Iceland has one of the most unique and dramatic landscapes on the planet. This small, Scandinavian island earned the nickname The Land of fireside and Ice because of its volcanic activity, black sand beaches, and contrasting glacial lagoons.
Traveling Iceland inside a car rental or camper van is the greatest way to see all its natural splendor within one week. When driving the famous Route 1, also called the Ring Road, fundamental essentials stops travelers can’t miss.
10 The Golden Circle
A short drive from Reykjavík, the Golden Circle comprises three iconic sites that people to Iceland can’t miss: Geysir, Gulfoss, and Þingvellir National Park. It’s easy to discover their whereabouts all-in-one day being that they are located close to each other.
Geysir is a famous geyser about this route, also it erupts periodically, sending warm water shooting into the sky. Gulfoss (meaning Golden Falls) is really a stunning waterfall set among lush green landscapes. Þingvellir National Park provides a scenic take a look at Iceland’s natural splendor.
When driving along the west coast of Iceland, detour in the ring road onto the Snæfellsnes Peninsula for any look at one of Iceland’s most photographed mountains, Kirkjufell. It’s 463 meters tall and is also called Church Mountain.
The distinct form of the mountain and surrounding waterfalls makes this an amazing location for photography in any season. When visiting throughout the winter months, this is the perfect spot to see the northern lights.
Akureyri is located around the northern coast of the nation and is one of the popular features of the drive. When driving nonstop from Reykjavík, it only takes about 4-5 hours to get at the town, however with stops on the way, it’s likely the halfway reason for the road trip.
Because of their location on the north coast, Akureyri is a beautiful destination for whale watching and viewing the aurora borealis. November to March is the greatest here we are at whale watching when it’s possible to see orcas and humpback whales here.
7 Mývatn Nature Baths
In northern Iceland, you will find natural thermal baths that have the same milky blue water as the Blue Lagoon. The Mývatn Nature Baths are heated naturally through the hot springs in the area and therefore are a beautiful spot to spend a few hours on this journey.
There is definitely an entry fee to enjoy this natural spa-like experience. The cost of just one adult ticket ranges from 5700 to 5900 ISK (approximately 43-45 USD), depending on what season travelers are visiting.
6 Höfn and Vatnajökull Glacier
Höfn is really a town on the eastern side of Iceland and is a picturesque spot to spend a night. Höfn is really a fishing village with quaint homes, colorful boats within the harbor, and breathtaking landscapes surrounding it. It’s even the spot to catch a peek at Vatnajökull, the second-largest glacier in Europe. It covers 8% of Iceland’s land area. Popular activities around the glacier include snowmobiling, ice walks, and dog sledding.
5 Diamond Beach
The Diamond Beach in Iceland (also called Fellsfjara) is unlike any other beach in the world. The black sand is dotted with iceberg fragments which make their way to the shore. Once they glisten in the sun, they have a diamond-like appearance, which is how this beach earned its name.
While it’s no ideal swimming spot, walking across the beach in rain or sunshine is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that people to Iceland should add to their itinerary.
4 Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon
The Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon is simply across from Diamond Beach around the southeastern side of Iceland. Jökulsárlón is a glacial lake full of melted water from the outlet glacier, Breiðamerkurjökull.
The glacial lagoon has many chunks of the iceberg floating in its crystal blue waters that break off in the glacier. Taking a kayak tour at Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon ought to be at the top of travelers’ Icelandic bucket lists.
3 Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
As visitors near the end of the ring road journey, they are available over the most famous black sand beach in Iceland, Reynisfjara. It’s located near the small village of Vik and ranked in National Geographic’s Top 10 Non-Tropical Beaches on the planet in 1991.
Icelanders love mythology, and something such tale would be that the jagged cliffs that may be seen in the beach, emerging from the ocean, were once trolls. This beach is not a great swim spot due to the massive waves. Instead, enjoy a scenic walk or picnic around the sand with epic views.
There are plenty of impressive waterfalls to determine along Iceland’s Ring Road but Seljalandsfoss stands out from the rest. It’s easy to see the falls from in front and behind the water, providing a unique experience that’s unavailable at other waterfalls in the united states.
Seljalandsfoss is 60 meters tall and looks beautiful year-round. Throughout the summer it’s encompassed by green hills and orange sunsets. In winter, the icy landscape and the crashing water are just as breathtaking.
1 Blue Lagoon
Although the Blue Lagoon is really a tourist hot spot, it’s gained popularity for a reason. A vacation to Iceland isn’t complete without having to spend a few hours soaking in these vibrant blue mineral waters and lathering up in a silica mud mask. You will find lockers on-site for travelers to store their belongings while swimming and guests get a wristband on entry that they use to gain access to their locker and pay for drinks in the bar within the lagoon.
Due to the location around the ring road, nowhere Lagoon is the perfect last stop around the journey. It’s a brief drive from Keflavik airport, so travelers can unwind in the lagoon for any previous day dropping their car rental off and catching a flight ticket home.