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How to Drive the Iceland Ring Road in 8 Days

iceland ring road oxararfoss

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For those who’re heading to Iceland – and it is best to – you merely should drive the Ring Street.

There’s no higher option to soak within the unbelievable pure surroundings of the island. Right here’s how one can see all of it in eight days.


The right way to Drive the Ring Street 

First issues first: You’ll want some wheels.

We determined to lease a camper van and keep at campsites alongside the Ring Street. This was a good way to maximise our time and save on lodging. To see what the camper vans appear to be inside, how a lot fuel prices, the place to remain at night time, and extra, take a look at our information to renting a camper van in Iceland.

The Ring Street could be very nicely paved and a straightforward drive! There are few different automobiles on the street and it’s principally one huge circle, so it’s almost unattainable to get misplaced. There have been a couple of points of interest across the Ring Street that required a brief drive on a gravel street, however nothing our camper van couldn’t deal with.

One bonus of the camper can: It had WiFi! And although there aren’t many activates the Ring Street, we might use Google Maps to navigate.

The drive across the Ring Street isn’t actually that lengthy. We spent about 24 complete hours behind the wheel driving the Ring Street over the course of eight days. What takes probably the most time is getting out of the van to take a look at waterfalls, craters, and different points of interest alongside the best way!

Eight days too lengthy or too brief for you? Make sure you create a Ring Street plan that matches your journey tempo. In search of a full map information to the Ring Street? Take a look at this Iceland Ring Street Google My Maps I made for our journey. Every day’s points of interest are color-coded by day and plotted on the map.


Day 1: The First Cease on the Golden Circle is … Costco?

Earlier than setting out on our Ring Street journey, we headed straight to Costco with our camper van. We cooked our personal meals every day to save lots of throughout our journey. Take a look at our money-saving ideas for Iceland.

In the event you haven’t been to Iceland earlier than or achieved the Golden Circle, deal with that first! The Golden Circle is an effective approach to dip your toes into the pure great thing about Iceland.

We began off across the Golden Circle, first stopping at Öxarárfoss waterfall. Öxarárfoss is about 45 minutes from Reykjavik. This space additionally has loopy rock formations and a stunning lake!



Subsequent up: the Kerid Crater. You possibly can stroll all the best way round it, and even right down to the water.


ring road


Subsequent, we drove to the northernmost level of the Golden Circle to see the well-known Gullfoss waterfall. This waterfall and the gorge it runs by way of is completely beautiful. You’ll be able to typically see a rainbow within the mist right here!

There are undoubtedly different sights to see across the Golden Circle, however we determined to finish our huge first day on the Secret Lagoon scorching spring. This can be a pure scorching spring amongst the rolling hills. It’s cheaper than the Blue Lagoon, crystal clear and fairly scorching!


ring road


We determined to drive a bit additional this primary day and camp at Hamragarðar campsite. It’s proper subsequent to Seljalandsfoss waterfall with a spectacular view.

Complete driving time for Day 1: about three hours


Day 2: The Street to Vik

After testing the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, head in the direction of Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool. It’s worthwhile to drive on a reasonably tough gravel street with potholes to get to the carpark, after which hike about half an hour to get to the pool. We didn’t swim right here, however be happy to enter at your personal (bacterial) danger!


iceland ring road


Solely a 10-minute drive from the swimming pool carpark is Skogafoss waterfall. This is likely one of the most important vacationer points of interest, since every part on the best way to Vik is a simple day journey from Reykjavik. Climb up the various stairs on the fitting aspect to get a view from the highest.


iceland ring road waterfall


We didn’t have Eyjafjallajökull glacier on our itinerary, however we observed the signal as we have been driving and needed to pull over. We have been in awe that we might merely stroll proper as much as a glacier! Don’t be afraid to take pit-stops alongside your means on the Ring Street. A few of the greatest spots you’ll discover gained’t be in your itinerary.


Eyjafjallajökull glacier


About ten minutes farther from the Skogafoss waterfall was the Solheimasandur Aircraft Wreck. From the carpark alongside the street to the aircraft wreck is an hour stroll. To get out and in faster, take the shuttle for about $12 USD.

Just some minutes’ drive from the aircraft wreck carpark on the Ring Street are these unbeatable coastal views. Drive as much as the Dyrhólaey viewpoint to get an superior view of the Black Sand Seashore and lovely Dyrhólaey!


iceland ring road dyrholaey


Our final cease for the day was Reynisfjara Seashore. The black pebbles and sand are unimaginable, and the caves and Reynisdrangar basalt columns within the water will depart you speechless. There are fairly a couple of guests to this seashore, however it’s value sharing the view.

Once you arrive, you’ll see these superb rock columns as properly. We visited within the night in early Might (round 6-Eight p.m.) and acquired to see puffins coming in from the ocean!


iceland Reynisfjara Beach


On this night time, we camped at Vik Tenting on the town.

Complete driving time for Day 2: about 1 hour


Day three: Mossy Lava Rocks and Glaciers, Oh My!

Day three was a heavy driving day for us as we labored our approach up the coast to the east, however the continuously altering panorama stored us entertained!

We pulled over to stroll alongside the mossy lava rocks,


iceland ring road


take within the view of the big buttes and bluffs,


iceland butte


And did a brief, one-hour roundtrip hike out to Skaftafell’s glacier, Vatnajökull.

Subsequent up: Diamond Seashore and Jökulsárlón. This glacial lagoon has icebergs floating peacefully from the mountains. The lake is filled with fish, which suggests you’ll doubtless see dozens of seals right here!


iceland diamond beach


We drove one other hour up the japanese coast to Vestrahorn. This beautiful mountain view is simply accessible by driving a gravel street off the Ring Street simply previous the city of Höfn. The gravel street will say “Personal,” however belief Google Maps on this one. You’ll should pay within the little workplace on the finish of the gravel street to enter, however it’s well worth the worth!


iceland ring road vestrahorn


You may also camp right here for the night time at a further value, however we needed to press on and make it a bit additional up the japanese coast. The views within the east are merely unbelievable.

We drove fairly late this night: one other two hours from Vestrahorn to make good time. We stopped round 10 p.m. (it was nonetheless mild out!) at a campground close to Breiðdalsvík for the night time. That’s the great thing about tenting in Iceland: you’ll be able to modify your schedule as wanted.

Complete driving time for Day three: about 5 hours and 30 minutes


Day four: Myvatn, the Desert Oasis

Whereas we had heard superb issues concerning the Eastfjords in Iceland, we knew we didn’t have a lot time to waste for our eight-day itinerary. As an alternative, we visited only one city nestled within the mountains: Seydisfjordur. 

Seydisfjordur was well worth the go to when you’ve got a while to spare! This quaint little city is a beautiful oasis tucked contained in the snow-capped mountains. Sit by the small lake on the town and take within the view of waterfalls and colourful homes.


Seydisfjordur iceland


We drove on in the direction of Myvatn, which took 2 1/2 hours from Seydisfjordur. This present day’s drive was one in every of my favorites. It modified shortly from snow-capped mountains to barren pink clay rolling hills.

Earlier than rolling into city, we stopped on the Námafjall Geothermal Space. The sulfur smells like rotten eggs, however the sheer pure energy will make you overlook the odor. Learn all the placards to get your science lesson!


iceland ring road


Just some miles additional and also you’ll be in Mývatn, the place you’ll discover the well-known Lake Mývatn within the middle of the town. Drive across the lake for some beautiful views: It solely takes 30 minutes or so to circle your complete lake. Cease on the southernmost level of the lake to stroll on these pseudocraters.


iceland myvatn


For a nightcap, head to the Mývatn Nature Baths. The Mývatn Nature Baths are a bit cheaper at 4500isk (about $36 USD). Plus, you get a shocking view of the encompassing panorama from the infinity pool edges. Take pleasure in a sundown soak and the thermal sauna to finish your day.


myvatn nature baths


Complete driving time for Day four: about three hours and 30 minutes


Day 5: The Coolest Infinity Pool Ever 

Day 5 was one other lengthy driving day alongside the north of Iceland. Our first cease was simply 40 minutes outdoors of Mývatn: the Goðafoss waterfall.

When you can drive out alongside the “fingers” of the north, we needed to save lots of time. So as an alternative, we ventured out to the city of Hofsós for the good infinity pool I’ve ever seen. Sundlaugin á Hofsósi, or the Hofsós swimming pool, is a should. It’s low cost at round $Eight per individual, heated, and infrequently crowded. Cling over the sting and take within the views of the ocean and mountains of the north!


iceland ring road


We swam for some time within the Hofsós pool, then drove two hours the city of Hvammstangi the place we stayed for the night time. It’s an incredible spot to take a experience on an Icelandic horse!

We camped on the Sæberg/Farfuglaheimili HI Hostel, which had pure thermal scorching tubs overlooking a lake. Who stated tenting can’t be glamorous?!


iceland ring road

Complete driving time for Day 5: about three hours and 45 minutes


Day 6: To the Witch’s Hat

On today, we headed down the western aspect of Iceland towards the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. On the best way, we stopped on the Gerduberg Basalt Columns. You’ll be able to drive proper as much as them from a gravel street and climb to the highest.


Gerduberg Basalt Columns


We took the mini Ring Street on the peninsula clockwise to take a look at the viewpoints within the south and west first. On our option to the western coastal view, we stopped on the well-known black church, Búðakirkja. This can be a great place for a photograph op and has some strolling paths out to the coast.

Simply 15 minutes additional out on the peninsula, you should cease on the Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge. My photographs didn’t do that gorge justice. You possibly can stroll inside this large gorge and see the stream of water flowing down the gorge. This was certainly one of our favourite stops on the Ring Street!

Make your means out to the very fringe of the peninsula to the Londrangar Viewpoint. It’s such an unimaginable view of those rocky cliffs.


Londrangar Viewpoint iceland


We continued clockwise alongside the north coast of the peninsula for 45 minutes till we reached Kirkjufell, in any other case referred to as the Witch’s Hat. For the dreamy view, go to Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall throughout the road. This spot was busy with vacationers through the day, so we returned at sundown to get this view.


iceland ring road


Complete driving time for Day 6: about three hours and 30 minutes


Day 7: The Street to Reykjavik

On our final full day in Iceland, we made our approach again to Reykjavik with a couple of enjoyable stops alongside the best way.

An hour drive from Kirkjufellfoss was on the Landbrotalaug Scorching Pot (sure, that small pile of rocks within the distance is it). Drive down the gravel street and wait your flip for this small thermal “scorching tub.” There are not any altering rooms so come ready!


Landbrotalaug Hot Pot


We spent the remainder of the afternoon exploring Reykjavik. Stroll alongside Laugavegur and Bankastræti streets to take a look at the native outlets and eating places. Go to the well-known Hallgrimskirkja church, Harpa Live performance Corridor, Solar Voyager statue, and take within the enjoyable road artwork and colourful homes in Reykjavik.


reykjavik iceland


The one time we dined out on our complete journey was to get a well-known scorching canine from the Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur stand. They’re less expensive than some other meals choices in Reykjavik. They usually’re scrumptious.

After exploring Reykjavik for the afternoon (a couple of hours was sufficient for us to hit the town highlights), we headed to our final campsite: Mosskogar Campsite, simply 20 minutes outdoors of downtown Reykjavik. This was one in every of our very favourite campsites of all the journey!

Complete driving time for Day 7: about 2 hours and 45 minutes


Day Eight: Blue Lagoon Rest Earlier than Takeoff

Our aircraft departed within the late afternoon on our eighth and remaining day in Iceland, so we determined to spend our final morning on the Blue Lagoon. Because the Blue Lagoon (a one-hour drive from Mosskogar Campsite) was on the best way to the Completely happy Camper workplace the place we returned the van, we couldn’t move it up. And after every week of tenting, we would have liked one other soak!

Whereas the Blue Lagoon can get crowded with vacationers at occasions, we went immediately within the morning in early Might to beat the crowds. We had the place almost to ourselves. When you’re curious if the Blue Lagoon is well worth the worth, learn our evaluation on the Blue Lagoon.


blue lagoon iceland


After enjoyable for a number of hours within the milky blue waters, we cleaned up and headed for the airport. What a whirlwind eight days in Iceland!

Complete driving time for Day Eight: about 1 hour


Backside Line

Driving the Ring Street in Iceland must be on each traveler’s listing. The views are merely unimaginable and even probably the most incredible photographs can’t do the panorama of Iceland justice.

Give your self a minimum of every week to see as a lot as you possibly can alongside the Ring Street, and I promise you it’ll be the most effective street journey you ever take. Use this Iceland Ring Street Google My Maps to plan your personal journey round Iceland’s Ring Street.


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