To help you choose the best road trip for your visit to Iceland, we’ve rounded up the top road trips in the country so you can make an informed decision!
Many of us are dreaming of our first vacation of 2021. If you have hopes of getting out to explore and experience real adventure, you can’t go wrong with an Icelandic road trip. After being shut indoors for most of 2020, there’s no better way to experience the natural beauty of nature than with an Icelandic road trip.
But with more than 100,000 square kilometers of wild landscape to explore in Iceland, it’s impossible to see it all in just one road trip. To help you choose the best road trip for your visit to Iceland, we’ve rounded up the top road trips in the country so you can make an informed decision!
The Ring Road
4x4 not required
1-2 weeks ideally
The king of all Icelandic road trips is none other than the Ring Road. Creating a loop around the outskirts of the island, The Ring Road shows you a wonderful combination of Iceland’s highlights as well as some unsettled areas and undiscovered gems within the country. Catch untamed landscapes and the wilds of Iceland, but also visit famous landmarks like the black sand beach at Vik, Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, Detifoss waterfall and so much more.
There’s a lot to take in on the Ring Road adventure, and while you could complete the trip in just a few days, we’d always suggest taking your time over a week or even two if possible to get a true taste of Icelandic adventure.
1 week ideally, during the summer
Iceland’s highlands boast some of the country’s most unforgettable scenery, with rugged mountains, fathomless valleys and striking glaciers. Here is where you’ll find the magical and powerful Þórsmörk natural reserve, the brightly coloured mountain range of Landmannalaugar, the menacing Helka volcano, the Laki craters and so much more. Due to the extremely rugged terrain of the highlands, only 4x4 vehicles are suitable, and it’s also worth noting that these roads are closed in the autumn and winter, reopening in the spring and summer, so you’ll need to time your trip just right.
4x4 not essential
To truly experience the untouched wilds of this magnificent island, we’d suggest visiting the Westfjords. Dramatic landscapes, deep and still fjords and incredible wildlife are just some of the remarkable experiences you can expect here. Allow a few days to really enjoy the area at a relaxing pace and take in all the beauty the region has to offer.
The Golden Circle
4x4 not essential
Iceland’s Golden Circle is one of the most popular and easy to drive road trip routes. The route begins in Reykjavik and takes you through a number of attractions in southeast Iceland. The circle can be completed in one day at a quick pace, not taking particularly long breaks at each attraction. But we’d suggest stretching the journey out over at least 2 days to allow yourself a change to truly enjoy sites like Gullfoss waterfall, Thingvellir park and the famous Geysir.
The Diamond Circle
Iceland’s Diamond Circle is a route located in the north of the island, beginning in the charming fishing town of Husavik. Attractions include Godafoss waterfall, Myvatn lakes, Dettifoss and Asbyrgi canyon. Again, this can all be completed in one rushed day, but why not take some time to enjoy the ethereal landscapes of the north? Note that depending on which time of year you visit, it may be a good idea to have a 4x4 vehicle.