ring road, road trip
1 reykjavík capital city
2 hveragerði hot spring capital
3 kerið volcanic crater
4 geysir geyser field
5 gulfoss waterfall
6 seljalandsfoss waterfall
7 sólheimasandur plane wreck
8 reynisfjara & reynisdrangar black sand & basalt sea stacks
9 skaftafell national park with glacier hiking
10 hvannadalshnúkur highest mountain peak
11 jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
12 dettifoss waterfall
13 námafjall hverir geothermal area
14 mælifellshnjúkur mountain
15 kirkjufellsfoss & kirkjufell waterfall & mountain
A popular spot for post-grad backpacking, short-term adventure seekers, and families alike. Iceland is accessible for those of all budgets and a little planning can go a long way for maintaining yours! It is a popular destination for extended layovers or one-stop trips. For whatever reason you find yourself headed to the island, I can recommend two experiences.
1) Based out of Reykjavík, you can use tours or a car rental for day-trips out of the city. You can check out my (upcoming) Reykjavík Eats post for all of the plant-based friendly restaurants we went to on our fulFILLing tour of this city.
2) Take a trip around Iceland's ring road with a car rental or by hitchhiking. (see map for stops)
highlights: aurora borealis, glacial hikes, volcanic craters, silfra fissure diving
Visiting Iceland is like flying to outer space. There is an absence of noise pollution, it is void of most flora, and enchantingly magical.
when: summer (April-August)
We went in February which was plenty comfortable as it was colder in Toronto at the time! When I go back, I will go in the summer so I can camp on the side of the road. (Winter camping is not something that floats my boat.)
getting there:Iceland Air
With Wow Air out of business in early 2019, if you want to fly direct you might consider Iceland Air. They boast one of the largest leg rooms for economy seating.
If you plan on renting a vehicle, having a buddy or small group will help balance the cost of the rental and of gas. Like most roadtrips, the rule out there is to fill up the tank every time you see a gas station! Ensure you have at least one extra person aside from the main driver who is comfortable driving in the seasonally conditional climates. Practiced winter drivers in Canada should be well-prepared. Note - it does cost to have an additional driver on the insurance. With a more generous budget, you might consider renting a van.
As a solo traveler I would hitchhike around. Having a sign with you to write on is a solid idea as the city and site names are often long and difficult to pronounce.
accommodations: Loft Hostel
If you are staying in Reykjavík there are many hostels to choose from. Loft Hostel has a great location and the top floor hosts their communal kitchen, bar, and social space complete with a stage for live events, board games, books, etc. Loft also has an open patio for beautiful streetscapes and people watching. Their location was ideal for wandering the town, window-shopping, dining, and in-city site seeing. There is an available breakfast.
duration: 7-14 days
A week based out of the city is plenty of time to do the mandatory tours and get a feel for the city. Over a week to two weeks would be comfortable for the Ring Road journey. If you are hitchhiking, you may want to afford yourself some wiggle room incase things go south.
currency & cost: Icelandic Króna (ISK)
save - plan ahead and use WOW Air to get the cheapest flights, hitchhike or split a car rental and camp out, bring road trip snacks and non-perishables for roadside cooking
splurge - stay in a hostel or hotel, enjoy the extensive international dining options, use tours or a car rental for trips out of the city
electrical outlets: 230V, 50Hz (Europlug/Schuko-Plug, Type C)
Iceland uses a two-prong outlet, often available as part of an multi-international adapter.