Iceland only really recognises two seasons, and May marks the first full month of summer. After many months encased in darkness and ice, the country emerges in full colour, with incredible wildlife returning to the shores, flora blossoming over the landscapes, and the days lengthening until the sun barely sets.
See also: Iceland in May | Things to See & Do
This air of rebirth and vitality is infectious; it feels as if the nature woken from its slumber and its first coffee has kicked in. As such, we’ve created five calendars for May that will help bring a sense of energy and life into your home, no matter where you are in the world.
Each one has a beautiful photograph capturing the essence of the month, be it the bright dusky skies of the approaching midnight sun, fertile fields blooming with the change of the season, or a portrait of a puffin just returned from sea.
To get an Icelandic calendar picture for May, simply right-click on the photo and save it; you’ll find it perfect for a desktop image, or as a print-out to brighten up a room in your house.
The Puffins Return
Iceland has more nesting Atlantic Puffins than anywhere in the world, and in May, they return from a winter on the seas to cliffs and islands all around the country. These adorable little birds can be found by taking boat tours from cities and towns such as Reykjavík and Akureryri, or approached on land in places such as the Westfjords and Westman Islands.
See also: Where to Find Puffins in Iceland
Puffins are not the only animals that return to Iceland in May. The shores of the country are fertile feeding grounds for many great whales throughout summer, allowing guests to marvel over Minke, Humpback and, on occasion, Blue Whales. If you’re travelling to Iceland to make the most of it as a world-leader in whale and puffin watching, check out this wide range of tours.
The South Coast on a May Evening
The Dyrhólaey rock arch is one of the many incredible landmarks of Iceland’s South Coast, so wide that both ships and small planes have been able to fit through; it is also an easily accessible nesting ground for the aforementioned puffins.
This entire region, from Seljalandsfoss waterfall to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, has sites that beg you to take your time exploring them, and in May this is more than possible due to the ever-lengthening days. By the end of the month, the sun will barely drop beneath the horizon, and the sky will still be lit in beautiful hues of orange and pink.
Many South Coast tours throughout May, therefore, allow you to start early and finish late, providing you with hours to marvel over wonder after wonder.
The Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Often called ‘Iceland in Miniature’, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula boasts incredible diversity in the sites found across its length; its glacier, volcanoes, craters, waterfalls, hot springs, mountains, beaches and abandoned villages truly make it a microcosm of the wider country.
See also: Snaefellsnes Tours
Pictured here is the lonely, windswept Búðir church in a field blossoming from the changing seasons, in the shadow of the twin-peaked Snæfellsjökull Glacier. This glacier is said by many to have a mystical energy, and has inspired the works of many great writers and artists.
Kirkjufell Mountain on a Summer Night
Though Snæfellsjökull is the crown jewel of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the mountain of Kirkjufell, on its northern shore, boasts many unique qualities that make it a must-see destination. Its church-like shape, its striking position by the ocean and its beautiful surrounding features have led it to become one of the country’s most photographed and well-known sites.
Kirkjufell is pictured here on a late night without a breath of wind, reflecting with perfect symmetry against a still ocean. To see this beautiful mountain alongside a range of other sites, consider a Snæfellsnes tour.
Geothermal Activity in North Iceland
Though much of Iceland becomes colourful and verdant with the arrival of May, it is still the Land of Ice and Fire; vast swathes of it remain barren and stark, entirely inhospitable for new life, remaining true to the unique haunting beauty of the country’s landscapes. Námaskarð Pass in north Iceland is a great place to witness this, with seething hot springs poisoning the earth around them as they hiss volcanic steam in dense columns.
See also: Geothermal Areas in Iceland
This region contrasts dramatically with the nearby Lake Mývatn area, which is a perfect example of May in Iceland; it is the nesting grounds for dozens of bird species, renowned for its unique flora, and finally free of the ice that encased it throughout the winter. To see such a diversity of sites in a day, check out this range of tours from Akureyri or Mývatn.
Have you visited Iceland in May? What other calendars do you want to see regarding summer in Iceland? Let us know in the Facebook comments box below.