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Iceland Road Trip – Planning,Tips, and Itinerary

Iceland Road Trip – Planning,Tips, and Itinerary
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Part 1 of our 4 part series on planning the ultimate road trip in Iceland. We will cover every aspect – accommodation, packing, driving, shopping – of planning an unforgettable Icelandic road trip

Read Part 2 – Rapturous Abodes : Where to stay on your road trip in Iceland (opens in a new tab)

Read Part 3- Packing for a Road Trip in Iceland (opens in a new tab)

Read Part 4- How much will that Road Trip in Iceland cost (opens in new tab)

 

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Iceland Road Trip: An Itinerary

 

As we watched a colossal rainbow originating from the gorge next to the waterfall, we wondered whether Iceland was the proverbial pot of gold we’ve been told to look out for all our lives

It’s hard to articulate what Iceland really feels like. Thanks to the endless information on the internet, most travellers reach Iceland expecting surreal landscapes and picturesque panoramas. But nothing, we repeat NOTHING, can prepare you for what lies in store.

 

The Earth is alive in Iceland – there are bubbling springs, effervescent rainbows, gurgling waterfalls, handsome horses, and stunning mountains at every step. Within minutes of starting your road trip in Iceland, you will feel a bounce in your step.

 

A lot of people visit Iceland during winter months to catch the elusive Northern Lights but we think the best time to plan an Icelandic road trip is during summer. Iceland is famous for being The Land of the Midnight Sun – it is so close to the Arctic Circle that the sun almost doesn’t set during summer months (Late May – August). 24 hour days are perfect for a road trip on the 830-mile Ring Road that circles Iceland.

 

The adage ‘The journey matters more than the destination’ is nowhere truer than in Iceland. We spent long days driving around the country and slept at a different hotel every night. Here’s a suggested itinerary for a road trip based on our experience in Iceland. It can be very seductive because it involves exploring volcanic lava fields, marvelling at majestic waterfalls, hiking glaciers, bathing in natural hot springs, and dancing on snow-capped mountains, so consider yourselves warned 🙂

 

Iceland road trip

A Suggested Itinerary – Road Trip of Iceland’s Ring Road

 

Day 1 – Renting a car and gearing up

Our flight landed at Keflavik Airport and we proceeded to collect our rental car soon after collecting our luggage. We had pre-booked a sturdy 4X4 with SixT Iceland. It was a beast of a car and it served us in good stead. The folks at SixT’s office, especially Robert and Birgir, were so jovial that we spent a large part of our evening chatting with them (does that ever happen to you? 🙂 ). They gave us tons of tips about tiny offbeat gems that made our Iceland road trip much more exciting.

 

A small car isn’t a good option in Iceland because any detours to offbeat villages or li’l waterfalls involve gravel roads. Here’s a few things to consider when renting a car in Iceland

  • Make sure you rent a car that includes snow and ash coverage. Iceland is notorious for its unpredictable weather (remember the volcanic ash disaster from 2010?), which could wreak havoc on your rental vehicle
  • Heated seats are always fun. Remember how excited we got about renting a car with heated seats in Switzerland. In Iceland, they’re a necessity, especially after a glacier hike or two 🙂

 

Sleep – Spend your first night in/around the Keflavik Airport gearing up for the driving that lies ahead. We stayed at the Airport Hotel Smari. Make sure you stock up on groceries at one of the large supermarkets in this area because there aren’t too many of them once you set out on a road trip through Iceland.

 

Iceland road trip car rental

Rent a 4X4 for your road trip in Iceland

 

Iceland road trip itinerary

Stock up at the supermarkets around Keflavik before you embark on your road trip in Iceland

 

Day 2 – The fun begins at The Golden Circle

We saw vast expanses of untamed wilderness almost as soon as we left Keflavik Airport. We spent the day exploring the famed Golden Circle. The Thingvellir National Park, the site of the ancient Icelandic Parliament, is the first stop on this day. But what fascinated us more was the fact that the tectonic places of North America and Europe meet at the Thingvellir National Park. The rift is clearly visible and you can actually cross over from one continent to the other. How cool is that?!

 

Next up, the Geysirs hot-spring area of Iceland. The original Geysir, after which all other geysirs of the world are named, is dormant but there are a number of hot springs and geysirs in the area. Make sure you wait for Strokkur, the highest Geysir in the area, to erupt while you are there.

 

The third attraction on the Golden Circle Tour is the Gullfoss Waterfall. We’re not sure adjectives of the English language can do justice to the waterfalls of Iceland – it’s funny how something as simple as water falling off a cliff can create a thing of such immense beauty. Wrap up this extraordinary drive by stopping at a couple of other waterfalls – Skogafoss or Seljalandsfoss. It’s even possible to take a walk behind Seljalandsfoss to absorb its grandeur.

 

The best part? All attractions in Iceland are free. Parking is also free in Iceland, which is such a respite from overpriced parking lots all over Europe.

 

Sleep – Sleep in the Skogar/ Eyjafjallajokull area. We spent the night at Country Hotel Anna. The hotel is set in an amazing location, not far from the mighty Skógafoss waterfall.

Iceland road trip

If you look hard enough you can actually spot penguins at Gullfoss waterfall ;-)

 

Day 3 –  Hiking on a Glacier, say what?!

We spent this day pursuing something straight out of our wildest dreams. We went hiking on the Sólheimajökull Glacier with Arctic Adventures. It began pouring cats and dogs almost as soon as we drove to the parking lot of Sólheimajökull Glacier. The Arctic Adventures’ guides brought a smile back to our faces by telling us typical Icelandic weather is essential for a typical Icelandic experience 😉
The next four hours were spent hiking on the gorgeous blue ice of the glacier lightly dusted with volcanic ash. Seeing a glacier up close was such an incredible experience that we would highly recommend it to everybody. Make sure you’re wearing warm waterproof clothes because it rains over 200 days/year in this area. We had so much fun on the Glacier Hike in Iceland that we even made a video about it with our GoPro (which, by the way, was the best way to film our road trip shenanigans  :-))

 

Sleep – Drive through the Icelandic countryside after the Glacier Hike and sleep in the Jökulsárlón area. We slept at the gorgeous Guest House Hali. Their freshly made meat soup was to die for.

 

 

Day 4 – Floating Icebergs at Jökulsárlón

This day was spent driving through majestic lava fields and the incredible Vatnajokull National Park. Glacial rivers, rugged landscapes, and towering mountains were the order the day. Vatnajokull is home to Europe’s largest ice-cap and the area offers a number of hiking opportunities.

 

The highlight of the drive on Day 4 was the Jokulsarlon Glacial lagoon. It is one of Iceland’s most visited landmarks and the highlight of a road trip to Iceland. There are a number of floating icebergs at this huge lagoon and  if you stand there long enough, you are bound to see a chunk of ice break from the neighbouring glacier to join other floating icebergs, big and small. Jokulsarlon is spellbinding – we stood transfixed for the longest time before reaching out for our cameras to try and capture this un-capturable (is that even a word?!) sight!

 

Next, we drove to Egilsstadir via the Eastern Fjords. Here narrow cliffs, jagged peaks, and hairpin bends are punctuated with tiny fishing villages. We frequently went without seeing a single person, car, or shop for dozens of miles in Iceland, so it was good to see slightly populated villages for once. Make sure you drive on the gravel road F939 after the fishing village of Djupivogur – it’s an adrenaline rush like no other. This was one of the best (and bumpiest!) stretches of roads we drove on. Do make sure you check the road conditions in Iceland (here) before you set off every morning.

 

Sleep – Sleep in the Egilsstadir area. We slept at Eyvindara II, just 2 kms away from Egilsstadir town centre.

Iceland road trip Jokulsarlon

Icerbergs at the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

 

Iceland-road-trip-jokulsarlon

The two of us at Jokulsarlon – stunning landscapes call for jumping bunnies :-)

 

Day 5 – Stunning Waterfalls and the Viti Volcanic Crater

We continued our road trip of the Ring Road in Iceland towards Dettifoss, a stunning waterfall. Even at the end of May, the road leading to Dettifoss was snowed under. We asked a farmer for an alternative route and took a longer (more scenic!) route to the waterfall. We parked our car and walked towards the twin waterfalls – Dettifoss and Selfoss.

 

Now these waterfalls have been compared to the Niagara Falls- that’s how big they are. But imagine the Niagara falls without information centres, raincoats, cameras, or fencing. Imagine being just a centimetre away from the falls. Imagine a colossal rainbow sprouting right in front of you, so close that you could almost reach out and touch it. Now imagine being the ONLY one to witness this spectacle unfolding right in front of your eyes. Yes, that’s Iceland. We were the only ones around at Selfoss Waterfall the day we visited and we spent over 3 hours just marvelling at its beauty

 

But that’s not all. Our next stop was the Viti Crater in the Krafla Volcanic area. The volcanic crater is famous for its turquoise lake in the middle. The lake was still frozen when we visited, but that didn’t stop the vibrant turquoise colour from peeking through the layer of snow covering the lake.

 

Sleep – Sleep in the Myvatn area. We slept at Narfastadir, a scenic country hotel 

 

Iceland road trip dettifoss

A stunning rainbow at Dettifoss

 

Iceland road trip

Frozen lake at Viti volcanic crater

 

Day 6 – Myvatn Area: Volcanoes and Sulphur Springs (Our favourite!)

One would imagine that days full of such extraordinary scenic beauty would make us numb. But this wasn’t the case because Iceland believes in surprising its visitors. The landscape changes so frequently that one can’t help but be stunned by what’s on offer. The glacial rivers of Southern Iceland give way to the red volcanic mountains and earthy sulphur springs in North East Iceland. The Krafla Volcanic area turned out to be one of our favourite places on our road trip of Iceland.

 

The boiling mud pots, sulphur springs, and fumaroles at Namafjoll Hverir might be smelly (hydrogen sulphide is produced at these hot springs, so the area smells like a chemistry lab!) but it is still tough to tear oneself away from them. High temperatures produce such strong acids in the area that both rock and soil dissolve in the acid water at these springs.

 

You could go hiking to the Dimmuborgir area but we went hunting for Grjótagjáa lava cave with a natural hot spring inside. The inside resembles a giant bath tub with perpetually warm water. We’re not complaining!!

 

Sleep – Sleep in the Myvatn area. We slept at Narfastadir, a scenic country hotel 

 

Iceland road trip itinerary

Bubbling sulphur springs near Lake Myvatn, one of our favourite areas in Iceland

 

Iceland road trip

Grjótagjá, a natural hot tub – now we’re talking!!

 

Day 7 & 8 North Iceland and Akureyri

Now we could pretend to be superhuman and tell you we went Whale Watching in Husavik (great place to spot whales) and explored Akureyri (it’s a small yet interesting town) while we were in North Iceland. But we would be lying. We stayed in this stunning cottage with Icelandic Farm Holidays right next to the sea, snow-capped mountains, and miles of greenery. The cottage was kitted with a private hot tub and a BBQ – as you can imagine not much sightseeing was done but a LOT of wine was consumed and the BBQ was used a fair few times. Look at the cottage, can you blame us?

 

Sleep – Sleep in the Akureyri area. We slept at  Ytri Vik cottages aka heaven. This is a good place to stock up on groceries for your road trip because Akureyri has quite a few large supermarkets and restaurants

 

Iceland Road Trip itinerary

Our cottage in Akureyri

 

Day 9 and 10 – West Iceland and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Snaefellsnes (pronounced sny-fells-nes) Peninsula is a long drive away from Akureyri. A majority of Day 9 was spent driving through snow-clad roads, gurgling streams, and woodlands. This route is lined with idyllic fjords – Grundarfjörður (a small town that even the orcas love to visit in winters 🙂 ) is so peaceful that it deserves a mention on any itinerary of Iceland. 

 

We spent Day 10 driving around the  Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It is possible to go for a short hike up the Saxholl Crater. This is a fun walk but it can get VERY windy, so be extremely careful. Make sure you visit the Hellnar Arch, a natural rock formation comprised of basalt sheets. The rock arches over a lagoon and it is populated with dozens of screeching birds. Have a meal/coffee at the cafe right opposite the Hellnar Arch as you contemplate this surreal natural monument.

 

Another place that is perfect for a meal is the Kirkjufell mountain. This famous mountain is the highlight of a drive around the Snaefellsnes area. Pack a picnic and enjoy it next to the waterfall by the Kirkjufell mountain – aah bliss!!

 

 Sleep – Sleep in the Snaefellsnes/Grundarfjörður area. We slept at a working farm called Sudur Bar.

 

Iceland Road Trip itinerary

Hellnar Arch is a little known gem

 

Iceland Road Trip itinerary

Make sure you picnic by Kirkjufell mountain

 

Days 11 – 13 – Reykjavik : Urbanity, volcanoes, and whales

It was both disappointing and exhilarating to get back to Reykjavik (and civilisation) at the end of the long Icelandic road trip. It was good to see restaurants, people, and toilets (yep that ol’ essential is kinda non-existent on Iceland’s ring road 😉 ) but part of me just wanted to curl up with a book in a remote cottage with hundreds of wild flowers for company.

 

We tried reconnecting with nature by going for a whale-watching tour with Special Tours. It was so much fun donning those super-warm onesies. We felt like we were about to embark on a Arctic mission, no less! We spotted a few whales, monkeyed around a bit and had a great time.

 

Vid gets claustrophobic in closed spaces so I left him behind for the crazy Volcanic Veins tour with Extreme Iceland. I went caving inside lava tubes and magma chambers with a small group of people  and saw stunning rock formations. There was a lot of crouching and crawling involved and I came out with a couple of bruises and cuts, but it was completely worth it. Seriously, how often does one get to go inside volcanic lava tubes? 🙂

 

If you don’t enjoy adventurous excursions, you could unwind at The Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most famous geothermal spas.

 

Reykjavik has a dynamic culinary scene and vibrant night-life. We hit the pubs to make up for all the early nights in the countryside. Of course, no Bruised Passports itinerary is complete without a mention of speciality coffee. Reykjavik Roasters offer scrumptious third-wave coffee, according to Vid (our resident coffee geek!). Make sure you visit this cafe, tucked in a tiny by-lane of Reykjavik, for a fantastic cuppa!

 

Sleep – Reykjavik has a variety of options, ranging from budget hostels to luxury hotels. Pick one that suits your budget.

 

Iceland Road Trip Itinerary

Snug in hard-core onesies for a spot of Whale Watching with Special Tours

 

Iceland Road Trip itinerary

Exploring lava tubes and magma chambers with Extreme Adventures

 

Day 14 – Lake Kerid and Keflavik Airport

We couldn’t resist the temptation of witnessing just one more marvel of nature before we hopped on the flight back to London. Presenting Lake Kerid – yet another vibrant lake in the middle of a volcanic crater. The neon greenery that surrounds Lake Kerid, the vibrant blue colour of the lake, and flaming red lava rocks strewn all over the place ensure an unforgettable goodbye to Iceland. You can easily combine a visit to Lake Kerid on the day you drive The Golden Circle, but we wanted something spectacular for our last morning in Iceland 🙂

Iceland Road Trip Keflavik

Neon green scenery, turquoise lake, and flaming red lava rocks at Lake Kerid

 

A road trip of Iceland is a once-in-a-lifetime experience

A road trip of Iceland is a once-in-a-lifetime experience

 

Where to stay in Iceland

Well, it’s a tricky question and the answer depends on your own personal choices and circumstances. On this trip, we stayed in local farm stays and B&Bs and each one of them is listed in the individual itinerary points above. If farm stays are not your preferred choice of accommodation, then you can find plenty of other options by comparing the options here.

If farm stays and local B&Bs pique your interest, then you can read a detailed description of each of the places we stayed at in our post on ‘Accommodation on our Icelandic road trip‘.

As travel bloggers, we’re not allowed to play favourites. Over the years we’ve come to dread questions that involve picking a “favourite country” or “prettiest country”. But it’s safe to say that we’ve now found the definitive answer to that question and it’s ICELAND. If you’re planning to visit one new country this year, make it Iceland – you won’t regret it.

Photos can’t ever capture the beauty of Iceland. The land here emanates a smell that is hard to capture in photographs or on video – it’s the smell of raw, unexplored vistas. It’s places like Iceland that make travelling special.

 

If you need more information on planning, budgeting, accommodation, and packing, have a look at all our Iceland articles collated in one place. These articles should answer all your questions – if you have more, please leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you 🙂

 

And if you need more convincing to finally pack your bags and head to Iceland, then this video diary of our trip should help 😉

 

 

Has our itinerary managed to persuade you into planning a Road Trip to Iceland? 🙂 Are you a road trip junkie too? Read about our favourite Road Trips from around the world.

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239 Comments

  1. First of all, I truly missed reading your posts.
    Absolutely loved this post. Pictures are amazing and yes this place must be much more beautiful than all the pictures. Would love to go on a road trip like this.

    • Sukriti it’s so good to be writing again. We will be posting regularly now. Iceland was gorgeous, you should plan a trip there sometime 🙂

  2. You said photos couldnt Capture , Well i Must say , You have done an awesome Job in clicking and putting these pictures.
    The instagram journey of your iceland . those fabulous places you stayed , Hot springs, lava caves, the rainbows.I was just waiting for you to be putting up the posts .
    I’m Awestruck ( Well thats the maximum i could come up with the word in english 🙁 ) with the beauty of this place. and its definately in my list .
    By the way , if you dont mind me asking , How much was the total cost from the time you landed and for ten days ? I justwant to know how much it will cost me 🙂 . Thank you.

    Savi : A very happy belated birthday to you !! And we kind of share the birthday month. 🙂

    • Thanks Sonal. Happy Happy Birthday to you too – May and June babies are the best 😉 So glad to hear you’ve been enjoying our journey through Iceland. We will be putting up a detailed post on budgeting for a road trip to Iceland with a break down of costs within a next fortnight. Hope you find it helpful

  3. Welcome back guys:) was waiting eagerly for this post.
    I am speechless after seeing the pics,its nature at its best,and your post wants me to live Iceland very soon.

    • Thanks Priyardarshini. We’ll put together a post on budgeting for a road trip to Iceland soon, so that we can spoon feed everyone into visiting the country. It needs to be seen to be believed 🙂

  4. Love it !!! Got hooked to your blog a while ago – and have already a huge list of places to travel and in style :)) Thank you for the inspiration 🙂

    • Thanks Beena. If you’re all inspired, our work here is done 🙂

  5. wow!! . 14 days seems to be a long time for a vacation !!! and Iceland seems MAGNIFICENT .. !!! u guys must have had more fun than visible in the pics !!!! 😉

    • This is it guys. This post has out-done it all. Reading this makes me want to plan and make a budget like right-now!. Your writings and the photos are simply stupendous. A superb post guys. Iceland tourism can make this their official ‘visit iceland’ spiel’

      • Nakul thanks a million 🙂 Just your comment made the hours we spent putting this post together worth it! BUT don’t exhaust your superlatives yet, we have another cool post on Iceland coming soon

    • We wanted to drive around the entire Ring Road in Iceland, so 14 days it had to be 🙂 We had a lot of fun

    • Kushagr we did 😉 We wanted to drive the entire Ring Road at leisure, so 14 days it had to be

  6. Ultimate is right! This is an amazing itinerary and there are some excellent tips in here. I’m looking at Iceland for next year so this has been filed away safely for my future planning.

    • Hey Jen, glad we could be of help. We compiled this itinerary of Iceland after talking to a number of locals, so hopefully you will find some unique things here (highly recommend the Hellnar Arch which doesn’t feature on too many itineraries of Iceland) 🙂

  7. every day i used to visit your site in hope of a new post and finally its here !!!!!

    Have been following instagram and fb and i must say ur post and pics are so inviting, that want to be there right now on a road trip -> #Iceland

    yup we are road trip junkies too 😉

    • Aww, sorry for the break. We usually schedule blog posts to be published while we’re away but life kinda got in the way this time around 😉 You guys must plan a Road Trip to Iceland, it’s an amazing country

  8. Wow, some spectacular photos! Looks like an absolutely fabulous time!
    Frank (bbqboy)

    • Hey Frank, long time! Thanks a ton, we had a great time 🙂

  9. OMG! You guys are back! Those photos are just surreal…I am just scrolling up see them again…

    • The place IS surreal Soujanya. Did you have any favourite photos? 🙂

      • I loved the iceberg one, the rainbow one, the cute cottage and the mountain waterfall…oh I loved them all…I thought such places existed only in LOTR movies 😛

        • Thanks Soujanya 🙂 You’re right – the landscapes of Iceland are straight out of a sci fi film

  10. Picturesque indeed. There is no doubt that you guys are avid travelers, but you also inspire the rest of us who otherwise do not realize how important it is to have fun and how beautiful this world is. So thank you and happy traveling.

    • Thanks for your li’l note Rupa. That’s the reason we started writing a travel blog in the first place. You get one life, there’s no reason not to enjoy every second of it 🙂

  11. I so soooo wish to go on a trip like you guys..someday. And i do know that the chances are pretty low. 🙁
    But I will keep on wishing 🙂

    And thank u so much for putting on breathtaking pics.

    • Hey Kika, We’re sure you’ll go for an epic trip super soon 🙂

  12. I completely agree about going in the summer – I went last summer for the same reason and was blown away by the scenery! In fact, I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of Iceland that it was on the plane journey home that I took out a pen and began my travel blog! It was the country that inspired me to write about travel 🙂

    • Shikha let’s drink to that shalt we?! Iceland definitely inspires the writer in everyone, which is why I got a bit carried away talking about rainbows in this article 😉

  13. What an array of different things to see and do there is! Iceland has never been particularly high on my list of places to visit, but the most articles like this the read the more tempted I am…watch this space!

    • Catherine you must visit Iceland, there’s a surprise at every corner 🙂

  14. What a thorough resource! And yes, you’ve inspired me to take a road-trip through Iceland. It’s been high on my list for a while now, but the more I see of it in photos, the more I want to go. Amazing.

    • Thanks Jenna, pretty sure you would love it 🙂

  15. What an epic trip. That is great that they have a road that circles the island. Would love to do this trip someday.

    • Ted Iceland is a magnificent country – hope you get there soon 🙂

  16. Great review! I plan to do the full Ring Road tour of Iceland at some point as well. I believe there’s an option in the summer that includes the Westfjords region as well.

    As far as a 4×4 vehicle goes, I don’t know that a gravel road justifies the extra cost. Unless you’re off roading or experiencing winter weather, that is. I was just price comparing a rental car (because I AM going to Iceland in the fall for the Horse Round-up that Icelandic Farm Holidays offers). The price difference between a compact car and the cheapest SUV is like $100 PER DAY!!

    • Hey Shaun- We’re sure you’ll love Iceland. We stayed with Icelandic Farm Holidays too (detailed review coming soon) and had a great time. As for the 4X4 you can definitely get a better deal if you shop around. Try looking at Car rental websites based in Iceland. We booked with SixT Iceland and the difference b/w a small car and 4X4 was around £30, but that could have been because we went in off-peak season.

      We’ve driven around in small cars in a lot of countries but Iceland cries for a big car. We did a fair bit of off-roading but we would recommend a 4X4 even if you aren’t planning on doing that. Keep in mind that there are no supermarkets or shops for miles and the weather is extremely unpredictable, so a part of the car will be overrun by groceries, hard-core woollen outerwear, and other such 🙂 That said, if you are going in summer for a shorter trip (say 4-5 days) and are going to stick to the main ring road, you’ll be fine with a small car 🙂 You’re going to have an amazing time, whichever car you choose. All the best

      • Where did you do off-roading? Everywhere it says that off-roading is strictly prohibited with fines almost like $800. So where are the good places to / did you go off-roading (and not get into trouble)?

        • Hi LB,

          We drove on some F-roads and that’s what we mean by off-roading. We drove on F939 which helped us shorten the route and also was a great experience – we have mentioned this in the article as well.

          Please consult the website that lists real-time road condition in Iceland before you set off.

          Have a great time !

  17. I totally agree that it is hard to explain the beauty of Iceland to people, it is really such an incredible place. I drove the Ring Road as well but we missed Snaefellsnes as we only had 1 week. It is definitely a country I will go back to!

    • Katie it is an incredible place. Snaefellsnes is really special – hope you make it back soon 🙂

  18. Until this moment iceland was probably not on the topof my travel wishlist! But its beyond beautiful. THese pictures are just out of a wallpaper. Specially your stay at the cottage in Akureyri
    .. What a great way to celebrate your birthday savi!

    • It was the perfect birthday getaway indeed 🙂

  19. Amazing work!!! Impeccable writing. Love you, guys. Love your works 🙂

    • Thanks a ton Satyaranjan- much appreciated! 🙂

  20. This looks incredible.

    I’ve seen so many beautiful pictures of Iceland over the last few months, and I’m itching to go. Great to see your itinerary too – may well be copying bits of that when I plan my own trip! 🙂

    How did you find doing the trip in a fortnight? Did you feel you were squeezing it into the time, or was it a fairly laid-back pace?

    Glad you enjoyed the country so much – it does look stunning.

    • Hey Katie – it was pretty relaxed. 2 weeks is long enough for a road trip around the Ring Road. It will give you enough time to see everything, spend some time in Reykjavik, and relaxed at a couple of incredible thermal baths along the way 🙂

  21. Pictures are amazing and yes this place must be much more beautiful than all the pictures. An amazing place with such natural delights. I will surely plan my upcoming vacation to this place.

    • Glad you like it 🙂 Yes, the pictures do not do justice to the place, it has to be experienced ! Hope you get to go soon

    • Thanks Nancy. Glad you enjoyed them 🙂

  22. Great travel-blog – I will read deep into the text the next few days. I`am going to Iceland july 14 and will stay there for 10 days. Fishing and photo 🙂
    What car is it? Is there space to sleep in it (one man)?

    Best regards
    Bo Jørgensen

    • Hey Bo,

      Thanks 🙂 July will be amazing in Iceland ! This is a Chevrolet Captiva. Oh yes, you can definitely sleep in this car – just fold the back seat and you have ample space.

      Have a great time in Iceland.

      Cheers

  23. Ever since i saw the movie Secret life of Walter Mitty,i was sold on Iceland, your travelogue seals the deal. Thank you so very much!

    • Hope you make it to Iceland soon Swathi – it’s an amazing country 🙂

      • Are you guys on Trover? Would love to follow Bruised Passports.

        • Nope 🙁

  24. Dear Vid-Savi,
    We are based in New delhi and would be first time travellers to Europe and UK. We’ll be travelling in mid-august.
    How is Iceland safety wise for road trips in regards to road quality and robbers etc. on the way?
    Do you find decent places for safe parking of ur rented car ?
    Warm Regards
    ~Sagar

    • Hey Sagar – Iceland’s roads are excellent and extremely safe. Parking can be found everywhere. We’ve provided details of all the places we stayed at in Iceland in a separate article – all those hotels and B&Bs had ample parking 🙂

  25. Hey Savi and Vid,

    Iceland has always been on my bucket-list. Your pictures make me want to go to Iceland right away. I am surprised to see the prices – I had imagined it would be much more expensive. I guess it was because you went in May perhaps ?

    In any case, amazing tips.

    • Hey Ani – yeah Iceland was cheaper than we expected it to be. The best part was that parking was free everywhere and there were picnic spots galore 🙂

  26. Ahoy fellow travelers!

    REALLY enjoyed reading your trip and the pictures are breath taking. I cant imagine what it would look like with my own two eyes!

    My tiny (3 people total) travelling group have been YEARNING to do an Icelandic road trip.
    Since 3 months ago I have been trying to plan this so called perfect trip.
    I keep going on and off every websites (plane tickets, accommodations, car rentals, advice on what to see etc.) and each time I do this my interest just grew and grew. But I could never find the perfect forum that would answer all my needs and questions to plan this trip until I came across THIS piece of treasure which is your website/blog entry.
    So for this I would love to thank you so much for inspiring me and to give a guideline.
    Although there are some info that you left out that I would love to have such as prices and advice on car rentals, number of days, routes to take etc.

    My group and I are young students from Switzerland (I’ve seen you’ve been there too, yaaay ^^) and so budget is tight and I myself just got my definitive drivers license about 5 months ago.
    We were planning on staying a total of 7 nights in Iceland. Would it be enough to make the whole golden ring trip?? How should we book for hotels? On the spot or in advance?
    And despite your advice on travelling in the summer, we can only go in the month of beginning of February (university holidays). Wold you recommend this season?

    Anyways, sorry to disturb you with all these questions.
    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Saya

    • Hey Saya – it’s amazing to hear from you. We’re so glad you found our blog posts on Iceland useful. We would suggest at least 10-14 days to drive the entire Ring Road in Iceland. If you’re talking about the Golden Circle, then 5-7 days is enough.

      Make sure you book hotels in advance because the entire country is quite desolate (especially the countryside) and it’s tough to find accommodation on the spot. We’ve written a detailed post on accommodation in Iceland. You can read it here :- http://www.bruisedpassports.com/wheres/icelandic-farm-holidays-review
      Since you’re on a budget, you can book hostels and guesthouses offered by Icelandic Farm Holidays 🙂 Hope you guys have fun in Iceland, it’s a gorgeous country

  27. can you please tell me how much was the overall cost for the journey?

  28. Sat down at noon on Sunday, 9 hours later, flight, SUV, hotels all confirmed, soooooo excited. Time to review my travel books, look at tours & try to not get to excited for May to arrive. Thanks for your down to earth postings, somewhat following your route with a few exceptions due to room availability. I work 50-60 hours per week, have 3 senior parents that we have to keep a close eye on & I just couldn’t find enough time to come up with an Itinerary. THANK YOU Again.

    • Hey Denise,

      Thanks so much for your message – it made our day. So happy to hear that our blog was useful. You are going to LOVE Iceland and please share your stories and pictures with us when you are back 🙂

      Cheers

  29. I’ve jut come across this post and look forward to reading the rest – great itinery and gorgeous photos! I’m starting to look into a road trip of my own in Iceland after being interested in a few days to see the northern lights. Now I’m coming across all these amazing places to visit through blogs and I don’t think a few days will cut it…

    • Hey Rachel,

      Yes, a few days will not be enough in a gorgeous country like Iceland. You need at least a week and ideally 10-12 days to go around the island 🙂

  30. Loved your blog and itinerary! We are 4 girls planning to go end of July but we can’t go for 14 days and we are traveling from the US. If we were to modify your itinerary or since we will have days with mostly daylight, could we do it in 10 days total and if not, what would you suggest we omit?

    • Hey Robin,

      Thanks 🙂

      You can definitely do it in 10 days – you can spend a day or two in Reykjavik instead of 3 and also cut out a day in Akuryeri. It is definitely doable in 10 days especially since days are long.

      Let us know if you have more questions – happy to help !

  31. Hi,

    Read ur blog…It’s beautiful…. We are planning a trip in September… We are 3couples…wanted to know a few things… Is it possible to communicate via mail or phone or any other way?

    • Hi 🙂

      Of course – feel free to drop us an email on info @ bruisedpassports dot com or just use the contact us page on our site !

      Look forward to your email

      Cheers

    • Sure thing – just drop us an email using the ‘Contact Us’ tab on the top right 🙂

  32. Quick question but kinda of a silly one. In the United States it is almost expected that when you do a tour with a company that at the end you tip the tour guide. We are going on a very expensive day trip on our last day in Iceland, which is the Lava tube hike ALONG WITH a snorkel trip with the same tour company. I have read in a couple of books that tipping is not necessary in Iceland but I’m assuming this applies to restaurants only & not tour companies. Would love your thoughts on this always confusing protocol.

    • Dear Denise,

      From our experience, tipping was not necessary in Iceland. In the tours that we took, tips were not expected or “hinted” at, but a few people still tipped. I guess it depends on the person but should you not tip, the tour guide will not be offended 🙂

  33. Your blog is a wonderful read! I have one question, how far in advance did you book your accommodation and flights? My husband and I are looking to do a similar trip in September and are finding that some locations with Icelandic Farm Holidays are already booked. We have found alternatives, but are wondering if we need to get this done ASAP. I also assume you did all of the booking on your own? Or did you use some type of service? Thanks, what a wonderful trip!

    • Dear Carrie,

      So glad you like our blog 🙂 Apologies for the late response. We went in a rather quiet period – May end. We booked our flight sand accommodation roughly 3 months before departure. The first 2 weeks of September are usually very busy, but after 15th September the off-season kicks in. You could perhaps look at going then ? We booked directly with Icelandic Farm Holidays and Icelandair respectively. Let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the representative at Icelandic Farm Holidays who can help you.

  34. Thank you, thank you, thank you for these posts! These are the most helpful blog posts I’ve found when researching Iceland. We are going in the end of March and this is a great gut check as we finalize and book our lodging. We may have to forego the adorable place we found on airbnb in Akureyri and stay in one of the Ytri Vik cottages! What a review and you can’t go wrong with a private hot tub. In fact, I just emailed them to see if we can stay for only one night. Thanks again for all of your wonderful advice. We owe you big time! Thanks from Ohio!

    • Aww Lauren you put such smiles on our faces – we’re so glad we could help you out. You’re going to have such an amazing holiday. You won’t regret choosing Ytri Vik 🙂

  35. THANK YOU for these awesome posts! Reading your blogs is one of my favorite hobbies. Do you have an itinerary with accommodations etc. for 7 days? We are thinking of going in May as a family vacation!

    • Hey Ophelia – so happy to hear you enjoy reading our posts 🙂 If you have just a week, we would suggest skipping West Iceland and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and spending just a day in Myvatn. The rest of the itinerary remains the same. Have fun

  36. Hi,

    We’re thinking of going to Iceland in May for about 7 nights. Any must see’s you may recommend? I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland but just doing some minor research it now seems a bit daunting. Mainly because there isn’t any public transportation and as a North American, I only know how to drive Automatic.

    How much was the car rental? Wondering if we should start directly from the airport and stay in different places, or go to Reykjavik and then do day trips from there.

    • Hi there,

      7 nights might be just enough to drive around the island. You’d be able to get a small car for around £30 a day and we’ll recommend renting a car from the airport instead of doing day trips from Reykjavik. Automatic cars are available, don’t worry 🙂

      Have a great trip !

  37. You guys have done an amazing job with your posts. Very practical and enjoyable to read as well.
    We are planning a trip in June and want to mimick yours as closely as possible. A question I had was if we are planning for a 9 day trip instead of the 13 you guys did, what would be few spots you would suggest we can cut out from your itinerary? We will be going all the way from Asia via Oslo so want to spend a few days in Norway as well.
    Thank you !

    • Actually I just read your replies to one of the other posts which answers my 8 day itinerary question ! Thanks.

      • No problem – have fun in Iceland Sagar 🙂

  38. Hi Savi, great post. I’ve seen some great deal to fly there recently, and after reading your post, just added Iceland to the list. So excited!

    • Hey Todd – you’re going to love Iceland so much. It’s one of my favourite countries 🙂

  39. Great photo of Kirkjufell mountain. Was this photo taken arriving from the East or the West ?

  40. Hello Again,

    Another question: For a 14 day stay, is it better to change location every night or to reserve a 2 night stay in 4 or 5 areas and travel around from that base ? We are planning a mid-September arrival.

    Thanks a lot.

    • Hey Jean – that is a matter of personal choice. We found it better to book 2 and 3 day stays and drive around instead of moving to a new accommodation every night 🙂

  41. Hi,
    I am so motivated to travel to Iceland.
    I am planning a solo trip to iceland for 10 days.
    Is there any option of not hiring a car.. And all the above places mentioned by you.
    Are there any buses services? Or share a car?
    Please let me know.
    Thanks
    Nisha

    • Hey Nisha – a solo trip to Iceland sounds like such fun. There is a convenient hop-on hop-off bus which goes around the Ring Road and stops at all major attractions. The passes offered by the bus are flexible , so you can spend as many nights as you want at each attraction 🙂

  42. Hi, we are planning our first trip to Iceland and the hotel part is daunting as many are booked. Did you use iceland farm vacations for all your lodging? Did you book a self-driving tour with them and they did your itinerary/lodging? Would love to hear how you arranged the logistics, thanks!

    • Hi yep, we did use Icelandic Farm Holidays for all our lodging. We fleshed out an itinerary before contacting them and they helped us fine tune it a bit 🙂

  43. Hello,

    I was looking over your itinerary and you say you left Akureyri and drove all the way to the Snaefellsnes peninsula. That seems to be a very long drive and if you stop here and there how long did it take you ?

    Also, when you started on your 2nd day you did the Golden Circle and drove a lot. How long did that take ? I’m planning to do it clockwise and trying to make things fit. Some days it seems I’ll be doing 250 to 300 km. Do I still have time to stop at most places of interest or just drive to the next night’s accommodation ?

    Best regards.

    • Hey Jean – we were pretty much driving all day when we covered the Akureyri-Snaefellsnes stretch but we did stop every time we saw a gorgeous panorama 🙂 It’s easy to see all 3 attractions of The Golden Circle in a day, especially if you’re in Iceland during the summer when days are really long

  44. Hi Savi,

    I found your blog while looking up things to do in Iceland and Croatia. My husband and I are going this July, and after reading through your blog pages, I am so excited!

    We are renting the same Opel Mokka SUV for the Iceland trip. We are hoping to take a 8-hour roundtrip from Lake Mytvan to Viti Crater/Askja. Did you think it was worth the long trip? And did you take the rental 4×4 or a tour? I hear there are some “water fords” and a jeep is recommended, but I was hoping you could provide some input.

    Love your blog!!

    Best,
    Shayna

    • Hey Shayna – it’s completely worth the 8 hour round trip 🙂 We had a 4X4 and just drove down there – we would definitely recommend a 4X4 over an ordinary car 🙂

  45. I haven’t read such an wonderful travel blog in recent past. The place looks exciting and your pen and camera has done the rest of it. We are changing our Fall travel plan from Italy to Iceland just after this blog.
    Way to go!

    • Thanks Souwmyaa – I’m so happy our blog posts convinced you to put Iceland on your itinerary. You will love every bit of it 🙂

  46. Was Grjótagjá cool enough to bathe in? Been reading up on how it got too hot to bathe in during the 80’s and 90’s but is currently cooling down. Did you guys get in?

    • It was a bit too hot when we visited. We tried going in for a dip, but couldn’t do it. You can see our reaction to the temperature of the water at Grjótagjá in our Iceland vlog 😉

  47. Such an amazing road! Thank you for sharing. I did a road trip in Iceland in the south and the west, next time i will make it complete. I also did an article about my favorite town in there: http://www.myhiddenparis.com/6-towns-iceland/

    Hope it can be useful for everyone.

    • Hey Fon – glad you enjoyed it. Iceland is an epic country – this was definitely one of our most favourite road-trips ever!

  48. Loved your post. Going to iceland in June for 17 days (including flying days). Is that too many days on the ring road? Worried there won’t be enough to do and Wondering if we should include westfjords but nervous about all the driving time required to get there. I don’t want to spend all my time in the car! Any thoughts?
    Loved the cottage in the north!
    Thanks

    • Hey Sarah – 17 days in Iceland? We envy you. Don’t worry, you won’t run out of things to do. There’s just so much to be done in Iceland. Try spending a bit more time in the North. You should definitely include the West Fjords if the roads aren’t snowed under. That area is supposed to be stunning and you’ll have plenty of time to see everything. You definitely won’t spend all the time in the car 🙂

  49. Great post – we’re leaving on our own 10 day road trip around Iceland next week so this little series was awesome for helping us plan. Makes me very excited seeing your awesome pictures!

    • Hey Matt,

      Sorry for taking SO long to respond – somehow your comment got missed and we just saw it. Apologies for that.

      Hope you had a great trip in Iceland and glad to know that our series was helpful 🙂

      Cheers

  50. hiya!!!

    we just booked our trip to Iceland and appreciate this page. it’s amazing!!! we are quite nervous but have the car booked. can you advise on where to stay…we are on a budget 🙂

    • Hey guys,

      Have you looked into Icelandic Farm Holidays ? You can stay in a hostel in Reykjavik but when you are driving on the ring road, accommodation options will be limited and I think you might not get anything cheaper than what Icelandic Farm Holidays have to offer. Have you read our post on the accommodation bit already ? 🙂

      • Thank you so much for your reply. your posts are REALLY useful and amazing. The only other question i have is that we are only going for 10 days. what would you DEFINITELY recommend to do and see? what can we “skip”? We are looking for budget places to stay…the places you chose were on the cheaper side? did you book long in advance?

        hope to hear back!

        • Hey Guys,

          For a 10 day itinerary, you can spend a day or two less in Reykjavik and snaefellsnes 🙂 The accommodation options on the ring road can be limited, so it’s better to book in advance – we booked everything 3 months before our departure from London. I’d say our accommodation ranged from below average – above average in terms of budget (not really cheap but then I doubt there are any “cheap” places in Iceland :)). They all were excellent value for money though !

          Cheers

  51. Hey question, many of the photos look like you just drove up to the site on your own, did you need a guide? Were the sites easy to see off the ring road??

    • Hey Erica,

      Except for the glacier hike and the caving tour you don’t need a guide 🙂 The sites were easily accessible from the ring road, in fact, most of them were right on the ring road. Have a great trip 🙂

      • Thanks for the quick reply! Okay another question, the sites off the ring road, were you only able to drive to them because you had the 4×4 vehicle? Or would a generic vehicle make it? We’re finding that Iceland is incredibly expensive!

        • Hi Erica,

          You won’t need a 4X4 to access most of the sites off the ring road. Having the 4X4 does help in terms of space as well as venturing off on to the gravel roads (which takes you to some offbeat gems where not many tourists go) however you’d be able to access most of the popular sites on the ring road with a normal car.

          Cheers !

  52. Gr8 informative article. We are going from 6th Sep until 15th(inclusive) which is 7 nights 8 days driving. We plan to do entire ring road along with some highlands and lowlands. Not sure if roads are open during first 2 weeks in September.
    Any suggestions? How long are the days during September?
    Accordingly we will have to ask for hotels.
    Thanks in advance
    Akshay

    • Hey Akshay – days start getting shorter during September but you should still get over 12 hours of day light. Most roads are open during September but the roads leading to the highlands might be snowed under. Hope this helps

  53. Hi guys, thanks for posting all of this super helpful information! I see you guys had 14 days to explore the island which is really great. I will unfortunately have a mere 6 full days to try and race around the Ring Road. I am headed there in just a few weeks, so the sun will be shining the whole time and the roads will be accessible. I’m travelling solo, and rented a regular compact car, not a 4×4 (won’t have time to many crazy excursions any way) and was wondering what you considered to be the most must-see spots along the way on the old Rind Road. Again, I have 6 FULL days and 7 nights. I really want to see the Dettifoss Waterfall, but other than that, I’ll pretty much be going with the flow. Let me know! Thanks.

    • Hey Bryan,

      Sorry this comes a bit late and you must have completed your trip by now – how did it go? 🙂

  54. Hello! Erica again! Quick question, were you able to use your cell phones in Iceland?

    • In Iceland, Cell phone connectivity was never a problem. You can buy a local cell phone Sim Card or can use yours if it allows international roaming in Iceland.
      During our trip, we had some international Sim and it worked perfect everywhere.
      Though its better you buy a local SIM due to low cost of calling and data – that can be used for navigation while driving around.
      Since Iceland is thinly populated, If u forget your way near your guesthouse, just call them for directions. People there are happy to help !
      ~Sagar

      • Thanks for the comment Sagar – it’ll be helpful for other readers.

    • Hi Erica,

      Yes, we did, without any issues.

  55. Hello! Love your story/blog! What month was your trip taken in? Thank you!

    • Kourtney,

      We travelled in May end/June beginning.

  56. Which camera did you guys use to record?

    • We use a Nikon D610

  57. Dear Savi,

    You are really inspiring to me as a woman, and I really hope to travel to all the places you’ve been to someday. In your opinion, is Iceland safe for a solo woman traveller? Also I’ve heard there are large distances to cover without any toilets in between. What do women do if they have to answer nature’s call? I can’t imagine doing your business on the side of the Ring Road would be considered acceptable or safe. Any advice on this please?

    Thanks

    • Dear Alice,

      Thank you so much for your sweet message. It made my day 🙂

      Yes, Iceland is completely safe for a solo woman traveller. There are large distances between towns/service stations but no so long that the toilet breaks can’t be planned 😉 We didn’t face that problem to be honest. But I guess, in the worst case, you could always go for a little walk on the side of the ring road 🙂

      I would say, if you are driving, just have a good idea of when the next service station or town is – we always used to ask at the service station we stopped about how far the next one would be – it helped !

      Have a great trip.

  58. Hello during the midnight sun period would it be possible to compelte the entire ring road and Landmallungur mountain trip in 10 days?

    • Hi Arindam,

      Yes, that’s possible.

  59. REALLY helpful post! This was a great resource as we planned our own trek around the Ring Road! Thanks so much!

    • Glad you found it helpful, Bailey 🙂

  60. Amazing! I am looking forward to visit Iceland someday. What month did you visit Iceland, by the way?

    • Hi Jennifer,

      We went from 21st May – 5th June 🙂

  61. Nice video. Helpful as I prepare a trip with 8 art students.

    • Thanks Morgan – hope you enjoyed Iceland!

  62. Hi,
    Me and cousin of mine plan to go on a road trip in Winter this year. We wish to travel to some place in Europe. Can you pls advise on locations?
    thanks,
    Rohan

    • Hi Rohan,

      Drop us an email with your interests and budget and we’ll try to help you out 🙂

  63. This post was super duper helpful! I’m a huge planner and love making lists and I referred to this countless times for when I packed for Iceland. Love y’alls blog. It’s such a an inspiration!

    • Thank you so much for that message, Rad! Glad you found this article useful 🙂

  64. wanted to say thanks for putting this page together. we used it as a rough framework for our trip (of which we’re still on for 2 more days). weather this time of year can be a challenge, but we’ve lucked out a number of days and have had amazing experiences. today, i think we saw more rainbows between akureyri and the snaefellsnes peninsula than we’ve seen in the past 5 or 10 years combined in the USA. truly amazing.

    • That’s so nice to hear Ryan 🙂 Do share your pictures with us if you get a chance, we’d love to share them with all our readers 🙂

  65. Hey,
    This is so so cool…can imagine how much planning went into making this trip what its looking like! I’m planning to visit Iceland & Norway in May 2016. Duration would be 15-20 days. & i wish to do it on my own, may be a friend will accompany or maybe not. Can you please suggest an itinerary? I’m a nature lover, its okay if i miss out on some museums in exchange of nature’s gems.
    Wishing you many more such trips.
    Thanks in advance.

    • I definitely recommend that you stay at Volcano Huts of Thorsmork in Iceland! They’re nestled into the countryside between a volcano and a beautiful glacier river. There are tons of hikes in the area and it’s so so peasceful!

    • Hello,

      The itinerary for Iceland is mentioned in the article. As for Norway, we have been to the Fjords on a cruise – we loved Flam, Alesund, and Olden so you could factor those into your trip too.

      Cheers

  66. Hi. I was already thinking of Iceland but your blog makes it a must but…. We have 11 year old twins. What would be your thoughts on taking them on the road trip? They are adventurous, outdoor types (skiers, hikers, scouts) and they think it looks fab but is there just too much driving? Looking for May half term so only 7 full days 😕 Thanks for any advice.

    • Hey Katherine,

      Glad to see that you are convinced to go to Iceland – you won’t be disappointed 🙂

      I think your kids will love the trip. 7 days might not be enough to do the entire ring road, so you could do the Golden circle, then drive to the south and south-east and then turn back (instead of going the full circle).

  67. Thanks.I am planning a solo trip to iceland for 10 days.Great Post

    • Thanks Jennifer – have a great time in Iceland 🙂

  68. Nice to see you including an itinerary that goes beyond the usual. I look forward to exploring western Iceland and some of the more off the beaten path places and hikes. I’m planning for the last 2 weeks of May 2016 and was interested to see that some of the lakes were still frozen. This country is a crap shoot for weather at any time so we’ll just cross our fingers the weather gods are with us.

    • Hi Leigh,

      You’re right – just keep your fingers crossed for the weather 🙂 That said, even in the crappiest of weather, Iceland was magical.

      Viti crater lake was frozen when we went – 31st May!

      Cheers

  69. no northern lights?

    • Hi,

      We went in May/June so very slim chances of Northern Lights then 🙂

  70. Hello
    I’m planning a trip to Iceland either at the end of may/beginning of June. Which month exactly did you guys go to? I didn’t see any mention of that only that it was during the summer.
    Thank you!

    • Hey Nadja,

      We went end of may/beginning of June too:)

  71. Thank you for the good tips. The hubs and I will be in Iceland in just over a month on our way back from Europe, and I’m so excited. I’ve wanted to go to Iceland since I was a little boy. Iceland here I come!!
    Thank you for Sharing

    • You’ll have the time of your lives, Paul 🙂

  72. Hi

    Is the last week of March to first week of April a good time to take this trip?

    • Hey Priyanka – the weather can be a bit hit and miss at that time of the year. In all probability, you won’t see the Northern Lights (December- February is peak season for Northern Lights) or get sunny long days (reserved for summer months b/w May and August). Hope this helps 😀

  73. Hi Guys
    Just wondering if you have a shorter 7 day itinerary for Iceland?

    • Hey Sharadha – you can just pick and choose the sections of this that you really want to see. For a 7 day itinerary, we’d suggest avoiding Akureyeri and spending more time in the southern part of Iceland. Hope this helps 😀

  74. Wow, great blog post! 🙂

    I am planning on going in mid-June. I was wondering, did you find a need for a 4×4 SUV? I know most of the F roads will be closed, so I’m just wondering. Thank you so much!

    • Lulu,

      You could do without an SUV if you are driving the ring road. We did find the SUV spacious (we were three) 🙂

  75. Love this post and its thoroughness. Iceland is definitely on my bucket list for 2016. Was actually supposed to go last year but something came up. Did you find the attractions and parking to be free all over Iceland, or just in certain areas?

    • Hi Jessica,

      Thanks 🙂

      Except for the Blue Lagoon, we didn’t find any entrance fees for the attractions or parking anywhere in Iceland!

      Cheers

  76. Hi ,
    loved your blog. Myself and my hubby are planning to visit sometime in august . Can you please tell how much is the budget we would need. If we could go ourselfs or guided tour is better. Kinldy mail to email.

  77. Hey Guys! Iceland looks like heaven on the earth, I just can’t wait soon i will be touring in Iceland but need little help, can i have their best tour operator with guide if so please let me know.

    • Hey Maddy we covered Iceland independently but would recommend Icelandic Farm Holidays in case you need a tour operator as a lot of our readers have now used them. If you’re talking about day trips with guides, then Arctic Adventures offer a few of those 🙂

  78. Ultimate post, lots of information will help us plan our trip. Thanks for sharing.

    • Anytime 🙂 Hope you have an amazing time in Iceland

  79. Lovely reading all this as I’m from iceland.. not been home for over 2 years so was great looking at all them pics 🙂

    • Glad to hear that Rakel – Iceland is a gorgeous country 😀

  80. Wow! What a beautiful and informative blog. Your pictures are gorgeous! I came across your website as I am looking for somewhere to go with my family in Aug. Our son is graduating from HS this year. One more trip with him before going to college will be nice. Anyways, reading and watching your video made me realized that iceland maybe the answer. I don’t have any questions right now but hope you won’t mind later on as I start planning. Thank you for sharing your stories.

    • Hey Lou- thanks for your li’l note. I hope you make it to Iceland. Feel free to send over your questions and we’ll try to answer them as soon as we can 🙂

  81. Hi, so impressed reading this. i came across this accidentally searching for a trip in Spain, and heaven be blamed, i fell in love with you guys, i may plan a 2 week plan in Iceland. we are 2 adults and 2 kids, you think something like this is possible with kids. also i am from Delhi, india, we drive on the wrong side, and i have never done off roading. do you think it is attemptable, any chance of also checking out the northern lights if i plan in May

    • Thanks for the love Amit 🙂 The roadtrip in Iceland is definitely doable with kids. You won’t see the Northern Lights in May. They are visible only during winter months (November-March). If it’s your first time driving on the other side of the road, make sure you read up a bit on the rules beforehand and factor a bit of extra time for driving during the first couple of days. Soon enough, you’ll get used to it 😀

    • Hi Amit !
      same as you i was greatly motivated by their blog. I visited Iceland with my wife and brother last year. It was a nice experience. People there are warm and helpful.
      Yes its odd when you drive on right hand for the first time. Just ask your front row co-passenger to keep you reminded on following the right side, because by instinct we tend to drive back on to left side.
      Unlike delhi, people dont drive there bumper to bumper and keep long safe distance between cars. Following road safety and road rules is utmost important and fines for over speeding or breaking road rules are huge.
      But you would enjoy your road trip a lot. I bet it would be a trip of lifetime :-D!!

    • hi. I have finalised a 8 day trip, starting 19th may. I will be landing around 1.30 in afternoon. You think it is feasible to start the golden circle at that time and still manage to sleep at civilised times. i have a return on 28th may 6 am. so leaves me till 27th night.Need some help. Do you think it is possible to cover the Snaefelness peninsula also in this time. you have taken 2 days, just wondering if we could do the Puffin viewing via the ferry and still sqeenze in everything. lastly, you have written you crossed streams, you mean drove through streams??
      on the 19th may you think it is better to just explore reykjavik or actually start the trip. Instead of Blue lagoon we plan to do the myovatin baths.

      • Hi Amit,

        We’d suggest a day’s rest before embarking on the road trip. Not sure what your civilised sleeping times are, but they can vary from person to person 😉 we strongly suggest you spend the first half-day walking around Reykjavik and taking it easy.

        No, 6 days will not be enough to do what you are planning. You shouldn’t try to drive the entire ring road in 6 days either as you’ll end up spending most of the time on the road. In 6 days, just concentrate on south and west Iceland (so Vik, Jokulsarlon, Snaefellsness, and Reykjavik)

        Have a great trip!

        • Hi. First of all a big thanks. You guys were the inspiration behind my road trip, though i did tweak a lot of my trips around the country. i did a 9 day trip all around, starting with the golden circle, Vik, the next day followed by everything on the way to Hofn. I then went to Eastern Fjords, which are truly stunning and its amazing that you don’t see anybody there at all. i stayed at Mjoeyri, which i found to be more scenic than Egilsstadir. Then i drove inside the fjords a bit, driving down to Myvatn, which has to be most memorable drive of all the days, with the melting snow and black lava fields, it was something not possible to put in words. the day was spent in Myvatn, followed with Akuryeri, though i chose to go into the smaller fjords there, making my life tougher. Some roads were closed, so had to reroute, to Stykkishholmer to take the ferry to Flatey. Then spent a day driving on Snaefells. I chose to stay at Grundarfjordur, had the worst weather possible with winds not even allowing me to open my car door, add on the rain, it was splendid. I found driving in my Landcover Discovery really tough on that day, it was being literally pushed by the side almost a foot or more at times by the winds. Snaefells was really brilliant though. Finally drove to spend the last day at Reykjavik. In total i drove 2700 kms over 9 days, dong everything i could including some hikes with my 2 children and wifey. Children loved it more than i did, so nature is great for children also. Thanks a ton guys.

          • Dear Amit – thanks a ton for this detailed account. So happy to hear your road trip in Iceland went well. Please send us photos on bruisedpassports at gmail dot com – we’d LOVE to share your photos with our readers 🙂

          • Hi, i am in the process of writing a book, to chronicle my exoeriences. plan to post 300 pics and 50 odd pages of text. would love to share th copy with you, as well as pics, after all you are the first reason i weren’t there. cheers guys. if you are ever in delhi, let me know, must catch up

          • Hey Amit – you should come to our meetup in Delhi next week and we can chat about Iceland – all details about the meetup are on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BruisedPassports) 🙂

  82. Hey,
    I am a lone traveller to Iceland around March 21st to 31st 2016. Car rental will be expensive. How do I travel alone in a budgeted manner?
    Is the country safe?
    Regards

    • Also, 17-27 or 21st-31st, which are better dates to travel and have more chances of northern lights

      • Hey Ekta – it’s hard to say which set of dates is better because Icelandic weather is extremely unpredictable and it’s impossible to predict the Northern Lights even on the day itself. March is quite late in the year to see the Northern Lights anyway, so I suppose the earlier you go, the better it is. Hope this helps 😀

    • Hey Ekta- Iceland is extremely safe for solo travellers. You can take a hop on hop off bus that goes around the Ring Road if you’re on a budget and don’t want to rent a car 🙂

      • Thank you Guys!
        You are awesome!
        Please suggest will it be safe to rent a car, how expensive it can be?
        In March would you advise me to drive alone, I am a decent driver (not a great)?
        Keep Travelling,
        Ekta 🙂

        • Hey Ekta – please consult our article on budgeting for a road trip in Iceland (linked above) for costs. Iceland is safe to drive but whether or not you should rent a car depends solely on whether you are comfortable driving alone. If you haven’t driven long stretches before, don’t let this be the first time as it can hard to get help in remote stretches of Iceland.

  83. Hi guys,
    A million thanks for the wonderful blog. I am visiting Iceland in late April for around 10 days with 3 of my friends.
    If its 10 days, is there anything i am gonna miss compared to yours? I read about the western fjords were people tend to spent quite some time..

    • Hey Arjun – you can choose the portions that tickle your fancy. Don’t try to do everything as it will end up being very rushed! The Western Fjords were snowed under at the time that we were there, so we ended up not driving there 🙂

  84. Do you know if I can do any of the Ice cave tours during May ? North Or South ?

    • Hey Nisha – sorry I don’t know about Ice Caves but I have heard they are on during May but are usually called off during July/August (high summer!)

  85. Came across your website while planning our trip for Iceland. You have some good information! Thanks for the tips.

    • Thanks Resha – hope you have an amazing time in Iceland 🙂

  86. Did you stop by any of the Geo thermal pool by MYVATN area or WEST FJORDS to actually bathe ? I want to know which ones are the best(besides the blue lagoon). Also, I saw that you guys went in May. I am also travelling in May and would like to know how long very the day lights in North & South to get a bit scheduling based on that. Your page has really helped and inspired us to go. Just booked our 11 day trip with 9 of us.

    • Hi Nishanth,

      We took a quick dip in Grjótagjá which is near Myvatn – we have also mentioned this in the article.

      The days were fairly long – say 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. so roughly 20-21 hours of day light. Happy to hear that we could help and inspire – enjoy Iceland as it’s one of the best places we have been to so far 🙂

      Cheers

  87. Hi guys!

    Congrats!

    This is a great blog and has helped me a lot so far to organize my trip to Iceland late may beginning of june this year! I have one question: Is this lake (Day5) at the Viti volcanic crater the Askja lake? Did you guys make it up there? It seems to me that the tours to Askja are not arranged before mid june but I would like to know if you made it or if there was an option to make it even in may that you made the trip.

    Thanks and keep up the good job! 🙂

    Iro

    • Hi Iro,

      No, that is not the Askja lake – Askja lake is in the central highlands if I remember correctly. When we visited, most of the F roads were still closed and it was impossible to get to Askja lake.

      To be honest, the Viti crater lake was equally beautiful and magical 🙂

      Cheers

  88. Came across your blog while planning an Iceland road trip. Very well written with a lot of useful information and great pictures. Keep up the good work.

    • Hey Aman – so happy to hear you found our posts useful. Have fun in Iceland – it’s such a gorgeous country 😀

  89. We travelled in November and had a great time. Though it’s also amazing to see your photos of Iceland in summer, it looks so different but equally beautiful.
    http://whatwaytoday.com/europe/iceland/iceland-self-drive-beats-guided-tours-around-reykjavik-the-golden-circle-and-the-southern-shores/

    • Hey Steve we’ll definitely go back to experience the splendour of Iceland during winter months- we hear it’s stunning 🙂

  90. Hi guys! I came across this blog back in early 2015 and have been following you ever since! We are planning our trip to Iceland now for August of this year and we have 7 full days and a half day (possibly). We would love to do all of ring road, is this feasible with only 7 full days? What would you recommend within our time frame? We’re avid hikers and thrill seekers and will have a similar car to what you rented.

    • Hey Kellie – so happy to hear you enjoy following our adventures. It’s hard to complete this entire roadtrip around the Icelandic Ring Road in 7 days. We’d suggest skipping the Northern Part (Akuryeri etc) and sticking to the Golden Circle and Myvatn. Hope this helps 🙂

  91. Great blog, thanks so much for all the very helpful information! I know there have been a lot of questions already about the necessity of a 4×4 but would you mind listing out which locations/sites in particular required a 4×4? We’re doing a very similar trip in August and I’ve read that all the stops on your itinerary don’t require F-roads but maybe I’m missing something? Thanks!!

    • Hey Len – you don’t need a 4X4 unless you’re planning to off road in Iceland. As we have mentioned in the article, if you want to drive on F939 to Egilsstadir from Djupovogir, a 4X4 will come in handy. Having said that, we loved having a 4X4 because a) we were 3 people and the extra space was welcome and b)Icelandic weather and terrain is quite unpredictable and it’s nice to have a sturdy car for the odd road that is bumpy or snowed under!

      Hope you have a great trip in Iceland 🙂

  92. Hi,

    I have enjoyed all of your posts on Iceland which we will visit in September driving the Ring Road. I was wondering if you remember your directions to Dettifoss (alternate roads) and also to Grjotagja if you don’t mind sharing. Thanks so much!

    Tami Brennan

    • Hey Tami,

      Apologies for the late reply. The turn for Dettifoss is well marked on Highway 1. If you’re coming from Egilsstadir towards Myvatn, you’ll see it on your right. There are 2 – route 864 (comes first) and route 862. For some strange reason 864 was closed when we visited, so we used 862 instead. Always best to check road conditions and closures before departing for that particular day 🙂 That said, it was very easy to find and we had no trouble getting there.

      As for Grjotagja, when you are driving from Egilsstadir to Myvatn, you’ll first come across the sulphur geysers (this is also where you take a right turn to go to Viti crater if you so wish). If you keep going westwards on highway 1 after this point, you’ll drive up a hill and then down again. When you’re driving down, you’ll see an artificial water body on your right. You’ll then see a small board with the sign “Grjotagja” on your left. Turn left and drive for a couple of kilometres and you’ll reach Grjotagja caves 🙂

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers

  93. Hi
    It will be our first trip to Iceland,and main problem is that we never used self drive.will it be easy for us as a Indian to drive in Iceland,can you share your contact number with us.

    • Hey Lalit – you should be ok driving in Iceland if you’re comfortable driving on the other side of the road 🙂 Iceland’s roads are wide and well-built

      • Hi
        Is it possible that we can go alone on south iceland tour instead of taking Nordic tour
        as we have only 5 days in iceland,can you suggest us a tour for 5 days in iceland.

        • Hey Lalit – you can definitely cover South Iceland in 5 days. We suggest just sticking to the Golden Circle and South Iceland (Jokulsarlon etc). Have fun in Iceland 🙂

  94. Hey! Really really inspired by your road trip in Iceland. And love your write-ups and photos. You guys are amazing!
    If I’m planning a six-day trip around the first week of December this year, what are the must-visit places that you suggest? And yes, we are after the Northern lights. 🙂

    • Hey Aratrika,

      Thanks 🙂

      Days will be very short in December and you won’t have enough daylight to drive long distances. We recommend driving to Jokulsarlon and back. If you have a day or two to spare, you could then go on to Snaefellsness peninsula from Reykjavik.

      Have a great trip and share your photos with us 🙂

  95. Hey Guys,

    I was really amused after reading your blog. I simple your pictures and the way you have put your experiences. I really appreciate you guyz in thinking of sharing your experiences.
    Me and my friend are planning for a road trip in Iceland this month.It would be really helpful if you guyz can spare some time in planning our short road trip :).
    Idea is to cover all the must see places as our trip is only for 3.5 days 🙁

    Trip Details:
    Arrival on 28th April 2016 @ Reykjavik Airport : 5PM
    Departure on 02May 2016@ Reykjavik Airport :9AM

    I know this is a very short trip compared with you guyz.
    Hoping a positive reply at the earliest.

    • Hi Raj,

      Glad you find the article useful. You’re right, 3.5 days isn’t a long enough time to soak in everything that Iceland has to offer. We’d recommend doing the Golden circle on 29th April, driving to Vik (and seeing all the beautiful waterfalls on the way) on 30th April, and driving back to Reykjavik on 1st May.

      Hope that helps.

      Have a great trip in Iceland.

  96. Hi from Houston! First of all, y’all are adorable/the coolest. Thanks for sharing your trip, and writing so beautifully about it. I’m heading to Iceland with my partner next month, and following a similar itinerary to yours. I was already super excited, but now I can barely stand the wait (although I feel the wait is one of the best parts). The fact that y’all hold Iceland in such high esteem after having traveled the world over shows how special it must be! Can’t wait to read more of your posts. Your trips seem so positive, and totally fun 🙂
    Keep on Traveling,
    Tom

    • Hey Tom,

      So glad to hear that you enjoyed reading about our experience in Iceland. It’s a stunning country and you two are going to have the time of your lives there 🙂

      Have a great trip and share your experience with us when you’re back.

      Cheers

  97. Hi, do you suggest renting a 4×4 car or a small car should be fine during summer?
    tks!

    • Hey you won’t have trouble driving a small car in Iceland during summer- cheers 😀

  98. Great article, thanks a lot!

    I’m heading out to Iceland this evening, so I’m fine-tuning my itinerary! 🙂

    Jason @ AdventureByNature

    • Thanks Jason 🙂 Have a great time driving in Iceland – it’s gorgeous

  99. Hi… great read..did you guys end up catching any glimpse of the northern lights in summer?

    If we were to catch the northern lights..what would u suggest to be the best time?

    Also what approx budget we must keep in mind for a 3 wk trip?

  100. Hey thats quite an itinerary.. well can u suggest an itinerary with 7 days in hand.. would love to do glacier hiking, waterfall, northern lights along with self drive. Also do u have any comments on camping around Iceland..

    • Hi Chirag,

      Doing the entire ring road in 7 days will be difficult, especially if you are going in winters. If you have only 7 days, just concentrate on West and South Iceland.

  101. I literally just wrote an Instagram post about the absolute need to go to Iceland. And this is just the best. The absolute best. When I do get to go, this shall be half my guide( I believe in getting lost a lot). Stunning pictures and beautifully written. I love love love your life. *kisi ki nazar na lage*
    Keep doing this. Keep teaching us to dare to dream and do things out of the ordinary.

    Lots and lots of love. And best wishes ever.
    Jushmita

    • Thanks a ton for your little note Jushmita 😀 So happy to hear you enjoyed going through our post on Iceland – really hope you make it there soon. Iceland is a very special country indeed 🙂

  102. Hi Savi,

    Thanks for sharing your pictures and the itinerary in detail! We are planning a trip to Iceland first week of September. There are lot of recommendations on booking self driving tours. Did you guys book everything on your own or did you book a self driving tour?

    • Hey Niyati – we booked everything ourselves but a lot of our readers have gone on self-driving tours ever since and loved them 🙂

      • Thank you Savi!

        • Anytime Niyati 🙂

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