Last August, Alex and I visited a place that was on both of our bucket lists: Iceland.
Most travelers coming to Iceland visit Reykjavík, the capital. It’s not surprising, since nearly 2/3 of Iceland’s population lives there. But the rest of the country offers some of the most jaw-dropping sights in the entire world. We covered as much of the country as we could, driving around Iceland on Route 1, also known as the “Ring Road”. It was easily one of the most beautiful drives we’ve taken.
We rented a car for the journey at Keflavík Airport. Although we paid for a “mini”-sized car, we were lucky to be upgraded for free to a standard sized vehicle, a Skoda Octavia.
Some of the best sights along the Ring Road included:
Black Beaches: In Vík
Glaciers: Including Vatnajökull National Park and Jökulsárlón lagoon (pictured)
Wildlife: Including puffins, wild horses, seals, whales, and sheep
Waterfalls: Including Gulfoss, Seljalandsfoss (pictured), Skogafoss, and Godafoss
Geothermal Sites (Hot Springs/Geysers, etc.): Including Geysir and Mývatn
Picturesque Villages: Including Húsavík (pictured) and Akureyri
Stunning Landscapes: Around every corner
The entire trip is 1,300 km, and can be driven either clockwise or counter-clockwise from Reykjavík (we went counter-clockwise). We drove the Ring Road in 6 days; although, the absolute minimum number of days it would take to complete the trip is 5, and ideally we’d recommend doing it in 7 or 8 days. Trust us, you won’t regret taking the extra time to enjoy the journey!
Our #1 suggestion for this road trip is to book your accommodations in advance. Iceland is very sparsely populated, and places do get fully booked, especially in the Summer. Accommodations along the route include motels, dormitories, farm stays, camping sites, and apartment/cabin rentals.
We were lucky enough to stay overnight at an ocean-side farm. It was one of our favorite experiences on the trip and we’d highly recommend it!