Traveling to Iceland is more popular and accessible than ever before, but if you are wanting to experience this country for all it has to offer, it takes a special type of trip.
The “Ring Road” is the encircling route around the inhabitable parts of the country (for the most part). At just over 800 miles, you can circle Iceland and take in all of its beauty, from the Southern glaciers to the Northern tip to visit the Whale Capital of the World. In my mind, this is the only way you can travel to this country!
With limited time (1 week) we had to map out our stops, campgrounds, and activities to be the most time-efficient (as any good traveler would).
While doing tons of collective research within the group, we came up with, what I think is the best visual guide of Iceland. Traveling the Ring Road there are tons of variables and to elevate the stress I wanted to see a map with stops, distances and most importantly campgrounds.
I am here to tell you that is exactly what we did BELOW
1. Blue Lagoon
2. Hot Spring Thermal River:
Hike/Hot Spring -> 1 Hour Hike in – Parking = Lot or Side of Road
3. Gullfoss Falls
Second largest Glacier next to Vatnajökull.
10. Solheimasandur Plane Wrek – 45 min – 1 hour walk (Straight no elevation gain)
12. Reynisfjara Beach
Otherwise known as Vik Beach.
13. Fjaorargljufur Gorge – BEST
One of our favorite stops considering no one was there. We visited Iceland in the Summer, during the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. So we had the luxury of staying out pretty late to pass the crowds. The walk is about 20 minutes to get to the lookout from the parking lot.
This photo was captured close to 1AM.
Skaftafell is a wilderness area in Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park. Its huge glaciers include Skaftafellsjökull and Svínafellsjökull. Trails lead to Kristínartindar Mountain and to the Svartifoss waterfall, which tumbles over black basalt columns.
15. Svartifoss Waterfall (Parking)
16. Svinafellsjokull Glacier
17. Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach is right off Route 1 as you can see it on the right side if coming from Capital City. This beach is directly across from the stop below. We stopped here to watched the pieces of ices crash into one another and end up on this beach. Quite fascinating to see Mother Nature take over.
This is a quick pull off right on Route 1. Small sneaky parking lot on the left side if coming from Capital City. This was the first time we have seen the Glaciers in Iceland and was nice to get out of the car at this point.
20. Glacier Adventure – Glacier Hike Company
$200 per person (worth every penny) Stefan was our guide, one of the highlights on the trip. One of the highlights of the trip and something I would highly recommend everyone to do. As this experience sound expensive it was worth every penny and more.
A view that cannot be missed. Vestrahorn is referring to the mountain you see in this picture, but this isnt as easy to get to as it is some spots right off the Ring Road.
On the Ring Road drive east past Höfn. After 7 km turn right onto an unmarked gravel road just before the tunnel. Follow this road for over 5km and you will reach the black sand beach of Vestrahorn.
A mountain in the middle of nowhere, it is an incredible view and only a 10 minute to Hofn.
22. Myvatn Nature Baths
A staple for many people while in Iceland. Myvatn is in the Northeast Region and is one of the man made baths similar to Blue Lagoon. We aren’t as attached to the baths as other people, but something to consider for you and the group while visiting.
You have to pay for this bath and can find that information here, as it is always better to buy these things online or with your travel advisor prior to going. https://myvatnnaturebaths.is/
23. Geosea – Geothermal Sea Baths.
Was our favorite thermal bath overlooking the ocean in Husavik. We got a 50% off discount for being students so be sure to ask that anywhere you go. More of a timely experience, could of used a shower and there is no better way than hopping in a thermal than enjoying a nice “luxury” shower afterwords. Incredible views, not busy, worth every penny.
24. Husavik Whale Tour – $80 per person (Whale Capital of the World)
This experience was great, to be able to whale watch in the “Capital of the World” is pretty amazing. Although the ride out was about 2 hours to see whales, you cannot control Mother Nature. There is a 99% chance you see whales they say and didn’t disappoint. The views were just as spectacular along the way. Waterfalls pouring into the ocean off the cliffside.
You cant miss these tours, right on the port, and they provide you with a big jumper suit to keep you warm but highly suggest layering up and TO BRING GLOVES. Hands get cold.
25. Gooafoss Waterfall
28. Glymur Waterfall
29. Thingvellir National Park – not worth your time (SKIP)
Hornstradir Nature Reserve
Night 2: Svinafell
Night 3: Fossardalur
Night 4: Camping Hamrar