAgHSAiQzMWEyNzFmNi05NWJlLTQ5YWYtYjI4Ny02MDU5ZDAzNjJkZjnYAgTgAgE%26sid%3Dd4a030a9a8b25c7b2a1a6daaf40b1db6%26sb%3D1%26src%3Dhotel%26src_elem%3Dsb%26error_url%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.booking.com%252Fhotel%252Ftr%252Foscar-mugla.html%253Faid%253D356980%2526label%253Dgog235jc-1DCAso5AFCC29zY2FyLW11Z2xhSDNYA2inAogBAZgBMbgBB8gBDNgBA-gBAfgBAogCAagCA7gC3-7AoQbAAgHSAiQzMWEyNzFmNi05NWJlLTQ5YWYtYjI4Ny02MDU5ZDAzNjJkZjnYAgTgAgE%2526sid%253Dd4a030a9a8b25c7b2a1a6daaf40b1db6%2526dist%253D0%253Broom1%253DA%25252CA%253Bsb_price_type%253Dtotal%253Btype%253Dtotal%2526%2526%26highlighted_hotels%3D1287028%26origin%3Dhp%26hp_avform%3D1%26do_availability_check%3Don%26stay_on_hp%3D1%26checkin_year%3D2023%26checkin_month%3D4%26checkin_monthday%3D8%26checkout_year%3D2023%26checkout_month%3D4%26checkout_monthday%3D11%26group_adults%3D1%26group_children%3D0%26no_rooms%3D1%26b_h4u_keep_filters%3D%26from_sf%3D1%23availability_target&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Booking.com</a>, you can stay at the Bodrum Oscar Hotel, which includes breakfast and free parking. The property has a pool and is a short walk from <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=9e3059a7babf67b6499e2de50424ef47203c28dc86ed6c4deab42391c1c849b5&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttraction_Review-g298663-d12866484-Reviews-Torba_Plaji-Torba_Bodrum_District_Mugla_Province_Turkish_Aegean_Coast.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Torba Beach</a>.</p><p>In terms of Bodrum's must-sees, you can visit the <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=e77975349042fbcc2587693cc6255725b057a272a3a3e92484834ef1fc5998af&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttraction_Review-g298658-d2177923-Reviews-Mausoleum_of_Halicarnassus-Bodrum_City_Bodrum_District_Mugla_Province_Turkish_Aeg.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Mausoleum at Halicarnassus</a>, an ancient tomb and archaeological site, which costs less than a dollar for entry, according to <a href="https://www.frommers.com/destinations/bodrum/attractions/mausoleum-of-halicarnassus" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Frommer's.</a> There's also <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/6121/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Bodrum Castle</a>, a 15th-century fortress with a museum of ancient artifacts recovered from ocean excavations. Tickets cost about <a href="https://muze.gov.tr/muze-detay?distId=MRK&sectionId=BSA01" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">$15 to visit the castle and museum.</a></p><p>As for a nature excursion, there's a <a href="https://excursiongo.com/tour/bodrum-pamukkale-tour/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">guided full-day tour</a> you can take to <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/485/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Pamukkale</a>, a natural wonder and site of mineral springs that over centuries have built up eye-catching white travertines. The tour costs about $45 per person and includes hotel transfers and a buffet lunch. The tour also includes the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis, located in the same area.</p><p>And if you want to try your hand at Aegean Turkish cuisine, you can take a <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=b5af408ce2998fc7cd38a230e1c1ce664ef99c1aa4d5328247e70696433bf34a&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttractionProductReview-g298658-d23802104-Farmers_Market_visit_Turkish_Cooking_Class-Bodrum_City_Bodrum_District_Mugla_Provi.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">cooking class</a> for about $120 a person, which includes a trip to the local farmers' market to pick up your supplies. The meal, which you'll help cook, includes traditional dishes of four cold starters, an entrée, main course, and dessert.</p>

Use your $500 budget in Bodrum, Turkey, to tour an ancient tomb and castle and try a traditional cooking class.

Located on the Turkish Riviera, Bodrum has white-sand beaches and a Mediterranean flair. Weather is mostly mild year-round , with spring being the most temperate.

For about $49 a night, according to Booking.com , you can stay at the Bodrum Oscar Hotel, which includes breakfast and free parking. The property has a pool and is a short walk from Torba Beach .

In terms of Bodrum's must-sees, you can visit the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus , an ancient tomb and archaeological site, which costs less than a dollar for entry, according to Frommer's. There's also Bodrum Castle , a 15th-century fortress with a museum of ancient artifacts recovered from ocean excavations. Tickets cost about $15 to visit the castle and museum.

As for a nature excursion, there's a guided full-day tour you can take to Pamukkale , a natural wonder and site of mineral springs that over centuries have built up eye-catching white travertines. The tour costs about $45 per person and includes hotel transfers and a buffet lunch. The tour also includes the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis, located in the same area.

And if you want to try your hand at Aegean Turkish cuisine, you can take a cooking class  for about $120 a person, which includes a trip to the local farmers' market to pick up your supplies. The meal, which you'll help cook, includes traditional dishes of four cold starters, an entrée, main course, and dessert.

<p>As Kenya's <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/aug/16/fencing-plan-for-kenyas-oldest-national-park-angers-maasai-and-conservationists-aoe" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">capital</a> that <a href="https://www.lonelyplanet.com/kenya/nairobi/attractions/nairobi-national-park/a/poi-sig/415774/355332" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">borders a national park</a>, Nairobi is where many go to see <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=742efe6d863f8cdf1b3b920e00d5cd5ae7f1a798f8fb934ac4c1619260010c91&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalgeographic.com%2Fanimals%2Farticle%2Fafrica-big-five-safaris-lions&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Africa's big five animals</a>: the African savanna elephant and buffalo, leopard, lion, and rhinoceros.</p><p>Safaris can be an expensive excursion, with <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/luxury-safari-company-millennials-tech-new-travelers-2019-8" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">luxury options that can cost thousands of dollars per night</a>, but with careful planning, there are ways to do it on a budget.</p><p>You can stay at <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=70533324bf9d0a4e21b6d1eeb51fa35480b4c2dab1f10afbf8510b6aebb6e4ef&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.booking.com%2Fhotel%2Fke%2Fboma-inn-red-court.html%3Faid%3D356980%26label%3Dgog235jc-1DCAsodkISYm9tYS1pbm4tcmVkLWNvdXJ0SDNYA2inAogBAZgBMbgBB8gBDNgBA-gBAfgBAogCAagCA7gC8dDcoQbAAgHSAiRhMDdhNWJjYS1iYjYxLTQ4YjYtOTgyOC1jZjczNmNiZjQ5NzLYAgTgAgE%26sid%3Dd4a030a9a8b25c7b2a1a6daaf40b1db6%26sb%3D1%26src%3Dhotel%26src_elem%3Dsb%26error_url%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.booking.com%252Fhotel%252Fke%252Fboma-inn-red-court.html%253Faid%253D356980%2526label%253Dgog235jc-1DCAsodkISYm9tYS1pbm4tcmVkLWNvdXJ0SDNYA2inAogBAZgBMbgBB8gBDNgBA-gBAfgBAogCAagCA7gC8dDcoQbAAgHSAiRhMDdhNWJjYS1iYjYxLTQ4YjYtOTgyOC1jZjczNmNiZjQ5NzLYAgTgAgE%2526sid%253Dd4a030a9a8b25c7b2a1a6daaf40b1db6%2526dist%253D0%253Bgroup_adults%253D2%253Bgroup_children%253D0%253Bno_rooms%253D1%253Broom1%253DA%25252CA%253Bsb_price_type%253Dtotal%253Btype%253Dtotal%2526%2526%26highlighted_hotels%3D443245%26origin%3Dhp%26hp_avform%3D1%26do_availability_check%3Don%26stay_on_hp%3D1%26checkin_year%3D2023%26checkin_month%3D8%26checkin_monthday%3D19%26checkout_year%3D2023%26checkout_month%3D8%26checkout_monthday%3D20%26group_adults%3D2%26group_children%3D0%26no_rooms%3D1%26b_h4u_keep_filters%3D%26from_sf%3D1%23availability_target&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">Boma Inn Nairobi,</a> a modest but comfortable 58-room property, for around $75 per night, or $100 to include continental breakfast, according to Booking.com. As a guest, you can <a href="https://www.theboma.co.ke/inn-nairobi/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">access amenities</a> like a pool, spa, and gym at the hotel's larger sister property, <a href="https://www.theboma.co.ke/the-boma-nairobi/" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">The Boma Nairobi,</a> which has 148 <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=42ef31cfc811542821dcec35d77fcf76c35e9491427f7e07f0dd2aa54486e518&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.booking.com%2Fhotel%2Fke%2Fthe-boma-nairobi.html%3Faid%3D318615%26label%3DNew_English_EN_NY%253A_New_York_State_23537688865-3HhLaepAvUOrD5Rz7Hri%252AwS640938665678%253Apl%253Ata%253Ap1%253Ap2%253Aac%253Aap%253Aneg%253Afi%253Atidsa-64415224945%253Alp9067609%253Ali%253Adec%253Adm%253Aag23537688865%253Acmp363167905%26sid%3Dd4a030a9a8b25c7b2a1a6daaf40b1db6%26all_sr_blocks%3D44321308_93611167_2_42_0%3Bcheckin%3D2023-05-01%3Bcheckout%3D2023-05-02%3Bdest_id%3D-2258072%3Bdest_type%3Dcity%3Bdist%3D0%3Bgroup_adults%3D2%3Bgroup_children%3D0%3Bhapos%3D1%3Bhighlighted_blocks%3D44321308_93611167_2_42_0%3Bhpos%3D1%3Bmatching_block_id%3D44321308_93611167_2_42_0%3Bno_rooms%3D1%3Breq_adults%3D2%3Breq_children%3D0%3Broom1%3DA%252CA%3Bsb_price_type%3Dtotal%3Bsr_order%3Dpopularity%3Bsr_pri_blocks%3D44321308_93611167_2_42_0__11970%3Bsrepoch%3D1681336260%3Bsrpvid%3Dbb5399a1f0b301df%3Btype%3Dtotal%3Bucfs%3D1%26%23hotelTmpl&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">rooms with rates starting at around $140 a night</a>.</p><p>And you can visit <a href="https://www.thesafaricollection.com/properties/giraffe-manor/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Giraffe Manor's</a> <a href="https://www.giraffecentre.org/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Giraffe Center</a> for up-close encounters with the animals. For about <a href="https://www.giraffecentretickets.co.ke/view/Tickets/eyJpdiI6IldCYnFuWUJGcjlnb0wyaXBUZTIwSGc9PSIsInZhbHVlIjoiRnVGS1dTT0hlakNUb3FJSlZmekRcL2c9PSIsIm1hYyI6IjMzY2YyZWQ5ZGQwZWZkMGFlZDBjZjQ2MjRjYjg1OGMyOWI2ZGRjN2I3NjYzZjA5ZTkwNDdkNjU0OTIwOTBmYTQifQ==" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">$11,</a> you can feed rescued giraffes and learn about local conservation efforts.</p><p>There's also a <a href="https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/faqs#visiting" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">public visiting hour</a> at the <a href="https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Sheldrick Wildlife Trust</a>, a wildlife conservation with elephants, rhinoceroses, and giraffes. With a minimum donation of $15 for entry, visitors can access the <a href="https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/news/updates/nairobi-nursery-behind-the-scenes" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Nairobi Nursery</a>, where you can see orphaned baby elephants. </p><p>If there's room in your budget to spend about $195 per person, you can go on a half-day safari with a local tour in <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=8c3bd5450cea84577e8678f4b191952af4442c25a273e4089643df3a932d7bfa&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tripadvisor.com%2FAttractionProductReview-g294207-d12030112-Nairobi_National_Park_Half_Day_Tour_Free_Wi_Fi_connection-Nairobi.html&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored nofollow sponsored">Nairobi National Park</a>. The five-hour experience is spent riding with a tour guide in search of lions, leopards, endangered black rhinos, elephants, African buffalo, and various bird species.</p><p>End the trip with a traditional <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com?h=c7422bd78793b5ef7baa40b784fca501906106c722a3ef8f169426a95b78844d&platform=msn_reviews&postID=642ade21ba755654617ced15&site=in&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.viator.com%2Ftours%2FNairobi%2FTraditional-Kenyan-Kikuyu-Tribal-Cooking-Class-in-Nairobi-with-a-Local%2Fd5280-7626P507&utm_source=msn_reviews" rel="noopener nofollow sponsored">Kenyan cooking</a> demonstration. For about $80, you can get a private class with a local chef, and learn how to make dishes like mukimo, made of mashed potato and greens; ugali, a corn flour-based side dish; and pilau, a fragrant spiced rice.</p>

For $500 in Nairobi, Kenya, you can go on a safari to see Africa's big five animals, meet giraffes at a wildlife center, and book a hotel.

As Kenya's capital that borders a national park , Nairobi is where many go to see Africa's big five animals : the African savanna elephant and buffalo, leopard, lion, and rhinoceros.

Safaris can be an expensive excursion, with luxury options that can cost thousands of dollars per night , but with careful planning, there are ways to do it on a budget.

You can stay at Boma Inn Nairobi, a modest but comfortable 58-room property, for around $75 per night, or $100 to include continental breakfast, according to Booking.com. As a guest, you can access amenities like a pool, spa, and gym at the hotel's larger sister property, The Boma Nairobi, which has 148 rooms with rates starting at around $140 a night .

And you can visit Giraffe Manor's   Giraffe Center for up-close encounters with the animals. For about $11,  you can feed rescued giraffes and learn about local conservation efforts.

There's also a public visiting hour at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust , a wildlife conservation with elephants, rhinoceroses, and giraffes. With a minimum donation of $15 for entry, visitors can access the Nairobi Nursery , where you can see orphaned baby elephants. 

If there's room in your budget to spend about $195 per person, you can go on a half-day safari with a local tour in Nairobi National Park . The five-hour experience is spent riding with a tour guide in search of lions, leopards, endangered black rhinos, elephants, African buffalo, and various bird species.

End the trip with a traditional Kenyan cooking demonstration. For about $80, you can get a private class with a local chef, and learn how to make dishes like mukimo, made of mashed potato and greens; ugali, a corn flour-based side dish; and pilau, a fragrant spiced rice.

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    March 13, 2023 by Ástríkur Natansson May is the time when Iceland begins to transition into its peak tourist season, making it a popular time to visit. With milder temperatures and longer days, visitors can experience Iceland's stunning natural beauty without the extreme weather conditions of the winter months by visiting Iceland in May.

  15. Iceland in May: Things to See & Do

    Puffin Tours in May in Iceland. Iceland boasts the largest Atlantic puffin population in the world, flocking to the coastline to nest in the summer months. ... The first protest on May 1 in Iceland's history was in 1923, making it a 100-year-old tradition in 2023. Although there isn't a unified subject, many Icelanders argue for higher wages ...

  16. Iceland In May: 6 Things To Know Before You Go

    December 18, 2023 // by Iceland Trippers // Leave a Comment Affiliate Links Are you traveling to Iceland in May? We've got you covered with 6 things to know before beginning your journey!

  17. Iceland Tours & Travel

    Play Video. Small on the map and enormous in person, Iceland barely feels like Earth at all. Isolated in the frigid North Atlantic and forged through centuries of volcanic upheaval and tectonic shifting, Iceland is staggering to look at and otherworldly to explore. The outdoors provide all the action you need: towering mountain peaks scratch ...

  18. The Best Tours & Vacation Packages of 2024 in Iceland

    Best 2024 Vacation Packages in Iceland Explore the biggest selection of 2024 trips to Iceland. Reserve early for the best deals and get ready to explore the beautiful nature of Iceland. Select starting location Select dates Starting date Final date Add travelers 1 traveler Easy Booking & Cancellation Most Popular Website about Iceland

  19. Iceland vacation packages

    We've got you covered - get inspired by these Icelandair vacation packages and tours. Filters. Price range $37 - $418. Theme. Airport hotel. On. Airport hotel. Baths and lagoons.

  20. Iceland Tours

    Just 5% deposit needed Great value for money Flexible departure dates Risk-free booking Trusted by travelers The best Iceland tours, hand-picked for you Trending Winter Last-minute With a trip from Iceland Tours, you'll always get transport, places to stay, and activities included.

  21. Top 10 Iceland Tours & Vacation Packages 2024/2025

    With dozens of active volcanoes, bubbling geysers, crystalline ice caves, and front-row seats to the Northern Lights, it's no surprise that the "Land of Fire and Ice" is one of the hottest travel destinations in the world.

  22. 6 Day

    4.5 461 reviews Ask a Question Check Availability 6 Day - Around Iceland Adventure 6 days • 4.5 (461) Start and end in Reykjavik Explorer Active Adventure Family Group Fully Guided Christmas & New Year Tour Operator: Arctic Adventures Max group size: 19 Physical rating: Easy Age range: 8 to 99 Operated in: English Tour id: 88570 From US $2,037

  23. Iceland Guided Tour Packages

    Our premium guided tours to Iceland visit the Geysir hot spring, glacier lagoon in Jökulsárlón , Thingvellir National Park, Blue Lagoon & more. ... Scenic Iceland and the Northern Lights. 7 Days. 13 Locations. 1 Country. Add to Compare. Standard Price. $6,584 . From. $5,926. VIEW TOUR. GET A QUOTE. FEATURED TOURS. SHOW ALL EUROPE TOURS.

  24. Is it safe to travel to Iceland after volcanic eruption?

    The earth is at its most restless in Iceland right now. Since November 2023 the Icelandic authorities have been monitoring seismic activity on the Reykjanes Peninsula, southwest of Reykjavik. The ...

  25. Volcanic eruption in Iceland subsides, scientists warn more may follow

    Volcanic eruption in Iceland subsides, though scientists warn more activity may follow A view of lava crossing the main road to Grindavík and flowing on the road leading to the Blue Lagoon, in ...

  26. What $500 gets you in 10 destinations around the world, from a ...

    Located in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, Valladolid has Mayan ruins, delicious food, and cenotes, which are natural spring swimming holes. For around $300 as of May 2023, you can book three nights ...